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Cheap MBA Programs in UAE: Fees and Eligibility

ACAlpina ChariApr 13, 2023

Cheap MBA Programs in UAE for International Students

Master of Business Administration or MBA schools in UAE follow Western higher education methods and thus many international students prefer to go to UAE for their MBA degree. In this article, we have compiled cheap MBA programs in UAE. The MBA tuition fee by the listed business schools falls under 25,000 USD* per year which is lower than that of the US and UK. The listed cheap MBA programs in UAE are accredited by the Commission of Academic Accreditation (CAA), the Ministry of Education, Government of UAE. Additionally, they possess accreditation by one or more of the international organizations that ensure rigorous quality control of business schools around the world. 

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, US
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), US
  • Association of MBAs, UK
  • EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), UK

AACSB accreditation is held by less than 6% of the world’s business institutions. Only ten universities in the UAE hold this honor, and we have provided the most cost-effective options among them. Almost all MBA schools in the UAE offer programs with or without specializations and a few offer Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) programs. EMBAs are designed for professionals with over 10 years of experience in the field of business and management. EMBA programs in Canada and Germany are also popular among students.

Overview: Cheap MBA Programs in UAE

Duration of MBA 1-2 years 
Degree type  General MBA, specialized MBA, or EMBA
Popular specialized MBAs  Human Resources Management, Financial Management, Marketing, etc. 
Annual tuition fees for a cheap MBA in UAE 10,000-24,000 USD*
Minimum eligibility  A baccalaureate degree in Business Administration or equivalent (CGPA of 2.5-3.0 on a scale of 4.0)

Cost of Studying an MBA in UAE

When it comes to doing an MBA, the first thing that comes to mind is the exorbitant fees. MBA programs at the UAE’s most famous and highly ranked universities range in price from 25,000 to 44,000 USD*. Furthermore, living costs such as housing, transportation, and food can add up to this cost, making it out-of-pocket friendly for many students. Here is a list of top-ranked business schools in the UAE that offer MBA programs, as well as their tuition prices for comparison. 

University Name  Annual Tuition Fees in AED Annual Tuition Fees in USD*
American University of Sharjah (AUS) 161,603 44,000
University of Sharjah 130,032 35,404
Abu Dhabi School of Management 135,000 36,756
Middlesex University Dubai 108,270 29,479
Canadian University Dubai 95,088 25,890

*Calculated based on 1 AED = 0.27 USD. Exchange rates change periodically. 

Although MBA is a great investment and graduates get paid handsome salaries, there is no harm in finding an affordable MBA program. Let us learn about some cheap MBA programs in the UAE.

Cost of Affordable MBA Programs in UAE (<25,000 USD)

International students can expect to spend anywhere from 10,000 to 24,000 USD* for a cheap MBA in the UAE. Cheap does not mean there is a compromise on the quality of education. Most of these cheap MBA schools in the UAE are ranked highly regionally by organizations like the QS. Although there are colleges in the UAE that offer MBA programs for 9,000 USD* or less, they are mostly not accredited internationally. All of the below-mentioned universities are cheap and accredited by international organizations, making it possible to “stone two birds” at a time. Have a look at them.

University Name  Annual Tuition Fees in AED Annual Tuition Fees in USD*
Abu Dhabi University 88,200 24,014
Al Ain University 86,625 23,585
IMT Business School – Dubai 74,800 20,366
American University of Ras Al Khaimah 45,360 12,351
United Arab Emirates University 44,800-66,600 12,198-18,134
Ajman University 36,000 9,802

*Calculated based on 1 AED = 0.27 USD. Exchange rates change periodically. 

American University of Ras Al Khaimah

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) is a public and independent university in UAE. It is featured among the top-ranking universities in the region and ranks #11 in the QS Arab Ranking 2023. It delivers US-style education and is accredited by the US Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Its School of Business is accredited by AACSB International confirming the standard of quality of its MBA programs. Currently, the university offers 2 MBA programs, the general MBA and Executive MBA. Both programs consist of 30 core subjects and 6 electives.  

Program Name  Duration in Years  Credit Hours 
MBA 2 36
EMBA 2 36

Admission Requirements 

  • A baccalaureate degree in Business Administration or equivalent with a CGPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Certificate proving 0-5 years of work experience for MBA and 5 years for EMBA
  • Personal interview
  • English proficiency (EMSAT 1400, Academic IELTS 6.0, TOEFL – Paper-based 550, or TOEFL – Internet-based 80)
  • Two letters of recommendation from a professor or supervisor 
  • Resume 
  • Two passport photos
  • Passport 
  • Copy of a birth certificate
  • Health insurance 

Abu Dhabi University (ADU)

The ADU was established in 2003 as a private university with campuses in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, the Al Dhafra Region, and Dubai. It has a student population of over 7,000, 38% of whom are international students. Currently, it ranks 651-700 in the QS World University Rankings. 

The MBA program at ADU is EQUIS and AACSB accredited and is comprised of eight core and two elective courses. It follows a 6-term structure and allows flexibility in terms of schedule. It is available at all of ADU’s campuses. Students are also eligible for scholarships: Merit-based Graduate Scholarships and Alumni Scholarships provided they maintain a GPA of 3.0. throughout. 

