Key Highlights:

  • With the help of numerous scholarships linked to its economic objectives, the UAE annually sends about 15,000 students abroad.
  • The tourism sector’s expansion is a priority, leading to a high demand for study abroad programs related to this industry.
  • There are opportunities for both high-profile universities and smaller colleges in recruiting UAE students.

Geography and Demographics:

  • The UAE is a federation of seven emirates located in southwest Asia, bordered by Oman and Saudi Arabia.
  • Major emirates include Abu Dhabi (the largest), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah, and Fujairah.
  • The country’s population is 10.2 million, with 8.9 million expats. Major cities include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman.
  • The UAE has a diverse linguistic and religious landscape, with Arabic as the official language, and English widely spoken due to the high number of expatriates.

Education System:

Primary and Secondary Education:

  • Public schools teach in Arabic, with English as a second language for technical/scientific subjects. Private schools offer various international curricula.
  • Major educational authorities include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), and Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai.
  • Private schools are popular among expat families, offering curriculums such as American, British, IB, and others.

Tertiary Education:

  • The UAE is a significant host of international branch campuses, with institutions from the UK, US, Australia, and Canada.
  • Dubai hosts 26 international branch campuses, while Abu Dhabi has several prestigious universities, including Khalifa University of Science and Technology.
  • There are also high-quality vocational institutions like the Centre of Excellence in Applied Research and Training (CERT) and Emirates Aviation University.

Economic Context:

  • In 2022, the UAE’s economy grew by 7.6% thanks to industries like tourism, real estate, and manufacturing.
  • The government aims to diversify the economy beyond oil, with tourism being a major focus. Dubai aims to be the “world’s most visited destination.”
  • Initiatives in the Ras Al Khaimah emirate highlight the UAE’s ambitions, offering unique attractions like the world’s longest zipline and eco-tourism experiences.

Study Abroad Trends:

  • The UAE is a significant source of international students, with top destinations being the UK, India, and the US.
  • Scholarships and funding opportunities are robust, with programs like the Khotwa (RizeUp) scholarship aimed at sending 6,000 students to North America by 2028.
  • Popular fields of study include hospitality, tourism, event management, marketing, business administration, engineering, IT, and more.


  • The Khotwa (RizeUp) scholarship funds entire degree programs in North America, including English-language study and homestay accommodation.
  • Other scholarships are available from various UAE government ministries and organizations to support studies in disciplines like engineering, science, telecommunications, and IT.

Inbound Students:

  • The UAE is also a major host of international students, especially from India. Long-term residence visas and permissions for students to bring relatives enhance its appeal as an education hub.
  • The government’s efforts to attract foreign students include longer-term visas and the option for students to bring their families.

Expert Advice:

  • The article concludes with a panel discussion featuring experts in Middle Eastern markets, providing insights on scholarships and recruitment strategies.


Due to its strategic economic goals and strong educational system, the UAE offers a rich environment for international recruitment. With substantial scholarships and a focus on sectors like tourism and technology, the UAE offers numerous opportunities for both students and educational institutions.

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