On November 16, Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai inaugurated its new campus expansion in Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP), a member of TECOM Group PJSC, in the presence of a delegation of officials from the UAE and UK. The British University’s additional state-of-the-art facilities coincide with a recent record growth in student enrolments, which saw the five-star rated institution recognised by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) as Dubai’s largest UK university for the past two academic years.
Building on eighteen years of achievement and innovation providing a quality UK education in the UAE, the expansion includes digitally enhanced educational and social spaces across MDX Dubai’s campus. The facilities aim to redefine the future of the entire university experience, unifying essential student services, academia, and extracurricular activities and catering to the unique requirements of ambitious students launching their careers in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
Re-envisioning the university experience
Encouraging collaboration, entrepreneurship and academic exploration, the facilities are home to a centralised student services hub, which houses the University’s extensive support services that serve the needs of all students. Resources include the careers and employability service, which provides career counselling and planning, and the Centre for Academic Success, which facilitates mental health support, health and well-being counselling, learning disability support, inclusivity training and academic skills workshops.
Further highlights of the expansion include the MDX Social Hub, which is the focal point of the Middlesex student experience as a modern, welcoming and relaxing themed space that is centred around promoting student health, well-being and connection. The Social Hub has been designed in response to students’ feedback about the types of facilities they wished to see on campus.
The Hub boasts an extensive range of facilities, including a fully equipped gym, arcade, music and gaming rooms, industry-grade dance studio, running track, basketball court, DJ booth and more. Many of these spaces are multi-use, supporting the needs of the University’s social clubs, sports teams, faculty and students alike.
As part of DKP’s community of leading universities and training institutes, MDX Dubai strategically places students near Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City, which are home to Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs. The tech and media ecosystems, launched by TECOM Group, provide students access to a dynamic calendar of industry events and networking opportunities to kick-start their professional development.
Inauguration in the presence of leading UK and UAE officials
The inauguration ceremony was attended by a delegation from the UK and UAE, including KHDA and TECOM officials. Attendees also included Simon Penney, consul-general to Dubai and the Northern Emirates and trade commissioner for the Middle East, British Embassy Dubai; Dr Mohamad Hamade, CEO of Amanat Holdings, MDX Dubai’s joint venture partner; professor Carole-Anne Upton, deputy vice-chancellor for global innovation and Impact of Middlesex University London; and Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, pro-vice chancellor of Middlesex University and director of Middlesex University Dubai.
During the inauguration, Amanat Holdings and Middlesex University London addressed the attendees, emphasising the importance of the UAE’s higher education sector to the country’s national development and the role leading British universities such as MDX Dubai play in this growth. The British Embassy Dubai also delivered remarks, highlighting the importance of a quality UK education.
The inauguration ceremony also included an exclusive tour of the new facilities and interactions with senior faculty and students throughout the campus buildings.
Penney said: “The UAE and the UK enjoy a close and long-standing bilateral relationship, which is becoming ever stronger through our shared values of quality education, empowering youth and creating impactful global job opportunities for young innovators.
“A British university education is globally recognised and incredibly well-respected for its internationally-relevant research and academic excellence. World-class education such as this plays a critical role in talent development that will achieve our nations’ mutually-beneficial goals. I am proud that top British higher education institutions such as Middlesex University Dubai are leading the way in providing a quality, affordable UK education in the UAE and around the world," she added.
Known for its academic rigour, relevant, impactful research excellence and careers-led curriculum, a British education at MDX Dubai is considered globally as excellent preparation for building the skills and professional network needed for a successful career. The University enjoys strong connections with industry, empowering students to engage professionally with their chosen field through guest speakers, internships and real-life projects as part of the curriculum.
Ammar Al Malik, executive vice president – commercial leasing, TECOM Group PJSC, said: “The UAE’s commitment to an innovation and knowledge-based economy and its reputation as a regional destination for education go hand in hand. Our leadership has created significant opportunities for universities to tap into the region’s growing youth population under the National Innovation Strategy. DKP and Dubai International Academic City, TECOM Group’s education-focused business districts, have been integral to enhancing higher education in Dubai by providing a platform where global and regional universities can easily expand their curriculum to empower thousands of ambitious students who will be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, innovators and change makers. Seeing a long-standing partner like Middlesex University expand within our district not only nods to the growing volume of students choosing Dubai, but also demonstrates how our universities are enhancing the role they play in nurturing entrepreneurship, innovation, professional development and academic excellence, better catering to the needs of tomorrow.”
Hamade added: “The expansion of our existing campus in DKP follows the opening of our second Dubai campus in Dubai Academic City and will further enable the expansion of our student body, which now welcomes over 4,500 students, over a quarter of which are from overseas. We are privileged to be part of Dubai and the UAE’s world-class education ecosystem and to continue our societal contribution by providing high-quality education.”
Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, pro-vice chancellor of Middlesex University and director of Middlesex University Dubai, said: “As a five-Star KHDA institution, we are proud to be launching these new facilities to provide learners of all ages from the UAE and across the globe with the opportunity to pursue impactful international careers and make a difference in their chosen field through a quality, affordable British education. Building on our continuous growth and success as a leading UK institution in the UAE, the new campus expansion signals that we remain the international university of choice in the region. These new facilities empower our students to put knowledge into action, a vision and mission which radiates across all our University does.”
Guided by the values of Middlesex University’s Strategy to 2031, which sets out how the leading UK institution aims to make a positive impact globally through research and academia, Middlesex University Dubai continues to innovate and redefine British education in the UAE and wider region as it looks forward to yet another successful academic year ahead.