Top 10 Cheapest Universities in UAE and Their Tuition Fees

Attaining a higher education can be a dream come true, but oftentimes the cost of tuition fees can pose a major hindrance. The good news is, studying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a multitude of advantages, particularly for international students. Not only does the country boast of world-class institutions and cutting-edge facilities, but it also offers a wide range of affordable options for those on a tight budget. If you’re in search of the cheapest universities in the UAE, look no further!

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the education system in the UAE, and introduce you to the most cost-effective universities in the country, along with their tuition fees. So, whether you’re a student looking to further your studies, or simply exploring your options, read on to discover the path to affordable higher education in the UAE.

Education in UAE: A Focus on the Cheapest Universities in UAE

The United Arab Emirates prioritizes the education and development of its citizens through a strong education system and significant investments in the sector. The government offers free education from primary to secondary levels and subsidizes the cost of higher education. Among these educational opportunities, there are also the cheapest universities in UAE available for citizens and residents. The education system in the UAE comprises three levels: primary, secondary, and higher education.

All citizens are required to attend primary and secondary education, which the government provides at no cost. For those seeking higher education, it is optional but the government offers financial support to citizens pursuing it. The UAE has established a number of top-notch public and private universities to meet the educational needs of its citizens. These universities provide a diverse selection of undergraduate and graduate programs across various fields, including engineering, medicine, business, and the arts.

Popular courses include computer and information science, applied communications, engineering, business studies, health sciences, and education studies. The United Arab Emirates recognizes the significance of both formal education and vocational training. In line with this, the country has established a number of vocational institutes that offer practical training in various fields, such as construction, electrical and mechanical engineering, and hospitality management.

These institutions aim to equip individuals with hands-on skills that can be immediately applied in the workforce. Along with these institutes, the UAE also offers several “cheapest universities in UAE” for those seeking a more traditional academic path, but still looking for affordable options. These universities provide quality education at an affordable cost, making higher education accessible to a wider population.

Why Should You Study in the UAE?

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1. Diverse learning opportunities: Students have access to a diverse selection of courses and programs, covering subjects like engineering, business, medicine, and beyond.

2. World-class education: The UAE is home to outstanding universities and colleges, emphasizing hands-on learning and research.

3. Career opportunities: The UAE houses numerous global conglomerates, offering numerous employment opportunities for students after completing their education.

4. Modern infrastructure: The UAE boasts modern infrastructure, making it a prime destination for students seeking a top-notch educational atmosphere.

5. Cultural diversity: With a student body representing over 160 nations, studying in the UAE affords the chance to experience diverse cultures, broaden perspectives, and hone cross-cultural abilities.

6. Life-changing experience: Studying abroad has the potential to transform one’s life, leaving students with indelible memories and experiences.

7. Exciting lifestyle: UAE is an energetic and dynamic nation that offers students a harmonious blend of contemporary and traditional ways of life, along with abundant leisure and cultural pursuits.

8. Safety and stability: UAE is amongst the safest and secure countries globally, providing students with a worry-free environment to concentrate on their studies.

What Are The Requirements to Study in UAE?

To enroll;

  • Candidates must provide a certificate of completion from high school or bachelor’s degree.
  • Candidates must demonstrate English language proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL exam scores.
  • Additionally, a study visa as proof of study permission is required.
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Undergraduate Program Admission Requirements:

  • 12th grade academic certificate
  • Minimum CGPA of 3
  • English language proficiency exam score (IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Postgraduate Program Admission Requirements:
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with an overall score of 55% or higher
  • Exam scores such as GRE or GMAT (as required by the program)

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Here are the top 10 cheapest universities in UAE and their tuition fees

 1. University of Sharjah

  • Undergraduate yearly tuition fee starting at AED 31,049 ($8,453).
  • Graduate yearly tuition fee starting at AED 45,675 ($12,435)

Top of the list for the cheapest universities in UAE is the University of Sharjah. A public research institution located in Sharjah, the University of Sharjah was founded in 1997 and offers a broad selection of undergraduate and graduate programs including engineering, business, arts, and education. The university prides itself on its dedication to academic excellence and research, boasting partnerships with numerous international universities and research centers.

