How to Study in UAE for Free (8 Steps)

Many people stereotype the Middle East as a dangerous part of the world to be in because of the strict laws, unfair treatment, and the strong principles brought about by their respective religions. But their fears were placed in the wrong timeline. The qualities they worry about are not happening now but those were from years ago. Little do they know that countries in the Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates, is one of the richest countries in the world.

They have the resources and the capabilities to pass these riches through knowledge and experience that’s why it would be a wise choice if you consider UAE as a prospective country to study in.

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Study in the United Arab Emirates for Free

1. Prepare an outstanding application

The first thing to do when applying for free education in UAE is a good academic background for your application. No university would even consider a background and report cards full of failed subjects and test scores so grind your way up for good grades and test scores. Some of the test scores that you’ll need are SAT/ACT for undergraduate programs, and GRE for graduate programs, and TOEFL/IELTS for all international students in most universities in UAE.

Also include your achievements in any field you excel at, like sports, music, arts, literature. Show them in your application the things you can bring to their university that can make them proud.

2. Always be early in submitting your applications

To study in United Arab Emirates for free, you should submit your application early. Improve your chances of getting accepted by early submitting your application forms and other requirements. Besides your outstanding application and good previous academic performance, being an early bird in your applications will definitely help a lot in the application process.

Submitting the application early can represent a huge part of your character and personality. This could be a form of validation of your good records verifying how you get good grades from being responsible for your tasks.

If you do not know the application procedure, it is good to get an overview. We’ve created a guide on How to Study in UAE for international students, so check out that guide if you don’t know how to apply!

3. Apply for government scholarships in your own country

Another option to aid you in your expenses on studying in the United Arab Emirates is by applying for your government’s scholarship. This type of scholarship is offered by your government to support and encourage you to pursue your plans of studies in UAE. The reason why these scholarships exist is to strengthen the ties between your country and UAE. By exchanging or sending their students in each other’s countries, a form of trust and respect builds between them.

4. Apply for scholarships offered by UAE universities

The United Arab Emirates’ universities do not offer programs with free tuition or semester fees that’s why it is very necessary to apply for scholarships, specifically from universities. University scholarships provide the most benefits from any other types of scholarships. They can be in the form of discounted tuition fees or financial assistance and if you are in luck, even housing fees can be provided.

In UAE, several universities are offering great benefits and some of those are Khalifa University and Institute of Management Technology Dubai. The scholarships offered by these universities not only covers local but also international students. Getting university scholarships can be a great way, and the most common way, of studying in UAE for free.

5. Apply scholarships from the private sector

If the scholarships from the university and your government were still not enough, try to find scholarships offered by companies, businesses, and organizations. Private sectors, especially those with big names, offer grants, organize free public services, and provide financial support to the public to lessen their taxes.

They usually provide scholarship grants to those who need them particularly to students who pursue degrees that will eventually end in their line of work. In other words, they are already scouting for people to hire in exchange for their assistance.

6. Select affordable universities in UAE

From all the universities you applied to, you probably will get accepted to several colleges. That’s the time when you analyze on which university should you choose. And if you are specifically limited on your budget and trying to study for free in UAE, select the most affordable one or the one with the greatest scholarships.

The fees charged by a university do not reflect the quality of education they are providing and that is the reason for the research you have done. Enroll in the most affordable university providing high-quality education. In this way, you get to pay fewer fees while getting the education you want. The average fees of universities in the UAE range from 9000UDS to 12500 USD.

Check the list of Affordable Universities in UAE to know which universities to look out for!

7. Do a part-time job as you study

International students in UAE, particularly in Dubai, with a student permit, are prohibited to work but they can apply for a part-time employment permit that is allowed to work for 6 hours every week. Also, internship opportunities are very much permitted especially if they are a requirement of your degree. All students in internship programs are paid with the minimum wage in UAE. This will help you cover your food expenses and transportation to and from your university, and with working, you can study in United Arab Emirates for free using other ways in this article.

8. Budget your cash well

Living in any country other than your own can be difficult, depressing, and full of insecurities. Without the presence of the people who supported you from the beginning, you will feel like an infant sent to the real world where you look out for yourself. So, start spending wisely and be responsible for your expenses. Prioritize your housing, food, clothing, and utilities over any other unnecessary things. Always remember your reason for going to the United Arab Emirates so that you can avoid buying things out of your budget and try to save up cash as much as you can for emergency purposes.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Scholarships Page.