The British University in Dubai celebrated its first anniversary on Tuesday during an event held at the Dubai Knowledge Village.

Senior dignitaries including Richard Makepeace, British Ambassador to the UAE, and Geoffrey Boulton, Assistant Principal of the University of Edinburgh and Chairman of BUiD Senate were present at the event.

Makepeace said the university was a "success waiting to happen" and called it an exciting development in the relationship between the UAE and Britain.

David Lock, BUiD's registrar and acting chief, said since the establishment of the university last September, BUiD was able to achieve a reputation of high quality as it catered to the needs of the UAE and the region.

"All subjects offered at the university are directly relevant to the region's economy. The university is delivering on its mission to facilitate access to world-class education, training and research in the Middle East," he said.

Boulton said the university initially concentrated on research and postgraduate programmes.

"We did not want to go into competition with existing universities in the country. We wanted to become partners and collaborators," he said.

Boulton said if the economy in Dubai and the UAE was to evolve by minimising risks and maximising profits, the only way to do it is through research.

The postgraduate research-based university offers four masters degrees in informatics, education, built environment and engineering.

The university is also studying future plans to offer masters degrees in finance and banking and doctoral degrees in project management, education and informatics.

It has received 541 applications from potential students for this academic year.