The UAE Experience
Living in The UAE and Abu Dhabi
Founded in 1971 by Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprises seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
It is a young country that celebrates its traditions and cultural beliefs, while embracing the future with to achieve a prosperous and productive future for all citizens and residents.
The guidance of the UAE’s visionary leadership has seen the country elevate itself on a global level in a short span of time, and has set the tone for continued growth and development for many more years to come.
In addition to being a multicultural community that more than 200 nationalities call home, the UAE is the Middle East’s economic hub. Tourists and companies alike are attracted to the country, which offers a solid business environment and an exciting tapestry of traditional and modern experiences, as well as a high standard of living.
Emiratis are renowned for their generosity and hospitable nature. They take great pride in their history, and are as welcoming of foreign visitors today as their merchant ancestors were in the past.
Everyday life in the UAE is also defined by religion and tradition; Islam plays a major role in all aspects of life, including business etiquette.
The UAE continues to strengthen its position as a higher education hub by hosting an increasing number of local and international educational institutions, which attract renowned faculty and students from all around the world.
Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, occupying 84 per cent of the national landmass territory. It has 200 islands and a long coastline stretching 700km. The emirate comprises three main regions: the city of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain in the east of the emirate, and Al Dhafra in the west.
Abu Dhabi city is the federal capital of the UAE. It is ruled by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the Supreme Commander of the Union Defense Force.
One of the most open and progressive communities in the Gulf region, Abu Dhabi is a modern cosmopolitan city with towering skyscrapers, gleaming beaches, five-star entertainment, resplendent public parks, a budding art scene, and modern health and educational sectors. The emirate is one of the safest cities in the world and is committed to maintaining social harmony and domestic security.
Abu Dhabi hosts several world-class sporting and entertainment events, such as the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the prestigious Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge cross-country rally. Yas Island, located on the outskirts of the city, is home to theme parks such as Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, as well as the Yas Marina Circuit, where the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place.
In addition, Abu Dhabi has premier cultural institutions such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is one of the largest and most spectacular in the world.
For more information about Abu Dhabi, click here
All students accepted into MBZUAI will be provided with health insurance.
Abu Dhabi Hospitals and Local Clinics
Standards of healthcare are exceptional in Abu Dhabi. Students can access numerous private and public hospitals, as well as General Practice (GP) clinics
Abu Dhabi has a thriving arts scene, with myriad galleries and live entertainment venues which host international acts including ballet, theatre performances, and more. A jewel in the emirate’s art crown, however, is the alluring Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is the first universal museum in the Arab World that translates the spirit of openness of cultures. As one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the Louvre Abu Dhabi displays works of historical, cultural and sociological significance from ancient times to the contemporary era.
As a cosmopolitan hub and veritable melting pot of culture, Abu Dhabi has entertainment to appeal to all tastes, whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a peaceful sanctuary. From live concerts featuring superstars from around the globe to the world’s fastest roller coast in Ferrari World – the largest indoor theme park, to the relaxing Al Ain Oasis or a stroll along the landmark Abu Dhabi corniche… whatever your preference, there will never be a dull moment in the UAE capital.
Sports fans will find plenty to get involved with in Abu Dhabi. In addition to global sporting events, the city boasts facilities that accommodate enthusiasts of all levels. There are football pitches, basketball courts, multiple equestrian centers, and, as Abu Dhabi is a coastal city, there are plenty of options for aquatic entertainment as well, from diving to parasailing and everything in between.
Whether you want to surf the waves or crest the dunes, have a lazy day at the spa or a thrill-seeking afternoon at a theme park, Abu Dhabi has it all.
Spacious, modern and air conditioned, Abu Dhabi's malls are a welcome escape from the summer heat and offer a world of choice when it comes to shopping. In Abu Dhabi, malls are a place to catch up with friends or for a family outing – and the fun can go on until late at night.
Abu Dhabi is a food-lover’s paradise. Modern and cosmopolitan, it’s possible to find memorable encounters with local and international cuisine in breathtaking settings. From traditional street foods such as delicious shawarmas right through to cuisine crafted in the kitchens of Michelin-starred chefs, the Abu Dhabi restaurant scene features dishes from every corner of the globe.
The local currency is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), also known as simply the Emirati dirham.
Bank Accounts for Students
Opening a bank account requires a student to have a valid UAE residence visa. Once this process is completed, students will be able to open a bank account.
Travel & Transportation
Abu Dhabi International Airport is in close proximity to MBZUAI’s campus. Over 50 international airlines operate a schedule of flights connecting Abu Dhabi to more than 80 destinations in 46 countries across the globe.
Abu Dhabi is a convenient geographical hub to travel to Africa, Europe, and Asia. Embassies or consulates for different countries are located either in Abu Dhabi or Dubai for any visa requirements.
Cars are the main mode of transportation in Abu Dhabi. In order to own a car, you must have a valid residency visa, however, it is possible to rent a car on a short term basis using a valid international driving license or one issued from a GCC country.
For some nationalities, it is possible to exchange a driving license from your home country into one issued by the UAE. Once the local driving permit has been issued, driving is legal throughout the entire country.
In the UAE, traffic regulations are strictly enforced, and even small violations can cause a lot of trouble.
Taxis are available almost everywhere in the UAE at affordable rates.
Buses and minibuses are only available in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
For more information about public transportation in Abu Dhabi please visit URL: https://dot.abudhabi.ae/en/info/Bus_Transportation