The University of Sharjah is regarded as one of the top universities in the UAE and the Middle East. With a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in areas such as engineering, business, arts, and education, the university provides students with opportunities to find a program that aligns with their passions and professional aspirations. The University of Sharjah boasts a global ranking of #564 among the Best Global Universities.

 2. United Arab Emirate university

  • Undergraduate Program Tuition: Starting at AED 57,000 yearly.
  • Graduate Program Tuition: Starting at AED 57,000 yearly.

The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), located in Al Ain, is considered one of the cheapest universities in the UAE and among the leading universities in the Gulf region. Established in 1976, it is the oldest university in the country and offers a wide range of academic programs including engineering, business, arts and humanities, natural sciences, and medicine. With a strong focus on research and innovation, the university has established partnerships with world-leading institutions and is ranked #296 in the QS World University Rankings 2023.

3. American University in the Emirates

  • Undergraduate Fees: Starting at AED 1,230 (or USD $330) Per Credit Hour
  • Graduate Fees: Starting at AED 1,230 (or USD $330) Per Credit Hour

The American University in the Emirates (AUE), located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is one of the cheapest universities in the UAE. Founded in 2006, it is a private, non-profit institution with a mission to provide excellent education in a supportive and inclusive setting. AUE offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in diverse fields such as business, engineering, computer science, and communication. The American University in the Emirates (AUE) is recognized for its emphasis on hands-on, practical learning and its efforts to equip students with real-world experience through internships and industry connections.

With close ties to American universities and organizations, AUE provides students with a global outlook and access to an extensive network of international contacts. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as language courses and professional training programs for the business sector, AUE is ranked among the top #91-100 universities in the Arab Region Rankings 2023.

4. British University in Dubai

  • Undergraduate Program Tuition: Starting at AED 50,000.
  • Graduate Program Tuition: AED 75,000.

The British University in Dubai (BUiD) is a research-oriented private university located in Dubai, UAE, founded in 2004. It was the first research-based postgraduate university in the Gulf area, and offers graduate programs in various fields such as engineering, architecture, business, education, construction management, and IT. BUiD is known for its emphasis on research and innovation and has collaborations with renowned universities in the UK.

Such as the University of Manchester, the University of Glasgow, and Imperial College London, which grants students access to advanced research and technology, and prepares them for successful careers. BUiD’s degrees are globally recognized by UK NARIC, a UK agency for recognition of international qualifications, and is ranked 61-70 in the 2023 Arab Region Rankings.

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5. Aldar University College

  • Tuition Fee: AED 27,000 – 36000

Aldar University College (AUC) is a private higher education institution located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, established in 2005 with the aim to offer quality education in a supportive and inclusive environment. It offers undergraduate programs in various fields such as business, engineering, computer science, and education. AUC is recognized for its emphasis on hands-on, practical education and its dedication to offering students real-world experience through internships and industry partnerships.

This helps students gain a global perspective and a network of international contacts. With both indoor and outdoor extracurricular activities, the university aims to broaden students’ knowledge and facilitate their personal, professional, and academic growth. As one of the cheapest universities in UAE, AUC is ranked 49th in the country.

 6. American University in Dubai

  • Tuition Fees: AED 43,601- 82,500

The American University in Dubai (AUD), founded in 1995, is a private non-profit higher education institution situated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It aims to provide affordable American-style education in the Middle East, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, engineering, media studies, and liberal arts. Accreditation for AUD comes from both the UAE Ministry of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in the US. It is listed as #651-700 in the QS World University Rankings.

 7. Al Ain University of Science and Technology

  • Undergraduate Programs Tuition: Ranges from 1,000 AED ($300 USD) to 1,600 AED ($400 USD) per credit hour
  • Graduate Programs Tuition: Ranges from 2,000 AED ($500 USD) to 3,000 AED ($800 USD) per credit hour

The Al Ain Institution of Science and Technology (AAU) is a private university in Al Ain, UAE. AAU, founded in 2004, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Engineering, Business, Education, and Information Technology. The university is well-known for its high-quality education, novel teaching methods, and cutting-edge facilities. AAU also maintains links with a number of international colleges and organizations, which allows students to participate in exchange programs and internships.

The university’s goal is to produce well-rounded graduates who have the skills and knowledge required to compete in today’s global employment market. AAU wants to be one of the region’s top learning institutions by meeting international quality standards in teaching, research, as well as community engagement. It is ranked #601-650 in QS World University Rankings, and happens to be one of the cheapest universities in UAE.

