Dubai International Academic City marks 10 years

It is now a leading international education hub with 23 universities from nine countries and over 25,000 students

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) marked 10 years of growth in the field of higher education and now has the highest concentration of international branch campuses in the world, it was announced.

DIAC originally commenced operations in 2007 with 9,480 students, with the purpose of developing the region’s talent pool and helping to advance a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

Its sprawling educational hub spanning 18 million square feet, comprising state-of-the art facilities, was built to meet the increased demand in the higher education sector, hosting several leading international branch campuses.

A decade after its launch, DIAC became an international education hub with 23 universities from nine countries. With over 25,000 students of 150 nationalities and more than 450 degree programmes, DIAC continues to expand in line with the UAE’s requirements for higher education institutions.

Reflecting on this important milestone, Mohammad Abdullah, managing director of DIAC and Dubai Knowledge Park, said: “In the past 10 years, we have come a long way in redefining the education landscape in the UAE. We attribute our success to our “Incubator” business model, where we encourage our academic partners to start small, demonstrate value, and grow organically.”

This is especially true, he added, for a number of DIAC’s academic partners such as Manipal University, BITS Pilani, Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Dubai and Heriot-Watt University, who have benefited from the “Incubator” business model.

“Universities are built on the simple idea of people coming together to learn more about the world. I am proud to observe that DIAC, in collaboration with its distinguished academic partners, has evolved into a vibrant ecosystem for higher education, shaping bright minds who can respond to the demands of a rapidly changing world.”

Dubai’s accessibility, both geographically and financially, is a key feature for students who want to study abroad. The cost of living compared to major cities like London, Singapore and New York, its safety, and ease of obtaining visas are main considerations for students who want quality education in a cosmopolitan city, interacting with people from diverse nationalities, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds.

As Dubai’s transnational student population continues to grow substantially, the objective is to continue to attract international universities offering degree programmes suitable to the demands of the market, while promoting Dubai as an international education hub.