Historic day as University moves to new Dubai campus




Heriot-Watt University has today moved its Dubai operations into a brand new state-of-the-art campus.

Located at Dubai Knowledge Park, the eye-catching seven-storey structure occupies 218,000 square feet and will serve nearly 4,000 students. 

The major milestone comes as the University celebrates the 200th anniversary of its founding roots in Scotland.

Commenting on the move, Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice Principal at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said: “I am extremely pleased to open doors to our new campus today. The development of this campus is a testament to our continued commitment towards offering world class education and enviable infrastructure to our students. Our new campus building has been designed keeping the future student experience in mind; we believe that the supportive environment will allow us to deliver inspiring learning, increase academic success, cutting edge research and the holistic development of our students.” 


With eight different types of teaching spaces, the new campus boasts a selection of cutting-edge classrooms that are designed to be interactive. Rather than traditional lecture theatres, it houses collaborative lecture theatres, offering booth-style seating to encourage small-group discussions and group challenges. There are also; pod rooms to offer group-based learning and the sharing of learning between teachers and peers; and teaching and seminar rooms that have been designed as flexible spaces for a range of classroom learning and teaching activities.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, said: “In 2005, Heriot-Watt University Dubai became the first campus of an international university to open in Dubai Academic City. Since then, Heriot-Watt University Dubai has made an invaluable contribution to higher education in Dubai, helping to transform the sector into the international study destination it is today. 

“Students at Heriot-Watt University Dubai benefit both from the university’s rich culture and history, and its dynamic, future-focused approach. The new campus will not only enrich students’ academic learning, but also the authentic experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. We congratulate Professor Kaka and the whole team at Heriot-Watt Dubai on this milestone, and look forward to many more years of learning and friendship.”

Hub for design

The campus has many laboratories and workshops for automotive, chemical, civil, mechanical, electrical, energy, robotic and structural engineering that allow students to learn through practical application as well as through formal timetabled classes. Also included is a specialist psychology laboratory and a large IT laboratory for computer scientists. Meanwhile, design studies will benefit from the Design Hub catering to the current and future needs of those preparing for a career in fashion, architecture, and interior design. 

The campus features the Watt Inc., a business incubator run by the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt, which aims to develop and support founders and start-ups, as well as the Bloomberg Trading Room where students are allowed to work with a simulated market environment using actual, real-time data, and a variety of functions simulating both trading and non-trading workflows. 

Multi-purpose venue

The new grounds feature an array of common areas where students can access essential services and amenities, including a dedicated student council hub; social learning spaces for independent and group study; an engaging library stocked with both physical books and online resources; and a 'maths gym' for maths support, in addition to a central student services centre for student administration. The building also features a multipurpose venue, aptly named the Town Hall, with a cafeteria and auditorium-style seating suitable for hosting Open Days, presentations, and other interactive events.

Student wellbeing

Alongside onsite COVID-19 protocols, there is a focus on ensuring overall student wellbeing. This includes an activity studio where dance, fitness, and yoga classes can be offered. as well as a student wellbeing service offering guidance and support.