13 Top Scholarships in UAE for Expats (International Students)

How about studying in the UAE? Have you given it any thought? If you have, there are scholarships in UAE for expats that you can apply for to help you cut down on the cost of studying in the UAE. I have curated those scholarships in this article for you to find and apply for them all in one place

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah. Most people only know Dubai and Abu Dhabi because they are the two largest cities in the emirate developing at a very fast rate and attracting millions of tourists, international students, celebrities and top government officials, investors, and ex-pats every year.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are very popular locations so it is just normal for you reading this to know of these two cities and not know of the others. You still need to know about them though as the scholarships discussed here could be offered by a university or tenable only at a university in any of those other parts of the UAE that you are not conversant with.

Do not fret, everywhere in the emirate is safe and it is even top-ranking as one of the safest places in the world to live, work, study, and even raise a family. In addition, there are many opportunities in the UAE which is why a lot of people are migrating there to either live, study, work, or all three and because of these reasons, you will find many cultures from different parts of the world in the UAE.

Suppose you are considering leaving your hometown to go and study in the UAE and eventually live and work there. In that case, I have curated a list of the best scholarships in UAE for expats which you can apply for to receive financial assistance towards your educational pursuit in the UAE. The scholarships are sponsored by the UAE government to universities in the UAE in order to attract bright students from across the world.

The scholarships provide financial assistance to international students who want to pursue bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. studies at a UAE university. Unlike my previous article on scholarships in UAE for Indian students that are specifically for Indians, the scholarship I have listed here is for every student from outside the UAE.

We also have a wide range of other articles on study abroad guides and scholarship opportunities to study abroad to help put you in the right direction on your journey to study abroad.

Who is an Expat Student?

“Expat” is short for expatriate and it is someone who moves from their own country to another either to stay permanently or for a long period of time.

So, an expat student is a student who moves from their own country and goes to another country, UAE in this case, for study purposes. All in all, an expat student is also the same as an international student.

Expat students or international students are open to various scholarship opportunities provided by the UAE government, generous individuals, universities (internal scholarships), and other charity foundations and organizations in the nation.

The scholarships are designed to attract potential students with high academic performance or from poor backgrounds to come to the UAE and enjoy their quality education.

Is the UAE Good for International Students?

As I mentioned earlier, the UAE is a safe and peaceful place to live, work, and study. The locals love and welcome foreigners warmly as it’s their culture to care for others.

UAE is fast becoming one of the top study destination hubs for international students and has become an international education hot spot as many universities and colleges from Canada, the USA, Australia, the UK, etc. are setting up campuses in the UAE.

However, places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are expensive to live in since it is the center of the UAE.

The citizens are warm people and because of their culture, you will be treated even better than their own.

Tuition fees are equally high for universities and colleges located here but you also have nothing to worry about, as there are scholarships in UAE for expats that you are available for you to apply.

These scholarships may turn out as fully funded or partially funded, whichever one you get will still assist you financially while studying in the UAE.

How Can I Get A Free Education in UAE?

Higher education in the UAE is not free, they are actually very expensive which is why you need to apply for scholarships if you ever hope to study in the UAE without spending too much.

The slides below are from Quora, take a look at them to see what others have contributed to the above question:

scholarships in UAE for expats

Scholarships in UAE for Expats

The following are the 13 top scholarships in UAE for expat students in various academic degree programs:

  • The Al Qasimi Foundation’s Doctoral Research Grants
  • Scholarship BBA Week Day Program at IMT, Dubai
  • Emirates Aviation University, Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship
  • United Arab Emirate University (UAEU) International Undergraduate Scholarships
  • Khalifa University International Scholarships
  • International Scholarships at Canadian University, Dubai
  • Middlesex University Dubai International Study Grant
  • University of Dubai International Student Scholarships and Discount
  • Zayed University Scholarships
  • Curtin University, Dubai Scholarships & Financial Aid Bursaries
  • President International Scholarship at Khalifa University, UAE
  • Mohamed Bin Zayed University Scholarships
  • United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) Ph.D. Scholarship for All Nationalities

1. The Al Qasimi Foundation’s Doctoral Research Grants

Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research annually provides this scholarship opportunity only to Ph.D. candidates to support scholars in the research phase of their dissertations.

