Free zone for international higher education launched in UAE



Touted to be the world’s only free zone dedicated to international higher education, the new educational hub will be located in Dubai Academic City and will serve as the regional base for premier international higher education institutions.



Spread across an area of about 25 million sq ft, DIAC is said to be the first dedicated tertiary cluster development and of this, eight million sq ft would be allocated to international higher education zone, while research and development centres would occupy another three million sq ft.



About 20 international universities of higher learning from countries like Australia, India, Iran, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Belgium, UK and Ireland have already set up their base in DIAC and according to the Executive Director of Dubai Knowledge Village and DIAC, Dr Ayoub Kazim, at least another 25 institutes would be set up in the next five years.



Underlining the difference between Dubai Knowledge Village and DIAC, Kazim stressed that DIAC would provide the perfect platform for universities catering to higher education while Dubai Knowledge Village was for training institutes and HR institutes.



“In DIAC, colleges have the option to choose between readymade buildings or can build their own infrastructure,” he added.



DIAC partners would have tax free status, 100 per cent foreign ownership and full repatriation of profits. The new venture is said to be in line with the long-term economic strategy to develop the region’s talent pool.



Kazim also pointed out that the universities do not have to be accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education.



“We do not want to interfere with institutes and our selection process is very stringent. We have only selected three out of the 14 applications we received last year,” he reasoned.


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