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When local and expat families in the Emirates think about higher education, it’s only natural for them to want the best. After all, there are approximately 60 international institutions to choose from right here in the UAE. But with so many choices both at home and abroad, how do students find the best one for them?

One of the first things to consider is the ability to speak directly with representatives from an institution, which demonstrates their interest in getting to know student applicants. While online chat options exist, meeting face to face can often give students and their families a better impression of what it might be like to join that institution.

This month, BMI & Times Higher Education, owner of the prestigious World University Rankings, is giving that opportunity to those living in the UAE by way of their UAE Education Fair, which brings over 100 international institutions to Dubai and Abu Dhabi from October 15-17.

October 15-16 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 4pm-7.30pm
Venue: Crowne Plaza Dubai on Shaikh Zayed Road by Emirates Towers Metro Station
Abu Dhabi
October 17 (Monday)
Time: 4pm-7.30pm
Venue: Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort on Corniche Road

Register now to attend for free

Tips to find your perfect university

Step 1: Speak directly with each institution

Finding your best fit university starts by having a face-to-face conversation with someone from the institution – whether it’s a professor, admissions professional, student or alumni. As over 100 top higher education institutes gather in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during the UAE Education Fairs, there will be ample opportunities to learn more and ask questions, with so many education experts all under one roof.

See full list of 100+ participating institutions

Step 2: Make a list of the countries you’re interested in studying in

Choosing which country to live, study or gain work experience is an important step when exploring education options. The UAE Education Fair brings together institutions representing more than 20 countries from the UAE, across Europe and as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA.

“These events are all designed to do one thing: give students in the Emirates as many options as possible for their future academic and professional careers,” says Samir Zaveri, CEO of the UAE Education Fair. “It’s been an honour for us to host the hundreds of international institutions that have come to the UAE over the many years we’ve been running events here, and we look forward to this month’s fairs, which will be our biggest yet.”

Step 3: Choose your field of study

The UAE Education Fair will include exhibitors from both secondary and tertiary levels. Attendees will find a variety of outstanding high schools, independent schools and language pathway programmes to support the transition into higher education. And thanks to the GEMS For Life network, parents who send their children to GEMS schools will be able to take advantage of special offers available to families attending the fair.

Students looking for higher education options will come face to face with the world’s best such as Ireland’s Trinity College or top Russell Group UK universities like Imperial College London, King's College London or the University of Birmingham.

And for students who are interested in speciality schools, they can explore opportunities with The Culinary Institute of America, Glion and Les Roches, ESCP Business School, Savannah College of Art and Design, or the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Step 4: Find out about visas and immigration options

In addition to holding private conversations, students and their families can also attend a seminar programme during the event that covers all the essential information needed when getting ready to study overseas. This gives students insider tips on the benefits of living and studying abroad, for example in Ireland, France, Netherlands, UK, Canada, the USA or Malaysia.

University representatives and government experts will share advice on the application process, key deadlines, visas, exam requirements, tuition fees and finance options. Additional sessions will give students a taste of what it’s like to live or work abroad by covering topics such as housing, campus life, and choosing a career path.

The seminar programme will run throughout the day in both cities, and attendees should check the website for exact times in order to be sure they don’t miss out.

Step 5: Plan your education budget

Finding out about costs and making a budget for overseas study is another key topic for students and families to consider. From the 100+ institutions at the fair, attendees should be sure to meet with those they might not have heard of yet. Not only will they have top ranked programmes, they may also be located in more affordable locations, such as in the MidWest or in the heart of the United States, or in countries with a lower cost of living such as Malaysia, Hungary or Germany.

For students who want to stay closer to home yet still benefit from an international curriculum, the UAE Global Education Fair will also feature several of the best universities in the Emirates.

Admission to the fairs is free but visitors are strongly encouraged to register online in advance for fast-track entry.