The United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Emirates is a country in Southwest Asia with a total land surface area of 83,600 square kilometers. It is the second biggest economy among all Arab countries. More than 85 per cent of its economy is based on exports of natural resources. UAE is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil. A third of its GDP comes from oil exports. In addition to this, the country invests billions of dollars in infrastructure especially in cities Dubai and Abu Dhabi.. UAE shares the land border with Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The country has very few agricultural areas and mostly comprises desert suburbs. The country’s climate is sub-tropical arid. The summers are hot and winters are warm. Hottest months of the year are July and August. UAE has a human population of 9.2 million where only 13 per cent are Emiratis and the rest are expatriates. The Emirati people are extremely diverse having ancestors from East Africa, India, Pakistan, Arabian Peninsula and Bangladesh. Islam is widely practiced throughout the country.

Important Facts
  • Capital:
    Abu Dhabi
  • Major Currencies :
    UAE dirham (AED)
  • Major Cities :
    Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Al Ain
  • Major Languages :
    Arabic and English
  • Neighbouring Countries :
    Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia

The United Arab Emirates consists of seven States or Emirates; Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Um Al-Quwain, each Emirate has its own Emir – or ruler – and together they comprise the Supreme Council of Rulers. Since 1950, when oil and gas exploration started, the UAE’s economy has surged ahead massively, resulting in a rapid development of both the education and tourism infrastructure.

Although the average tuition fee is around $22000, the quality of education and the infrastructure is outstanding and more than compensates for its high billing. An on-campus accommodation will cost around $6000, much less than rented accommodation, which will increase the cost up to $10,000.

The UAE is famous for its sun, sea, sand, and some of the best universities according to the QS World Universities Survey. In 1975, adult literacy was around 54% but when compared to today’s literacy rate of around 90% , this indicates the growth they have managed to achieve in proportion to their investment in the educational infrastructure within last three decades. Although Arabic is the official language of UAE, English is the main language in most educational institutes.

The UAE has a diverse population, comprised of first- and second-generation immigrants from many countries like India, China, Pakistan, the US, and the UK have settled there. The ethnic diversity of the United Arab Emirates provides students with an understanding of different cultures and a truly global outlook.


With the emergence of their economy, the UAE has made rapid progress in last few decades in terms of their GDP and literacy rate. The government has prioritized education and new initiatives are being launched to improve and attract more students from abroad.

In comparison to 1950, the UAE now has many Engineering, medical, and tourism management colleges spread all over the seven Emirates. The education system in the UAE is operated by the Ministry of Education and all colleges are monitored through regular audits and evaluation of their programs. The UAE is home to many public and private universities, such as the UAE University, Zayed University, American Universities of Sharjah and Dubai, Abu Dhabi University, and so on. Worldwide partnerships and joint ventures have been established with renowned universities like the New York University and the John Hopkins, among many others, to implement the best international practices .

Additionally, the UAE has started various scholarship initiatives to support and motivate international students. For instance, DUBAL, an international aluminium smelter, offers scholarships to deserving students that subsidizes their tuition fee and supplements their living expenses .


To enroll in a program, a student requires a visa obtained from the UAE consulate. Students opting for a full-time education program have to provide a sponsorship document from the college or university they wish to attend. An education visa has to be renewed every year as it is valid for one year at a time.

1) A passport with at least 6 month validity.
2) 12 passport size photographs.
3) Proof of acceptance to a University.
4) Bank statements showing evidence of sufficient funds.
5) A medical certificate for following: HIV, Hepatitis B or C, and Tuberculosis.

1) Cost of medical test at a UAE medical centre is between $55 and $135.
2) Cost of the Visa is about $850and the annual renewal cost is around $135.
3) An express Visa service costs around $1300.

Once all documents are submitted, it takes 2-5 weeks to process the Visa application. Through the express Visa service, this duration reduces to 1-3 weeks with submission of all necessary documents.

The UAE with its diverse population and ethnicity is an easy place to adapt. About 25% of the population is native Emiratis, and rest are expats from Asia, Europe, and North America. The UAE has a different work schedule, Friday and Saturday are observed as weekend and working days are from Sunday to Thursday.

EXPENSES: The average tuition fee is around $22,000 and the cost of accommodation on-campus is around $6000 and off-campus it costs about $10,000 per annum.

TRANSPORTATION: The UAE is one of the most developed countries in terms of infrastructure. An extensive and very well developed road network and a subway system like the Dubai Metro are quite economical, for example a monthly pass for Dubai Metro costs around $50 for students.

MEDICAL/HEALTH: Before applying for a student visa every student has to produce a medical certificate after undergoing a health test at the UAE medical centre. The cost of this medical test is between $55 and $135. It is mandatory for every student to subscribe to a health insurance plan during their stay in the UAE. The cost of this plan may vary around $250 to $450.

FOOD: The Emirati cuisine is a blend of many Asian and middle eastern cuisine. Alcohol is only served in bars, hotels, and restaurants. The average cost of food is around $300 per month.
The UAE has a zero tolerance policy to drug abuse. Any violation can lead to death penalty.