The United Arab Emirates may not be the immediate choice for foreigners, but it proves to be one of the best options for studying in the Gulf region. Here, learners can enjoy the sun and the sea – as well as tax-free earnings after graduating.

That being said, if you’re looking for a great study destination, you should write the UAE on your list. With the cheap universities in UAE, you can finish a world-class degree without any financial burden.

Affordable Universities in UAE for International Students

1. University of Sharjah

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees
  • Tuition Fees: from AED 30,000/year (undergraduate) | from AED 300/credit hr. (graduate)

The University of Sharjah, or UOS, is a private educational institution in University City, UAE. Founded in 1997 by Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, it was established to meet the academic needs of the region. With the undergraduate tuition fee starting from $8,453 per year, the University of Sharjah is the cheapest in UAE for international students.

To date, it is listed as one of the best universities in UAE and Asia – apart from being one of the world’s best ‘young’ schools.

UOS, which has branches in Kalba, Dhaid, and Khor Fakkan, boasts the country’s highest number of accredited programs. To date, it offers 54 bachelor’s, 23 master’s, and 11 doctorate degrees.

These include programs in Sharia & Islamic Studies, Arts & Humanities, Business, Engineering, Health, Law, Fine Arts & Design, Communications, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Science, and Informatics.

UOS is one of the more internationalized schools in UAE, with 58% of its 12,688 students coming from various parts of the globe.

2. Aldar University College

The Aldar University College opened in 1994 to provide students with practical aptitude and industry-essential skills. Apart from offering bachelor’s degrees, this cheap university in UAE also offers associate programs and English language courses. These classes are offered during the weekdays (mornings and evenings) and weekends to meet the students’ varying schedules.

At Aldar University College, learners can major in Engineering (Communications, Computer, or Electrical), Automatic Control Systems, or Information Technology. Degrees in Business Administration, Accounting, Marketing, Finance, Industrial Management, Hospitality, and Public Relations are also available.

Aldar University College offers scholarships even to international students. Presently, deserving applicants are entitled to a 10% discount every semester. If this is not enough, foreigners may also work 6 hours a day to finance their studies at Aldar.

3. American University in the Emirates

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees
  • Tuition Fees: from AED 1,300/credit hr. (undergraduate)| from AED 116,600/course fee (graduate)

The American University of Emirates, or AUE, was founded in 2006. This private institution, located in Dubai International City, offers a variety of programs through its 7 colleges. These specializations include Business Administration, Law, Education, Design, Computer Information Technology, Security and Global Studies, and Media and mass Communications.

AUE also provides unique Master’s degrees, such as Sports Management (Equine Track), Knowledge Management, and Sports Law. It also offers postgraduate Business Administration, Security & Strategic Studies, Diplomacy, and Arbitration postgraduate courses.

AUE is accredited by the AACSB International (for its Business programs) and the Computing Accreditation Commission (for its IT courses).

4. Ajman University

Ajman University, an affordable university in the United Arab Emirates, is ranked among the top 750 institutions in the QS World University Rankings. It is also touted as the 35th-best university in the Arab region.

Founded in June 1988, Ajman University is the first private institution in the Gulf Cooperation Council. It was also the first university to admit foreigners, a tradition that continues up until now.

Based in the Al-Jurf area, the university has a 215,000-square-meter campus with mosques, restaurants, and sports facilities. Here, students can take undergraduate and graduate programs in Architecture & Design, Business, Dentistry, Engineering & Information Technology, Humanities, Law, Medicine, Mass Communication, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. The number of programs increases by the year, with the university recently introducing Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence degrees.

5. Abu Dhabi University

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees
  • Tuition Fees: from AED 1,540/credit hr. (undergraduate) | Graduate: from AED 2,100/credit hr. (graduate)

Abu Dhabi University, one of the cheapest universities in UAE, is the largest private educational institution in the country. It was founded in 2003 following the efforts of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It has campuses in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain.

The university’s 55 programs are organized under the Colleges of Arts & Science, Business, Engineering, Health Science, and Law. According to the QS survey, these degrees – among many other factors – have helped the university rank sixth in the country.

Abu Dhabi University, home to 8,000 students, has foreign learners from over 70 countries. These students may apply for any of the school’s scholarships, including Merit-based, Athletic, Academic, and Family-related bursaries.

6. United Arab Emirates University

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees
  • Tuition Fees: from AED 1,900/credit hr. (undergraduate) | from AED 1,600/credit hr. (graduate)

The United Arab Emirates University, UAEU, is heralded as the best university in the country. It is also recognized as one of the finest in Asia and the world.

However, these are not the UAEU’s only accolades, as it is also known as the oldest government-sponsored school. It was founded by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the year 1976 after the British occupation. This makes UAEU one of the best ‘young’ universities by THE World Rankings.

Based in Al-Ain, this affordable university in UAE offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Business & Economics, Education, Food & Agriculture, Humanities & Social Science, Law, Information Technology, Medicine & Health, and Science.

UAEU has helped produce some of the country’s most reputable personalities through these colleges – including government ministers, businessmen, artists, and military officials.

As one of the top universities in the region, UAEU continues to attract students from all over the world. Currently, 18% of UAEU’s 7,270 students come from the 7 Emirates – and 64 other countries.

FAQs about Studying in the United Arab Emirates

What Are the Requirements for Studying in the United Arab Emirates?

Applicants need to present a high school/bachelor’s certificate to enroll. In certain universities, students may need to meet a certain grade as well (i.e. 80% for UAE University).

Proof of English proficiency is required as well. This can be done by taking the IELTS or the TOEFL exam.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Can You Study in English at Emirati Universities?

Yes, there are English taught universities in UAE. Khalifa University, for one, offers an English program with three 3-credit courses. Schools such as the UAE University also offer English courses, wherein students who meet set exam grades are exempted.

We hope that this article on the cheap universities in UAE was helpful. Make sure to also 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.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment