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Best Universities in UAE in 2023: Fees & Rankings

Best Universities in UAE in 2023: Fees & Rankings
Shishant KumarApr 14, 2023

Best Universities in UAE: World Rankings & Fees

The UAE has a literacy rate of 98.13%. In recent years, the country’s government has also made significant investments in higher education.  As a result, UAE’s universities are growing in popularity not just among the residents, but also internationally. 

In this blog, we will take a look at the 11 best universities in the UAE as per the 2023 rankings. We will also get into the details of programs offered, tuition fees, and scholarships available at these top universities.

As per the research conducted in September 2022 by CHEDS (Central Higher Education Data Store), a total of 133,841 students were enrolled in various higher education institutions in the UAE. Business, Engineering, and Health Sciences are the most highly sought-after study areas in the country. 

Why Study at the best Universities in UAE?

The United Arab Emirates, commonly referred to as UAE, is home to some of the best universities in the Gulf region. Here are some of the key benefits of completing your higher education at universities in the UAE.

Quality of Education & Emphasis on Research

The UAE government has made significant investments in the country’s higher education system. According to reports, the UAE Ministry of Education has allocated more than 15% (AED 10.4 billion) of the federal budget for the development of the education system every year since 2016. Since the government is determined to make the country a center for knowledge and innovation, students have a lot to gain from studying at the best universities in UAE.

Extensive Range of Universities & Programs

There are currently 67 CAA (Commission for Academic Accreditation) licensed public and private universities in the UAE. According to 2022 research, more than 1100 CAA-licensed programs are being offered by universities in the UAE. 48% of these are bachelor’s programs and 32% are master’s programs. The remaining 20% comprises Ph.D., Diploma, PG Diploma, and Higher Diploma programs.

The programs are offered in multiple academic fields and areas of study. However, Business, Engineering, and Health Sciences have a high concentration of accredited programs. 

Potential Tax-Free Earnings After Graduation

Apart from providing a safe, convenient, and inclusive environment for students, UAE has another huge benefit for those who wish to seek employment after graduation.  The UAE has no income tax for individuals or businesses. Because of this, the country attracts a lot of foreign business investments and skilled expats, which help its economy and promotes diversity.

Top-Ranked Universities and Specialized Colleges

According to prominent ranking agencies such as QS and THE, the UAE is home to some of the top-ranked universities globally. More than 10 universities in UAE are ranked among the top 1000 in the world. We will discuss the best universities in UAE in detail later in this article.  Additionally, UAE has several specialized universities, including the Dubai Medical College for Girls, the Petroleum Institute, and the Higher Colleges of Technology.

11 Best Universities in UAE: 2023 World Rankings

Given below is a list of the top-ranked universities in the UAE according to the latest world rankings.

University Name Location World Ranking 2023- QS World Ranking 2023- THE
Khalifa University Abu Dhabi =181 351-400
United Arab Emirates University Al Ain =296 251-300
American University of Sharjah Sharjah =369 601-800
Canadian University Dubai Dubai 541-550 NA
Al Ain University Al Ain 601-650 NA
University of Sharjah Sharjah 601-650 251-300
Abu Dhabi University Abu Dhabi 651-700 301-350
Ajman University Ajman 651-700 NA
American University in Dubai Dubai 651-700 NA
Zayed University Abu Dhabi 701-750 501-600
University of Dubai Dubai 801-1000 NA

Best Universities in UAE: Popular Programs & Fees

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best universities in the UAE. Keep reading to get an insight into the top UAE universities, their popular programs, and average annual fees.

Khalifa University

The history of Khalifa University (KU) can be traced back to 1989. Today, KU is a top-ranked, research-intensive university that offers various English-taught bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to domestic and international students. 

The university has 3 colleges: the College of Engineering, the College of Arts & Science, and the College of Medicine & Health Sciences.  KU offers 16 bachelor’s degree programs. Some of the popular undergraduate programs include Biomedical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics. The university also offers 20+ postgraduate degrees for students. Additionally, a 4 year MD program is offered by the College of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Level Fees per Credit Hour Total Credits in a Year Annual Tuition Fees
Bachelor’s Degree AED 3333 30-38 AED 99990-126654
Master’s Degree AED 5000 15-18 AED 75000-90000
Doctoral Degree AED 6666 15 AED 99990

Keep in mind that Khalifa University offers a broad range of scholarships for domestic as well as international students. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and some even provide entire coverage of tuition fees.

