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Best Universities in Dubai

List of Top Universities in Dubai

The city of Dubai, also famous as a modern cosmopolitan with towering skyscrapers, the tallest hotels, and a diversified population, is also one of the top educational hubs in the Middle East. Against the backdrop of traditional Arabian cultures and customs, the Emirate city has been ranked 51 on the QS Best Student Cities 2023.

As the city’s landscape developed, many international colleges and universities came in and set up their campuses here. Alongside, it has also evolved as a bibliomaniac’s dream over the years. This helped the city transform into a center of attraction for international students.

If you are attracted to the multicultural environment of Dubai and are keen to study and work here, continue reading, for we have listed some of the best universities in the region that can become your choice to pursue your professional dreams.

About Education in Dubai

Dubai primarily has two main zones that are home to world-class academic institutions. These are the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and the Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP). DIAC was established in 2007 as an academic hub with 27 institutes currently offering more than 500 programs, while DKP is the training hub of the MENA region.

Notably, the city is home to 25,000+ foreign students from almost 80 countries. Academic campuses for higher education in the city have about 85% foreign pupils and 15% native students (as per Arabian Business report). There’s an interesting mix of colleges and universities in the city. The DIAC and DKP serve as the best learning and training grounds for innumerable career-oriented students.

Higher education in the UAE follows the regional and various international systems like the British, American, German, Australian, Indian, French, Canadian, and Russian systems, and so on. For international curricula and education systems, the language of instruction is English, while at public universities, Arabic is the medium of instruction. Some of the most chosen areas of study by students are business administration, energy, finance, engineering, computing, tourism, architecture, international relations, etc.

About the Regulatory Bodies: Higher Education in the city is overseen by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR). All institutes and degree programs need to be licensed and certified by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA). Quality assurance in the field is the responsibility of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The KHDA ensures that the degree programs in the city are at par with the programs/courses taught by the same universities/institutes abroad.

About universities in the city: There are a total of about 63 universities and colleges, of which 58 are private, and 5 are public institutes.  Local universities have been founded in this part of the world and operate from the city, while international universities mostly operate as branch campuses. It means that they have originated in another country and have a campus in the city.

Best Universities in Dubai

University of Dubai (UD)

UD is Dubai’s very own university, nationally and internationally accredited. The different programs offered include bachelor’s degrees in marketing, finance, management, economics, accounting & banking, HR, supply chain & logistics, entrepreneurship management, IT, engineering, business administration, etc. Master degree programs like MBA, LLM, and MSc. are also available.

UD is accredited by the Ministry of Education, UAE. International accreditations have been received from AACSB International for the Business Administration program & ABET, USA, for Computing and Information Systems.

Address: Academic City, Emirates Road – Exit 49.
Mobile: +97145566800

The administrative office is open Monday to Thursday from 0830 hours to 1700 hours and on Friday from 0830 hours to 12:00 hours. On Sunday, the office opens from 09:00 hours till 15:00 hours. Saturdays are closed.

Zayed University

This is another government-backed university in Dubai. Zayed University has been around since 1998 and is named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of UAE. It has three campuses – two in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi comprising a total of six colleges. Students can enroll in streams like business, education, arts, communication & media science, sustainable science, technological innovation, and humanities.

The Institute for Islamic World Studies and University College offering university-level learning is a part of the programs offered on the campus.

Address: Dubai Campus, PO Box 19282, UAE.
Contact: +971-4-4021111

American University in Dubai (AUD)

AUD is one of the outstanding private universities in the city. It is a branch campus of the American InterContinental University. The main campus is in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US. The campus has different departments like the School of Architecture, School of Arts and Science, School of Education, School of Business Administration,  School of Engineering, and Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication.

AUD’s undergraduate programs in Engineering, Psychology, Visual Communication, Architecture, Business Administration, Biology, International Studies, Communication and Information Studies, and Interior Design have been accredited by the UAE’s MOE. Graduate programs in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media, International Affairs, Business Administration, Education, Construction Management, Intellectual Property, Innovation Management, Urban Design, Digital Environments, and International Affairs have been accredited by the Ministry of Education, UAE.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority of Dubai, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), AACSB for the School of Business Administration, IAA for Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications, ABET for different engineering programs, ACEJMC for Bachelor of Communication and Information Studies, Council for Interior Design for the interior design program, National Association of Schools of Art and Design for the Bachelor of Fine Arts, and National Architectural Accrediting Board for Bachelor of Architecture, are the other accreditations.

