Universities in Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities

Study in Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman

By Sabrina Collier

Updated June 29, 2022 Updated June 29, 2022

From sandy beaches and shopping malls to fast growing industries, there are a number of reasons as to why students and graduates choose Dubai.

Dubai for students

Part of the largest and most populous metropolitan area in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), located on the eastern coast of the Arabian peninsula, Dubai is well-known for its skyscraper-laden skylines (with the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, standing in Dubai at a whopping 828m).

However, Dubai also possesses a rich cultural heritage and diversity, two things which help it to score impressively for student mix in this year’s ranking (=72nd).

As well as the metro area's own universities, you can also study at a branch campus of international universities like the UK’s University of Birmingham, the US’s Rochester Institute of Technology and Canada’s University of Waterloo, which are based just outside the city at the Dubai International Academic City.

Dubai has also proved a hit with its students praising it in our student survey with comments such as “You get the best opportunity for higher education and to learn about multiple cultures”.  

Best ranked universities in Dubai - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 51st

American University of Sharjah (=369th); Canadian University Dubai (541-550); University of Sharjah (601-650); American University in Dubai (651-700); Zayed University (701-750); University of Dubai (801-1000)

More about Dubai

Overview of Dubai

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

American University of Sharjah (=369th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student Voice rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Dubai?

One of the fastest-growing economies

Dubai’s fast-growing economy provides many opportunities for students looking for work after graduation.

Experience a multicultural environment

Students all over the world come to Dubai to study, meaning that students will meet plenty of interesting people. 

Cosmopolitan cities

Home to the world’s largest shopping mall and the world’s tallest building, Dubai is extremely impressive.

Cost of studying in Dubai

Dubai is widely known as the UAE’s most expensive city, ranking 78th globally for affordability this year. Tuition fees in Dubai will set students back around US$21,700 per year, which isn't too dissimilar than tuition costs for international students in countries such as the UK or the US

Numbeo estimates the monthly cost of a single person living in Dubai to be approximately US$930 with a single bedroom apartment in the city centre costing around US$1,509 each month. In comparison, a single bedroom apartment in London’s city centre will set you back US$1,662 – an indication of Dubai’s comparably high cost of living.

Life and culture in Dubai

Dubai is well-known for its glorious weather and sandy beaches, luxury hotels and shopping malls, and is consistently rated highly for its quality of life.

It’s a modern, safe metropolitan area with welcoming people who place importance on courtesy and hospitality. If you study in Dubai, it’s important to remember the UAE is a Muslim country and you should show respect for its culture and religion at all times, with different laws and customs to what you might be used to in your home country.

There are more expats than Emirati nationals living in the UAE, and the area is no exception, with a hugely multicultural society made up of expats from a total of 200 nationalities around the world. 90 percent of the population is from outside the UAE, and although Arabic is the country’s official language, most people in Dubai speak English.

Career in Dubai

Dubai’s economy is one of the strongest in the world, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to find work after graduation. Thousands of British and US companies have setups in the UAE, so you may be able to secure a job at one of these.

Dubai has a number of growing industries, including STEM industries and the energy sector, meaning that STEM graduates are highly in demand.

A two-year, post-study residency visa is available to students who have studied in the UAE to allow them time to find a job

This article was originally published in July 2021 . It was last updated in June 2022

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