Studying in the UAE is a bit like taking an extended vacation!

Not only do university degrees come in a variety of academically-challenging shapes and sizes, particularly in terms of what and how subjects are taught, students can also study now at a huge range of prestigious institutions in some pretty remarkable corners of the world. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Persian Gulf – think Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah – is without doubt a prime example.


Free zones

Anyone examining the economy of the oil and gas-rich UAE will quickly become aware of the inexorable push towards diversification, explained simply by the government’s early realisation that the hydrocarbon bounty currently enjoyed is a finite one. At some point in the not too distant future, diminishing oil and gas returns will slow to an almost imperceptible trickle.

Thus free zones in a whole variety of business sectors have become a governmental tool aimed at encouraging foreign companies and enterprises large and small to set up in the country – in return for a mouth-watering range of perks and a minimalist approach to bureaucracy and red tape. These range from zero personal and corporate tax to the ability to hit the ground running in a matter of days when setting up a new venture.



The UAE has taken the concept of the free zone and applied it to higher education. As a result, Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is the largest free zone dedicated to higher learning in the world. Established in 2007 as part of TECOM Investments, DIAC aims to develop the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy.

All of this takes place on its fully-appointed 18 million sq ft. campus which boasts state-of-the-art modern facilities. It  has a large selection of multi-tiered international branch campuses from 10 different nationalities – including quite a number from the United States and the United Kingdom – and is host to a community of over 20,000 students from 125 nationalities who have access to over 400 higher education programmes.

By the way, TECOM Investments, owner of a number of business parks in the UAE, is a member of Dubai Holding, a global investment holding company that develops and manages an extensive portfolio of companies focused on investments, financial services, real estate, specialised business parks, telecommunications and hospitality.


Why study in the UAE?

There are lots of good reasons for studying for a degree in the UAE, not least the excellent weather. With wall-to-wall sunshine, sandy beaches and the beautiful Persian Gulf waters, overseas students could be forgiven for thinking they were on some kind of extended vacation!

Seriously, the UAE’s many academic institutions, such as the American University of Sharjah (AUS), have over recent years been climbing the world university rankings and building up an enviable reputation at the same time.

As AUS says, the university is a reflection of the progressive spirit of the UAE, admitting bright young men and women as students solely on the basis of their academic qualifications, without regard to race, colour, gender, religion, disability, age or national origin. Strategically placed between the Far East and the West, between Africa and Asia, it’s location is considered one of its greatest assets.

Interested in finding out more about Dubai International Academic City? Then check out DIAC’s website here.

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