8. Abu Dhabi University

  • Undergraduate Tuition Fees: 1,440 (USD $400) Per Credit Hour
  • Graduate Tuition Fees: From AED 3,000 (USD $820) Per Credit hour

Abu Dhabi University (ADU) is a private university in the UAE city of Abu Dhabi. ADU, one of the cheapest universities in UAE was established in 2003, and provides undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, engineering, law, and education. The university is committed to providing students with a high-quality education that will equip them for successful careers and leadership roles.

ADU has cutting-edge technology and facilities, as well as a diversified faculty with substantial industry expertise. The objective of ADU is to help students develop into critical thinkers, competent communicators, and ethical global citizens. CIMA has approved Abu Dhabi University as a partner through the CIMA Global Learning scheme. In the QS World University Rankings 2023, it is placed #651-700.

9. Khalifa University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: From AED 3000 per credit hour
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: AED 3,333 per credit hour

Khalifa Institution is a research-oriented university based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Since its inception in 2007, the university has quickly established itself as a leading institution in the Gulf area, renowned for its creative and interdisciplinary approach to education and research. Khalifa University, among other things, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Engineering, Medicine, Business, and the Humanities and Social Sciences. The institution is dedicated to expanding knowledge and contributing to the growth of the UAE and the region as a whole, and has made major investments in research, innovation, and technology.

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Students at Khalifa University have numerous possibilities to engage in cutting-edge research, gain practical experience, and create networks with peers and specialists in their specialties. The institution brings together the brightest minds in science, engineering, and medicine in the UAE to provide specialized degrees that can lead from promising high school graduates to top-rated PhD degree holders. This is one of the top and cheapest universities in UAE.

10. Ajman University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: from AED 38,766 per year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: from AED 37,500 per year

Ajman University (AU) is a private university in the UAE city of Ajman. AU was founded in 1988 and is one of the oldest and cheapest universities in UAE, with a long tradition of providing outstanding education to students from the region and beyond. The university provides numerous undergraduate and graduate degrees in subjects such as business, engineering, law & education.

Ajman University is well-positioned to continue its heritage of providing a high-quality education to students in the UAE and beyond, thanks to its varied student body, skilled teachers, and modern facilities. Ajman University’s principal language of teaching is English, and the majority of undergraduate and graduate degree courses are offered in English. Some Humanities and Law courses are taught in Arabic.

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FAQ About Cheapest Universities in UAE

Which university is cheapest in UAE?

All of the universities listed above are among the top cheapest universities in UAE. The reason for this is that their tuition fees are quite low, especially for international students.

Are there any free universities in UAE?

In the UAE, there are no free universities. Citizens of the UAE can attend postgraduate courses at state universities for free, however international students must pay tuition. Scholarships are the sole method for international students to study for free.

How much does it cost to study in UAE?

The average tuition prices for an undergraduate program in Dubai will be between 37600 and 70000 AED (7,73,000-14,43,000 INR) per year, while postgraduate programs will cost between 30000 and 76000 AED per year. You will also pay additional expenses such as lodging, meals, study materials, travel, and so on. However, the return on investment for UAE is absolutely worth it for the quality of education, exposure to international students, and after-study prospects that these cheap universities in UAE provide.

Can international students work in UAE?

Yes, international students pursuing higher education in the UAE can work part-time after obtaining a work permit from the UAE’s Labour Department. Obtaining a job while still in school gives students financial relief. International students in the UAE have the option of working both during and after their studies. The UAE Labor Law allows students to earn a few additional fees during and after their studies.

Can I get full scholarship in UAE?

You certainly can. UAE University Scholarships are open to both national and international students. Students interested in pursuing a Masters or PhD degree at a UAE university are encouraged to apply for any applicable scholarships. The advantages of enrolling for scholarships in the UAE include free tuition, a monthly allowance, health insurance, and other extra benefits.


We’d like to add that the UAE has a well-developed education system that prioritizes its people’ development. The country is dedicated to providing high-quality education to all of its citizens and has made enormous investments to that end. We believe that the decision to attend a low-cost institution is a personal one that is influenced by each student’s unique needs and circumstances. Choosing one of the cheapest universities in UAE can be an appealing alternative for students who cannot afford high tuition fees.


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