Brief History of AUE

The American University in the Emirates (AUE) originated in the Academic Year (AY) 2006-2007 as the “American College in the Emirates” (ACE). The College’s initial mission was to “offer quality, multidisciplinary, and career-oriented academic degree programs that prepare students for successful employment and continuing higher education.” As a self-financed institution, ACE awarded two-year associate degrees in media, information technology, business, and design. At this time, the United Arab Emirates and Dubai governments and business sectors accepted graduates with associate degrees for intermediate and entry-level employment.

The college labeled itself an “American College” since it offered associate degrees under a credit hour system and an American curriculum comprised of general education and free elective courses. In the 63-credit-hours associate degree programs, ACE focused on general education and the liberal arts during the first year of study, and offered specialization courses with job training for the second year.


Year of Inception

The initial intake in the 2006/07 year was comprised of 40 students—a blend of first-year students and working professionals. By the year’s end, 21 students had dropped out due to a lack of English language and mathematics competency. For a startup, self-financed institution, a greater than 50% dropout rate was a significant challenge. However, with the shareholders’ commitment and financial support, the founding Board of Trustees and the College President were inspired to continue with the project of establishing a new, top-quality academic institution that would prioritize academic rigor and education. The Board of Trustees added two new priorities to the initial strategic plan: 1) student success and retention; and 2) resource optimization. By the end of AY 2007/08, the college developed the slogan “Nothing is impossible” to inspire students to thrive and overcome all challenges in academic and professional endeavors, as well as to motivate the college’s faculty members and staff to work effectively and efficiently in the face of inevitable early obstacles.


During AY 2008/09, before ACE graduated its first cohort (i.e., the class of 2007), the global financial crisis affected most business firms in Dubai and the Gulf region in general. As a result, organizations downsized and retained only the most skilled and experienced staff. The College’s Board of Trustees observed the effects of the crisis on the United Arab Emirates’ markets and business firms and the college’s graduates. Consequently, to meet the new market dynamics, the board was determined to equip its graduates with more knowledge, skills, and competencies by offering full bachelor’s degree programs.

As a first step, by May 2008, the American College in the Emirates changed its name to “American University in the Emirates.” Simultaneously, the institution substituted its associate degree programs with four-year bachelor’s degree programs.

Finally, the university persuaded its associate degree students to convert their studies into full bachelor’s degrees at the same institution. To better reflect these changes, the university’s mission changed to offering “quality, multidisciplinary, and career-oriented academic degree programs that prepare students for successful employment and continued higher education”. As the university discontinued the associate degree programs and offered newly accredited bachelor’s degree programs, student enrollment reached 460 students.


AY 2009/10 was a milestone in AUE’s history, with the initial accreditation of its bachelor’s programs in Media Studies, Business Science, Computer Science, and Design. The College of Business Administration (COBA) started offering a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with three specializations—and added another five unique specializations the following year. Three of these specializations, namely; Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Insurance and Risk Management, and Hospital and Healthcare Management, are unique in the United Arab Emirates and the region. COBA also became a member of AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) – in April 2013, and has worked towards accreditation since then.

AY 2009/10 was an unforgettable year as AUE also received initial accreditation for its first graduate program, the Master of Arts in Diplomacy, which was specifically conceived to align with the country’s vision and market needs.

The university went on to receive initial accreditation for another two of its programs in June 2009: Digital Animation and Graphic Design, offering students an opportunity to develop their creative voices and expressions. This year also witnessed new academic programs in the College of Computer Information Technology (CCIT) with two bachelor’s degree programs becoming available for study. One of these programs, the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, allowed students to choose between two unique specializations: Digital Forensics and Network Security. Information Technology Management (ITM), another unique program, would graduate students equipped with management and information technology skills to prepare them to become managers in these areas.

