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Study Dentistry in UAE

Jun 16, 2022

Dentistry in the UAE for International Students: Top Colleges, Courses, Fees, Entry Requirements, Licensing, and Career Scope

Dental education in the UAE is booming, with Dubai (one of the 7 emirates of the UAE) being chosen as the preferred destination for dental tourism by tourists all around the world. Dentists are in high demand in the UAE. Considering this demand, many colleges and universities in the UAE have started offering both bachelor’s and master’s courses in dentistry. A bachelor’s degree is the entry-level degree to practice dentistry in the UAE. Students then can pursue master’s specialties in dentistry after completing their bachelor’s degree in dentistry and a one-year internship or residency.

Let’s take a closer look at dentistry education in the UAE, including the top dental colleges, their programs, fees, admission requirements, license, and employment opportunities for aspiring dentists.

Overview of Dental Studies in the UAE

The following table contains highlights of dentistry studies in the UAE. 

Entry-level education  BDS, DMD, or DDS
Post-graduate specializations MDS or MS/MSc
Average fees for bachelor’s in dentistry  24,026 to 34,304 USD*/year
Average fees for master’s in dentistry  24,734 to 55,104 USD*/year
Dental degree accrediting body  Commission For Academic Accreditation (CAA)
Entrance exams  EmSAT 
Licensing body  Prometric Testing
Licensing exams Dubai Health Authority (DHA) exam, Ministry of Health (MOH) Exam and Department of Health (DOH) exam
Average salary of dentists in the UAE 27,922 USD*/year (Indeed)
Medium of instruction  English 

Top Dental colleges in the UAE

The undergraduate courses offered by UAE dental schools–BDS, DMD, or DDS–are typically five to six years long, whereas graduate specializations in dentistry are three years long. Many institutions also require students to finish a one-year foundation course before getting admitted to their BDS programs. The table below lists the top dental colleges in the UAE, along with the CAA accredited courses they provide and the fees they charge in USD.  

University Name Bachelor’s courses Tuition Fees (USD*/year) Master’s Courses Tuition Fees (USD*/year)
University of Sharjah BDS 31,302 MDS in Oral Surgery, MDS in Prosthodontics, MDS in Periodontology and MDS in Endodontics 46,283
Gulf Medical University  BDS  34,304 MDS in Periodontics and MDS in Endodontics  42,022
RAK Medical and Health Sciences University BDS  24,230 NA NA
University of Science And Technology of Fujairah BDS  25,864 NA NA
Boston University Dubai DMD  24,026 MSD in Endodontics, MSD in Dental Public Health, MSD in Operative Dentistry, MSD in Oral Biology, MSD in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, MSD in Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics, MSD in Pediatric Dentistry, MSD in Periodontology and MSD in Prosthodontics 24,734
Ajman University BDS 27,810 MS in Endodontics, MS in Restorative Dentistry, and MS in Pediatric Dentistry 38,115
The European University College NA NA MS in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 55,104
Mohammed Bin Rashid The University of Medicine And Health Sciences Mbru NA NA MS in Endodontics, MS in Orthodontics, MS in Pediatric Dentistry, MS in Prosthodontics and MS in Periodontology  50,367

Top Dental courses in the UAE

Unlike some countries, such as the USA and Canada, where a bachelor’s degree is required for admission to dental colleges, the UAE accepts students into its dental programs after completing a 10+2 education and a one-year foundation course. Dental colleges in the UAE offer bachelor’s degrees in dentistry as

  • BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)
  • DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine)
  • DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery)

The master’s degrees in dentistry are offered as either MDS (Master Of Dental Surgery) or MSc (Master of Science) specializations. The following are some popular dental specializations for master’s courses. 

  • Oral Surgery
  • Prosthodontics 
  • Periodontology
  • Endodontics
  • Restorative Dentistry
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Dental Public Health
  • Oral Biology
  • Dentofacial Orthopedics

Students can pursue a PhD in dental research after finishing their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in dentistry. Dental hygiene or technician degrees, particularly popular in the UAE, are a good option for students on a tight budget who wish to shorten their college time and get into the job market sooner.

Dental college fees and cost of living in the UAE

Students should be aware that studying in the UAE, particularly medical and dentistry degrees, is not cheap. Tuition for a BDS program can range from 24,026 to 34,304 USD* per year on average. The annual fees for master’s specialties in dentistry range from 24,734 to 55,104 USD*. Furthermore, public institutions have lower tuition prices than private universities; however, there are only a few public universities in the UAE, thus competition for admission is fierce. 

Students should also consider the cost of living in addition to tuition fees, as the UAE is not cheap to live in. The living cost includes rent, food, transportation, books, other supplies, and personal expenses. The table below contains a rough estimate of these costs.

