- With the launch of the 12 billion dirham Dubai Academic
City, Dubai is embarking on a plan to become a new global
academia destination, according to an announcement by
the Dubai Educational Council in May 2006.
The launch comes as part of an ongoing Dubai government
initiative to invest in the development of human resources
through quality higher education and training.
The first phase of the project will be a 130 million
square foot campus between Dubai and Al Ain designed
to accommodate over 25 universities being moved to the
city from the Knowledge Village, which will from now
on will host only training institutions.
Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President
and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai says the project
will double the number of universities set up in the
city by the time it is completed in 2012.
Dubai Academic City will provide the opportunity for
more than 150,000 students to receive education in some
of the best local, regional and global institutions.
According to Ahmed bin Bayat, chairman of Dubai Education
Council, the region, which is set to provide 100 million
jobs by 2020, almost six million jobs a year, suffers
from a clear deficiency in strong academic institutions,
which are able to provide quality education that can
"There is no doubt that the main challenge our
region faces is the challenge of development in the
information age, and the most significant characteristic
of this age is the human aspect," he said.
In the previous decade, Dubai has witnessed substantial
growth in various sectors - from industrial to economic
to social. The government has recognized the importance
of supporting this growth with an academic infrastructure.
Reputable foreign universities, which fully comply with
their own countries' standards, will be allowed in the
academic city, Bayat said, adding that stand-alone universities
will not be permitted. "We will put a lot of guidelines
and assure that quality education is provided."
Bin Bayat also said that in future Dubai Education Council
might set a fund to encourage and support research within
Dubai Academic City.