Furthermore, the College of Media and Mass Communication (CMMC) started offering specializations in Public Relations, International Relations, and Media Sales. Media Sales was later revised to become the Integrated Marketing Communications program, and has a distinctive specialization in Integrated Marketing Communication. This specialization gives students a clear understanding of communication roles in advertising and marketing and gives them the skills to think creatively and propose market research solutions.


The start of AY 2010/11 was inspiring for all AUE stakeholders, as this marked the moment when the university received its initial accreditation for Interior Design and Fashion Design for its Bachelor of Science in Design. This year the university also added another graduate program, the Master’s in Business Administration, and established the College of Law (CLAW) with a Bachelor of Law program.

Enrollment had grown by this time to accommodate 1,000 students, with international applicants contributing to increased diversity on the university campus. AY 2010/11 also witnessed a unique event when, in December 2011, the university held an underwater fashion show at the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm. Professional scuba divers showcased seven mermaid and oceanic-inspired creations by students from the Fashion Design Program in the 11-million-liter Ambassador Lagoon, home to fifty-two thousand species of marine life. This event aimed to open students’ minds and think creatively about possibilities beyond the university campus. A team of 70 students created the designs within a month. The final exhibition was considered to be a huge success, with the university receiving widespread commendations for the students’ creative efforts.

Finally, the university took the initiative to form an official Student Council to better serve the growing student body and represent the students’ voice in university governance. An athletic office was also established for the men’s swimming and soccer teams.


To better serve the needs of students, in AY 2011/12 the university established the Office of Career and Internship and the Office of Alumni, and organized AUE’s first Commencement Ceremony on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11). The commencement celebrated graduating students from the associate degree classes of 2007, 2008, and 2011, and the uniqueness of the commencement date was memorable for all! This year, the university also started to focus more critically on the needs of the market and governments in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf countries.

It is significant to mention that the university’s soccer team also won first place in the Dubai Universities Football League and third place in the National League the following year. For many years hence, the AUE soccer team would continue to be champions at the Dubai and United Arab Emirates levels. In addition, the university swimming team won first place in the National Universities Swimming Championship.

The university student body was also active, initiating the celebration of “Global Day”, in which the university focused on appreciating and celebrating the multicultural community at AUE. The event has been celebrated every year since then. While co-curricular activities were celebrated, in February 2012 the university added another specialization in Radio and TV to the Bachelor of Arts in Media and Mass Communication program.


Through rapport building with community and government entities, the university identified the need to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Security and Strategic Studies, which it launched in 2012/13. The bachelor’s degree included four unique specializations, in Natural Disaster Management, Emergency Management, Crisis Management, and Risk Management. The university’s aspiration to align with the national vision led to another two graduate programs the same year: the Master of Sports Management and Master of Arts in Security and Strategic Studies.

The university also organized its first Winter International Practicum Program for Villanova University, which subsequently continued as an annual event. The program included prominent industry and cultural visits and presented distinguished speakers from the private and public sectors. This impactful program aimed to familiarize the students with the cultures and economies of the UAE and GCC.

The second AUE Commencement Ceremony this year fell on another unique date: 12/12/12.


During AY 2013/14, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development in the UAE, AUE, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) hosted an international conference on NATO’s approach to Gulf Cooperation, titled “Lessons Learned and Future Challenges.”

AUE hosted its Global Day event to promote awareness of cultural diversity and celebrate the different nationalities represented at the university. On this occasion, students collaborated with their embassies and councils in preparation for the event. Twenty-one countries were represented, including the UAE, Oman, Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, France, Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. AUE now hosts this event yearly with cultural pavilions, performances, regional artists, food, and other entertainment.

In cooperation with Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, MBC (the largest media company in the Middle East & North Africa region), and hospitals, AUE hosted its first local event to raise breast cancer awareness. AUE has hosted several subsequent events on that theme.

Finally, the year witnessed its third commencement ceremony, held on 11/12/13.