Address: Sheikh Zayed Road, PO Box 28282, UAE
Contact: +971 4 399 9000

Canadian University Dubai (CUD)

CUD has been ranked as the number one varsity in the city and amongst the top four universities in the UAE, as per the QS World University Rankings 2023. It has about 18 prestigious accreditations offering about 30 different majors. Students from as many as 120 different nationalities are currently enrolled in the institute.

It offers various graduate and undergraduate programs, all of which are based on an international curriculum. A practice-based learning approach is undertaken for all the programs. Some of the programs offered at the CUD are Engineering, Social Sciences, Environmental Health Sciences, Architecture & Interior Design, Applied Science & Technology, Creative Industries, Communication and Media, and Management.

Regional affiliation is from the Association of Arab Universities (AARU). It operates under the license received from the Ministry of Education, UAE, and is also accredited by the Commissioner for Academic Accreditation (CAA). Other certifications include CFA, IAA, ACCA, CIMA, PRSA, ECO Canada, SHRM, and PRME.

The distinct advantages for students studying at the CUD include their chance to pursue their higher education and career in Canada.

Contact: + 971 (4) 321 9090

British University in Dubai (BUD)

BUD is known for its post-graduate programs that it conducts in association with many UK-based universities. Some of the well-known ones are the varsities at Manchester, Edinburg, King’s College in London, and more. The famed university offers a variety of bachelor’s, master’s, MBA, Doctorate, and Ph.D. programs at its Dubai campus. Besides, the BUD organizes various research and professional training courses too.

The programs offered at BUD include MBA, architecture and sustainable built environment, information technology management, systems engineering, human resource management, education, finance and banking, informatics, project management, construction law, construction management, and intelligent buildings design.

Accreditations are from MOE, UAE, UK ENIC, and the Knowledge Fund Establishment. Professional accreditations include AACSB, CIOB, CIArb, GAC, and ASEM.

Address: Block 11, 1st and 2nd floor, Dubai International Academic City, PO Box 345015.
Contact: +971 4 279 1400

American University in the Emirates (AUE)

AUE was set up in 2006 and has its campus in the Dubai International Academic City. Overall, there are 25 specializations and 19 programs to choose from at the University. It has an impressive faculty-to-student ratio of 1:16.5.

There are six colleges for the undergraduate programs at AUE. These are the  Colleges of Computer and Information Technology, Fine Arts and Design, Law, Education, Business Administration, and Media and Mass Communication.

Master in Diplomacy (MDIP), Master in Business Administration (MBA), and Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS) are the three postgraduate programs at AUE. Besides these, there is one language learning institute, a technology incubation center, and one professional training institution. The University works with different international varsities to conduct these graduate and undergraduate programs.

It is accredited by the AACSB and the Ministry of Education, UAE.

Address: Dubai International Academic City, P.O. Box 503000.
Contact: +971 4 4499 000

Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai

Middlesex University Dubai has a career-focused education system. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and part-time UK postgraduate degree courses. The campus has students from about 118 different countries and boasts about 4,500 students currently. Students are awarded the degree from UK direct. There are about 30 social clubs and sports teams. MDX has two campuses in the city.

It has the distinction of being the very first varsity in the city to offer a face-to-face LLB Honours program. It is also the first one in the region to sign a UN Global Compact and is a signatory of the Target Gender Equality Initiative of the UN.

MDX offers International Foundation programs in business, law and politics, arts and media, psychology, engineering, and Computer Informatics. It also offers undergraduate programs in different streams of Business Management, including HR, Marketing, Supply Chain & Logistics, Project Management and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The other undergraduate programs are in International Business, IT, and Business Information Systems.

PG programs are in HR, International Business, Strategic Marketing, Marketing Communication, Banking and Finance, Data Science, Education, Investment Management, and more.

Address: First Campus at Dubai Knowledge Park and the Second Campus at Dubai International Academic City.