Program Name  Duration in Years  Credit Hours 
Master of Business Administration 1 30

Admission Requirements 

  • Undergraduate degree in business and related fields with a CGPA of 3.0/4.0
  • English proficiency score (EmSAT 1400, IELTS academic 6.0, TOEFL – Paper-based 550, or TOEFL – Internet-based 79)
  • Personal interview 
  • Valid passport 
  • Copy of latest CV
  • Passport photographs
  • Two recommendation letters

Students without a business-related undergraduate degree must complete four Pre-core courses each in management, financial accounting, economics, and quantitative methods in business. 

Al Ain University

Al Ain University (AAU) opened its doors to students in 2005. It has 6 colleges/departments that offer over 31 programs at two of its campuses. It is ranked 6 in the UAE and 451-500 worldwide in Business & Management Studies by QS. The College of Business at AAU is accredited by the AACSB and provides a general MBA program with concentrations in the following subjects

  • Accounting
  • Finance and Banking
  • Marketing
  • Management Information Systems
  • Project Management 
  • Healthcare Management 
  • Human Resources Management

The course is available at both Al Ain & Abu Dhabi campuses. MBA students are eligible for academic and extracurricular scholarships. 

Program Name  Duration in Years  Credit Hours 
Master of Business Administration 1 33

Admission Requirements 

  • A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or equivalent with a GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • A valid English proficiency certificate (EmSAT 1400, IELTS academic 6.0, TOEFL 550)
  • Students with non-Business Administration degrees are required to complete 4 remedial courses decided by the department

United Arab Emirates University

Founded by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates University  (UAEU) is the first comprehensive national university in the UAE. There are over 14,968 students pursuing a degree at 9 of its colleges. UAEU ranks 296 in the QS World University Rankings 2023. 

The business school at the university offers a general MBA program that consists of core and elective courses. Students must select 4 elective courses per semester. The program is AACSB International accredited and is offered on Abu Dhabi and Al Ain campuses. 

Program Name  Duration in Years  Credit Hours 
Master of Business Administration 2 48

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with any major
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0
  • English proficiency (Paper-based TOEFL 550, Internet-based TOEFL 79, Computer-based TOEFL 213, IELTS Academic 6.0)
  • A minimum of one year of work experience
  • Recommendation letters 
  • Copy of passport 

Students with GPAs less than 3.0 with work experience are considered for admission. 

IMT Business School – Dubai

IMT is a premier business school in the UAE. Its campus is located in Dubai and was founded in 2006. It is a member of AACSB International. IMT offers a 1-year long MBA program accredited by the CAA, Ministry of Education (UAE) and IACBE. The program is divided into 4 terms with core subjects and elective courses. Students can choose the following electives 

  • Finance
  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Business
Program Name  Duration in Years  Credit Hours 
Master of Business Administration 1 37

Admission Requirements

  • An accredited bachelor’s degree with a CGPA of 3.0 and above on a 4.0 scale 
  • University transcripts
  • Resume 
  • Passport 
  • Proof of English language proficiency (Paper-based TOEFL 550, Internet-based TOEFL 79-80, Computer-based TOEFL 213, IELTS Academic 6.0, EmSAT 1400)
  • Proof of minimum 2 years of work experience
  • 4 passport-size photographs
  • Statement of purpose (minimum of 300 words)
  • Assessment interview

Ajman University

AU or Ajman University is the first private university established in the GCC region in the year 1988. It ranks 651-700 in the 2023 QS World University Rankings lists and is one of the first six higher education universities in the world to receive global accreditation from the UK’s QAA. It offers 3 MBA programs all of which are accredited by AACSB International and the Association of MBAs. Each MBA consists of 7 core courses, 4  track or specialization courses, and 1 capstone course making up 36 credit hours in total. To make the educational experience more convenient and accessible, AU offers a weekend-only schedule, as well as generous scholarship programs for MBA students. 

Program Name  Duration in Years  Credit Hours 
MBA in Human Resources Management 2 36
MBA in Financial Management 2 36
MBA in Marketing 2 36

Admission Requirements 

  • A bachelor’s degree 
  • CGPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, or equivalent
  • Proficiency test in English (EmSAT 1400, IELTS academic 6.0, TOEFL 550 or equivalent)
  • Valid passport 
  • UAE national ID copy
  • A certificate of good conduct 
  • Recent colored photograph size (3×4)
  • CV and experience certificate 
  • Medical certificate 
  • Two recommendation letters

Conclusion

MBAs are notoriously expensive everywhere, but there are a few schools in the UAE that offer them at a lower cost than others. But while choosing a cheap MBA program in the UAE, students must consider whether those programs are accredited and, if yes, by which organizations. This article talks not only about cheap MBA programs in the UAE but also about accredited programs. These accreditations ensure that your MBA is recognized internationally, thus opening up the door to global prospects. The six universities mentioned in the article offer their MBAs for less than 25,000 USD* annually. Some of them even offer scholarships to relieve stress from tuition costs further.

We at Gyanberry strive hard to ensure you get to your dream university. Our platform, Gyanberry, is specially designed for hassle-free admissions. For more information, contact us either by booking a free video call or by filling out the contact form. Our expert counselors will be happy to help you! You can also read our blogs on MBA programs in Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi University, Al Ain University, United Arab, Emirates University, IMT Business School – Dubai, Ajman University, etc., offer cheap MBA programs in UAE.

If you are considering a cheap MBA in the UAE, it is still worth it because most UAE universities offering affordable MBAs follow the Westernized pattern and are accredited by international organizations.

Cheap and affordable MBA programs in the UAE cost anywhere from 10,000-24,000 USD per year. Some business schools in the UAE offer MBAs for less than 10,000 USD also but they might not be accredited enough for international recognition.

Still have questions?Contact us