Study Abroad in Dubai

Back to Programs

A Guide to Studying Abroad in Dubai

Few cities have gone through such a transformation as Dubai. Once a small travel hub between East and West, it’s now one of the powerhouses of the Middle East. Where else could you stay on islands in the shape of palm trees — or the world itself? The blossoming of the city isn’t limited to sand either; Dubai is home to world-class shopping, nightlife, luxury, and education institutions. Schooling is a valued area that receives large amounts of investment — so if you’re looking to receive a quality international education, study in Dubai!

How to Study Abroad in Dubai

Being so globalized, Dubai is a mix of the exotic and the familiar. You’ll find that studying in Dubai will have the the advantages of being closer to the Gulf region, but it will still have similar academic standards and practices as your home university. No matter the topic you would like to drill into, there is world-recognized education ready to support your future endeavors.

Popular Subjects to Study. Studying abroad in Dubai is great for Middle East Studies. Whether it’s a focus on politics, religion, history, or business; Dubai is one the best places to live your classroom experiences 24/7. As the crossroads of many cultures and places, Dubai is a fantastic place to study languages. Naturally, it's also a pretty good idea to study Arabic, as you can practice all of the falafel or kale salad toppings on a daily basis. 

Short Term vs. Summer vs. Long Term Programs. Academic years are very similar to American universities. Fall semesters usually go from late August until mid December. Spring semesters are from mid-January until mid-May (better weather too). If you don’t have the time of funds for a full semester, some programs also offer summer sessions that are shorter and usually more specialized. You should expect similar academic rigors of American universities and classroom sizes of small to medium classes. 

Attending Universities vs. Other Program Types. You could choose to study in Dubai through your own university, the American University in Dubai (or other Dubai universities), or through an outside program provider. The program that fits your needs could depend on your course needs and finances — consult with your local study abroad office to help you the right choice.

Student Life in Dubai

If you’re looking for non-stop adventure outside of the classroom, Dubai offers some of the latest and craziest trends in the world. Dubai has the world’s biggest shopping mall and tallest skyscraper (the Burj Khalifa). Instead of the metro, take an abras (water taxi), from your apartment to class. Instead of your neighborhood Applebee’s, venture into old Dubai and try some world famous al harees.

One thing to consider when you study in Dubai is the heat and lack of rain. Being in the Middle East, Dubai has some of the hottest temperatures year-round. Summer temperatures can be over 100°F. Fall to early spring temperatures go down significantly, but still rarely getting below 50°F. Be prepared to stay hydrated and to wear clothes that keep you protected from the sun. 

As blistering as the heat of the day is, it doesn’t hold a candle to Dubai’s nightlife. You’ll have access to some of the world’s best clubs, bars, and restaurants that few other cities can rival. The rest of the breaks, you can go hang out with camels in the desert or chill with some flamingos in wetland reserves.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Dubai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. It’s a dynamic places for students to have a glimpse of the global economy at work. The sheer mix of Arabic, Eastern, and Western influences that were in the region for centuries have only grown with Dubai’s rise. The opportunities for learning how the world is evolving are on display both in Dubai’s classrooms and streets; observe and learn!

While Dubai may seem to be an open and wild city, it is still in a country where some laws and customs may seem harsh to a Westerner. The biggest concern is in regard is public drinking that can end up in serious jail time. You should also dress modestly out in public, and do your best to behave in ways that don’t bring attention to yourself. Be sure to read up on local customs and traditions so that you don't accidentally insult officials or get yourself into trouble. Adventure is good, but to a degree!

While oil and trade have made Dubai a global powerhouse, its heart remains a junction to the cultures of Eurasia. If you really want to be where the possibilities of our future will transpire, take the chance and indulge in a study abroad session on the pearl of the Persian Gulf. 

Learn more by reading our comprehensive guide to studying in the UAE.

Read More

written by:

A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Dubai


 Find Study Abroad Programs in Dubai Now


This listing has been saved 1 time

The AUD Semester in Dubai Program

Students that participate in The American University in Dubai (AUD) Semester five course program will develop an understanding of the Middle East through the study of culture, history, and language. Specific attention will be spent on Dubai, a contemporary city-state with economic progress and a wide scale of success which has engulfed the imagination of the world. Participants will live a...


This listing has been saved 30 times

Gilman International Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering scholarships to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. Each year, the program supports over 2,000 students participating in Fall, Spring, Academic Year or Summer study ...


This listing has been saved 11 times

Live & Learn in the United Arab Emirates

Study Arabic in Dubai or Abu Dhabi with Languages Abroad as part of our popular Live and Learn Program! You'll get the opportunity to learn this iconic language in two of the most fascinating and modern cities in the world! Dubai: Home of the 828 metre high skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa Tower. Dubai is renowned for its massive shopping centres and ultramodern attractions that bring in approxim...


Oil Politics in the Middle East

This course will focus on the strategic global policies of oil and natural gas and its political, economic, and social impact on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, specifically Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Course topics will cover: - Overview of the global energy industry: companies and governments; markets and politics; and the position of the GCC within this in...