All About Student Loans in the UAE: Eligibility & More

All About Student Loans in the UAE: Eligibility & More

Pursuing higher education is a significant milestone in one's life, often unlocking a multitude of career prospects and avenues for personal development. However, the cost of education can be a substantial barrier for many students in the UAE. Student loans offer a practical solution to this financial challenge, enabling students to focus on their studies without worrying about tuition fees and living expenses.

Delve into the essentials of student loans in the UAE, exploring eligibility criteria, application requirements, and repayment options to help you easily finance your education.

Student loans in the UAE

In the UAE, student loans are extended by banks and financial institutions to Emirati citizens and expatriates enrolled in accredited educational institutions. These loans are tailored to meet the financial needs of students, including aspects like tuition fees, living expenses, and other essential costs associated with pursuing higher education.

These loans are instrumental in supporting educational pursuits by offering varying features and benefits tailored to the needs of students and their families.

Some of the characteristics of the student loans in the UAE are:

Loan amount

The loan amount varies from bank to bank. The majority of the banks in Dubai offer a minimum loan starting from AED10,000 with maximum amounts varying significantly. For instance, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Mashreq Bank extend loans up to AED 250,000 and AED 200,000 respectively, depending on eligibility criteria and sometimes parental support.

Repayment tenure

The repayment period for student loans typically spans up to 48 months. This tenure allows students ample time to settle their debts post-graduation. It also ensures manageable monthly payments aligned with the borrower's financial circumstances.

Interest rates

Interest rates for student loans in the UAE are generally competitive. Based on the borrower’s income and the bank policies, students are offered options such as flat and reduced interest rates.

Flat interest rates remain constant throughout the loan term, providing predictability in monthly payments. However, reducing interest rates begins higher and decreases with each installment, potentially saving money over time as the outstanding principal decreases.

Processing fee

The processing fee is a one-time charge that varies across banks and is incurred during the loan application process. It is advisable to compare fees among different banks to find the most cost-effective option. Additionally, banks may have policies regarding early repayment penalties, impacting borrowers' decisions to pay off loans ahead of schedule.

By comparing offerings from various banks and understanding the fine print, students can effectively finance their education while ensuring financial stability post-graduation.

Eligibility criteria for student loans in the UAE

Securing a student loan in the UAE requires meeting specific eligibility criteria tailored by various financial institutions. To secure a student loan in the UAE, you need to meet the following requirements.

  • Must be a UAE national or resident.
  • Age eligibility ranges from 21 to 65 years old.
  • Minimum monthly salary requirement varies between AED 7,000 to AED 10,000 (specific requirements may differ by the bank).
  • Applicants must maintain a current account at a bank offering education loans.
  • For Master’s degree loans, applicants typically require a strong financial background.

Institutions offering student loans in the UAE

The banks and universities in the UAE facilitate access to financial support for higher education through student loans and scholarships.

Financial institutions

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)

The ADCB Education Loan is designed to help students achieve personal and professional development goals by providing necessary financial support. The loan is available for both school and higher education fees, covering institutions in the UAE and overseas.

ADCB offers immediate funding to meet school or university fees, ensuring you can promptly cover educational expenses. Additionally, the bank provides pre-approval at no extra charge, allowing students to choose their institution with confidence, knowing the necessary funds are secured.

Loan amount: Borrow up to AED 250,000. For loans of AED 150,000 or less, no salary transfer is required.

Interest rates and repayment terms: Low interest rates with flexible repayment terms of up to 60 months.

Loan options: Conventional and Shari’ah-compliant options.

Emirates NBD

The Scholar Plus Education Loan is crafted to help executives and students achieve their educational aspirations by providing substantial financial support. This loan is ideal for those looking to advance their careers while pursuing further studies.

Scholar Plus Education Loan features attractive interest rates and includes Scholar Protect, which covers the outstanding loan amount in case of an eventuality. The loan amount can be up to 125% of the course fee, with a maximum limit of AED 300,000. Rates and benefits vary based on customer segments, eligibility, and borrowing capacity according to the bank's credit policy and central bank regulations.