In the academic year 2014/15, the university received accreditation for a new graduate program in sports law. The Professional Master in Sports Law equips sports professionals to understand the legal aspect governing sports and expose them to emergent sport-related issues. The university also received its initial accreditation for the Bachelor in Public Relations.

Continuing the success of the previous year’s event, AUE held its first International Breast Cancer Awareness Forum, under the patronage of the Minister of Health of Saudi Arabia, the Health Chief Ministers in the GCC, and Princess Dina Mired from Jordan. The university also held its first International Conference on Sports Management and Sports Law, jointly organized by the College of Law and the College of Business Administration. In addition, the university conducted the ‘International Conference on National Capacity Building Strategy for Sustainable Development and Poverty Alleviation’, which took place May 26–28, 2015 and attracted prominent speakers and delegates worldwide.

This year, another major event organized by the university was the International Conference on Technology and Business Management (ICTBM-15) in association with the International Forum of Management Scholars, which sought to make significant, fundamental contributions to the economic, social, and cultural development of the country. The event witnessed thought-provoking presentations on the expansive role of technology and its importance in business.

Students were also involved in various exciting competitions and programs, even winning some significant regional successes. For instance, a design student was the grand prize winner of the Jaguar MENA Design XE competition running from September to December 2014 in the Middle East and North Africa region. The competition challenged university students to ‘unleash their creativity’ by designing unique art inspired by Jaguar’s new vehicle, the XE. Elsewhere, the university was extremely proud when one of the outstanding graduates from the Master of Arts in Security and Strategic Studies at the College of Media and Mass Communication was invited for Iftar by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai along with other outstanding students from various universities.

Students also participated in the Thai Fabric Workshop organized by the Thailand Academy Project. In addition, a student delegation successfully participated in a competitive youth leadership conference in Prague that gathered together selected youth leaders from around the world. Finally, to understand contemporary visual arts and design trends, students visited the Istanbul Modern and the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), an international institution active in research, publishing, documentation, and information.

For the first time, students also participated in a study abroad program in the US, “America in Global Context Summer Scholars Program,” at George Mason University. Focusing on American history, society, and business, the program included academic, cultural, and professional visits and gave the students excellent exposure and experience.

In June, students from the Professional Master of Sports Law at the College of Law organized a seminar entitled “Criminalization of Drugs and the Prohibition of Steroids in Sport”. Significantly, Dubai Sports Channel telecast the event with prominent speakers from the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology and the Drug Procuratorate Dubai. The event examined all aspects of doping and drugs, from their damaging social effects, to the solutions for eliminating their usage as pursued by the United Arab Emirates.

An international series was also organized by AUE for state ambassadors to share their valuable insights and experience about contemporary issues. These sessions served as the ideal platform for students to supplement their theoretical knowledge with firsthand perspectives from the ambassadors of Chile, the Kingdom of Netherlands, and the UK, among others. This year also witnessed delegates from Japan’s Urasenke Tankokai Federation to the university to increase awareness of Japanese culture among students and encourage related research.

Finally, the university initiated the “UAE Familiarization Program”, welcoming students from Sam Houston State University, USA (SHSU) to the AUE campus.

The year witnessed another unique commencement ceremony on a memorable date, 12/14/14. This was the first commencement conducted in the desert, and the ceremony concluded with fireworks.


The zeal for change and enthusiasm throughout the university led to a memorandum of understanding with IBMTM to integrate IBMTM tracks into the College of Computer Information Technology’s Network Security and Digital Forensics courses.

Furthermore, with its growing body of female students, the university established the International Council of Women to empower women to become agents of positive change. The former First Lady of South Africa and the First Lady of Ghana inaugurated the council.

The university also welcomed the delegates from Villanova University and Sam Houston State University under the “UAE Familiarization Program,” the second such program in its series of initiatives focusing on familiarizing representatives with UAE culture through in-house seminars, industry visits, and Arabian adventure.

