What Is the Cost of Studying in Dubai?

Dubai is well known for its architectural monuments, and its exciting landscape has one of the best educational infrastructures in the world. It provides a home where international students can have the finest education and lucrative career opportunities. In recent times, Dubai has witnessed a lot of immigration. This is because various top universities have taken up this chance to set up their campuses in Dubai. If you are interested in studying in Dubai but want to know if it matches your budget or not? Well then, you’ve come to the right place. You will discover in the article what it takes to study in Dubai.

what is the cost of studying in Dubai

Why You Should Consider Studying in Dubai

Studying in the United Arab Emirates is a chance to experience a diverse range of cultures and traditions from the norm. This city is located in a thriving economic and academic location where worldview challenges and new perspectives are formed. A small country in the Arabian Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the Persian Gulf, and the city is composed of seven emirates. They include Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, and Umm al-Quwain.

These emirates all play a major role in shaping the country’s cultural and economic prowess. However, most higher learning institutions are located in two main places: Abu Dhabi and Dubai. These two emirates have been the country’s edge in elevating education to a world-class standard as we see it today. Abu Dhabi is home to the capital city and is the biggest emirate making up three-quarters of the country’s territory. It is at the powerhouse of the United Arab Emirates Oil Industry. It is responsible for contributing to a third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product – GDP.

Dubai is one of the populous emirates and is responsible for the commercial and financial strength of the UAE. This allows many international students to advance themselves professionally as they study. There are various cutting-edge attractions in the United Arab Emirates. Some include the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building, the artificial Palm Islands in Dubai, the Sheikh Dated Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and many others. There are also adventurous places in this city, where you can go deep-sea diving in the Persian Gulf or dune bashing in the desert.

The country’s deep-seated Islamic culture and tradition, combined with their powerful drive towards innovation and modernity, have led the UAE to be a one-of-a-kind destination for students worldwide. There are some basic facts about the United Arab Emirates. The capital is Abu Dhabi, and it has a language of Arabic. It has a population of 9.4 million and an area size of 83,600 square kilometers. The total number of international students in 2021 was 65,447 people. Their academic year runs from September to June. The calling code is +971, and the currency is United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Its time zone is GMT +4.

The higher education system of the United Arab Emirates takes influence from western higher education systems. It prides itself in having some of the best universities in the Gulf region. Although there’s an increasing number of institutions in the UAE, there are currently, as of the time of this writing, three state-funded universities and more than 50 private institutions. Government institutions are highly competitive for international students, private universities and colleges are open to all. There is also a growing presence of private international institutions or global partnerships highly sought after by students looking for international education and accreditation.

Most people feel that the language – Arabic will be an issue for them but learning Arabic is not necessary to study in Dubai. Most institutions will have English programs available. And though tuition fees are generally considered high, there are ample scholarship opportunities for international students and the possibility of getting a part-time job while holding a student visa.


What is the Cost of Studying in Dubai?

Although the cost of your study is not only limited to tuition and accommodation costs, it covers other miscellaneous expenses. The total of all the different kinds of expenditure you need to bear while studying abroad makes it appropriate to consider a budget. Some of these costs for studying in Dubai are:

Tuition fees: The range of tuition for studying in Dubai varies from university to university, and it also depends on the duration of the program. The average tuition fees for an undergraduate degree in Dubai range from 37,500-70,000 AED per year(753,750-1,407,000 INR) and for postgraduate programs it ranges from 55,000-75,000 AED (1,105,500-1,507,500 INR). Although some universities charge students are taking 12 to 16 hours on tuition, most universities charge based on the number of student credit hours.

  1. Accommodation:
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There are two ways in which students buy accommodation in Dubai. Some students choose to stay on campus, while others prefer to live off-campus. The students usually prefer on-campus accommodations because it is comparatively cheaper than living in the main city. With over 63 universities in Dubai, only some provide on-campus accommodation. Others have tie-ups with local hotels to provide accommodation to students at a cheaper rate. On-campus accommodation will cost you around 14,000-27,000 AED (281,400-542,700 INR roughly).

On the other hand, you will bear more costs if you opt for private accommodation. On average private accommodation will cost you ranging from 70,000 – 100,000 AED(1,407,000-2,010,000 INR roughly). It will probably cost you cheaper if you opt for a shared apartment.

  1. Food costs:

This is another form of expenditure you should account for when you plan your total expenses regarding studying in Dubai. The thing is that food cost varies according to meal preferences. However, if you choose to buy your food from local groceries in Dubai and you also fancy the idea of going out to eat with friends, you can expect your average food cost to be around 908 AED per month(18,250 INR).

  1. Travel and Utility Cost:

As a norm, international students prefer public modes of transportation as it is the most cost-effective option. Dubai’s most affordable transport is the metro, and the average fare is 2 AED(40 INR) for one zone. Students between the age of five and twenty-three can also apply for a discounted fare NOL Blue Card for public transport use, including Dubai Metro. You can apply for the Blue Card in transportation either online or offline. You can also opt for private taxis, but it will be much costlier than the public methods.

