Heriot-Watt is one of just three universities to be awarded five stars by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) of Dubai.
The rating system applies to international universities in Dubai, and benchmarks their performance across a range of indicators, such as quality of teaching and research, learning environments, creativity and social responsibility.
Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost of Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said: "The KHDA is a hallmark for quality education in Dubai, so we are delighted that Heriot-Watt was awarded five stars.
"Prospective students and their parents often look to KHDA rankings for guidance when they are researching universities, so it is truly an accolade for us.
"At Heriot-Watt University we pride ourselves on being a highly-ranked university not just in Dubai, but globally. Our students have access to world-leading learning, teaching and research facilities across our campuses, which is just one of the many things that sets us apart from other universities."
Authorities in Dubai say the ranking system is contributing to investment and opportunities in the area, saying: "The initiative helps the government and decision-makers develop a clear vision for higher education."