With unique academic degrees in Sports Management and Sports Law, the university conducted a vital two-day workshop on International Sports Tourism with the Institute of Sports Science in Magdeburg, Germany. Speakers at the event came from George Washington University and workshop emphasized research and training in the field. Also, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees conducted a two-day workshop on Refugee Protection, allowing students to understand the true meaning of global citizenship.

With study and field trips being an integral part of the AUE vision, this year saw Diplomacy, Strategy, and Security Studies students participate in a field training, simulation, and a protocol trip to Greece, where they experienced firsthand opportunities to be trained in the bilateral, emerging relations between Greece and the UAE. The approach required a multidisciplinary and multi-layered approach to diplomacy, security, strategy, and information analysis.

Students were privileged to meet all levels of decision-makers, such as tactical advisors and country leaders, including the President of the Republic of Greece, the former Prime Minister of Greece, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Ministry of Defense. Students also traveled outside the Greek capital of Athens to Chania in Crete to participate in a naval briefing, training, and exercise conducted from the NATO Maritime Interdiction Training Center (NMIOTC) in Souda Bay (the center for naval counter-training terrorism at sea for NATO). Students also had the opportunity to visit the NATO Defense Range at Chania, where NATO defense training takes place. This visit took place at the highest level of protocol security, with representatives of the national armed forces of Greece and Greece’s National Security protocol for protection, welcoming our group of students and experts. Ultimately, the visit provided an educational, hands-on experience for AUE’s students that helped them to comprehend international strategic, security, and diplomatic affairs in practice.

This year, students from the College of Design also received the Recycle Runway Awards at the BRIDE Show Dubai 2016, and the glittering commencement ceremony took place on 12/15/15.


In AY 2016/17, the university established the College of Education with a new degree program, the Bachelor of Education. The university also added another three graduate programs to the College of Law. These programs – the Master in Arbitration, Master of Criminal Science, and Master in Intellectual Property – helped bachelor’s program graduates to advance their careers. Furthermore, AUE held its 1st International Equine Forum, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Minister of Finance, to discuss the challenges and future innovations in the equine industry.

Also, in AY 2016/17, AUE and Dubai Immigration Department jointly organized a seminar in Future Foresight. As a result of this seminar, AUE organized the Future Foresight Workshop, which Prof. Peter Bishop (Professor of Future Foresight at Houston University) and Dr. Freija Van Duijne (a professional Futurist) delivered. The audience members included employers from different Dubai governmental entities working in Future Foresight divisions, and AUE alumni from relevant fields could attend for free. A valuable employer insight from the workshop was that Dubai Courts and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) suffer from a lack of specialists in knowledge management and they suggested the university drive scholarly efforts in this field.

The initial response by the university was to organize a seminar for knowledge management that called on leading voices in the field, especially government entities, to have more insight into knowledge management, called for more market research from business firms. The seminar was organized in April at the Dubai Court and delivered by international knowledge management practitioners and academics.

The year also witnessed an International Design Conference on Education, Teaching, & Learning, which took place on October 28 and was organized by the College of Design. AUE students were also selected to participate in the China International Ceremonial Couture Design Contest 2016 in Beijing, under the theme “China’s Silk Road.”

Finally, in honor of Gulf Cancer Week and World Cancer Day, the university conducted a trilogy of seminars to raise awareness about the causes of cancer and to change attitudes towards the disease in the UAE.

2017 – 2018

AY 2017/18 featured an array of achievements, starting with the university earning initial accreditation of the Master in Security and Information Analysis. The College of Computer Information Technology’s hard work also paid off when the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

In November 2017, the College of Computer Information Technology also organized the first Smart Cities Forum on the university premises. The forum aimed to provide experts and community members with a platform to exchange information and insights to raise awareness about the opportunities and challenges facing the cities of the future.

