The landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is widely varied. It is composed of towering dunes to gravel plains and rugged mountains. The primary reason for this is because UAE consists of seven hereditary monarchies (emirates): Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Sharjah.

The 19th century, when UAE was still called the Trucial States, marked the beginning of modern health care in the country. During this period, hospitals and clinics were built, which lead to the demand for health professionals. Consequently, the nation invested in prioritizing education, including medicine. UAE medical education has continued to improve since then with one main goal: to deliver a high standard and excellent patient care. In this article, we will be looking at the best medical schools in UAE.

Top Medical Schools in the United Arab Emirates

1. United Arab Emirates University

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is the best medical school established in UAE. It was founded in 1976 yet only started to offer medical programs in 1986. Still, the UAEU Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences was already recognized in 2007 by Hamdan Awards as the Best Medical College in the Arab World. UAEU grew over the years, with enrollees of an average 0f 14,000 from Emirati and international students.

2. University of Sharjah

The University of Sharjah only started offering medical programs in 2006 and has progressively improved to be one of the best medical schools in UAE. Unlike the UAEU, the MBBS program at the University of Sharjah does not need a pre-medical study. Their medical program consists of three phases that take six years to complete.

The first phase is the foundation phase, followed by the second phase or pre-clerkship that lasts three years with a comprehensive examination at the end. Passing the first phase examination will promote students to the last year which, involves clerkship for two years. The university Office of International Relations only came to life in 2018, with their aim to become more globally competitive and attract more international students.

See Also: Universities in the UAE with Highest Acceptance Rates

3. Khalifa University

Khalifa University is the first medical school in Abu Dhabi. Like UAEU, Khalifa University also requires a pre-medicine program which students can also take in the university in their pre-medicine bridging program. The students will then need to pass the Medica College Admission Test (MCAT) after the bridging program to proceed to the MD program.

This top medical school in UAE patterned their medical education after the North American medical curriculum to ensure that their medical education is of excellent quality. Khalifa University also cultivated its research department, which covers bioinformatics, biomaterials for Nanomedicine, biomechanics, bio-robotics, and more.

4. Gulf Medical University

Like most universities in the United Arab Emirates, Gulf Medical University is also relatively young, with origins in 1998. The medical school has partnered with the Thumbay group, where lessons, laboratory works, and clerkship occur in Thumbay Clinic, Thumbay Hospital, Thumbay Pharmacy, and more. Gulf Medical University MBBS program only lasts for five years and requires passing a comprehensive Exit examination afterward to be eligible for the MBBS degree. Aside from these, the university also offers Summer Training Program to help students prepare for professional challenges and further practice their skills and knowledge.

5. Ajman University

Among the best medical universities in UAE, Ajman University’s medical education is probably the most recent, which only started in the fall of 2018. Rest assured, they partnered with tenured and outstanding healthcare management firms, specifically with Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Ajman and with the Amina Hospital in Ajman. Like UAEU, Ajman University also offers a 6-year MBBS program with a year dedicated to foundation year. They accept all students, local and international alike, from all curriculum, including the UAE National Curriculum, American, British, CBSE (Indian), French, etc., from different countries.

6. Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences

The Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) is a newly inaugurated medical school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was founded by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid in 2014 as an institute that offers the UAE and the rest of the region top-notch medical education, research, and healthcare services. However, the university conducted its first class of medical studies in 2016, and since then, it has expanded many folds.

The university also allied with several famous foreign schools, including Harvard Medical School, King’s College London, and the University of Glasgow, to give their students international exposure. The university then started undergraduate and graduate medical, dental, and nursing programs. Moreover, using problem-based learning (PBL), MBRU offers a six-year curriculum of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).

Besides the top-notch faculty and academic curriculum, the university has modern classrooms, laboratories, and centers for clinical skills. It emphasizes research and conducts state-of-the-art investigations in several areas, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

7. Dubai Medical College

Dubai Medical College is a public institution and one of the leading medical schools in the United Arab Emirates. It was founded in 1986 as one of the first medical schools dedicated to women. This college aims to offer women in the UAE and the rest of the region top-notch medical knowledge and training.

The college was initially connected to the University of Sharjah, but in 1998 it separated into a different entity. Since then, the college has increased the scope of its facilities and programs and forged alliances with several schools abroad.

Regarding the medicine program, there is a five-year MBBS program at Dubai Medical College with a conventional curriculum. Both academic and practical elements are included in the program, which is taught in English. However, to get the degree, students must do clinical rotations in various hospitals and healthcare facilities in the UAE.

This institute accepts female students from the UAE and other nations based on academic credentials, aptitude, and personal traits. Students with a high school diploma or equivalent are admitted to the college and must complete the pre-medical test to enroll in the MBBS program.

8. Ras Al Khaimah Medical and Health Sciences University

Ras Al Khaimah Medical and Health Sciences University (RAKMHSU) was founded in 2006 by the government to offer UAE students medical education and training. Even though RAKMHSU has little history, it accomplished important milestones in that time. It conducted its first medical class in 2007, earning a good reputation in the UAE.