Loan amount: Borrow up to AED 300,000.

Interest rates and repayment terms: Loan tenure up to 48 months, with attractive interest rates and flexible terms.

Additional benefits: Free Credit life insurance, Free Global Cash card, preferential rates on currency conversions (including USD and Pound Sterling for foreign currency accounts), and up to 2 non-consecutive deferments within a loan cycle.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)

The ADIB Education Finance program is tailored to support students by offering reduced profit rates and flexible repayment terms. Designed to ease the financial burden of education, this loan includes several benefits to help students manage expenses effectively. Additionally, borrowers can defer up to two installments per year without incurring any fees.

Loan amount: Borrow up to AED 250,000 with a 100% waiver on processing fees.

Interest rates and repayment terms: Reduced profit rates starting at 5.49% per annum with flexible repayment terms of up to 48 months.

Loan options: Features include a 210-day grace period for the first installment and the option to postpone up to two installments per year.


The HSBC Education Loan is designed to help with education costs for yourself or your child, providing necessary financial support to kickstart a bright future. Whether you are looking to pay for your child's education or your own, this loan offers several advantages to ease the financial burden.

Loan amount: Borrow up to an undisclosed limit tailored to your needs.

Interest rate and repayment terms: Enjoy a personalized interest rate of 7.24%, with flexible repayment terms ranging from 6 months to 4 years (48 months).

Additional benefits: No credit life insurance needed, top up your loan if needed, personalized interest rate.

RAK Bank

The RAK Bank Education Loan is specifically designed to support your child's education in the UAE or abroad, providing substantial financial aid to cover tuition and other related expenses.

Loan amount: Up to AED300,000.

Interest rates and repayment terms: Competitive interest rate starting from 4.89% per annum (reducing rate), with a flexible loan tenure of up to 48 months.

Additional benefits: Remittances to foreign institutions enjoy favorable exchange rates.

Other major financial institutions that offer student loans in the UAE are:

  • Mashreq
  • Barclays
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi
  • Sharjah Islamic Bank

Educational institutions

Middlesex University

Image Source: Dubai Education Guide

Middlesex University Dubai has partnered with Mashreq Bank to offer flexible finance options. The partnership aims to alleviate financial stress for both prospective and current students. The collaboration enables students to pursue their studies without the immediate burden of tuition payments. Those opting for the Mashreq Personal Loan can enjoy several advantages: the opportunity to fulfill their academic aspirations with previously unattainable financial flexibility, and spreading payments over up to 48 months. Monthly payments are conveniently deducted via direct debit, eliminating the need for manual fee payments. Furthermore, approved loans come with benefits such as quick processing times, no processing fees, and waived mandatory life insurance fees.

Several universities like American University in the Emirates and Abu Dhabi University provide financial aid to their students to support their academic program. Visit their website to check the criteria.

Documents required for student loans in the UAE

Applying for a student loan in the UAE parallels the process of applying for a personal loan, albeit with additional specifics tailored to educational financing needs. The documentation required may vary slightly depending on whether you are applying through a bank or a university.

Here are the documents required when applying for a student loan:

  • Valid passport (original and copy for expatriates).
  • Valid residence visa.
  • Bank account statements for the last three to six months.
  • Copy of university ID card or enrollment card provided by the university.
  • Quotation addressed to the bank from the university or school detailing tuition fees.
  • Original salary certificate.
  • Bank statement of salary for the last six months (original).
  • Trade license (for self-employed individuals).
  • Security cheque with 120% of the loan amount (if requested by the bank).

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Shahba Mayyeri

Written by Shahba Mayyeri

Shahba is a Content Creator at HiDubai with 3 years of experience in crafting compelling stories and articles. She holds a Master’s degree in Media and Communications from MAHE Dubai.
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