This year, AUE held its first International Research Conference in association with Springer. Under the patronage of His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy in the United Arab Emirates, this first International Research Conference took place on 15 & 16 of November and had the participation of hundreds of academics, researchers, and practitioners from more than 40 different countries on the theme of “Creative Business and Social Innovation.”

In May, the College of Business Administration hosted its first AUE International Forum in Hospital, Insurance & Healthcare Management under the patronage of His Excellency Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention. A total of 28 experts from the insurance and healthcare industry shared their expertise through panel discussions with an audience of 150 members.

The university also celebrated the winning of its football team in the Universities’ Champions League, in the presence of his excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, then Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

Witnessing a need for security and global studies programs, this year the university established a seventh college unique to the Middle East: the College of Security and Global Studies. This college was created to offer a bachelor’s degree in Security and Strategic Studies with four specializations, namely; Natural Disaster Management, Emergency Management, Crisis Management, and Risk Management, as well as three master’s degree programs unique to the region.

Another memorable event in the year was the reaccreditation of its business, design, and security programs and accreditation of a multidisciplinary master’s degree program in Knowledge Management. The year also witnessed the first annual Student Council ceremony emphasizing students’ crucial role in university decision-making.

The university also marked a new level of scholarly activity with social impact by registering its first patent with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office for lifeguard behavioral intervention technology, and a second patent with the UAE Patent Office for Road and Transport Authority parking services.

In addition, the university organized its first an inter-university debate competition in cooperation with Dubai International Academic City that brought 17 universities from all over the country to AUE’s campus. We were proud to announce that first winners of this competition were AUE students.

The university also celebrated its 10th Anniversary and committed to sustaining higher educational standards. To mark the occasion, the university hosted a two-day Anniversary Carnival on campus attended by students, faculty, and guests.

2018 – 2019

A number of unique events took place this year at AUE, along with the usual occasions. For instance, AUE held its second International Research Conference in association with Springer on sustainable development and social responsibility, and the College of Computer Information Technology also held its second forum on Smart Cities.

AUE’s annual Global Day also took place but was renamed this year as the “Tolerance Festival” in line with the UAE’s decision to strengthen stability and prosperity in the region. Students led this event and celebrated the cultural diversity of the many countries represented there.

In February, the university hosted a car show under the patronage of H.E. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Vice-President of the International Federation of Automobiles and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of UAE. The event, organized by students, attracted more than 15,000 visitors from the UAE to view vintage sports cars and motorcycles, an auto drifting show, trolley races, and drifting competitions. The students who ran the event worked hard to recruit event participants and sponsors, manage marketing, scheduling, venue hire, and oversee the entire running of the event. They earned the university’s praise and respect with their efforts.

In March 2019, another university milestone was achieved when the College of Law launched its Journal of Legal and Judicial Research, incorporating three languages. In April, the same college organized its first scientific conference in cooperation with the Emirates Association of Lawyers.

Not to be outdone, this year the College of Design organized the 1st Melange Exclusif Fashion Show, where talented student fashion designers presented their exciting Spring 2019 collection. Similarly, the College of Media and Mass Communication had one of its most successful events in February, focusing on the power of media, various media industry trends, and the future of social media and business. This first Media Forum was witnessed by leading media-industry professionals, who were invited to be honorary audience members and panelists.

Meanwhile, the university commended the College of Business Administration students who took part in the Fintech Hackathon 2.0, organized by the Department of Finance, Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with BeMyAppTM from France. AUE students won first and second prizes in the presence of H.E. Shareefa Saeed Salem Al Jaberi, H.E. Abdulaziz Hareb Al Yousuf, and many industry dignitaries.

In line with the national mission to encourage innovation and enhance global competitiveness, this year also saw the university establish the Innovation Lab to enrich the campus culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and provide students with a platform for collaborating and developing their startup ideas. Her Excellency Engr Anwaar Al Shimari, Chief Innovation and AI Officer in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, helped to inaugurate the new lab. Students also participated in UAE Innovation week in February 2019 and exhibited their prototypes to the Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, His Excellency Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri.

