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Whatever the age of your child, it's important to enrol them in a private school or nursery as soon as possible as there are long waiting lists at the UAE's best schools.

Universities and colleges

There's no need for teenagers to leave the UAE when it is time to attend university as there is a growing number of institutions within the UAE offering degrees and diplomas in the arts, sciences, business, and engineering and technology to students of all nationalities. There are also opportunities for post-graduate study.

World-class institutions

A number of leading international universities have an established presence across Abu Dhabi, and in Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City in Dubai. Some public institutions, which are free for UAE citizens, are also now inviting international students to apply. Recently, more expat students have been considering staying in the UAE to continue their education once they have left school.

Some institutions offer students the opportunity to study part-time, or in a structured e-learning environment through the use of a range of learning strategies. International correspondence courses and distance learning schemes are also available.

There are more than 90 private universities and institutions in the UAE, and the cost of an undergraduate degree is about Dhs.50,000 per annum for most programmes. With the additional cost of books and examination fees, a student could complete a degree here for around Dhs.200,000.

Getting a place

Typically, in Years 11 and 12 students take an interests test and psychometric evaluation to help them select their A-Levels or equivalent. In Year 13, many schools invite universities to come for an open day, after which students can draw up a shortlist of the five that they will apply for; the universities will tell the student what grades they are expected to achieve. The majority of students opt for the UK, as well as universities in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong – but some do stay here in the UAE.

Whether planning for your child’s future education or returning to studies for yourself, you can finance your learning path with an ADCB education loan. With free pre-approval, minimum documentation required for set up and flexible repayment options, it is a great way to bank on education.


Parents needing assistance with school fees can apply for an Education Loan with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

Visit adec.ac.ae and khda.gov.ae for listings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.