Study in UAE: Top Universities, Cost, Eligibility, Funding, Visa & Scope for International Students

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Content Curator

    UAE is one of the fast-emerging and growing study abroad destinations having the presence of various universities and institutions from different countries like the UK, France, the USA, Australia, and India. Apart from getting to study with UAE’s top universities, students can choose to pursue higher education with the campuses of these foreign universities and institutions. 

    The UAE government is also committed to increasing study abroad programs and opening its policies to welcome international students like offering a 5-year study and resident permit that allows the international students to work full time after completion of studies and part-time while they are completing their education.

    Around 80,000 international students study in three state-funded and more than 50 private yet world-class institutions. The study in UAE has English as the medium of instruction and the tuition fees can be competitive compared to the western world but there is no dearth of scholarships to finance the education for international students. 

    International students planning to study in UAE money spent on tuition fees vary from 48,000 AED to 120,000 AED. The cost of living in UAE as an international student for a single person is 8,200 AED. International students pursuing higher education in UAE are allowed to work part-time also and have plenty of job opportunities facilitating them to earn their expenses of studying and living in UAE. Post-completion of their education, they can expect to earn up to 108,000 to 276,000 AED a year.

    Top Universities to Study in UAE

    Students have a wide range of institutions to select and decide their choice of courses and city where they would like to live and study. UAE is the flagship university of the country and offers many internally accredited courses. Zayed University is an all-female university and many world-class institutions are concentrated in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

    As the medium of instruction is English, international students are required to demonstrate language proficiency through one of the standardized language tests before seeking admission to one of the universities.

    BITS Pilani and Amity University from India also have their campuses in UAE. Amongst the list of renowned universities and higher education institutions following eight are the top-ranked universities of UAE:

    University Ranks
    United Arab Emirates University 284
    Khalifa University 211
    University of Sharjah 601
    American University of Sharjah (AUS) 348
    Zayed University 701
    American University in Dubai 601
    Abu Dhabi University 701
    Ajman University 701

    Some of the foreign universities where international students can enroll and study in UAE are:

    University Campus Location
    BITS Pilani Dubai
    Amity University Dubai
    Westford University College Dubai
    Middlesex University Dubai
    Manipal University Dubai
    Gulf Medical University Ajman
    University of Wollongong Dubai
    University of Birmingham Dubai
    IMT Dubai
    SP Jain School Of Global Management Dubai
    Hult International Business School Dubai

    For those of you planning to study in the UAE enrolling with these foreign universities can help you cut down the original cost of studying on home campuses and can also help you get exposed to the multicultural environment of the UAE. 

    Admission Process to Study in UAE

    The Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral degree and diploma programs are available in various subject areas and as an international student, you have to choose the program that suits your requirements the best. English Language proficiency tests are to be taken by the students prior to seeking admission as that is one requirement every overseas student needs to fulfill. It is important that before seeking admission the aspirants have to gather all the relevant information. This will help in saving time while filling the application and will also help in ascertaining that you fulfill all the eligibility criteria. 

    Admission Requirements to Study in UAE

    • Completed Application form
    • Application fee
    • Educational transcripts starting from High school education till the recently completed academic degree/diploma etc.
    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Evidence of Financial worthiness
    • Reference letters
    • English language proficiency test scores- IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc
    • Passport Size photographs

    Applicants are advised to check the program-specific requirements. After submitting the applications, you need to wait for some time to get the acceptance letter which is required for applying for the study visa.

    Explore How to Apply to UAE Universities!

    Admission Requirements for Popular Courses to Study in UAE

    Specific admission requirements for some of the popular programs of UAE are tabulated as follows:

    Course Requirements
    MS in Computer Science Relevant bachelors with minimum 70-75%, IELTS/TOEFL
    MBA Relevant bachelors with minimum 75%;IELTS (6.0)/TOEFL(79), EmSAT score 1400, CV
    Masters in Data Science Relevant Bachelors with minimum 60-65%; IELTS/TOEFL
    LLM LLB or equivalent with minimum 75-80%, IELTS/TOEFL
    Masters in Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with minimum 70%
    Masters in Finance Bachelors in related field with minimum 70%, IELTS/TOEFL
    Bachelors of Art Secondary Education with 60-65% marks, English Proficiency

    Visa to Study in UAE

    UAE is keen to get international students and because of their policy to encourage this, they started with a 5-year study and work visa. The students can get a simple study visa also. The visa can be applied online or offline. The study visa is generally issued for a year and needs to be renewed every year by the student while he continues his studies in UAE. The visa cost for international students is around 7576 AED.

    Documents required to apply for UAE study permit are:

    • Passport with validity of a minimum of 6 months. Two blank pages must be there in the passport for stamping the required visa.
    • Application form duly filled.
    • Educational transcripts in English
    • Passport and its copies
    • Photographs
    • Acceptance letter from the UAE university/Institution
    • Evidence of financial worthiness
    • Copy of tuition fee receipt
    • Accommodation arrangements in UAE
    • Medical examination done at the authorized medical centers.
    • Health Insurance for a minimum of 12 months

    The process of the application normally takes 5-7 days. In case of delays, you can expect the visa outcome within 15 days.

    Cost of Study in UAE

    If you are planning to study in the UAE, the cost will be one of the most important factors to consider. Though there are plenty of financial aids available to study in the UAE, having an estimate of the costs needed helps a student in planning their budget accordingly.