This year also featured a successful careers fair with leading local and international companies on campus in January 2019. Many workshops were conducted over the course of the fair, with tips and advice for students about CVs, interview protocols, and real-world market expectations.

The university established academic councils and university councils since its inception, but in AY 2018/19, the university started conducting faculty and staff elections for representatives to the University Council, Academic Council, Administrative Council, and Enrollment Council. The elected positions make faculty members and staff part of the decision-making in vital university matters. The councils are also a venue for proposals, suggestions, recommendations, and findings that enhance the university’s quality of education and services. To this end, the year witnessed the establishment of the Faculty Senate for shared governance, whose valuable input falls under the protection of the wider University Council.

2018-19 also saw the university register another patent with the Patent Office of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf for a parking reservation device and online management system, including an automatic vehicle time violation system and remote booking.

The university also proudly represented the United Arab Emirates in the Asian University Sports Federation (AUSF) Football Cup in China and hosted its inaugural Alumni Association Reunion on January 27th, bringing together graduates in recognition and celebration of their educational and professional achievements.

The year ended with a memorable commencement ceremony in line with the Year of Tolerance in June 2019, under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Tolerance.

2019 – 2020

This year saw both achievements and challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Student Life and Community Engagement Office hosted 30 student online activities and events during the Fall semester, including a Freshman Fun Day and one of the year’s most anticipated events, the Club Fair. In October, the AUE campus also welcomed the Dubai EXPO 2020 team to recruit students, faculty, and staff to work as volunteers during the EXPO.

September witnessed a new university first, as the university was showcased in the film “Midas,” screened virtually at the Burbank International Film Festival in California. The film was a semifinalist, representing an excellent achievement for the College of Media and Mass Communication.

As part of its social responsibility, the university also began teaching and provided short-training programs to prisoners. This initiative was launched in collaboration with Abu Dhabi and Dubai Police to prepare inmates to have a productive life beyond prison by giving them educational opportunities for employment. The initiative targeted 40 inmates a year, with an average of 20 inmates per classroom.

With the pandemic affecting the financial condition of students and their families, the university extended its support to students by offering more financial support in various forms, including scholarships, grants, and financial aid. While financial aids and scholarships were always available in the Fall and Spring semesters, they were extended to the Summer semesters too, to support students during the crisis. Also providing support was the AUE Student Council, which played a vital role in building community and pride among students.

In coordination with the Student Life & Community Engagement Office and the College of Education – and despite the challenges of the year – the university hosted guests from the Belarussian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates in November 2019 for a discussion with the Ambassador and a movie screening of the film “Fortress of War”.
In response to the global pandemic, AUE shifted its course delivery and services to distance learning. Through its Student Life & Community Engagement Office, the university was proud to maintain its mission during this life-changing crisis. Despite the onset of distance learning and social distancing, the Student Life & Community Engagement Office connected with students virtually via an online webinar series to maintain a sense of community and promote student wellbeing.

The Student Life Office also organized “C3: Connecting to Combat Corona,” a virtual student engagement and wellbeing program, where various students, professionals, and influencers were invited to participate in live webinars that incorporated a mix of the arts, wellbeing, and practical knowledge.

This year was notable too for the excellent academic contributions made by faculty scholarship. The number of publications in Scopus-indexed journals reached 100, with an overall increase in Q1 and Q2 publications. The total number of publications was 312.

To extend academic and student support services, the university also broadened access to a range of learning opportunities to enhance teaching, research, and creative activities for faculty members and students, and the library began offering online educational resources and databases through the Learning Management System. In addition, students were provided with electronic textbooks (ebooks) for each of the courses registered.

Similarly, the university began offering support and assistance in conjunction with academic advisers to track student academic performance. This intervention ultimately led to a dedicated online portal designed to monitor student status and progress, operated by the appointed Advisor and Student Success Officer.

