Study Abroad in the U.A.E.

March 9, 2017

Students interested in studying abroad won’t find a more dynamic, fascinating and thrilling region than the United Arab Emirates. Combining youthful enthusiasm for modern technology and architecture with a rich cultural history, U.A.E. has a wealth of incredible attractions, breathtaking sights and valuable opportunities.

No matter what course of study you choose, you’ll find ample historical, scientific and cultural resources that will not only supplement your academic journey, but also enrich your perspective.

Fascinating facts about the United Arab Emirates

Some ATMs in U.A.E. give out more than just cash. U.A.E. is possibly the most luxurious country in the world, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the ATM in the Emirates Palace Hotel dispenses actual gold. Users can choose between gold bars (up to 10 grams) or customized gold coins. The ATM isn’t entirely impractical, though – it also dispenses paper money.

The world’s fastest roller coaster is in Abu Dhabi. The roller coaster, called “The Rosso,” can reach a speed of 150 miles per hour in five seconds. The theme park is owned by Ferrari.

The average age of Emirate nationals is 30. In contrast with the United States, where the average age is 37 years old, U.A.E. is one of the youngest countries in the world. Over half of its citizens is under the age of 25. However, only approximately 10 percent of the total population are nationals – the rest are expatriates, largely from Asia.

The United Arab Emirates is a tropical desert climate, and yet you can ski! Although the year-round climate is warm with infrequent rain, the Dubai Mall offers an indoor ski resort, with nearly 22,500 square meters of snow park. And if the cold is too much for you, try sand boarding.

Robot camel racing is highly popular. Although football – known as soccer in the U.S. – is the most watched sport in U.A.E., residents of Dubai enjoy robot-mounted camel races. The robots are fashioned to look like little jockeys, with helmets, goggles and racing silks. Learn more about camel racing in this New York Times article by Sam Borden.

So why study abroad in the U.A.E.?

If you are considering studying abroad, here are a few reasons why the U.A.E. is an excellent destination.

You can take advantage of a top-notch educational system. The U.A.E. is a nation dedicated to technological advancement. Studying in the U.A.E. will introduce you to some of the very best academic programs in the world.

When you aren’t in the classroom, you can learn about the numerous cultures of the Emirates. You can explore the ancient mosques, visit heritage sites, and check out contemporary and historic museums.

Learn the languages and customs. Because the Middle East is quickly becoming a region of tremendous economic importance, having a strong grasp of conversational Arabic is enormously advantageous. If you can communicate in Arabic and have an in-depth understanding of the regional cultures, you’ll be an excellent candidate for international organizations with interests in the Gulf region.

Although Arabic is the national language of the U.A.E., there are millions of expatriates who speak Farsi, Hindi, Tagalog and Mandarin, due to the large population of people from India, Pakistan, the Philippines and China. English is also widely spoken in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but Arabic dialects are more common outside the major metropolitan hubs. Studying in U.A.E. is a fantastic opportunity to live amongst the diverse cultures and learn their traditions and perspectives.

It’s considered one of the best places to live. The two most high-ranked cities in the Middle East in terms of quality of life are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. With fantastic weather, gorgeous beaches, world-class universities, a diverse population and the lowest crime rates anywhere in the world, people in U.A.E. enjoy a fantastic lifestyle.

Additionally, you can participate in incredible activities that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. You can play camel polo, shop at the world’s biggest mall and go on safari in the Abu Dhabi desert. Even if you aren’t a natural adventurer, you can still enjoy a mind-boggling array of luxury activities, like lava shell massage and aerial silk dance classes.


ISEP has been dedicated to introducing students of all socio-economic backgrounds to different global cultures through accessible study abroad programs. There are more than 300 universities in our member network across over 50 countries, and you can participate on ISEP Exchange or ISEP Direct programs, depending on your preferences, university’s ISEP membership and goals.

To begin your international adventure, visit our program page and learn about the different ISEP member institutions throughout the world.

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