United Arab Emirates University

The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is the oldest university in UAE. Established, in 1976, UAEU currently enrolls approximately 15,000 students. The university offers the highest number of programs in the entire UAE. 58 bachelor’s degree programs, 37 master’s degree programs, a Doctor of Medicine (MD), a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D), a Ph.D. program, and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) are all offered by the university across a broad range of disciplines.

UAEU has the following colleges that offer various undergraduate and postgraduate programs:

  • College of Business & Economics
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Education
  • College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • College of Information Technology
  • College of Law
  • College of Medicine & Health Sciences
  • College of Science

Some of the most popular study areas (by enrollment numbers) at the university include Business & Economics, Engineering, Humanities & Social Science, Information Technology, and Sciences.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Fees Per Credit Hour Required Credits in a Year Annual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate: Humanities & Social Science, Education, Law, Business & Economics  AED 1900-2300 30-33 AED 57000-75900
Undergraduate: Science, IT, Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary, Agriculture AED 2500-3000* 30-38 AED 75000-114000
Graduate: All programs** AED 1600-3000 15-24 AED 24000-72000

*Only the veterinary medicine program has AED 3000 fees per credit hour.

**Fees for graduate programs vary depending on the choice of degree. Visit the university website for detailed information or contact Gyanberry to know more.

American University of Sharjah

Established in 1997, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) is a private university that is internationally accredited and offers world-class education to more than 6000 students representing over 100 nationalities. 

AUS offers 28 majors and 45 minors at the undergraduate level, 15 master’s degree programs, and 4 doctoral programs through:

  • College of Architecture, Art. and Design
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • School of Business Administration

The university has an employment rate of 88% and is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world by QS World University Rankings 2023.

Some of the most popular and top-ranked programs offered by the university include MBA, Accounting & Finance, Physical Sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science), and Computer Science.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Annual Tuition Fees
All undergraduate programs AED 100940
Graduate programs: College of Arts & Sciences AED 3980 per credit hour*
Graduate programs: Architecture, Engineering, and Business Administration AED 4990 per credit hour*

A minimum of 30-33 credit hours is required for students to complete a master’s degree at AUS. To understand the fees in detail, view the AUS graduate catalog.

Canadian University Dubai

Established in 2006, the Canadian University Dubai (CUD) offers world-class, internationally accredited higher education in the heart of Dubai. It is one of the highly-ranked universities for international students, comprising more than 120 nationalities in its student population. The university has many international and Canadian university partnerships. Students can start their higher education at CUD and transfer to one of their partner universities. CUD offers the perfect gateway to higher education, research, and employment in Canada and globally.

The university offers 18 accredited programs and more than 30 majors to choose from. The academic faculties at CUD include

  • Faculty of Management
  • Faculty of Architecture and Interior Design
  • Faculty of Communication, Arts, and Sciences
  • Faculty of Engineering, Applied Science, and Technology

Architecture, Psychology, BBA, MBA, Cyber Security, Computer Science, and Engineering are some of the most popular programs offered at Canadian University Dubai.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Annual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate: Faculty of Management AED 70780
Undergraduate: Faculty of Architecture and Interior Design AED 88476
Undergraduate: Faculty of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology AED 65219-82128
Undergraduate: Faculty of Communication, Arts and Sciences AED 64040-70612
Graduate: MBA and Master in Information Technology Management AED 101115 (fees for the entire program)

Candian University Dubai offers various scholarships based on academic merit, sports, financial need, etc. Irrespective of their nationality, all students who meet the academic requirements for admission can avail of scholarships offered by CUD. Foreign students can also look for scholarships available to international students in UAE.

 Al Ain University

Established in 2004, Al Ain University (AAU) is a private university with its main campus located in Al Ain and a satellite campus in Abu Dhabi. The university was previously popular for Engineering and Business studies but now offers 22 undergraduate and 8 master’s degrees through its six colleges. AAU possesses various national and international accreditations that ensure the high quality of education in the programs that it offers.

