About

Our established reputation

Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus is a satellite campus of Heriot-Watt University based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Established in 2005, it was the first campus of an overseas university to open in Dubai International Academic City. After 180 years' provision of world-renowned education in the UK, Heriot-Watt was invited to Dubai to provide specialised programmes in the fields of management, engineering, built environment, food science and fashion.

With a history dating back to 1821, we have a long tradition of excellence and a proven track record in educating, inspiring and challenging the professionals of tomorrow. We are one of the top UK universities for business and industry and have an established reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research. We have been consistently ranked as a top provider of higher education across a number of key university ratings and rankings. From our research performance to student satisfaction, graduate employability and the quality of our teaching, Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus' status as a world-class university has been confirmed by several independent bodies.

New Dubai Campus

In 2019, Heriot-Watt signed a 10-year lease for a brand-new 218,000 sq. ft campus in Dubai Knowledge Park, thereby building on its commitment to deliver high quality education and research in Dubai. Staff and students will move to the new campus in January 2021 – the same year Heriot-Watt celebrates its founding bicentenary.

This move marks a historic milestone for the University and ensures students will enjoy the benefits of an enriched learning experience and outstanding graduate outcomes for many years to come. The move is a key part of delivering Heriot-Watt’s ambitious six-year strategy for the University and demonstrates our commitment to the region and growth plans for the future. The modern campus is set to enhance further the student experience with a digitally enabled learning environment supporting the delivery of the University’s portfolio of programmes including in Data Science, Computing and AI, business, accounting and finance, psychology, architecture and design, construction and engineering. It will include a dedicated student hub, a central student services centre, enhanced library and social learning spaces, as well as the wide range of digitally enhanced classrooms, seminar rooms, studios, and laboratories. The University’s in-house recording studios will also allow the creation of digital materials for a more engaging and interactive learning experience.

Dubai Knowledge Park is adjacent to Dubai Media City as well as Dubai Internet City and holds more than 500 businesses and has established itself as a centre of excellence for higher education and professional development. The new business and enterprise locale will generate increased opportunities for students to engage directly with business and industry, providing graduates with unique learning experiences.

Our accolades

Since its establishment, Heriot-Watt University Dubai has won several laurels. In 2019, it was named one of Dubai's top universities and awarded five stars in the first ever quality rankings undertaken by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the supreme educational quality assurance and regulatory authority of the Government of Dubai. The rating system, developed in conjunction with QS, evaluates universities on eight quality indicators: Teaching, Employability, Research, Internationalisation, Facilities, Overall Programme Strength, Well-being, Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness. Heriot-Watt University was one of just three Universities to be awarded five stars.  

In the same year, the campus was crowned the 'Best University' at the first ever Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards. Held in Dubai, the awards recognise and celebrate the region's finest higher education institutes based on votes from students, teachers and the businesses that work with them.

Burj Khalifa light show

Heriot-Watt University became the first University in the UAE to light up the world's tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – in a historical celebration on 26 November 2019. The celebration was in support of the many milestones the Dubai campus had achieved: Heriot-Watt University was awarded five stars by the KHDA, it was also crowned the 'Best University' at the first ever Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards and it announced its move to a new campus.

At exactly 8.23 pm, the Burj Khalifa was lit up with imagery that reinforced Heriot-Watt's position as a world-class Institution as well as showcasing its achievements. A one-minute-long film featuring James Watt, highlighted the University's two biggest accolades this year, namely the awards from KHDA and Forbes Middle East.  It celebrated the Dubai campus' distinguished academic record in subjects including engineering, business, construction, design and computer science and the heritage of Heriot-Watt since its inception in 1821. At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 storeys, the Burj Khalifa is an iconic skyscraper gracing the skyline of Dubai and one of the best-known symbols of modern UAE. 

Top quality British education

We pioneered British education in Dubai, with highly acclaimed degree programmes that meet the specific demands of local business and industry. With strong links to industry and business, we pride ourselves on developing and educating future leaders, managers and innovators. With many of our programmes recognised by the relevant professional associations and institutes, a Heriot-Watt University degree is professionally valued. Our degrees are also accredited and approved by Royal Charter in the UK. Our programmes include the option to transfer and undertake part of your degree at our home campus in Scotland. Heriot-Watt graduates are highly sought after by employers worldwide, and our 77,000 alumni working in key positions around the globe are testament to our success.

We also offer students a supportive campus environment where they can lead their student life to the full, make lasting friendships and enjoy everything that one of the world’s greatest cities has to offer. We have a range of support services with friendly, approachable staff that are there to listen and provide you with the advice, support and information you need. Guaranteed tuition fee packages and opportunities for scholarships are also available to ensure you can make the most of your time with us.

Key information

Dubai enquiries

Key fact

Heriot-Watt University was the first British university to set up in Dubai International Academic City