A private taxi will cost you around 10 AED for a 5 km trip. If you have a good budget, you can also look at the option of a hired car that costs around 600 AED per week(12,060 INR).

  1. Students Visa Costs:

A student visa is necessary to study and live in the United Arab Emirates and, most importantly, to study in Dubai. Generally, it would help if you had a sponsor for your visa that may be a friend or a relative. However, you can choose to apply for a student visa without a sponsor. Dubai offers its students a student residence visa for only one year at a time, but you can renew it further. The application cost for a student visa will cost up to 3000 AED(60,300 INR roughly), and a deposit of 1,000 AED(20,100 INR) is also required.

  1. Scholarships:

Although the city of Dubai can be very expensive to study in, the city never disappoints those who wish to study there. After learning about the average costs of studying in Dubai, your next step should be looking out for different kinds of scholarships. There are a host of scholarships given to students in Dubai to enable them to fund their education. Here is a list of different types of scholarships that you can avail yourself in Dubai:

  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
  • The David L. Boren Scholarships.
  • The Marie Wright Scholarship for Non-Traditional Locations.
  • The American University in Dubai.
  • The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowships.
  • William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Scholarships.
  • Financial Hardship Scholarship 2021
  • Outstanding Academic Excellence Scholarships
  • HH Sheikh Hamdan Scholarships
  • The Indian High School Dubai Scholarships.


Tuition Fees for Studying in Dubai

Tuition Fees for an undergraduate study in Dubai range between 37,500 to 70,000 AED per year, and tuition fees for a postgraduate program in Dubai range between 55,000 to 75,000 AED per year. Some universities will charge an annual fee for students taking between 12 to 16 credit hours (plus additional fees), but some schools will charge anything above or below per credit hour. In some other cases, no annual fee. The western higher education systems influence the UAE’s higher education system, and it prides itself in having some of the best universities in the Gulf region.

Learning Arabic is not necessary to study in Dubai as most institutions will have English programs available. And though tuition fees are generally considered high, there are ample scholarship opportunities for international students and the possibility of getting a part-time job while holding a student visa. Here is a list of some Dubai university fees for international students and their average tuition:

  1. Al Dar University College:

This is a university that was established in 1994. Their mission is to infuse students with industry-relevant skills and a high level of experience to enable them to compete internationally. They have an atmosphere of diversity and a range of programs from undergraduate degrees to postgraduates degrees. They also incorporate short courses aimed at students and professionals. Their current President is Prof. Dr. Ezz Hattab, and their tuition fee is 27,000 to 36,000 AED.

  1. Al Ghurair University:
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This university is one of the first privately owned universities licensed by the Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates. Founded in 1999, Al Ghurair University is a community-based university offering a host of accredited and international-based programs that enable students to thrive excellently well in the UAE and the global market. It is currently under the leadership of Dr. Basem Alzahabi, and the tuition is 35,000 to 50,000 AED.

  1. American University in Dubai:

This university is a private university established in 1995. It offers both undergrad and graduate degrees. As well as the selected courses, all college students must follow a course module in the Arts and Sciences. The university also has a Center for English Proficiency that enables students to require extra language learning before starting college to get college-level English speaking skills. The American University in Dubai seeks to produce the American formula for fruitful and advanced education; hence the syllabi and reading material are the same in the United States.

There are a lot of American-trained employees in the university, and the expectation of academic performance either complements or surpasses those of a standard American college. They currently offer programs in Business Development, Sales, Marketing, Arts and Design, Entrepreneurship, Education, Finance, and much more. The university is under the leadership of Dr. Steve Franklin, and the tuition fees are pegged at 43,601 to 82,500 AED.

  1. ASTI Academy:

This is one of the fastest-growing technical training institutes in the Gulf Region. Licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the Al Shabaka Technical Institute – ASTI Academy offers short-term, mid-term, and long-term training programs in core engineering, construction, health care, education, IT, and more. It is under the leadership of Mr. M. M. Ali as the chairman, and the tuition fee is 2000 to 28,000 AED. It is one of the cheapest universities to study in Dubai.

  1. Canadian University:

Founded in 2006, Canadian University Dubai is one of the high-ranking institutions that offer the Arab world the elite educational system of North America. This university is ranked 42nd overall, 8th in the United Arab Emirates, and 2nd in Dubai based on the 2019 QS Ranking for the Arab Region. They have a wonderful academic program where students can start studying in Dubai and transfer with credit after a year or more to one of the 25 Premier Canadian Institutions. Canadian University, Dubai is the only university outside of Canada to award degrees from Dubai and Canada in certain fields. They offer courses in the aspect of Business Development, Sales, Operations, Marketing, and Education. The university is under Dr. Karim Chelli, and the tuition is 66,150 AED.

  1. Capital Education:

With its location in the busy private suburb of Oud Metha, Capital Education is geared towards meeting the needs of the general population and the country’s workforce. Their philosophy is to be realistic and give transferable expertise to the public, be advantageous to the working experts, encourage self-improvement in a conducive atmosphere, create a learning schedule where the student has a basic influence, and more. Capita Education is under Dr. Sanjay Batheja, and the tuition for the university is between 1500 – 20,000 AED. It is the cheapest university for one to study in Dubai.