As of 2021, over 6000 students were enrolled in various programs and campuses of AAU. The university offers its programs through the following colleges:

  • College of Engineering
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Law
  • College of Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Communication and Media

Some of the most popular undergraduate programs (by enrollment) at AAU are Business Administration, Computer Science, Law, Accounting, and Mass Communication. At the graduate level, Business Administration, Law, and Education are the most popular.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Annual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate AED 35000-55000
Graduate AED 45000-60000

Please keep in mind that the fees mentioned above are approximate values only. To get the detailed fees, check the university website. For any admission-related assistance, book an appointment with us.

University of Sharjah

Established in 1997, the University of Sharjah (UOS) currently enrolls approximately 18,500 students. It is a private national university with 3 campuses, 14 colleges, and 123 accredited programs. UOS is a leading university in UAE with a strong focus on innovation and research. The University of Sharjah offers a wide range of disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Engineering, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences are some of the popular study areas. The university has over 600 faculty members, many of whom are renowned experts in their fields. UOS is a great place to study medicine in UAE and one of the top dentistry colleges in the UAE.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Annual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate: College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences AED 42915
Undergraduate: College of Business Administration AED 52556-57812
Undergraduate: College of Engineering AED 57812-63351
Undergraduate: College of Health Sciences AED 56692
Undergraduate: College of Fine Arts and Design AED 54155
Undergraduate: College of Communication AED 59367
Undergraduate: College of Medicine AED 118300
Undergraduate: College of Dental Medicine AED 114973
Undergraduate: College of Pharmacy AED 61379
Undergraduate: College of Sciences AED 53636-55000
Undergraduate: College of Computing & Informatics AED 57812
Masters Programs* AED 3045-4000 per credit hour*
Graduate: College of Dental Medicine AED 170000-180000
Graduate: Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) AED 65000

*Most master’s degree programs require 30-34 credit hours to complete the course.

Note: All programs in the College of Sharia & Islamic Studies, some programs in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Bachelor in Law program, and many programs in the College of Communication, are offered either in Arabic language or a combination of Arabic and English. All other programs are offered in the English language.

Abu Dhabi University

UAE’s largest private university with over 7,500 students, the Abu Dhabi University (ADU) was established in 2000. The university has 4 campuses operating in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, and Al Dhafra Region. ADU offers over 50 accredited postgraduate and undergraduate programs through the following colleges:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Law
  • Academic Programs for Military Colleges

Apart from the Bachelor of Mass Communication and Master of Law, all majors offered at ADU are in the English language. Business Administration, Computer Science, Electrical/ Mechanical/ Civil Engineering, Psychology, Architecture, Information Technology, and Interior Design are some of the most popular bachelor’s degree programs at ADU. The most popular graduate programs at ADU are Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, Master of Science in Health Care Management, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Business Administration.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Fees per Credit Hour Annual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate: Abu Dhabi Campus AED 1440-1890 AED 43200-62370
Undergraduate: Al Ain Campus AED 1150-1890 AED 34500-62370
Postgraduate: Abu Dhabi & Al Ain Campus AED 2100-4620 AED 25200-69300
Postgraduate: Dubai Campus AED 2940-4620 AED 35280-69300
Postgraduate: Al Dhafra Campus AED 2100-2940 AED 25200-44100

Note: Annual fees are shown for 30-33 credit hours per year for undergraduate degrees and 12-15 credit hours per year for postgraduate degrees. To get program-specific tuition fees, visit the university website or contact Gyanberry.

