5 Cheapest Universities In Dubai for International Students

cheap universities in dubai

Though studying abroad as an international student has been practiced for centuries, the last two decades saw a staggering increase in the number of international students worldwide.

In fact, according to UNESCO, the number of international students worldwide was 2 million in 2000 – and 5.3 million in 2017.

It’s no wonder then that so many students are considering studying abroad and choosing not-so-obvious destinations for their studies.

One of these is the city of Dubai in the UAE. Not only is it a beautiful city to live in, but it also has relatively affordable universities for foreign students. Hence, here are the five cheapest universities in Dubai for international students.

Benefits of Studying in Dubai

Before deciding on the university you want to study at, it’s worth considering the reasons why Dubai is the perfect place for your further studies. Here are just some benefits of studying in Dubai:

  • It’s A City of Many Cultures: While there are many Emiratis living in Dubai, you will also regularly meet people from other countries, especially those that are part of the Arab-Islamic world. While walking in the streets of Dubai, you can hear people speaking Arabic, Farsi, Tagalog, Urdu, and even English among other languages.
  • It’s A City That’s Still Transforming: Dubai is a very modernized city with skyscrapers, city lights, and everything that comes along with that. But Dubai is also a city that’s still transforming – new facilities are constantly being constructed which opens opportunities for work and leisure.
  • It’s A Place for High-Quality Education: Many universities in Dubai are accredited both in the country and internationally which means you will be able to continue your studies elsewhere if you choose to. Moreover, the UAE has quite a few universities that are considered to be in the top 1000 worldwide.
  • It’s Perfect for Sports Enthusiasts: You can pretty much try any activity imaginable while living in Dubai. From water sports to dune bashing, the city has all kinds of facilities for it.

Local students can study for free in public universities in Dubai while international students will have to pay tuition fees. That being said, there are opportunities to get scholarships even if you are a foreigner. With all of this in mind, here are the cheapest universities for international students who want to study in Dubai:

#1 Al Ghurair University

Al Ghurair University is a private university founded in 1999 and located in the International Academic City of Dubai. The university is known for being one of the first private universities to get licensed nationally. Tuition fees at Al Ghurair University start at AED 35,000 per year. This is around USD 9,500 or EUR 8,200.

Al Ghurair University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in areas such as Architecture and Design, Business and Communication, Engineering and Computing, and Law. There are also numerous on-campus facilities available to students, including a cafeteria, convenience store, gym, library, writing center, and others.

#2 Al Dar University College

Founded in 1994, Al Dar University College provides students with practical skills essential for working in a variety of industries. Tuition fees at Al Dar University College start at AED 36,000 per year. This is around USD 9,800 or EUR 8,400.

Shakir Karim, an expert from the writing services reviews site Ratedbystudents, says about the university, “The best part about Al Dar University College is that it offers both Associate and Bachelor programs, so you have more options to choose from.

There are three different schools at the university (Engineering and Technology, Business Administration, and Arts and Social Sciences) with different departments within each one.”

The programs offered range from Computer Engineering and Multimedia and Game Development to Industrial Management and Accounting.

You can also enroll in English language courses and use a variety of facilities (e.g. library).

#3 Modul University Dubai

Also known as MU Dubai, Modul University Dubai was founded in 2016 and is actually an international campus of Modul University Vienna. Tuition fees at Modul University Dubai start at AED 40,000 per year. This is around USD 10,900 or EUR 9,400.

Because it is a small university, MU Dubai offers a limited range of programs at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels in areas such as International Management, Business Administration, Sustainable Development, Management, and Policy.

There are also professional education programs that include business development certification, language courses, and workshops.

#4 British University In Dubai

British University in Dubai is a private university established in 2004 that focuses on research. The university was founded in collaboration with the University of Manchester, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow.

Tuition fees at British University in Dubai start at AED 50,000 per year. This is around USD 13,600 or EUR 11,700.

Rajab Mohammed, an expert writer who works on websites ratings, says about the university, “British University in Dubai can be perfect for students seeking higher education at all levels because there undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs offered.

Areas of study include Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Architecture, Law, and Accounting among others.”

#5 Canadian University Dubai

Founded in 2006, the Canadian University Dubai follows a Canadian curriculum and maintains ties with the University of Ontario which allows it to offer accredited degrees from both the UAE and Canada.

Tuition fees at the Canadian University of Dubai start at AED 60,000 per year. This is around USD 16,300 or EUR 14,100).

There is a wide variety of programs to choose from (both undergraduate and graduate) with subject areas that include Social Sciences, Business, Management, Communication, Architecture, Interior Design, Computer Engineering, Environmental Health Sciences, and others.

Facilities and services are available to students include sports, transportation, health center, and many others.

Other Choices

Of course, if the universities above are not an option for you, you can still look for alternatives.

For example, American University in Dubai can be another relatively affordable choice to consider. Tuition fees there start at AED 80,000 per year (USD 21,800 or EUR 18,800). Alternatively, you can check out other respectable universities in the UAE, including:

  • United Arab Emirates University (in Al Ain)
  • Khalifa University (in Abu Dhabi)
  • Ajman University (in Ajman)
  • Alhosn University (in Abu Dhabi)
  • American University (in Sharjah)


All in all, studying in Dubai definitely has many benefits, especially for international students.

By choosing one of the universities from this list, you will get high-quality education for an affordable price and an experience you will probably remember for the rest of your lifetime.


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