United Arab Emirates

Why study a PhD in United Arab Emirates

Browse all PhD programmes in United Arab Emirates

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Study in United Arab Emirates

Dwelling beautifully alongside the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers spectacular locations, tall buildings, huge shopping malls, dazzling beaches, and, supposedly, a newly unveiled “Mars Science City.” Now, that’s a city I’d like to hang out in.

It’s almost like going to UAE can be a wonderfully educational experience in itself. But, luckily for you, there are also great universities for you to pursue your Master’s or Bachelor’s degree anywhere in the city. As a foreign student, there are some interesting options to consider, and there is plenty to learn about the history, culture, and politics that make UAE unique.

Why Study in the United Arab Emirates?

1. The Emirates are an expanding research and education hub

The population in the UAE has a very high literacy rate — almost 90% — and these days the country has invested tons of money into the improvement of their science and technology institutes.

Joining ranks with other major research and training enterprises, the UAE has formed the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) group, where they’ve been working with major companies around the world to develop nanotechnology, biotechnology, and a major supercomputing centre in South Asia.

2. UAE universities have grown in popularity and reputation

Universities in the UAE have started to gain a significant reputation all over the world, and their graduates have gone on to work in science, technology, and politics, making the UAE an excellent choice for higher education. Some of the top-ranked universities in the Emirates are:

3. English has been growing as the second unofficial language

While they don't need to worry about language barriers during classes, because there is a substantial number of English-taught degrees, many international students wonder if they'll encounter difficulties while trying to communicate in the Emirates.

But they don't need to! The UAE is among the best Arab countries when it comes to English language proficiency. This is largely due to the positive impact of the finance and tourism sectors.

4. Be amazed by modern feats of architecture

The Emirates are known for being very ambitious and making use of all their resources to create stunning buildings and infrastructure.

While living there, you can be amazed by the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, the Emirates Palace, the Dubai Mall, the Zayed National Museum, or the artificial Palm Islands created in Dubai.

5. Enjoy thrilling outdoor activities

For adrenaline seekers, the UAE comes with an endless list of activities that will get your heart racing in no time. From sky diving to dune bashing, from camel riding to desert safaris, from kayaking to surfing — these and more await you while living and studying in the Emirates.

Which universities to attend in the United Arab Emirates

In each of the major cities and all over the UAE, you can find plenty of universities and institutions offering Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in lots of subjects. Furthermore, some of those universities even reach some of the top rankings worldwide, giving them a great global reputation.

Here are some universities and institutions we’d highlight:

What it is like to study at a university in the United Arab Emirates

If you find yourself in the UAE and, especially, in a city like Dubai, you’ll be surrounded by a wide range of nationalities, cultures, languages, and religions. And, beyond the classroom, you have plenty of places to find on the weekends – beaches, shopping centres, clubs, and giant skyscrapers.

Universities in the UAE have a high standard for academic admission. Students entering have to show high markings on all of their courses. So if you’re a student there, you’ll be alongside some very serious, intelligent students from all over.

What to Study in the United Arab Emirates?

Well, it’s quite simple: the UAE is known for their science and technology, so that seems like a good place to start. But, don’t go leaping there so fast. There are other interesting topics and subjects to pursue while you’re enjoying a trip along the beach or tearing up the indoor ski slopes.

Here is a list of some interesting degrees to pursue in the UAE:

Major cities in the United Arab Emirates

What’s the first city that comes to mind when you think of the United Arab Emirates? Is it Dubai?

Of course it is! Dubai has some of the biggest universities, and some of the most spectacular historical and cultural landmarks in the world. You can plenty of information about Dubai, including living costs, places to visit, and information about cultural life.

How to apply

Each university in the United Arab Emirates has its own system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.

Here are some of the basic requirements you’ll need for every application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport and/or birth certificate
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (between 2-3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

In some universities and regions, students must be Muslims to attend, and at others admission is only available to nationals. However, other, more expansive universities are starting to arise around the region, giving international students opportunities to learn and attend courses.

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a university in the United Arab Emirates

Take Preparation Courses

These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a degree programme in the UAE you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

To apply to study in the UAE, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency.