Ajman University

Ajman University is the first private university of the GCC region which was established in 1988. It offers 22 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs and two doctoral programs through 9 academic colleges:

  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • College of Engineering & Information Technology
  • College of Architecture Art & Design
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Law
  • College of Mass Communication
  • College of Humanities & Sciences
  • College of Medicine

.All programs offered at the university are accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education. Ajman University is ranked among the top 550 in the world for Pharmacy (#251-300), Art & Design (#201-240), and Computer Science (#501-550) by QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023. The university is also highly ranked for international student population and faculty. Most programs are offered in the English language.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Fees Per Credit Hour Annual Tuition Fees
Medicine NA AED 82500 (Foundation Year)

AED 121000 (Regular Year)

Undergraduate: College of Dentistry AED 2541 AED 102148
Undergraduate: College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences AED 1575 AED 55912
Undergraduate: College of Mass Communication AED 1100 AED 34650
*Undergraduate: College of Law AED 1200 NA
Undergraduate: College of Architecture, Art, and Design AED 1430-1575 AED 42900-55125
Undergraduate: College of Engineering & Information Technology AED 1265-1365 AED 37950-44908
Undergraduate: College of Humanities & Sciences AED 1125 AED 34000-36000
Undergraduate: College of Business Administration AED 1150 AED 36225
Undergraduate: Unit of General Studies AED 1250 AED 37500-44375
Graduate: College of Architecture, Art, & Design AED 2500 AED 41250
Graduate: College of Engineering and Information Technology AED 2500 AED 37500
Graduate: College of Mass Communication AED 2750 AED 45375
Graduate: College of Business Administration AED 2000

AED 4500 (Doctor of Business Administration)

AED 2600

AED 90000 (Doctor of Business Administration)

Graduate: College of Law AED 2200

AED 3500 (Doctor of Philosophy in Law)

*Graduate: College of Humanities & Sciences AED 635 (Professional PG Diploma in Teaching) AED 7620
Graduate: College of Dentistry NA AED  140000

*Programs are offered in the Arabic language

Ajman University offers one of the cheapest MBA programs in UAE. To know more about the tuition fees for specific programs, visit the university website or contact us.

American University in Dubai

Established in 1995, the American University in Dubai (AUD) has brought high-quality American education to the heart of Dubai for nearly 3 decades. AUD is accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education. Degrees offered by the university are also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in the USA. QS 2023 World University Rankings has ranked AUD the second best in Dubai. American University in Dubai has also been ranked among the top 5 universities in the UAE for 4 years consecutively.

AUD has an exceptional graduate employment rate of 93% for the academic year 2021-22. In other words, 93% of AUD graduates reported landing a job within 12 months of graduation. American University in Dubai offers 13 undergraduate and 8 graduate degree programs through its 6 academic schools:

  • School of Business Administration
  • School of Engineering
  • Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC)
  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • School of Architecture, Art & Design
  • School of Education

Some of the most popular undergraduate programs include Architecture, Business Administration, Interior Design, Computer Science, and Visual Communication. At the graduate level, MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Education, and Master of Science in Construction Management (MSCM) are the most popular. AUD is a top-ranked university for MBA in Dubai.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Annual Tuition Fees
All Undergraduate Degrees (24 to 32 credit hours per year) E.g.- Business, Communication AED 94250
Undergraduate Degrees (More than 32 credit hours per year) E.g- Architecture, Engineering AED 104000-110000
M.A. in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media AED 64260
Master of Business Administration AED 77112
M.S. in Construction Management AED 128520 (Full-time 1 year degree)

AED  64260 (Part-time 2 year degree)

Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) AED 128520 (Full-time 1 year degree)

Students can also opt for part-time option and complete the degree in upto 4 years.

Master of Education AED 7332
Master of Arts In Intellectual Property and Innovation Management (MA. IPIM) AED 64260
Master of Urban Design and Digital Environments (MUDDE) AED 64260
Executive MBA AED 112,500

Most undergraduate programs last 4-5 years. Master’s degrees at AUD usually take two years to complete, with the exception of a few programs. The university also offers 6 certificate programs

Zayed University

Established in 1998, Zayed University is a public university with 2 modern campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The university has national accreditation from Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) and is also accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), one of six regional accrediting bodies in the United States.

The university offers 20 undergraduate degrees (including specializations) and 8 graduate degrees through the following colleges:

  • College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • College of Arts and Creative Enterprises
  • College of Business
  • College of Communication and Media Sciences
  • College of Technological Innovation
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Natural and Health Sciences

Zayed University is highly ranked in the UAE and globally by ranking institutions like QS and THE. The university is also ranked among the top 500 in the world for Accounting & Finance, Computer Science & Information Systems, Business & Management, and Social Sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject).

