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Master’s in the Middle East

Why you should consider a Master’s in the Middle East

Getting your Master’s in the Middle East is investing in your business skills.

Studying at one of the region’s 50+ international branch campuses make it possible to gain a master’s from a prestigious American or European university while studying in the Middle East.

It is a region rich in history and the world’s oldest civilizations are thought to have originated here.

The low or non-existent tax rates in many Middle Eastern countries make the region an attractive option financially.

There is an increasing number of English-taught programs at universities in the Middle East.

The large expat populations in many Middle Eastern countries have given them a welcoming, international feel.

Throughout the 20th century, the Middle East underwent rapid economic growth; largely thanks to its vast reserves of crude oil. Having started to diversify their economies away from oil exports, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are now amongst the wealthiest nations in the world with a growing influence on the global stage. Having modernized over recent years to attract more tourists and expats, the Middle East is an appealing choice for international students looking for a unique experience.

Recognizing the increasing importance of the region, several leading universities across the world have chosen to open international branch campuses in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates has more of these than any other country in the world, with INSEAD, Carnegie Mellon University, and Hult International Business School all having campuses here. The US influence on the region is reflected in the numerous American universities found here, yet local independent universities are growing in stature every day. As an example, QS’s top-ranked institution in the Middle East, King Abdulaziz University, rose from 360th in the world in 2014 to 143rd in the world in 2021. It is symbolic of the growing reputation of the region, making a master’s in the Middle East an exciting option for students.

Most popular study destinations

Countries in the Middle East

Top Master’s grad schools in the Middle East

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5 things you should know about studying in the Middle East

How much will it cost to live and study in the Middle East?

The most expensive places to study in the Middle East tend to be at the satellite campuses of foreign universities such as Carnegie Mellon, which often mirror the prices of their home campus. In the region’s leading local universities you might pay up to €30,000 for a master’s, though this figure varies greatly throughout the Middle East and is likely to be substantially cheaper in many countries.

How reputable are the universities in the Middle East?

Institutions such as the American University in Dubai are modeled on the American educational system and are often accredited by US bodies. The region’s best universities in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and Lebanon have been steadily rising the rankings in recent years. The top-ranked university in the Middle East is King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, which is in the world’s top 200 according to the rankings of both QS and The Times.

What is the status of the economy?

Although oil exports largely accounted for the region’s economic growth over the 20th century, the economies of the Gulf countries have diversified in recent years and now stand among the wealthiest nations in the world. Although Turkey and Cyprus were traditional tourist hotspots in this region, the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are increasingly targeting tourism as a key driver for their economies.

Are there a lot of international students in the Middle East?

Turkey has the most international students in the Middle East, followed by the United Arab Emirates and then Saudi Arabia. These three countries host the bulk of the region’s international students.

Which languages are spoken in the Middle East?

The Middle East is home to a raft of different languages, the most popular being Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, and Hebrew. There are increasing levels of English proficiency throughout the region and in some parts of the UAE, such as Dubai, it is the most widely-spoken language.