  1. Dubai Pharmacy College:

Dubai Pharmacy College was founded in 1992 under the vision of Haji Saeed Al Lootah, the founder and chairman. The pharmacy college was designed to teach young Muslim ladies the field of pharmaceutical sciences under the Commission of Academic Accreditation (CAA) license. They currently offer degrees in Pharmacy, such as the Bachelor of Pharmacy and the Master of Pharmacy with specializations in Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Product Development. Although the gender for this institution is strictly females, their tuition fee is between 45,000 – 50,000 AED.

  1. Emirates Aviation University:

The Emirates Group built up this university in 1991 under the authority of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. This university is led by the Chancellor and Chief Executive of Emirate Airlines – HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and the Vice-Chancellor in the person of Professor Ahmad Al Ali. Learning at Emirates University is ideal for students who want a career in avionics. Their broad scope of aeronautics-related programs equips you to exceed execution in aviation. Emirates and Dubai are wide world landmarks of getting success despite severe challenges.

The phenomenal growth of Dubai in the tourism sector fueled by travel opens you up to a plethora of opportunities. This is why the college has designed its avionics program to stand the tests of time. Enrolling at Emirates Aviation University is a lifetime investment that empowers you to utilize your potential completely. Their tuition is 24,900 to 59,500 AED.

  1. European University College:
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This is the primary postgraduate institution offering program in the United Arab Emirates and the MENA area – the Middle East and North Africa. Their workforce and training programs originated from renowned universities and research institutes in the United States, Sweden, England, France, etc. Also, European University College is a member of the International Association of Universities – this is the UNESCO-based partnership for advanced educational establishments. This highlights that EUC retains the expectation of Euro-Western education. It is under the leadership of Dr. Donald Ferguson, and the tuition fee is 35,000 to 220,800 AED.

  1. Hult International Business School:

By using creative and entrepreneurial tools, the Hult Business School strives to positively impact the lifestyle of individuals and organizations by improving their management practices. By using sustainable growth, social entrepreneurship, and overall business success, the school aims to be the most relevant business school globally. With campus locations in Dubai, Shanghai, Boston, London, San Francisco, and New York, you meet unparalleled diversity in your business education.

The Business School was ranked as the 17th Best Business School by Bloomberg, 15th Best School for MBAs by Forbes, 13th Best Masters in Management worldwide, 50the Best Executive MBA worldwide by The Economist, and the 19th Best Custom Program for Executive Education by the Financial Times. All these and more have made Hult International Business School one of the world’s most prestigious business schools. The business school is under the leadership of Margarethe Meleszcuzuk, and its tuition fees are from 143,000 to 280,000 AED.

The university’s greatest strength is that it is triple-accredited by EQUIS, AMBA, and AACSB. It has a global campus rotation where you can spend from September to April at a location of your choice and choose to switch to another campus from June to August. In addition, it has a business-savvy faculty coming from over 45 countries and has a culture of lifelong learning. It is one of the best business schools for one to study in Dubai.

Although ten universities were listed here, there are still other universities you can check out if you intend to study in Dubai. They include the IMT Business School Dubai, Middlesex University Dubai, the National Design Academy, the Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai, the PetroSkills, SAE Institute, British University in Dubai, United Kingdom College of Business and Computing, and more.



Studying in Dubai is a bit expensive. In Dubai, most faculty members are ex-pats, and to attract the talented ones; you have to give them a good offer. The American University of Sharjah and the University of Sharjah, 2 of the top universities in Dubai, provide many benefits to faculty members. In these universities, a faculty member would get free housing located inside the university’s faculty housing complex with all the electricity and water bills paid by the university. Additionally, they get free travel tickets for a yearly visit to their country, and they help in paying for their kids’ schooling. In most countries, you don’t need to provide housing since you would be a citizen.

You don’t need to provide travel tickets since you stay in the same country. There is no need for insurance and schooling because the government would give that to its citizens and not the employer. This is why the university fees required to study in Dubai are expensive. Providing a quality education costs a university to maintain a talented team of educators and researchers.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of a student visa to Dubai?

For the first time and renewal, the visa will cost AED100. To be eligible for this service, parents must present duly attested graduation certificates from universities or schools, whether within the country or abroad.

Is it possible to study in Dubai for free?

Residents of the UAE are eligible to get free postgraduate education at public universities, but international students must pay tuition fees to be eligible to study in Dubai. Universities set their tuition fees in the United Arab Emirates, so costs vary depending on your course, level of study, and location.

What is the cost of studying in Dubai?

International students can expect to pay anywhere from 5,000 to 27,650 EUR per academic year. Some cheaper — and even free — study programs are available, but they are few and far between.

Is Dubai prohibitively expensive for students?

In Dubai, undergraduate tuition fees range from 37500 to 70000 AED per year, with living expenses ranging from 2600 to 3900 AED per year. In Dubai, postgraduate tuition fees range from 55000 to 75000 AED per year, with living expenses ranging from 2600 to 3900 AED.


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