Why Study for an MBA in Dubai in 2019?

Dubai is one of the modern economic and technological hubs of the world. It is not only the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, but it is also the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, the richest and the most cosmopolitan part in the federation. Its position as the business centre of the Middle East is the result of intelligent and rapid reforms and innovative development plans.

These strategies have also sought out to include the education system to ensure a prosperous and diverse future for the oil-rich nation. Find out how the Dubai model of Business higher education can give you the best practical perspectives on the future.

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Why study abroad in Dubai?

High investments in international education

Dubai’s growing population and willingness to invest heavily in education has attracted many education professionals and international business schools, interested in building a strong higher education system to match the emirate’s business successes.

The world inside a city

Given Dubai’s high demand for education professionals, institutions from Canada, the U.S., Australia or the U.K. have established subsidiaries in Dubai, creating a diverse palette of study options for both locals and the ever-growing international community there. More specialisations are added daily to the existing study programmes to keep up with and move ahead of the needs of the future.

Everyone speaks English

English is a de facto language of business and education, given the fact that more expats live in Dubai than locals. This is mainly because the emirate’s economy and labour demands has grown much faster than its population.

One of the most visited cities in the world

Dubai is a lively, modern city, situated at the edge of the Arabian Desert, where it meets the Persian Gulf. The city is a major tourist destination thanks to its striking contrasts: a fascinating blend of pristine natural landscapes and cutting-edge urban environments.

Record-breaking architecture

Its innovative construction techniques have created architectural masterpieces such as the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) and Burj al-Arab (the most luxurious hotel in the world), as well as many shopping malls that are veritable indoor miniature cities, with shops, cinemas, artificial skiing slopes, swimming pools and tennis courts. In other words, Dubai is the city where the future of business is constantly being reinvented.

Why study for an MBA degree in Dubai?

Studying for an MBA is a very goal-oriented pursuit, constantly focusing on the applicability of management skills in a business environment. Dubai is one of the business capitals of Asia and the world and the MBA programmes offered by its higher education institutions are a clear reflection of this pragmatic approach.

Moreover, many of the teaching staff and auxiliary personnel have considerable business experience in the intense and interactive UAE market and will offer a less-theoretical approach. This will be a great advantage in making the step from education to managing a career.

Finally, the diverse experience and interaction of ideas brought by the staff and international students from across the planet will ensure that the business skills gained by studying for an MBA degree in Dubai will be generally applicable to a wide proportion of the global market.

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MBA teaching style in Dubai

Given that Dubai gathers teaching staff, researchers and students from around the world, it has an international approach to education, with diverse and experimental instruction strategies.

The curriculum and organisation of universities and study programmes shows a highly practical approach to higher education, alongside a preoccupation with scientific research, leadership skills and business acumen.

The most attractive fields for international students coming to Dubai to get a degree are Business Administration, Design, Energy, Engineering, Finance, International Relations, Tourism, Architecture, and Computer Sciences.

Universities offering MBA degrees in Dubai

Career opportunities for MBA graduates in Dubai

As business grows and diversifies in the area, Dubai companies are constantly in search for more and better trained business professionals to handle their expanding operations and administrative needs. This is also why UAE companies set partnerships with universities, starting the recruiting process among the numerous MBA students as early as their first semester. 

The knowledge and skillset gained with an MBA course can be of interest not only for commerce, retail or financial companies, but also for more specialised companies which look to upgrade their management and administrative staff. For this, Dubai offers some of the most generous salaries and compensation packages in the world, to ensure their competitive edge in the global labour market.

The largest employers for administrative staff in Dubai are industrial companies like Zarooq Motors and Dubai Ports, luxury and trade conglomerates like Dubai Gold Souk or Chalhoub Group or large real-estate companies such as Emaar Properties and Nakheel Properties.

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Living in Dubai: accommodation and transport

Dubai is a generally expensive city, mainly due to the increasing demand for accommodation from growing immigration. The general cost of living in Dubai is between 1,200 and 2,000 EUR/month. 

Cost of accommodation for students in Dubai

For students, these are some of the options and costs for accommodation in Dubai:

  • On-campus single room for between 928 and 1250 EUR/month
  • Shared campus rooms for between 834 and 1100 EUR/month
  • Independent rent for one bedroom in the centre of the city averages at 1500 EUR/month, and outside the city centre at 1000 EUR/month

Transport in Dubai

Dubai has a very well-developed and modern transport system. The price of a one-way ticket for local transportation is 1.10 EUR and a monthly pass is around 55 EUR. Many locals and expats travel by taxi, given the country’s overwhelming heat. The prices vary, with around 3 EUR as a starting tariff and 0.50 EUR/km. However, in some instances, taxi fees can be negotiable from the start for specific distances.

Tuition fees for MBA programmes in Dubai

In Dubai, tuition fees for MBA programmes vary widely, depending on specialisation and the institution where you enrol. Generally, the average applicable tuition is usually between 19,000 and 23,000 EUR/year. Most programmes offer prospective students the option to choose their type and number of modules, with tuition fees being segmented for each individual module. The average price per module is 2,700 EUR.

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Scholarships, grants and funding options for MBA programmes in Dubai

Some higher education institutions in Dubai offer their own grant and scholarship system for MBA degrees, such as the Canadian University of Dubai or the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.

Most of these funding options, however, offer only partial relief for the costs and tuition fees of pursuing an MBA. You may also find scholarships and grants from European and U.S. universities which offer MBA courses in Dubai.

Student visa requirements for studying in Dubai

Regardless of where you are applying from, you will require a student visa to pursue and MBA degree in Dubai. A general requirement for applying for a visa in Dubai is declaring a sponsor for your education programme. In some cases, you can declare one or both of your parents but, for MBAs, generally, the university is the one that eventually provides proof of sponsorship and admittance.

The validity of a student visa is one year and it needs to be renewed for a continuation of studies. The cost of a visa is around 250 EUR.

For some countries, the UAE officials may require medical tests before being issued a visa. Also, the UAE offer short term visas for up to 60 days in the case of students pursuing short courses or individual modules. There are many private agencies which handle the visa process, but the documentation is usually handled by the individual consulate of every country in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE.

Find out more information about student visa requirements in Dubai.

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Master in Business Administration (MBA)
United Arab Emirates


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