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Top 8 Foreign Universities in Dubai

SKShishant KumarApr 28, 2023

Top 8 Foreign Universities in Dubai

According to the QS World University Rankings, some of the best universities boasting diverse curriculums are established in the Gulf region. At present, the business hub of the Middle East is itself home to 34 international higher education institutions. With 28% of the total student representation in the UAE comprising international students, it is no surprise that the top foreign universities in Dubai attract thousands of international applications. 

In addition to the UAE’s best national universities, several top-tier foreign institutions have also set up a global campus in the avant-garde city of Dubai. 

Currently, more than 29,000 students are enrolled in 600+ university programs. High-end infrastructural technology combined and affordable costs of living are some of the many reasons to study in the UAE

With an annual intake growth of 3.6%, Business, Information Technology, and Engineering remain the top three program choices for international students. Through this article, let us look at the top 8 foreign universities in Dubai. 

Middlesex University, Dubai 

MDX Dubai is the first overseas campus of the coveted Middlesex University in London established more than 130 years ago. The British-style curriculum offers flexible programs that are accredited by both the UAE Ministry of Education and the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

With 4,000 students representing 118 nationalities, the university is committed to shaping individuals with unwavering ambition and potential.  This is demonstrated by the 5-Star rating MDX holds in the 2022 KHDA Higher Education Classification. Partnerships with 100+ institutions across the world also provide MDX students with an unrivaled student experience and a plethora of employment opportunities. 

Global Campuses  London, Dubai, Malta, Mauritius 
Programs Offered  34 undergraduate majors across Arts, Psychology, Finance, Law, Media, and Health

29 postgraduate programs across Business, Psychology, Finance, Law, and Computer Science

Accommodation  Partnership with The Myriad, providing fully furnished suite rooms with single and twin-sharing options. 
Admission Details 
  • Filling out the online application form 
  • Submitting all academic transcripts with 2 references on the official letterhead of the school or college
  • Writing a personal statement of 200 words or more
  • Attaching proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, etc scores
  • Waiting for the official Letter of Admission 
Fee Details  Average annual tuition fees of 58,485 AED for UG courses and 70,000 AED for PG courses
Scholarship Options  International Study Grants for foreign applicants
Career Prospects  A dedicated Careers and Employability Services (CES) team that provides employment assistance from the start of your studies to up to one year after graduation.

University of Birmingham, Dubai 

Looking to expand beyond UK borders and establish a global presence, the University of Birmingham keenly opened a new campus in the cosmopolitan DIAC area in 2018. The college grounds, described as an Intelligent Campus, incorporate sustainability practices befitting of a school on the list of the top 100 schools in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

The prestigious Research Excellence Framework guidelines found that the University of Birmingham is one of the most highly regarded schools for research in the nation. With a lush 250-acre campus situated in the UK, students get an excellent option to spend the second year of their undergraduate program at Edgabaston. To add to the list of advantages, there are a number of scholarship opportunities available whose benefits branch out over both campuses.

Global Campuses  Birmingham, Dubai 
Programs Offered  30+ undergraduate courses in Business Management, Psychology, Finance, Engineering, and Economics 

39 postgraduate courses in Law, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Data Science, and Marketing

Accommodation  On-campus student accommodation is not available. 

The university collaborates with student-residence providers such as Uninest, DSOA University Residences, and KSK Homes. 

Admission Details 
  • Filling out the online application form 
  • Submitting all academic transcripts with 2 references on the official letterhead of the school or college
  • Writing a personal statement of 5,000 characters
  • Attaching proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, etc scores
Fee Details  Average fees of 109,145 AED annually for UG courses and 125,869 AED for PG courses
Scholarship Options  5+ scholarship options for international students that cover 50% of the total tuition fees (which could amount to over 150,000 AED).
Career Prospects  Continued career assistance via the services of the International Careers Consultant and multiple employment opportunities. 

Two virtual internship projects offered in Dubai for all students with on-site internships at the Grant Thornton office. 

University of Wollongong, Dubai 

Established more than 27 years ago, the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is the first foreign Australian college situated in the United Arab Emirates. The University effectively mirrors the teaching curriculum that led UOW Australia to be labeled as a top 1% university globally (QS World University Rankings 2022). 

With a global network spanning 4 countries, the University of Wollongong has set a benchmark in the education industry. The faculty members here are leading trailblazers in their respective disciplines, with substantial international affiliations and experience. This cohort of 3,500 students from 108 countries and highly-qualified staff contribute to the development of holistic, far-reaching higher education experience for all. 

