University of Birmingham Dubai breaks ground in Dubai International Academic City

21 November 2019

– University of Birmingham Dubai breaks ground for new campus in Dubai International Academic City

• Landmark occasion marks University of Birmingham’s long-term commitment to UAE
• Centrally located within Dubai International Academic City and in proximity to student housing, retail outlets and sporting facilities 

The University of Birmingham has broken ground on the second phase of its Dubai campus in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), a member of TECOM Group, in the presence of H.E. Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Advanced Skills. This landmark event marks the next stage in the global Top 100 University’s long-term commitment to supporting UAE society, particularly through its teaching and research.

H.E. Dr. Al Falasi was joined by His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, joined Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Malek Al Malek, CEO of TECOM Group and the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood, who visited Dubai for the landmark ceremony, and they broke the ground on the site that will be home to the new campus from September 2021.

Located within DIAC’s vibrant student community, opposite Dubai’s first purpose-built student housing, and in proximity to retail outlets and sporting facilities, the iconic campus will benefit from DIAC’s vibrant student community and encourage collaboration across academic disciplineswith flexible learning spaces and formal teaching spaces, ensuring teaching and research work in tandem to benefit students.

Professor Sir David Eastwood said: Breaking ground on our iconic new campus is another exciting milestone and demonstrates the University of Birmingham’s long-term commitment to the UAE.

“I would like to thank the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), TECOM Group, DIAC and all our partners in the region for their generous support in helping us reach this point.

“Our new campus will provide students from the UAE and beyond with excellent, innovative facilities and a first-class education from an elite British university, that sees them graduate as high-achieving and employable problem solvers.”

The campus will be home for up to 2,900 students – featuring innovative teaching and research space to encourage cross disciplinary working. There will be a focus on learning spaces incorporating digital technology and a student hub to support student needs across teaching and wellbeing.

The University of Birmingham was the first global top 100 and UK Russell Group university to establish a campus in Dubai in September 2018, offering degrees taught, examined and accredited to the same high standards as those delivered on its UK campus with students receiving a University of Birmingham degree.

Malek Al Malek said: “TECOM Group is one of main drivers of the UAE’s knowledge economy and a key supporter of home-grown talent. To this end, we are committed to consolidating Dubai’s position as a destination of choice for world-class academic institutions. Our partnership with Birmingham on the development of this campus is testament to our continued support to our partners to create an ecosystem that enables growth and makes a positive impact in the region.”

Designed by Hopkins Architects, the buildings will be located opposite the city’s first purpose-built student housing community – looking across parkland and green spaces and reflecting the green heart of the University’s campus in Birmingham giving the student community a campus university experience. Sheltered courtyards and social spaces that have been designed to enhance the campus’ sustainability will provide a relaxing environment in keeping with the Dubai climate.

The University of Birmingham Dubai already offers  a wide range of programmes including Business, Economics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Accounting, Banking and Finance, International Commercial Law, Psychology, and Teacher Training degrees, including teacher training in Arabic and Special Educational Needs and the range of degree programmes will continue to grow in the new campus.

The event also saw Professor Sir David Eastwood sign a co-operation agreement with His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on behalf of the authority. The University of Birmingham Dubai has partnered with the DHA to identify research, education, training and management opportunities in healthcare.

Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “We are a global university with a civic outlook committed to contributing to UAE society through partnership in education and areas of research strength that support the National Agenda and Vision 2021. Our commitment is further enhanced by the landmark agreement that we signed today with Dubai Healthcare Authority.”

H.E Al Qutami commented that the presence of a prestigious university such as the University of Birmingham in Dubai supports the exchange of experiences and transfer of knowledge, research and specialized studies. “DHA recognizes the value of building relationships with leading international educational and research institutions, as it believes in the importance of taking advantage of the latest developments related to medical sciences and professional practices, to support its cadres of doctors, technicians and specialists” he said.

Following the ground breaking and signing ceremonies, and marking another major milestone for the Dubai campus, distinguished guests attended the University of Birmingham Dubai’s first graduation ceremony, held at Jumeirah Beach Hotel on the same evening.

TECOM Group is a crucial driver of the rapid growth of Dubai’s knowledge- and innovation-based economy, and has significantly contributed to enhancing the emirate’s attractiveness for some of the world’s top companies and talent. The Group has 10 thriving sector-focused communities, including DIAC.

For more information about the University of Birmingham Dubai, please visit