The certificates generally accepted by the universities in the UAE are:

Still, you should always check on your university’s website, just to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Living in United Arab Emirates

Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in the UAE:

Tuition fees

The cost of attending universities in the UAE can be quite high. But you can look for scholarship opportunities or choose one of the more affordable study programmes.

On average, international students pay between 5,000 and 27,650 EUR per year at public universities. Tuition fees at private universities go even higher.

Cost of living in the UAE

Compared to other countries around the world, the UAE can be a relatively expensive place to live. You should budget 1,100–1,700 EUR/month for living costs in the UAE.

Here's a breakdown of average monthly expenses:

  • Rent (depending on the type of accommodation): 700–2,000 EUR/month
  • Monthly utilities: 180–220 EUR
  • Monthly transportation pass (metro, train, bus): 57 EUR
  • 3-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: 46 EUR
  • Milk: 1.33 EUR
  • Loaf of bread: 1 EUR

About United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates, in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, extends along part of the Gulf of Oman and the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. Its neighbours are Saudi Arabia to the west and south, Qatar to the north, and Oman to the east. Most of the land is barren and sandy.

Interesting facts about the United Arab Emirates
  • The Dubai police in the United Arab Emirates drives around in style, rollin’ in Lamborghinis and Ferraris – just so they can catch speeders.
  • Cash machines in Dubai dispense gold bars.
  • The United Arab Emirates once donated laptops to every high school student, in Joplin Missouri after a devastating hurricane.
  • Instead of a sewer system, Dubai uses trucks to haul away…sewage. Gross.

Universities, colleges and schools in United Arab Emirates

Sharjah

Find PhDs Degrees in United Arab Emirates

Recent international policies promote international university cooperation and student exchange between countries worldwide. High-quality study and PhD degrees are made more available to students in order to create a global educational network, achievable through student and staff mobility. Career and research oriented programmes support international student development.

University cooperation enables students study worldwide, for instance in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States and provides ways of recognizing previous degrees. Different study options offer appropriate alternatives to students, depending on their preferred mode of study.

Many study programmes in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are English-taught. The most popular international student destinations include the following countries: Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States, and more. However, these are not the only countries offering English-taught education. The rest of the world is full of endless study choices, from highly ranked to smaller, more specialized, universities.

PhD (postgraduate) Degrees

If you want further education beyond the undergraduate level or if you want more personal development or a career in academia, you could obtain a PhD degree. PhD degrees are postgraduate programmes that usually follow a Master's, MPhil or MRes, but there might be additional requirements depending on the university. Students are required to do their own research in a chosen topic. With the help of a supervisor, you develop knowledge and analytical skills in a specific or multidisciplinary field and you carry out independent research. The duration of a PhD degree differs per country and institution. Sometimes your own research is accompanied by work for the department such as giving seminars or small group teaching.

PhD students are required to study on campus under close supervision, but there are universities that accept students enrolled into a part-time distance education PhD degree. Studying on campus can also be full-time as well as part-time, in which case the part-time variant is normally twice as long as the full-time study.

Discover other countries

Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, you will enjoy top-quality education and research, especially in subjects like Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The number of English-taught degrees offered by Czech universities is constantly growing. This is a response to the numerous international students attracted by academic opportunities and great living standards at reasonable costs. The Czech Republic is among the safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, and it allows you to travel around Europe easily. While out of class, you can visit local attractions like the Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, the local spas, and hot water springs, etc.
Finland
Finland
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway
Norway
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Poland
Poland
Poland represents a great mix of quality education and affordable costs. International students can choose from over 400 universities where programmes are taught in Polish and English. The main advantage of choosing a Polish-taught degree is that you won’t have to pay any tuition fees. Polish people are known for their hospitality and specific sense of humour, which means you’ll have a lot of fun interacting with locals, making friends, and exploring your surroundings. When you’re not in classes, feel free to travel around, visit the beautiful castles, or go skiing in the Tatra Mountains (during the winter).
Sweden
Sweden
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada
Canada
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel
Israel
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
Australia
Australia
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.

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