The MBBS program at RAKHMSU is a six-year program with anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and microbiology as core medical disciplines covered in the first year. The next two years include learning basic clinical abilities, such as taking history, doing a physical examination, and communicating with the patients.

Students get practical training in various medical specialties to strengthen their clinical knowledge, including internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, and psychiatry. In this period, they are expected to put their theoretical knowledge to use and advance their clinical abilities. Also, the rotations in hospitals and clinics are supervised by qualified healthcare experts to teach the students from time to time.

On the contrary, RAKHMSU is not only popular for its academic excellence. The institution also offers a friendly learning environment with motivated professors who are authorities in their domains and committed to giving the students top-notch education and training. All these reasons make RAKHMSU one of the top medical schools in the United Arab Emirates.

9. Al Ain University

Al Ain University is a private medical college that provides students with a thorough education in medical research and clinical practice through its Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. It stresses practical training and experiential learning while adhering to the traditional curriculum.

It lasts six years and is divided into two stages. The basic medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and microbiology, are the main focus of the program’s first three years. Students hone their clinical abilities through practice sessions and simulated patient encounters during this period.

Since the curriculum is student-centered, students are evaluated throughout the program using various evaluations, including written exams, practical tests, and clinical assessments. These assessments throughout the course gauge students’ knowledge, abilities, and attitudes to ensure that they meet the program’s learning objectives.

Moreover, the faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences also provides postgraduate degrees, such as a Master of Science in Clinical Pharmacy and a Master of Public Health, in addition to the MBBS program.

10. University of Fujairah

The University of Fujairah, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, is a renowned medical institution in the United Arab Emirates. The college provides a variety of medical and health science degrees with a focus on producing qualified and sympathetic medical practitioners. It is one of the UAE’s most recent medical schools, founded in 2019. Due to its strong emphasis on practical training and research, the college has swiftly established a reputation for quality medical education despite its relatively young existence.

The university also offers a six-year medical curriculum that blends clinical training with basic medical sciences. One of this university’s best parts is its diverse student body, which includes people from many racial and ethnic origins. This enables the students to learn from one another and develop a deeper awareness of various cultures and viewpoints.

Moreover, the university is also dedicated to offering all students a welcoming and inclusive learning environment. For instance, academic counseling, tutoring, and career counseling are just a few of the resources and services the college provides to aid students in succeeding.

FAQs About Studying Medicine in UAE

Can International Students Enroll in Medical Schools in the United Arab Emirates?

Yes, international students get admitted to medical schools in the United Arab Emirates. UAE is an open country that migrant residents even outnumber native-born citizens. UAE medical schools that accept international students include: United Arab Emirates University, University of Sharjah, Khalifa University and more.

English is also widely used, so the language barrier is less the concern of many international students. However, they do require overseas students to have TOEFL or IELTS certification. Medical education in UAE is young with only approximately 50 years of history, yet, many UAE schools are now appearing at the top medical university rankings globally. Although admission requirements vary depending on the institution, we listed out general criteria and documents an international student must have:

  • Passing the Medical College Admission Test for High School Candidates (MCAT-H) regulated by Pearson, a UK-based company.
  • High school average of 85%
  • Original copy of high school certificate
  • A copy of valid passport and valid residency visa
  • Valid TOEFL/IELTS certificate (some schools needs approval by the British council)
  • A certified copy of a birth certificate
  • Passport size pictures
  • International High School graduates should also have graduated within the last three years.

Since you already have your list of what you will need to apply to UAE medical schools, let us now go over what to expect from their medical education.

Learn More About: Studying in the UAE for Free

What is the Medical Curriculum Like in Medical Schools in the United Arab Emirates?

The medical curriculum in UAE consists of six to seven years to complete although, the actual MD program usually only consists of four years. Because once the students fail to meet some of the minimum requirements, they will have to undergo a foundation year which consists of four semesters. Most medical and dental programs in UAE have a pre-requisite of two-year pre-medical education. Here is an example of the general outline of curriculum-based from United Arab Emirates University:

International students can apply directly after high school to UAE medical schools. However, all students must take a two-year pre-medical program to get into the Doctor of Medicine programs which is three to four years of professional study that integrates basic and clinical sciences. During the final year, the student will take a final examination to proceed to a mandatory one-year clinical internship.

The graduates must then take licensure regulated by the Federal Ministry of Health in every emirate except in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, the licensure will be administered by Dubai Health Authority, while in Abu Dhabi is the Abu Dhabi Department of Health. After licensure, the students can opt to practice in general fields or pursue a specialization that consists of three to six years with additional licensure examinations.

Find Out: Cheap Universities in the UAE


The United Arab Emirates has many excellent medical institutions with world-class curriculums and infrastructures. Each university has a distinct strategy for giving students a comprehensive medical and health sciences education, ranging from the United Arab Emirates University to the renowned Dubai Medical College and RAK Medical and Health Sciences University. In short, the UAE’s medical schools are among the best in the area because of their commitment to giving students a top-notch education, practical training, and chances for exposure to other cultures.


We hope that this article on the best medical schools in UAE was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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