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Study in Abu Dhabi: Six Reasons

By Guest Writer

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

Why should you consider studying in Abu Dhabi? Here are six reasons, courtesy of Professor Dr Jean-Yves de Cara, executive director of Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.

One of the seven states that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Abu Dhabi is an up-and-coming destination for international students.

Location, location, location

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is positioned strategically within a five-hour flight away from half of the world’s population, bridging Asia to the rest of the world. To underpin this location advantage, the government has invested significantly in infrastructure.

The local airports, home to Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia airlines, welcomed around 70 million passengers in 2011, equivalent to 10 times the population of the country! So wherever you’re from, you going to find it pretty easy to find a flight home when the university holidays come.

One of the best places to live in the Middle East

It is no accident that both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been consistently ranked as the two best cities to live in within the Middle East. Hundreds of kilometres of pristine beaches, dozens of islands and year-round sunshine are a good start.

An open and tolerant society, coupled with one of the lowest crime rate worldwide, has also made this a destination of choice. Furthermore, the government has ensured the highest quality education and healthcare facilities, and has been successful in attracting countless cultural performances, sporting and entertainment events.

Multi-cultural environment

People of more than 120 nationalities live in the UAE, making the country a true melting-pot, of which Abu Dhabi City is the capital.

The emirate also attracts international institutions, and is home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and CNN Middle East regional headquarters.

Further, to fully position the city as the cultural capital of the Middle East, the emirate is now bringing some of the world’s best museums to the region.

The dedicated cultural district of Saadiyat Island will be home to new branches opened by internationally renowned museums such as New’s York’s Guggenheim and Paris’ Louvre. Alongside the planned Sheikh Zayed Museum, designed by Norman Foster, this gives the emirate a unique cultural concentration.

In an increasingly globalized economy, Abu Dhabi’s multi-cultural society offers students a unique window to the world, and an international environment for their minds to flourish.

Top international and local universities

As Abu Dhabi is moving from an oil-based economy to one driven by innovation and knowledge, the emirate has invited internationally recognized educational institutions to contribute to the growth of the next generation, and to support the nation’s economic development.

Today, leading universities offer programs or have set up university branch campuses in Abu Dhabi, including INSEAD, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, and Paris-Sorbonne.

These world-class universities complement the existing, local Abu Dhabi universities, such as Zayed University and the United Arab Emirates University, all contributing to position Abu Dhabi as a leading education hub for the Gulf region, and in many cases the wider world.

Should you choose to study in one of Abu Dhabi’s ADEC-licensed foreign higher education institutions, your diploma will be recognized not only in the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council nations, but also in the institution’s country of origin.

For example, the programs and faculty available at Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi are the same as those offered in Paris, with the added value of a curriculum tailored to address specific needs and challenges in the region.

This means students get a degree that will stand them in good stead wherever they are in the world.

Political stability

The UAE is a young country, having celebrated its 40th anniversary last December. But it has set a precedent in the region for political stability, safety and security, which has been recognized internationally.

A member of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, the UAE made a noticeable contribution to the G-20 summit in Cannes last year, and enjoys good diplomatic relations worldwide.

At home the UAE is implementing a number of economic, social, cultural, environmental and political reforms, which have also been lauded internationally.

Economic opportunities

Over the last decade, Abu Dhabi has been consistently among the world’s fastest growing economies.

Between 2000 and 2010, the emirate’s GDP grew by 238%, foreign trade 257% and investment 433%.

Today the government’s Economic Vision 2030 aims to diversify Abu Dhabi’s economy away from oil and gas, into strategic, sustainable and high added-value sectors such as education, healthcare, media, renewable energy, logistics, aerospace and industry.

This will offer a larger scope of opportunities to nationals and residents alike.

Prof. Dr Jean-Yves de Cara is the executive director of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.

This article was originally published in October 2012 . It was last updated in March 2016

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