Expenses Cost in USD*/year
Food  2,376 to 3,852
Rent  11,616 to 20,532
Health insurance 4,000 to 5,000
Transportation  768 to 1,000 

Application process and entry requirements for Dental courses in the UAE

There is no centralized application service for dentistry schools in the UAE. Applicants should apply to their preferred universities separately via the university’s website. Students can apply via Gyanberry, which offers admission and consultancy services for bachelor’s and master’s dental programs in the UAE. The admission process to dental schools in the UAE can be summarized as below:

  • Fill out the application form and upload the required documents 
  • Pay the application fees and submit the form 
  • Upon receiving an acceptance letter, pay the acceptance fee (non-refundable)
  • Once accepted, apply for UAE student visa (should be renewed every year)
  • Fly to the UAE and arrange for accommodation

Students must take the Emirates Standardized Test (EmSAT) in the UAE to be considered for admission to a dentistry university. It’s a computer-based test that’s largely employed by public institutions, but it’s also used by most private universities as part of their admissions process. EmSAT focuses on the following subjects:

  • Arabic
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology 
  • Computer Science

The other entrance criteria for a dentistry degree in the UAE vary from university to university, therefore students should double-check their prerequisites with the institution to which they are applying. However, students should be aware of the following general guidelines: 

Admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree in dentistry:

  • High school diploma with an average of 85% and above in science subjects
  • Official transcripts
  • EmSAT score of Language English for 1100 or IELTS score of 6.0 
  • EmSAT score of 800 for the Arabic Language (if applicable)
  • EmSAT score of 900 in mathematics or equivalent, and 900 in two of the three science subjects chemistry, biology, or physics
  • Proof of funds for tuition fees and living costs
  • Passport copy
  • Colored photographs
  • Student visa
  • Personal interview
  • University entrance test (if applicable)
  • Medical certificate from a certified UAE medical center

Admission requirements for a master’s degree in dentistry:

  • A bachelor’s degree in dentistry with a GPA of 3.0 or more from an accredited university
  • EmSAT score of 1400 in the English Language or IELTS score of 6.0
  • Proof of funds for tuition fees and living costs
  • Passport copy
  • Colored photographs
  • Student visa
  • Two recommendation letters
  • Medical certificate from a certified UAE medical center
  • Personal interview

Dental licensing requirements in the UAE

Dentistry in the UAE is a highly regulated industry. Therefore, dentists need to take an exam to obtain a license to practice dentistry in the respective emirate after completing their BDS. Students should decide on the emirate of their choice before starting their preparation for the license as the dental license is not always transferable between emirates. Also, the exams are different for general dentists and dental specialists. 

To apply for the exam the prospective dentist must have a primary degree in dentistry, i.e., a BDS or an equivalent from an accredited university, and must have completed one year of internship and two years of clinical experience. 

A third-party organization called Prometric Testing conducts the licensure exams for the UAE’s health authorities. The exams are computer-based containing a set of multiple answer questions in English to test the interpretation, analysis, clinical decision-making, reasoning, and problem-solving skills of the new dental graduates. A total of three attempts are allowed per applicant. 

The following table contains a list of all the licensing exams for dental graduates in the UAE:

Exam Name Licensing Territory (Emirate) Number of Questions Time in Hours
Dubai Health Authority (DHA) exam Dubai 100 2.5 
Ministry of Health (MOH) Exam Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, and Umm al-Quwain 150 3
Department of Health (DOH) [Previously called as the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) exam] Abu Dhabi and Al Ain 150 3

Within 48 hours, the test results are electronically uploaded to the Prometric website. For DHA and MOH tests, a PASS is defined as a score of 60% or higher on the exam. For DOH (HAAD) tests, an examinee with a score of 65 percent or higher is considered a PASS. The results are valid for five years and should be renewed three months before expiration. 

Career scope after dentistry in the UAE

Dental graduates in the UAE have a wide variety of career options to choose from. After gaining their license, dentists can work as general dentists in a private or public dental hospital or do a master’s specialization to work as a dental specialist and consultant. The following are some popular dental specializations in the UAE:

  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Operative Dentistry
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Orthodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Radiology and Oral Medicine
  • Dental Public Health
  • Implantology
  • Aesthetic Dentistry
  • Oral Pathology 

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental tourism is a trend in which patients (mainly from Western countries) travel abroad for dental treatment because of high healthcare expenditures and long wait times in their home countries.

As per Indeed statistics, the average salary for a dentist in UAE is 27,922 USD*/year. 

A third-party organization called Prometric Testing administers the dental licensure exams for the UAE’s health authorities.

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