The UAE government offers free educational courses and programmes, which are open to the public. These courses can allow you to develop your career and further your education. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Unsplash/Soundtrap

Dubai: If you want to improve your resume, or gain critical skills for the future job market, the UAE offers free courses and programmes related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), coding and technology for free.

Some of these courses, which are offered by UAE government departments or public universities, can be completed entirely online, and you can also receive a certificate at the end of it.


1. Learn AI for free

The UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) has an e-learning platform called ‘TDRA Virtual Academy’, which provides free courses on business, technology, Artificial Intelligence and robotics since 2013.

The TDRA Virtual Academy is open to learners of all levels and ages. The courses range from beginner and intermediate to advanced and are conducted in Arabic and English. The duration of each course can be anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours.

According to TDRA, you will receive a digital certificate after attending or passing the courses.

How do I sign up?

Visit the official TDRA Virtual Academy website -, and click on the profile icon on the top right of the screen. You will then be asked to log in using the UAE Pass.

Once that is done, you will be able to access the courses and choose the language you want to study in.

Types of courses you can access
Here are some of courses you can find on the TDRA Virtual Academy:
• Transforming tasks with AI.
• Cloud computing services.
• The fundamentals of Web 3.0.
• Analytical Thinking and Innovation.
• How to develop a growth mindset.
• Recognising emotional triggers.
TDRA Virtual Academy
After you attend or pass a course, you will receive a digital certificate from TDRA Virtual Academy. Image Credit: Screenshot from 'TDRA Virtual Academy' website - .

2. Become ‘future-ready’ with these three free digital courses

If you want to improve your skills to adapt to the future job market, you can sign up for three free digital courses from the Dubai government

The courses are provided by the Dubai Future Academy, and are available to everyone, including those outside the UAE. The courses can be taken in English or Arabic, and are open to students of all education levels. You can access the courses anytime and do not have to commit to a set learning schedule.

After completing the courses you have to take an exam and if you score 90 per cent and above, you will receive a certificate accredited by the Dubai Future Academy.

How do I sign up?

Visit the official website - and choose any of the three courses you are interested in.

Click on the ‘Join Now’ button and create an account by registering your email address, mobile number and other personal details to access all the courses.

What will I learn?
Each of the courses are centred around ‘Futures Literacy’ (FL), which is the skill that allows people to better understand the role of the future in what they see and do.
Here are a few of the skills you will acquire:
• Artificial Intelligence
• Augmented & Virtual Reality
• New Energy Technology
• Blockchain
• Cognitive Capacity
• Communication skills
Dubai Future Academy courses
When complete the courses, you have to take an exam and if you score 90 per cent and above, you will receive a certificate accredited by the Dubai Future Academy Image Credit: Screenshot from Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) official website - .

3. Learn coding for free in Abu Dhabi

‘42 Abu Dhabi’ is a tuition-free coding school, and you do not require any coding experience to join the school. The coding school is part of the ‘42 Network’, which is an international private institution based in Paris, France. The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) partnered with 42 to launch ‘42 Abu Dhabi’ in 2021.

What is ‘42 Abu Dhabi’?

The school is focused on peer-to-peer learning, and offers a ‘gamified’ approach, aiming to make coding accessible to everyone.

According to ‘42 Abu Dhabi’, students will learn over 16 different skillsets, and will gain the ability to work autonomously, think critically, be adaptable, and other invaluable skills that will future-proof their careers.

‘42 Abu Dhabi’ has a 24/7 campus located in the Mina Zayed Warehouses District in Abu Dhabi.

How do I apply?

To apply to ‘42 Abu Dhabi’ you must fill up an application form, pass online games and then undergo an intense coding boot camp called ‘Piscine’, (which means swimming pool in French), where the selection process will be finalised.

The applications are open to everyone above the age of 18. Applications are currently open and the next ‘Piscine’ camp will be held on October 23, 2023.

Step 1: Sign-up:

You first have to sign up and create an online account. Visit the website - and enter your email address and create a password. Next, enter your personal details like full name, birth date and provide some background information.

Step 2: Play an online game:

This game does not require any coding but will challenge your logical thinking skills with two games. According to ‘42 Abu Dhabi’ the game takes one to two hours to complete and if you pass it, you will be invited to stage 2.

Step 3: Attend a check-in:

In this stage, you will meet the staff, ask questions and introduce yourself.

Step 4: Undergo the ‘Piscine’:

This is a four-week programme, where you will understand the learning model and go straight into coding with other students, If you pass the ‘Piscine’ you will officially be enrolled to ‘42 Abu Dhabi’.

What is the curriculum?

Students will progress through 21 different levels over three years. Here is a breakdown:

1. 12-18 months – Learn coding fundamentals with introductory projects.
2. Four to six months – First internship.
3. Two to three years – Explore and specialise with deeper projects and larger teams.
4. Four to six months – Final internship

Skills developed at ‘42 Abu Dhabi’:
Here are some of the skills you will learn:
• Graphics - Use mathematics to create simulations, visualisations and games.
• Databases and Data - Learn how the storage and analysis of data and its application are the foundations and future of technology.
• Security - Learn how to defend your systems, networks and workstations to ensure the safety of your servers, data and users.
• Web - Create new experiences, and recreate existing platforms, sites and applications to better understand them.
• Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking – Work on real-world challenges and learn valuable skills in problem-solving and critical thinking while working with peers.


Piscine 3-1691756242007
‘42 Abu Dhabi’ is a tuition-free coding school, and you do not require any coding experience to join. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Supplied

4. Access university courses for free

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU)  is an online university, which provides online accredited degrees and professional training in business, quality management, education, healthcare and environment.

HBMSU also offers online courses to the public through the ‘Cloud Campus’, an online learning site. The ‘Cloud Campus’ mainly covers a variety of professional development programmes, as well as free online courses with certificates.

The courses are available in Arabic, English Russian, Spanish and French.


How do I sign up?

Visit the HBMSU ‘Cloud Campus’ website -, and click on the profile icon on the top right of your screen. Next, enter your email address, full name and select your country of residence. After a few seconds, you will receive an email with a confirmation link to verify your account. Once that is done, you can now access the ‘Cloud Campus’.

To find a class, click on ‘All Courses’, click one of the six categories to find a course. After you picked a course, click on the ‘Enroll Me’ button and start the online class.

What are the free courses?

The ‘Cloud Campus’ has a mix of free and paid courses in Arabic, English and other languages.

Here are the free courses conducted in English:

1. ChatGPT in Smart Learning
2. Remote Working and Productivity
3. Design an online course in 24 Hours
4. Become an online tutor in 24 Hours

Most of these courses can be completed in one to four hours. After completing them, you will receive a certificate of completion.

HBMSU Cloud Campus platform
The ‘Cloud Campus’ from Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has a mix of free and paid courses in Arabic, English and other languages. Image Credit: Screenshot from HBMSU 'Cloud Campus' website -