The grant is tenable at any accredited university in the UAE and open to students from all over the world which makes it one of the best scholarships in UAE for expats.

The grant is fully funded covering return flights, fully furnished accommodation for one year, a stipend to cover living costs, and research support. The grant targets scholars with strong academic performance and potential in applied research. Recipients are expected to produce one to two policy papers as part of the Grant and record a podcast or make at least one presentation to the local research community.

Scholarship Link

2. Scholarship BBA Week Day Program at IMT, Dubai

The Scholarship BBA Weekday Program at the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Dubai offers a wide range of scholarships for the purpose of recruiting and retaining high academic achievers. The scholarships are divided into five categories; Academic Excellence Scholarships, Merit Scholarships, Sibling Discount Scheme, Scholarship Student Diversified, and Referral Scheme.

International students are also eligible for any of the awards provided they meet the requirements. Note that the scholarships are not granted for living costs, transportation, insurance, visa costs, registration, books, activities, or other fees. This is one of the best scholarships in UAE for expats.

Scholarship Link

3. Emirates Aviation University, Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship

Emirates Aviation University is keen on assisting expats and international students achieve their academic dreams which is why it provides these scholarships.

The Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarships at Emirates Aviation University is for international students/expats, the fund covers both undergraduate and graduate programs and is tenable only at the university. The scholarship is partially funded and only covers 50% of the student’s tuition fees.

Before you begin the award application, you must have enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree at the Emirates Aviation University.

Scholarship Link

4. United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) International Undergraduate Scholarship

The United Arab Emirates University provides scholarship opportunities to international students enrolled in an undergraduate program at the university. Undergraduates can apply for fully-funded and partially-funded awards, one of the many requests being that students possess high academic excellence.

The fully-funded award is in the form of a 100% tuition fee waiver, renewable until the end of the student’s undergraduate program.

The partially-funded award is in the form of a 75% and 50% tuition fee waiver and is also renewable till the end of the student’s undergraduate program as long as the student abides by the eligibility conditions.

Scholarship Link

5. Khalifa University International Scholarships

At Khalifa University there are wide range of scholarships for UAE nationals and international students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The scholarships are in various categories, fully funded and partially funded, and thus come with different requirements that you need to look at before applying.

Scholarship Link

6. International Scholarships at Canadian University, Dubai

The Canadian University, Dubai provides the following scholarships: Academic Excellence Scholarship, Sports Scholarship, Financial Hardship Scholarship, Special Needs Scholarship, and Special Talent Scholarship.

These scholarships are available to students from all nationalities, including expats and international students in UAE. All of the scholarships are renewable till the end of the student’s program at the university as long as they keep up with the renewal requirements.

Students can also apply for more than one scholarship provided they meet the eligibility requirements and if a student qualifies for more than one, you’ll be given the chance to choose the one with the highest value.

Scholarship Link

7. Middlesex University, Dubai International Study Grant

Middlesex Univesity, Dubai provides scholarships to international students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Your scholarship eligibility is unique to you and depends on a range of factors, such as your grades, work experience, study level, and which program you’re applying for.

Each type of scholarship and grant has its own specific criteria for eligibility, application procedure, deadlines for application and payments, rules for continuation of benefits, restrictions, and other terms and conditions, where applicable.

The scholarship award provides a 20% tuition fee waiver along with international study packages such as tuition fees, accommodation, visa, and medical insurance.

International students and expats are open to a variety of other scholarships to financially aid them in their studies. The scholarships are different and thus come with different requirements which you need to go through and pass them as well to get one or more of the awards.

