In recent years, and in line with the vision of Dubai’s leaders to develop a knowledge-based economy, the city has emerged as a major education hub in the Middle East. There has been a top-down mandate to provide the highest quality of education options to both students in Dubai, and students from further afield that are looking for top-quality education outside their home country.
Home to World-Class Educational Institutions
Dubai is home to a wide range of public and private educational institutions and some of the world's best universities have programmes in Dubai, attracting talented students from around the world. From schools to universities, Dubai has affiliations with top international educational institutes from around the world including the American University, University of Wollongong, British University, Middlesex University, Canadian University, Strathclyde Business School, Hult International Business School, University of Birmingham, and Rochester Institute of Technology to name but a few.
Attracting International Students
Dubai is an attractive destination for international students and 60% of higher education students in Dubai are from outside the country. The focus on attracting international students aligns with Dubai’s strategic goal to be a quality higher education hub for the region and it is a strategy that is bearing fruit.
The city appeals to international students due to its positive international reputation, geographic location and high quality standards of education on offer. Dubai is regularly ranked as one of the top cities in the Middle East for quality of life and standard of living, and the city’s reputation as a world-class commercial and cultural hub gives students confidence that it is an exciting and rewarding place to study. Dubai’s geographical location and unrivalled connectivity with regards to air travel is also appealing to students with two-thirds of the world’s population within an eight-hour flight.
Dubai is proud of its state-of-the-art educational infrastructure and most institutions have the latest technology, resources and laboratories. The Government invests significantly in equipping schools and colleges, both public and private, with smart devices and supports the adoption of e-learning and virtual classrooms. Research and technical collaboration is facilitated by strategic partnerships between academic institutions and the industry for sharing resources and knowledge.
Knowledge and Human Development Authority
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. They support schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing. KHDA set up the University Quality Assurance International Board (UQAIB) to evaluate programmes offered by higher education providers as well as student performance.
Dubai International Academic City
Dubai International Academic City is the world’s largest ecosystem fully dedicated to higher education, housing the biggest global and local internationally accredited universities, and attracting talent from all around the world. The community is currently home to more than 27,000 students representing over 150 nationalities and has cemented the UAE’s reputation as an internationally competitive hub for higher education.
Dubai Knowledge Park
Dubai Knowledge Park is the world’s only talent development ecosystem, housing human resource management, recruitment, consultancy, executive search, vocational training and professional development companies. The community is also home to top universities including Abu Dhabi University, Hult International Business School, Middlesex University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Wollongong, Manchester Business School, and the University of Exeter.
Dubai Healthcare City
Dubai Healthcare City has a thriving health and wellness ecosystem which enables healthcare, medical education and research delivery. The Free Zone is home to more than 190 clinical facilities, several educational institutions including the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Al Jalila Foundation with its recently launched Mohammed Bin Rashid Medical Research Institute. With its one-stop-shop for business setup and 100% ownership, the Free Zone encourages investment across clusters such as healthcare, education, hospitality, retail and wellness. The Free Zone’s innovative, responsive regulations, and its investment models - freehold land sale, leasing and joint venture, present an agile investment portfolio.
Dubai Silicon Oasis
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is in close proximity to a wide range of schools and universities, offering an ecosystem that facilitates education, accommodating early years to higher education and both British and American curricula. There is even the 10,000-sq-m University Residence which provides students a safe, secure and affordable place to live. Home to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which specialises in engineering, computing and business, the Institute is incubated within DSO and takes advantage of the wide range of large companies that they are surrounded by in DSO to give their students access to internships and other opportunities. RIT Dubai is the first university in the Middle East and North Africa to offer a Master of Science in Professional Studies for both Data Analytics and City Sciences.