    Tuition Fees to Study in UAE

    Tuition fees are dependent on the type of program, level of study, duration and the institution one is applying for. It is to be noted here that UAE is much cheaper than other studies abroad destinations.

    Degrees/levels Approximate yearly cost
    Under Graduates 40,000 AED to 50,000 AED
    Post Graduates 55,000 AED to 88,000 AED
    Diplomas 25,000 AED to 47,000 AED

    Popular Program Fees to Study in UAE

    Various popular programs have different fees for studying in UAE. The above fees is calculated by taking an overall average of the courses while some of the program fees are as follows:

    Course Annual Tuition (AED/year)
    MS in Information technology 85,743
    MBA 87,589
    MS in Investment Management 79,000
    LLM 55,000
    Masters in Mechanical Engineering 55,000
    Masters in Renewable Energy Engineering 87,000
    Masters in Interior Architecture and Design 79,500
    Masters in International Security 55,000

    Cost of Living in UAE

    UAE is a unique blend of modernity and tradition. The cost of living is high in certain areas and moderate in others. The most expensive emirate is Dubai. The average cost of living can be corroborated as under:

    Emirates Annual Cost per person in AED
    Abu Dhabi 8,200
    Ajman 10,090
    Dubai 9,420

    The cost of living per person per month can be taken as 3,000 AED on average. Some of the expenses that are miscellaneous are discussed below:

    • Utilities: 202 AED/month
    • Internet: 360/month
    • Local transportation: 220/month
    • Pint of beer: 40
    • Cinema tickets: 40
    • Fast-food combinations: 28

    The rentals are quite high and Dubai rentals per year can be tabulated as follows:

    Accommodation Type Annual Costs
    Studio Apartments 30,000-50,000 AED
    One/Two Bedroom Apartments 70,000-100,000 AED
    Low-end Two-bedroom 56,200 AED
    High end Two-bedroom 96,670 AED

    Study in UAE with Scholarships

    The universities offer a various full tuition fee waivers or partial scholarships to the students to encourage them to study in UAE. These scholarships combined with part timework opportunities some time are able to fund the entire study costs of the students.

    Some of the scholarships offered by UAE institutions are as follows:

    Scholarship Award Amount
    HKADC Overseas Arts Administration Scholarships Full Funding
    Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada - Media Fellowships Partial Funding
    Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program Partial Funding
    Fellowship Graduate Research Or Teaching Assistantship Full Funding
    Visiting Graduate Research Internship Partial Funding
    Royal Society International Exchange Program Partial Funding

    There are various other institution-specific scholarships also offered in UAE and students are advised to go through the details of institutional scholarships before applying for a course.

    Work Permit in UAE

    The UAE government has introduced a 5-year study and residence permit for international students that provides an opportunity to work part-time while studying and full-time after graduation. Any student studying on a normal study visa needs permission to work as in UAE without a work visa students are also not allowed to work.

    The study visa is issued for a year and renewed every year whereas the 5-year study and residence visa does not have that hassle. Obtaining work visas is not difficult in UAE as the Labor offer is approved through the employers and qualified people can obtain a visa through the transparent system of the country.

    Job after Study in UAE

    Some of the highest paying recruiters to employ after pursuing your higher education with UAE are:

    Company Salary (AED/year)
    DHL 142,000 to 225,000
    Emirates 163,000
    Etihad Airways 298,000
    FedEx Express 185,000 to 285,000
    Hilton Worldwide 98,000 to 228,000
    Marriott 49,000 to 221,000
    Microsoft Gulf 328,000
    Omnicom Media Group MENA 117,000

    Find More, HERE!

    Some of the highest paying designations after study in UAE are:

    Position Yearly Earnings in AED
    Chief Marketing Officer 468,000-552,000
    Judges 409,200-1296,000
    Chief Financial officer 300,000-708,000
    Actuaries 257,000-456,000
    Lawyers 218,000-754,000
    Human Resources 217,000-297,000
    Data Scientist 216,000-588,000
    IT Manager 214,000-625,000
    Accounting Manager 354,000
    Financial Analyst 307,000
    Graphic Designer 148,000

    Overall UAE provides world-class education and ample opportunities for employment as many new foreign companies have set up their businesses in the country. International students have the opportunity to build their careers through the education and working opportunities provided by the country.


    Ques. How much money will it take to study in UAE?

    Ans. A student would require 116,000 AED per year on average to study in UAE. The cost will differ according to the course and living style.

    Ques. What are the requirements to study in UAE?

    Ans. The student needs a letter of acceptance from the university for which transcripts, English Language score and financial worthiness are the main requirements.

    Ques. Which job has the highest salary in UAE?

    Ans. CEO, Finance Managers, Lawyers, Actuaries, Pilots, Doctors, Data Scientists, Marking Managers are some of the high paying jobs in UAE.

    Ques. Is there any time limit for a UAE student visa?

    Ans. Student visas are normally issued for a year and need to be renewed every year.

    Ques. What are some of the top universities for studying in UAE?

    Ans. United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University, University of Sharjah, American University of Sharjah (AUS), Zayed University, American University in Dubai, BITS Pilani Dubai, Amity University are some of the top universities in UAE.

    Ques. How many students can earn in UAE?

    Ans. The students are able to earn 30,000 to 80,000 AED depending on their caliber and jobs they get.


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