Rapid development in Dubai’s education system in recent years means it now competes with the best places to study, whether as an undergraduate or graduate. Higher education in the UAE has also made significant progress, thanks to strategic partnerships with Western institutions, with notable universities opening up campuses in this vibrant, fast-growing country. Students can choose from Zayed University, which has campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the University of Dubai, the American University in Dubai (AUD) as well as branches of Middlesex University of Wollongong, Heriot-Watt University Dubai and NYU Abu Dhabi to name just a few. Dubai is considered a knowledge hub, locally, regionally and globally. In light of all the significant achievements in education, we take a look at some of the most popular areas for student accommodation in Dubai, for those looking to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the city.
Dubai Academic City
At the forefront of the UAE’s progress in the education sector is Dubai Academic City. Centrally-located along Dubai-Al Ain Road and teeming with top-notch international universities and colleges, Dubai Academic City is the largest free zone in the world dedicated to educational institutes. Operating in strategic partnerships with several university and college programmes from around the world, Dubai Academic City is one of the top choices for those looking to pursue higher studies in the UAE.
Where to Live:
Dubai Silicon Oasis
This is one of the most popular areas for students to live in Dubai pursuing an education in Dubai Academic City. The beautiful community consists of a plethora of residential buildings, complete with top-notch facilities and amenities. It is in close proximity to Dubai Academic City, with a commute time of just seven minutes without traffic. This factor aside, the eclectic neighbourhood is also one of the most affordable in Dubai, offering moderately-priced apartments for rent that fit in well on a student budget. The community is located just off Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, making it easier for residents to get to other areas in Dubai. Based on user searches on Bayut.com, Silicon Gates and Axis Residences are the top choices among users looking to rent apartments in Dubai Silicon Oasis. Annual rents for studios in Dubai Silicon Oasis start at AED 32k while renting a 1-bedroom apartment will cost you an average of AED 58k annually.
Another great option for those looking to live near Dubai Academic City is the modestly-priced International City. The diverse neighbourhood has extremely affordable housing options in colourful, low-rise apartment blocks, varying from studio to three-bedroom configurations. Residents enjoy a comfortable lifestyle complete with all necessary amenities and conveniences within the community. Studio and 1-bedroom apartments for rent in International City start at AED 25k and AED 30k, respectively.
Another relatively affordable area for those studying in Dubai Academic City is the fast-developing Dubailand. The area is home to numerous residential buildings equipped with modern facilities and amenities that offer a balanced, comfortable lifestyle for its residents. From Dubai Academic City, it takes about 20 minutes to reach Dubailand, which in this city is a relatively short commute. Six high-rise towers called Skycourts Towers are the top choice among those looking to rent an apartment in Dubailand. Annual rents for a studio and 1-bedroom apartment in Dubailand start at AED 30k and AED 40k, respectively.
Dubai Knowledge Village
Established in 2003, Dubai Knowledge Village is an educational free zone in Dubai which is home to more than 200 organisations, including internationally-accredited academic institutions and training centres that specialise in R&D, innovation and vocational training.
Where to Live:
Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC)
Located just 15 minutes away from Dubai Knowledge Village, Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) is the most pocket-friendly option for those pursuing higher studies in Dubai. Boasting top-notch facilities, this affordable area is equipped with all the conveniences necessary for a comfortable lifestyle. Apartments in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) vary from studios to three-bedroom properties. Studios and 1-bedroom apartments here have starting rents of AED 35k and AED 45k, respectively. Want to know more? Take a look at the pros and cons of renting in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC).
Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)
Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) is another great option for those studying in Dubai Knowledge Village. The area is dotted with high-rise waterfront towers, most offering spectacular views of the city. In terms of lifestyle, Jumeirah Lakes Towers is a vibrant, active and pet-friendly community with scenic lakes and promenades where residents can stroll, jog, rollerblade or dog walk. Multi-cultural restaurants and chic eateries line the promenades along with sports, fitness and yoga centres. All residential buildings here are well-equipped with pools, gyms, saunas and round-the-clock security. Those looking to rent a studio apartment in JLT can expect to pay an average of AED 60k per year, while 1-bedroom apartments here are for AED 82k on average.
When you’re moving to a new apartment on a student budget, it’s important to keep cost in mind along with proximity to your academic institution. It wouldn’t do to save on rent but end up spending an exorbitant amount of money on public transport. Do your research and maybe take a look at our recent February 2018 Dubai Real Estate Report to find the most popular areas for students to live in Dubai, and rent an apartment that suits your budget and is close to your university, college or institute.
Now that you have an idea of where to begin your search, read all about student housing and accommodation in Dubai here.