Global Campuses  Australia, UAE, Hong Kong, Malaysia
Programs Offered  40 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fields like Engineering, Healthcare, Communications, and Media.
Accommodation  Students can opt to stay at the Myriad Dubai in studios, single rooms, or double rooms. 
Admission Details 
  • Filling out the online application form 
  • Submitting all academic transcripts with atleast 50% marks for UG programs
  • Attaching proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, etc scores
Fee Details  An average of 57,551 AED annually for UG programs. 

Subject fees of AED 9,597.26 AED for PG programs with generally 10-12 subjects for each course. 

Scholarship Options  Academic Merit and Sports Scholarships are available. 

Each student can only avail of 1 scholarship and these are not transferable to UOW, Australia unless otherwise specified. 

Career Prospects  A dedicated UOWD Career Services Unit and access to a Career Development Platform for international students. 

New York University, Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)

NYUAD holds the unique distinction of being affiliated with one of the largest private universities in the United States. With multi-ethnic undertones and one of the most diverse student bodies in the world, life at New York University makes for a unique educational experience.

The institution ensures students receive the foundations of a liberal arts upbringing coupled with the opportunities available in the Middle East. This is clearly reflected via statistical data, where 18 Rhodes Scholars from the year 2014-22 are alumni of NYUAD. The disability-friendly campus fosters cutting-edge research, having 6,200+ publications to its name. 

The university also ranks 16th on the list of Top QS Graduate Employability Rankings, with 96% of any graduating class being employed or enrolled in higher education within 6 months of completing their course. 

Global Campuses  New York, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai 
Programs Offered  26 undergraduate majors across Arts and Humanities, Engineering, Science, and Social Science

2 postgraduate courses in Humanities and Economics 

11 Global PhD programs in Science and Engineering 

Accommodation  Available on-campus in the form of residential colleges. These residential colleges have studios, suites, and apartments. 
Admission Details 
  • Applying via Common Application 
  • Submitting all academic transcripts and supporting documents 
  • Attaching proof of clearing standard examinations like the SAT or ACT
  • Attaching proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, etc scores
  • Submitting an optional essay on ‘Why NYU’ 
Fee Details  The university provides an estimated cost of attendance for an average student. 

The tuition fee is calculated to be $57,544 USD annually. 

Scholarship Options  International students filing the CSS Profile will be considered for need-based financial aid.
Career Prospects  The college presents faculty, postdoctoral, academic staff, and administrative staff positions to its graduate students. 

BITS Pilani, Dubai

BITS Pilani, a prestigious technical college located in the Indian state of Rajasthan, initiated its first international endeavor by opening a campus in Dubai. Approved as an ‘Institute of Eminence’ by the Indian Government, the university stands on the principles of interdisciplinary research and collaboration. 

BITS has a diverse student population with over 58% of the student body at the Dubai campus hailing from a multinational coterie. The Semester Abroad Programme (SAP) has been newly launched which empowers students by gaining insight into a variety of foreign educational approaches. Through enrolling in SAP, a student can be allowed to complete a semester of their program at an endorsed international college BITS has signed an MoU with. This gives applicants industrial exposure and uplifts their prospects by enabling access to further studies abroad.

Global Campuses  India, Dubai
Programs Offered  Multiple undergraduate and postgraduate programs in various engineering disciplines. 
Accommodation  On-campus accommodation is available in hostels. Each student is given a single room. 
Admission Details 
  • Filling out the online application form 
  • Submitting all academic transcripts with Physics, Chemistry/Biology, and Mathematics as mandatory subjects
  • Attaching proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, etc scores (only for those coming from non-English medium schools)
  • Copy of BITSAT score reports (BITSAT is not compulsory for Dubai Campus admission).
Fee Details  An average tuition fee of 49,500 AED for undergraduate programs and 32,000 AED for postgraduate programs. 
Scholarship Options  Merit scholarships, scholarships for excellence in sports, and other special concessions. 
Career Prospects  An active Placement Cell at BITS organises multiple career fairs on campus which are attended by many MNCs and large corporations. 

A unique Student Internship Program (Training School) also offered 7.5 months of industrial experience. 

Hult International Business School, Dubai 

Ranked twelfth in the Financial Times MBA Rankings 2021, Hult Business School’s reputation makes it a worthy addition to the list of the top foreign universities in Dubai. Spanning a network of multiple economic hubs, the institution’s various campuses are situated in the hearts of some of the world’s most impactful business centres. 

With an 11% rate of growth in international trade and 0% income tax, Dubai is the perfect city for business moguls. The curriculum is modeled on real-world relevance, making students job ready. This is adequately represented by Hult’s class of 2021, where 94% of MBA graduates were employed after three months. 

