The UAE is home to a large number of branch campuses of foreign universities, and also has its own burgeoning higher-education system.

Country Overview

The United Arab Emirates is one of the most liberal and modern countries in the Persian Gulf. A federation of seven states—Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al Qaiwain—it was established in 1971 after the sheikdoms won independence from Britain. Oil revenue, which is unevenly distributed among the emirates, generally provides a high standard of living. Foreign workers account for more than three-fourths of the population. Dubai, which has smaller oil reserves than the other states, has diversified its economy in an effort to become the financial hub of the Middle East. Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language.

The United Arab Emirates has the world's sixth largest oil reservesand possesses one of the most developed economies in the Middle East. It is currently the thirty-sixth largest economy at market exchange rates, and has a high per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $46,584 as per the IMF. The country is fourteenth largest in purchasing power per capita and has a relatively high Human Development Indexfor the Asian continent, ranking 35th globally. The United Arab Emirates is classified as a high income developing economy by the IMF.

The United Arab Emirates is a founding member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and a member state of the Arab League. It is also a member of the United Nations, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the OPEC, and the World Trade Organization.


The climate of the UAE generally is hot and dry. The hottest months are July and August, when average maximum temperatures reach above 48 °C (118.4 °F) on the coastal plain. In the Al Hajar al Gharbi Mountains, temperatures are considerably cooler, a result of increased altitude. Average minimum temperatures in January and February are between 10 and 14 °C (50 and 57.2 °F). During the late summer months, a humid southeastern wind known as the sharqi makes the coastal region especially unpleasant. The average annual rainfall in the coastal area is fewer than 120 mm (4.7 in), but in some mountainous areas annual rainfall often reaches 350 mm (13.8 in). Rain in the coastal region falls in short, torrential bursts during the summer months, sometimes resulting in floods in ordinarily dry wadi beds. The region is prone to occasional, violent dust storms, which can severely reduce visibility. The Jebel Jais mountain cluster in Ras al Khaimah has experienced snow only twice since records began.





Overview of Higher Education

The system of higher education in the United Arab Emirates comprises public universities and colleges of technology, as well as several dozen private institutions. Education is free for UAE nationals, many of whom elect to study abroad.

The oldest institution. United Arab Emirates University, is also the biggest. Founded in 1977, it is the federation's primary teaching and research institution. Zayed University, founded in 1998, specifically educates women; its primary language of instruction is English.

Study for the bachelor’s degree typically lasts four years; for the master’s degree, one year. About 7 percent of postsecondary students are foreigners.

(Sources:  BBC, Europa World of Learning, Arabiancampus.com)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 3

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (private/non-state): 33

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 77,000

Number of international students enrolled: 770

Contact Information

Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research

P.O.Box 45253, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Web site: http://www.mohesr.ae/introduction.html

Phone: (02) 6428000

E-mail: mohe@uae.gov.ae

Contact: H.E.Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research