University of Birmingham officially opens new campus in Dubai

UBD ceremony web
Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor and Principal with VIP guests opening the University of Birmingham Dubai first campus building

The University of Birmingham has officially opened its campus in Dubai - becoming the first global top 100 and UK Russell Group university to establish a campus in this rapidly developing international education hub.

University of Birmingham Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood was joined by distinguished guests to cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the University of Birmingham Dubai (UBD) phase 1 campus, in Dubai International Academic City. 

Sir David and a select group of VIP guests took a tour of the University’s new facilities as preparations continue to welcome the first students in September this year. 

The ribbon cutting was followed by an evening reception at the British Embassy in Dubai attended by approximately 100 guests from Dubai and the UAE and senior members of the University.

Opening the University of Birmingham Dubai supports the UAE’s vision of developing a competitive economy driven by knowledge and innovation, as well as Dubai’s goal of building an international education hub. 

The University of Birmingham Dubai will open its doors to students in September 2018, offering degrees that will be taught, examined and accredited to the same recognised high standards as those delivered on its UK campus.

University of Birmingham Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “I am delighted to open our campus in Dubai and look forward to opening our doors to the first cohort of students to the University of Birmingham Dubai in September.

“I would like to thank our partners here in the UAE for their support in helping us achieve this milestone. We are a global university and, for more than 20 years, have provided opportunities for students to study on our degree programmes at partner institutions around the world.

“With strategic partnerships in the USA, Australia, China, and Brazil and active research collaborations across the world, opening a campus in Dubai is the next step in our global mission and demonstrates our ambition as an outward looking, world-class institution.

“As a global university with a civic outlook, we are committed to contributing to UAE society and playing our part in supporting the UAE as it drives economic progress through knowledge and innovation, whilst contributing to the development of a growing international education hub in Dubai.”

The University of Birmingham Dubai will provide opportunities for students to study on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Initially, these will include Business, Economics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and teacher training degrees, with further programmes to be offered subsequently.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA: “The opening of University of Birmingham is an important milestone in our goal to build a world-class education hub in Dubai. It represents new opportunities for students who can now look at a wider offering of education and research led programmes that are driven by Dubai's ambition to be a global leader in innovation.

“The University builds on its long-standing reputation and it will attract more international students to Dubai. We welcome the University of Birmingham to Dubai and look forward to its success."

The University of Birmingham Dubai is located in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), a leading international education hub with 26 universities. The initial phase of the campus saw its first open day activity in Autumn 2017 and the first undergraduate and post-graduate students will commence their studies in September 2018.

Mohammed Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park: “It is with great pleasure that we celebrate the official launch of the University of Birmingham Dubai in Dubai International Academic City.

“Recognised as among the top 1 per cent of universities across the globe and renowned for its academic research, we are confident that the University of Birmingham will be a world-class partner committed to enhancing the UAE’s vision to drive innovation and diversified growth.

“It has already proven its drive for excellence in research and education by bringing its strongest academic programmes which will cater to the growing needs of this region. Today’s launch is the first of many more initiatives to come and together, we are confident we will provide world class expertise and a truly global experience for students and faculty.”

With a strong tradition of teaching excellence, commended by the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in 2016, degrees at the University of Birmingham Dubai will be taught, examined and accredited to the same recognised high standards as those delivered on the University’s UK campus in Birmingham.


For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165. 

Notes for editors

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The University of Birmingham was established by Queen Victoria in 1900 as Great Britain’s first civic university, where students from all religions and backgrounds were accepted on an equal basis.
  • The University is renowned for its research excellence and its researchers have received 11 Nobel Prizes. From pioneering organ transplants, discovering gravitational waves and furthering understanding of Shakespeare, to developing cures for cancer, advances in robotics and revealing the structure of DNA, the University has been at the forefront of some of the most ground-breaking discoveries of the last 100 years.
  • Birmingham is acknowledged for producing globally employable graduates and was chosen as the Times and Sunday Times University of the Year for Graduate Employment 2016. The University of Birmingham is the second most frequently targeted UK university for the country’s top employers looking for graduate recruits, according to High Fliers Research.
    • The Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. It supports schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing.
    • Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), a member of TECOM Group, is the world’s largest free zone dedicated to Higher Education. Established in 2007, DIAC hosts 26 universities from nine countries offering more than 500 undergraduate, post graduate, and PHD programmes to over 25,000 students representing 149 nationalities. Located on a modern campus with state-of-the-art facilities spread across 18 million square feet, DIAC acts as a catalyst for academia in the region and supports the fulfilment of Dubai’s ambition of building a knowledge-based economy through the provision of a wide range of internationally accredited study programmes.