By Sam Bridge
Heriot-Watt University has signed a 10-year lease for a 218,000 sq ft campus in the Dubai Knowledge Park
Heriot-Watt University has announced plans to relocate to a new campus in Dubai in 2021.
The university, which has operated in Dubai since 2005 and recently earned a five-star ranking from Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), has signed a 10-year lease for a 218,000 sq ft campus in the Dubai Knowledge Park.
Heriot-Watt was established in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1821 and provides degree education internationally to 28,000 students, with almost 4,000 in Dubai.
Professor Ammar Kaka, provost & vice-principal of Heriot-Watt Dubai campus, said: “This announcement marks a historic milestone for Heriot-Watt and ensures our students will enjoy the benefits of an enriched learning experience and outstanding graduate outcomes for many years to come.
“Since our launch in 2005, the university has grown considerably in Dubai and I’m delighted to say our agreement with Dubai Knowledge Park means we will continue to make a significant impact, delivering long-term benefits to the Dubai and UAE economy and local community.
“This move is a key part of delivering Heriot-Watt’s ambitious six-year strategy for the University and demonstrates our commitment to the region and growth plans for the future.”
Staff and students will move to the new campus as of January 2021.
The campus is set to support the delivery of the university’s portfolio of programmes including in data science, computing and AI, business, accounting and finance, psychology, architecture and design, construction and engineering.
It will include a dedicated student hub, a central student services centre, enhanced library and social learning spaces, as well as a wide range of digitally enhanced classrooms, seminar rooms, studios, and laboratories.
In-house recording studios will also allow the creation of digital materials for a more engaging and interactive learning experience.
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, chairman and director general of the KHDA, said: “Dubai is home to the largest number of international branch campuses in the world. The opening of a new Heriot-Watt campus in 2021 further strengthens Dubai’s position as a leading international study destination.”
The university operates five campuses across the UK, Dubai and Malaysia as well as an extensive range of online study programmes.