Cost of Studying and Living in UAE
The UAE uses the UAE Dirham (AED) as its currency.
Institutions in the UAE are permitted to set their own tuition fees, so costs will vary depending on where you choose to study. Tuition fees will also vary depending on the level and type of degree you choose. On average, you can expect to pay around AED 48,000 for a masters degree, and up to AED 120,000 for some specialised graduate degrees. Courses are charged in semester credit hours as opposed to months or years. You may be eligible for a scholarship to help towards your tuition fees, check with your institution to find out more.
Students looking to study in the UAE need to consider their living costs. For a private rented apartment you can expect to pay around AED 3,700 per month, with utilities costing around AED 440 per month. If you choose to live in a bigger city, you should expect higher living costs than smaller cities and towns. If you live outside of the cities, you might need to think about getting a car, as transport is not the most efficient.
All international students will need to have valid health insurance for their stay in the UAE. It is common for institutions to offer health insurance cover once you have arrived in the country and have undertaken a medical examination. The medical examination is thorough and tests for HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis and syphilis, among other things.
All students who are looking to study in the UAE will need to apply for a student visa. To obtain a visa you will usually need to be sponsored by a resident of the country. Most institutions offer this service, but you should be sure to check before you start your application process. The application is done online, but you should be aware that sponsorship does not guarantee your visa. Application costs can be up to AED 3,000 and the deposit up to AED 3,000.
You will need to provide certain documents when applying for your visa. These are:
- Valid passport with at least six months left and two blank visa pages
- Four passport copies
- 12 passport photographs
- Three passport copies and an entry visa to the UAE on arrival
- Bank statements providing evidence of sufficient funds
- Tenancy agreement or proof of living arrangements
- Copy of tuition fee receipt for the current year of study
- Copy of visa fees receipt for the current year of study
- Postgraduate students will need proof of their undergraduate degree
Student residence visas will only last for one year, and will therefore need renewing if your course is longer than this. When you apply to renew your student visa, you will need to pay more visa fees.
The official language of the UAE is Arabic.
The majority of the population speak fluent English, so communicating should not be a problem. If you choose one of the UAE’s public universities, you will need to be fluent in Arabic and English, but private institutions tend to teach in English. Whether you choose to study in English or Arabic, you will need to provide evidence of your proficiency if it is not your native language. Even if you study in English, learning some Arabic would be useful for your everyday life. Communicating with the locals and other students would be a perfect way to practice. An extra language would look great on your CV/resume, and Arabic is a widely spoken as a business language.
The capital city of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is home to over 1.8 million people. The city is host to the United Arab Emirates Government, as well as the President of the UAE. The rapid development of the city, as well as the high average income of the population, has turned the city into a large and advanced metropolis. The city is the country’s political, industrial, cultural and commercial centre.
Located in the city are several universities, as well as international university campuses. One of the institutions is Abu Dhabi University, which is the largest private university in the UAE. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and has three campuses in the country.
The largest and most populous city in the UAE, Dubai is home to over 3.1 million people. Dubai is a global city, and is the business hub of the country. You will find the world’s tallest building in the city, the Burj Khalifa. Dubai has a high tourist influx, and is relatively forward thinking. There are many cultural events held in the city.
There are many higher education institutions located in Dubai, a mixture of public and private. Some of the institutions are home campuses, but there are also several international campuses. One of these institutions is Al Ghurair University, which is a private university founded in 1999. The institution offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a wide variety of areas.