Known for its extravagant life and architectural beauty, Dubai, amid its glamorous avatar, has emerged as a study abroad destination in recent years. Universities like the University of Wollongong, London School of Business and Manipal University are some of the top international university campuses that have contributed to the growth of education sector in Dubai. Currently, over 50,000 international students are pursuing their UG and PG programmes in Dubai.

So, what does an international student who plans to study in Dubai want to know about?  Of course, the best places to live and study in Dubai. But how do you decide which are the best places to live and study in the city? Well, there are a few elements that you need to consider before finalising the best places to live and study in Dubai, like the university, accommodation and basic amenities like grocery and medical services.

What if you find all the facilities at one place, wouldn’t that be great? Therefore, to make things easier for you, we have got some best places to live and study in Dubai.

Dubai Knowledge Park

The Dubai Knowledge Park, formerly known as Dubai Knowledge Village, was established in 2003 with a motive to attract foreign institutions to Dubai so that domestic students do not have to explore other study destinations, hence, causing a brain drain.


The Dubai Knowledge Park is adjacent to the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Mall, which automatically makes it one of the best places to live and study in Dubai. Also, students have access to some great shopping areas and hangout options. In 2007, it was decided that international universities campuses would move to the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC). However, the Knowledge Park is still home to some of the international university campuses like Manchester Business School and University of Wollongong, Dubai, besides other academic centres. Here is a list of some of the institutes located in the Dubai Knowledge Park.


a)     University of Wollongong, Dubai

The university is home to approximately 1,906 PG students representing 117 different nationalities, making it one of the best universities in Dubai for MBA, Engineering and Humanities. The Dubai campus of University of Wollongong opened its door to students long back in 1993, and it is also one of the first foreign university campuses to be set up in UAE.


b)     Manchester Business School

The list of top MBA colleges in Dubai is incomplete without Manchester Business School, Dubai, as it is one of the few colleges in Dubai to be accredited by three bodies like Association of MBAs (AMBA), European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


Apart from the educational institutions in Dubai Knowledge Park, there are various academic service providers like Divan International, Varsity Connections and My Classroom Worldwide, among others. In addition, there are various computer training service providers like Royal Training Institute, Spectrum Training and IT Training & Consultancy, to name a few.

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC)

DIAC was launched in 2007 as a separate education zone that now comprises international universities campuses. Currently, DIAC is home to over 20,000 international students from 140 nationalities. Students who want to study in DIAC have access to both UG and PG programmes in various fields like Engineering, IT and Management.


The best part of the DIAC education zone is that students from different universities can share housing and recreational facilities within the campus. Therefore, students from one university can always mingle with students from other universities and learn about their culture.  This is one of the major reasons why DIAC is one of the best places to live and study in Dubai.

Being a part of DIAC has its own perks. For example, students in the International Academic City will benefit from facilities like access to 24x7 visa service, car rental and travel agency, among others. No wonder then that, Dubai International Academic City has emerged as one of the best places to live and study in Dubai.  DIAC boasts of some top international university campuses like Manipal University, Dubai, Heriot Watt University and Amity University, among others. Here is a list of some of the institutes located in DIAC:

Top colleges in DIAC

i. Manipal University, Dubai

One of the recognised universities in India, Manipal University has made a name for itself in the UAE since its establishment in 2000. Manipal Dubai has successfully grabbed the attention of international students planning to study in Dubai. Interestingly, the university offers student exchange programmes with some prominent universities like Lancaster University, UK, Edinburg Napier University, UK, and University of Fraser Valley, British Columbia.

Want to pursue MBA in Manipal Dubai? Click here to apply!

ii.  Heriot Watt university

The Heriot Watt University is one of the oldest public institutions from United Kingdom and the first foreign university to be set up in Dubai international Academic City.

iii.  Amity University

Amity University, one of the leading universities in India, has established a name for itself in the extravagant city as well. Students planning to study here have access to a wide range of UG and PG programmes like, BBA and MBA, to name a few.


Cost of living in Dubai: On Campus

Cost of studying in Dubai comprises elements like accommodation, travel and food among others, of which accommodation is the most vital part.


Students can choose whether they wish to go for on campus accommodation or rent on sharing basis. On campus accommodation tends to fill up quickly, therefore, you must start applying early.  Further, the cost of accommodation depends on the institute you are applying to. For instance, the accommodation fee in Heriot Watt University is inclusive of various services like housekeeping, gym and internet. However, the accommodation fee does not include any personal expenses like laundry and meal services. Students in DIAC have access to various facilities in Knowledge Centre like food court, gymnasium and medical services, thus, making DIAC one of the best places to live and study in Dubai.


On campus accommodation

Room Type



Twin sharing room

AED 27,560

AED 33,075

Single Room

AED 52, 370

AED 62, 840

Refundable security deposit

AED 2000

AED 2000

Source- Official university website

Cost of living in Dubai: On rent

There are various sites that provide information on students’ accommodation in various places across Dubai. For example, Uninest Student Residencies, which is just 10 minutes from DIAC, charges AED 3,670 per person, per month for its twin sharing room and AED 5,340 per month for its single room. Similarly, you can find more options online and when you find some more options you can compare the pricing and then decide where to go.


Stay tuned to for more news and updates on Study Abroad

Also read:

Cost of living in Dubai

Study in Dubai: Know all about studying in Dubai

Highest paying courses in Dubai

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Showing 1 out of 1 Questions

I am registering for MHT-CET. It asks for the location of my school and lists only Indian locations to select while my school is in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. What should I do? In a PDF it says that international students are not required to write the exam but I want to write it.

Md Azmer 23rd Feb, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

You are not eligible to sit for this exam because first you are a foreigner and second this exam eligibility criteria says that the student must be an Indian National.

I hope you have got your answer.

Good Luck

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