Global Campuses  Cambridge, London, San Francisco, Dubai, New York City, and Shanghai
Programs Offered  Global One-Year MBA

Part-Time Executive MBA

Master’s in International Business

Accommodation  Students can look for apartments, studios & en-suite rooms near Hult International Business School.
Admission Details 
  • Filling out the online application form within the application deadline 
  • Submitting all academic transcripts 
  • Attaching proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, etc scores
  • Showing proof of prior work experience of atleast 3 years 
Fee Details  179,000- 329,000 AED annually for the 3 postgraduate programs offered by Hult Dubai 
Scholarship Options  Multiple merit scholarship options with additional scholarships for women in business. 
Career Prospects  326 companies hired Hult 2021 graduates across 40 countries

Heriott-Watt University, Dubai 

Founded in 1821 as the world’s first mechanics institute, Heriot-Watt University was granted University status by the Royal Charter in 1966. Heriot-Watt also holds the unique distinction of being the first campus of an overseas university to open in DIAC in 2005. Dubai was chosen because of its sophisticated technology and cosmopolitan atmosphere. 

You can take advantage of the inter-campus transfer programs offered by this UK and Malaysia-based global university to experience different campuses, even while studying in Dubai. Heriot-Watt’s portfolio of courses is impressive at both the UG and PG levels and is offered extensive collaboration opportunities.

Global Campuses  Edinburgh, Dubai, Malaysia
Programs Offered  89 undergraduate programs across Accounting, Engineering, Computer Science, Management, and more 

59 postgraduate programs across Accounting, Engineering, Computer Science, Management, and more

Accommodation  On-campus accommodation is not available. The university partners up with The Myriad  Dubai, Uninest Student Residences, and KSK Homes to offer accommodation. 
Admission Details 
  • Filling out the online application form (rolling admissions)
  • Submitting all academic transcripts 
  • Attaching proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, etc scores
  • Waiting for the offer letter issued by the University
Fee Details  An average tuition fee of 63,000- 70,412 AED annually for both UG and PG programs 
Scholarship Options  Multiple scholarship options for international students that cover 50% of the total tuition fees. However, each student can apply for and avail of only 1 scholarship.
Career Prospects  The Careers and Graduate Futures Service at Heriot-Watt works in close association with industry giants to ensure campus recruitment rates remain high. 

Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai 

Established first in India, nestled on a plateau in Karnataka’s Udupi district, MAHE came into being in 1953. After opening up several campuses in India, the university crossed national frontiers to exhibit its presence in Dubai and Malaysia. Now, Manipal University ranks high as one of the top foreign universities in Dubai. 

The university draws 2000+ students with its promise of quality education at reasonable prices. Research is given great emphasis, with grants worth INR 26 million already allocated for funding. International students also get to avail of several sports and merit scholarships that give them up to a 50% waiver on first-year tuition fees.

Global Campuses  India, Dubai, Malaysia
Programs Offered  53 undergraduate and postgraduate programs in disciplines such as Design, Engineering, Humanities, Management, and Life Sciences 
Accommodation  Hostel facilities available on campus. Limited rooms are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
Admission Details 
  • Filling out the online application form or collecting it from the Admissions Office 
  • Submitting all academic transcripts and other supporting documents 
Fee Details  Average annual tuition fee of 35,500- 48,000 for UG students and 33,000-48,000 AED for PG students. 
Scholarship Options  MAHE presents the opportunity for students to avail 5 million AED worth of scholarships. Numerous merit scholarships are available for undergraduate and postgraduate students. 
Career Prospects  A dedicated Career Services Cell for internships and placements. 

Conclusion 

Innovative infrastructure technology combined with cost-effective living drives international students to pursue higher education in Dubai and the UAE. Being a global commercial hub and tax-free region, we see how this cosmopolitan city houses the top foreign universities in Dubai. In case you wish to explore other pocket-friendly university options, you can also check out our blog on Cheap Universities in Dubai for International Students

Several scholarship options in the UAE are also available to you. If this piques your interest in studying abroad in the UAE, our one-stop portal, Gyanberry, will help you choose the right university and program. You can book a free counseling session with us to learn more.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, international students have to present proof of passing English proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL. Generally, a minimum of 6.5 (with 6.0 in each band) is required for PG programs while 6.0 is a safe score for UG students. BITS Dubai is one of the few colleges that does not ask for these scores from students who hail from Engish-medium schools.

Middlesex University is a British institution with a global campus in Dubai. Its average annual tuition fee is 58,485 AED for UG courses and 70,000 AED for PG courses.

Several premier universities in Dubai offer MBA programs. The University of Wollongong, Hult International Business School, Middlesex University, etc. boast the reputation of having globally-accredited MBA courses.

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