Some of the most popular undergraduate degrees by enrollment at Zayed University include a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Communication & Media Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science And Sustainability. At the graduate level, popular programs offered by Zayed University include MSc in Information Technology, MA in Communications, and MA in Diplomacy/Int. Affairs.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Program Annual Tuition Fees
All undergraduate programs AED 7500-87500
Master in Diplomacy and International Affairs AED 138780 (fees for entire program/3 semesters)
Master of Science in Finance AED 96012 (fees for entire program/3 semesters)
Master of Arts in Communication AED 96012 (fees for entire program/3 semesters)
Master of Legal and Judicial Studies AED 47994
Master of Science in Counselling Psychology AED 60000
Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability Sciences AED 45000
Master of Science in Information Systems Management AED 39990
Master of Science in Information Technology (Cyber Security) AED 48000

In addition to the tuition fees, there are other academic and living expenses to bear. Students can also avail of scholarships to pursue higher studies in UAE. Zayed University offers various merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid for which international students are eligible.

University of Dubai

Established in 1997 by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), the University of Dubai (UD) was the first private university in Dubai to hold the AACSB international accreditation (source: Wikipedia). The university is committed to making world-class education affordable for students. UD is nationally and internationally accredited by various prestigious organizations. It offers a variety of programs in the fields of Business, Law, Engineering, and IT. Students from more than 37 nationalities are enrolled in the University of Dubai’s 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs. The 3 main academic schools of the university are:

  • Dubai Business School
  • College of Engineering & IT
  • College of Law

In addition, the university also offers a General Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements (GUCR) program, a Ph.D. in Business Administration, and various professional (diploma/certificate/ and online courses) programs.

Fees for International Students

Program Annual Tuition Fees
Bachelor of Business Administration (Concentrations: Accounting, Finance, Digital Marketing, Managing People and Organization, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, Logistics and Operations Management, Customs Administration) AED 70000

AED 11600 (for internship)

Bachelor of Science in Computing & Information Systems with a concentration in Information Systems Security AED 70000

AED 11600 (for internship)

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Concentrations: Communication Engineering, Power & Energy Engineering) AED 74750

AED 10000 (for internship)

Master of Laws (LLM) AED 83520-102080 approx (for the entire program completed in 12 months)
General MBA AED 91000 (for the entire program completed in 12 months-16 months)
Specialized MBA (Concentrations: International Business & Marketing, Finance & Accounting, Leadership & HR Management, Operations & Logistics) AED 72800 (per year)

AED 145600 (for the entire program completed in 24 months)

Master of Science in

Data Science (MSDS)

AED 58000 (per year)

AED 23200 (additionally charged in the second year for thesis submission)

Please keep in mind that the fees charged may be different depending upon the time taken to finish the degree program, university updation of fees per year, and eligibility for scholarships. 

Conclusion

The UAE is home to more than 10 universities that are ranked among the top 1000 universities in the world. While the cost of tuition at some of these top universities may seem high, most of them award scholarships for international students. Additionally, you can also look at the public universities that charge comparatively lower fees. Many of the top universities in the UAE are also offering the best MBA, Engineering, and Computer Science programs.

While shortlisting the best UAE universities for your higher education, you must take into consideration factors like entry requirements, accreditation and quality of the program you want to study, costs, career scope, etc. With the help of experienced Gyanberry counselors, your journey to a top university in UAE becomes much easier. Book a free appointment with us to know more. 

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FAQ’s

There are many top-ranked universities in Dubai. However, Canadian University Dubai and American University in Dubai are consistently ranked among the best universities in Dubai.

According to QS World University Rankings by subject 2023, here are the top-ranked universities for Engineering, Business, and Computer Science:

  1. Engineering: Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates University, American University of Sharjah, and University of Sharjah.
  2. Business: American University of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates University, Canadian University Dubai, Zayed University, Al Ain University, University of Sharjah.
  3. Computer Science: Khali Universit, United Arab Emirates University, Zayed University, American University of Sharjah, Al Ain University, University of Sharjah, Ajman University

Some of the top-ranked, most affordable universities in the UAE include Al Ain University, the University of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi University, and Ajman University.

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