Scholarship Link

8. University of Dubai International Student Scholarships and Discount

The University of Dubai is among the top universities in the UAE, accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Applicants who have completed their high school outside UAE are granted a partial scholarship.

Scholarship Link

9. Zayed University Scholarships

Undergraduate students at Zayed University are offered financial support in the form of scholarships – these are a limited number – at the beginning of each Fall and Spring semester to eligible, self-funding international students in its undergraduate programs.

Scholarship Link

10. Curtin University, Dubai Scholarships & Financial Aid Bursaries

The provision of scholarships and bursaries at Curtin University is part of its commitment to reward academic excellence and to support research for students from all backgrounds to realize their potential. These financial support at Curtin are open to new and current students enrolled in the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

You will have to apply for scholarships by filling out a form to find out if you qualify for the award. There are various scholarships, bursaries, and grants available to all students at Curtin University, Dubai.

Scholarship Link

11. Khalifa University Scholarships

Khalifa University is located in the world’s safest city – Abu Dhabi. Khalifa University prides itself on its inclusive, multicultural campus and welcomes international students. KU is a truly international university – with students hailing from 53 different countries and faculty from over 40.

Qualified students can benefit from full scholarships that cover all necessary educational expenses and may also offer recipients the potential to earn an attractive monthly stipend. The scholarships cover undergraduate and graduate programs at the university and it is one of the best scholarships in UAE for expats.

Scholarship Link

12. Mohamed Bin Zayed University Scholarships

Mohammed Bin Zayed University has one of the best scholarship packages in the UAE for international students enrolled on a full-time basis. The scholarships come with stipends and other benefits. To maintain the scholarships, stipends, and other benefits, students are expected to maintain high academic standing, comply with the university code of conduct, and fulfill certain requirements during their study tenure.

The scholarship includes a 100% free tuition fee, on-campus student accommodation, health insurance and UAE visa sponsorship for non-UAE nationals, and a monthly stipend.

Scholarship Link

13. United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) Ph.D. Scholarship for All Nationalities

The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is offering one of the best scholarships in UAE for international students. This scholarship is for Ph.D. candidates and takes into account the credentials of applicants such as GPA, journal publications, conference presentations, patents, GRE scores, recommendation letters, etc., and where they have graduated from.

The purpose of this scholarship is to attract high-achieving graduate students at UAEU and provide them with funding to continue their graduate studies at UAEU. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a GPA ≥ 3.5/4.0 in Master’s degree.
  • Have no employment or other financial sponsorship.
  • Have a dissertation in one of the UAE priority sectors (Renewable Energy, Transportation, Health, Water, Technology, Space).
  • Meet the Ph.D. admission requirements

The benefits of the scholarship are a full tuition waiver, monthly stipend, health insurance, and a bonus of AED 2,000 – AED 3,000.

Scholarship Link


The UAE has become a hub for expats from all over the world. With its thriving economy, modern infrastructure, and diverse culture, the UAE offers a lot of opportunities for those looking to expand their horizons. Expats who want to further their education can take advantage of scholarships offered by the UAE government and other institutions.

From full-tuition scholarships to living stipends, these financial awards can help offset the cost of pursuing a degree in the UAE. So, if you are an expat looking to further your education, the UAE provided scholarships to help you achieve your academic ambitions without any financial hindrance on the way. All the top scholarships in UAE for expats (international students) are here, in one place, to help you make better decisions on where you’ll go next to pursue your academic goals.


One comment

  1. Good day, im expat here in UAE for 8 years, my daughter was in the philippines about to finish grade 10, this coming june 2022, being mother its not easy to leave far from my kids, my eldest daughter want to study here in UAE, but im looking for school that can help me to support my daughter, cause shes smart, I believe there is special place for her in UAE, that UAE will give chance to those parents like me, that having small salary but want to be with my daughter.

Comments are closed.