The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD)

UOWD has been in this cosmopolitan city for over 28 years now. Along with grants and scholarships, the varsity offers 20 different master’s programs along with bachelor’s degrees and doctorates in Video Game Development, Media, Engineering, Business, Big Data, Cyber Security, etc. UOWD is ranked in the first 1% of the top universities of the world as per QS World University Ranking 2022. The international campus in Dubai offers Australian curricula-based learning, and the degrees are all awarded by UOW, Australia.

One of the distinct advantages of studying at UOWD is that students can access the varsity’s campuses in Australia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

The university is licensed by KHDA and is accredited by CAA. The other notable accreditations include the Australian Computer Society, CPA Australia, CIM, AACSB, ACCA, CIMA, Engineers Australia, CIPD, CIPS, Project Management Institute, NEAS, and Energy Institute.

Address: Dubai Knowledge Park
Contact: Toll-free 800-UOWD or +971 4 278 1800

Curtin University Dubai

This varsity offers programs at the postgraduation and undergraduate levels in niches like humanities, IT, science, and business. It is ranked 193 by the QS World University Rankings 2023. As per the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Curtin is in the top 1%. As per  CWTS Leiden Ranking 2021, it is ranked 10th in Australia.

The home campus is in Perth and is the largest varsity in Western Australia. Besides Dubai, Curtin campuses are in Singapore, Malaysia, Colombo, and Mauritius.  The university is approved by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.  It is an EDX member, AACSB accredited and is part of the Australian Technology Network of Universities.

The campus has a featured course in Psychology. Undergraduate courses are in IT & Computing, Business & Management, Arts & Humanities, Engineering, and Health Sciences. Postgraduate courses are the Master of Business Administration and Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing. Foundation courses are also offered by the varsity in Business and Humanities, IT, Health Science, Hard Sciences & Engineering.

Address: Block 10 & 11, 4th Floor, Dubai International Academic City.
Contact: 04 245 2500

Manipal University Dubai (MAHE)

Covering 7 disciplines and more than 50 programs, MAHE has a state-of-the-art campus in the city covering about 750,000 sq ft. There are six schools for Business, Architecture & Design, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, Media & Communication, and Life Sciences. The schools offer innumerable undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the given streams.

MAHE Dubai is recognized by the University Grants Commission, India, and is approved by the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD), Government of India. It is licensed by the KHDA and is an academic partner of DIAC. The MBA Program offered by the institute is ranked number 3 in the Middle East, and the university has an AAA+ rating amongst the privately deemed universities in India.

Besides Dubai, there are campuses of MAHE in India, Nepal, and Malaysia.

Address: G04, Dubai International Academic City (DIAC)
Contact: +971 4 4290 888 / 800 6832


Dubai is not just a traveler’s paradise, and its name to fame is not limited to desert safaris and top tourist places for vacation. There’s so much more to this city. Undoubtedly, it has made its way into one of the top cosmopolitan cities of the world, loved by local Emiratis and the expat community. It’s no surprise that today this city in the UAE has an increasing number of foreigners enrolling for its various undergraduate and postgraduate courses.


Does Dubai have good universities?

Yes, even though till about a few years back, the standard of education, especially higher education in the UAE, was not considered at par with the western countries, today Dubai boasts of some of the best colleges and varsities with international campuses. Consequently, the number of students arriving in the country for higher education is increasing year after year.

Is higher education free in Dubai?

While local Emiratis are eligible for free education at public universities, students from the expat community do not enjoy any such privileges. They are required to pay tuition fees at public and private universities. The fee structure greatly varies from one institute to another. Many institutions offer scholarships and grants, the details of which can be checked online at the official websites.

How is student life in Dubai?

The quality of life and standard of living in Dubai is pretty high. People enjoy a more than-average lifestyle in this city. The city is an absolute safe haven for the international community. It is, in fact, one of the best places for relocation with zero personal income taxes and on interests earned from savings.

Educational and job opportunities are great for students. The weather is mostly great and enjoyable. There are endless places to visit and relax during weekends. Multi-cuisine food is easily available. The cost of local transportation is pretty low. People converse in English. There are abundant recreational activities for youngsters, including indoor and outdoor extravagances. So, yes, student life in the city is quite exciting and enriching.