Elsewhere, the university ensured that its systems became even more optimized so that students with physical or mental special needs could receive support physically and virtually from the Counseling and Disability Office. Likewise, the Guidance and Counseling Office, Career and Job Placement Office, and Student Support Services became more streamlined and efficient in their operations to ensure that the particular COVID-19-related challenges facing students could be overcome.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, AUE continued to live by its motto, “Nothing is impossible”. Students under faculty supervision helped the UAE governmental sector by making a virtual presentation to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, a governmental entity that regulates the entry and exit of international travelers from Dubai and the residency of foreign nationals in the city.

The year also witnessed an industrial collaborative project between the university, Dubai Immigration, and Hewlett-PackardTM (HP), and another with the Roads and Transport Authority. Also, while the pandemic affected student mental health, the Counseling and Disability Office facilitated many workshops with experts to help students achieve their academic goals.

This year, the university had also planned a unique commencement, but the pandemic remained a significant challenge, so the ceremony was postponed. With great pomp and circumstance, however, its annual honors ceremony went ahead.

2020 – 2021

AY 2020/21 continued the delivery of quality education despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the continuation of academic operations, many more academic systems were digitized and classes mostly migrated to online learning platforms. In spite of the challenges, the university increased its contribution to journal publications in both Q1 and Q2 and celebrated significant achievements made by students in a top regional competition organized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Elsewhere, the College of Business Administration collaborated with the Institute of Management AccountantsTM, Morgan InternationalTM, and WileyTM to host an informative webinar titled “Certified Management Accountancy”, which was followed by a successful competition in March 2021. Another notable event was the fourth (virtual edition) of the Student Research Competition (AUE SRC) in April, which received more than 100 entries and presentations from multiple leading universities across the region. Other virtual events this year included a virtual Open Day, and virtual Careers Fair, as well as three popular webinars focused on ‘Teaching and Researching in the Time of COVID-19’, ‘The Caucasus in Flames, and the ‘Future of Work’, respectively.

The university also made special efforts to assist with student well-being, hosting workshops on ‘Social Emotional Learning’ and ‘Finding your Purpose and Living with Passion’. Notably, the university also began offering a beginner’s course in ‘Calisthenics and Weight Training’, organized a virtual Open Day and Careers Fair, and hosted a virtual celebration of UAE Flag Day. Last but not least, despite the limits imposed by COVID-19 restrictions, the university organized an Honors ceremony that was enjoyed by all.

Other memorable events of 2020/21 included the 1st International Arabian Gulf Security Conference, featuring keynote speeches from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Valeri Chechelashvili; a workshop into AI Market Trends; a Women and the Future Summit, and the Multilateral Diplomacy workshop.

2021 – 2022

As COVID-19 continued to rearrange the global landscape during this academic year, AUE forged ahead, hosting a number of innovative conferences and workshops. For instance, the university hosted the Future Innovation Summit and University Talent Show, as well as the 5th AUE International Research Conference. It also took part in the Arab Health 2022 Exhibition and Dubai Fashion Week; and co-hosted the Minds of the Future Conference, which provided a platform for experts and youth to speak about the future of their area of expertise in the UAE and beyond.

Additionally, the university was proud to be represented at the Legal System of Arbitration Event; the 3rd Smart City Forum; and the Building Bridges Event, which sought to strategize ways for the UAE to become “a major player in a multi-polarity world” (in the words of Dr Anwar Bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan).

AUE students also had a prolific year, with a cohort of Fashion Design students announced as winners at the ZAY global fashion design competition and a number of Public Relations students selected to appear among representatives from 13 other Arab countries participating in the Third Communication Forum, under the theme of “Research and Community Initiatives”. Equally thrilling was the College of Design Exhibition that was put together by a diverse array of students from that college.

Other significant events in the calendar were the university’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness event and first Autism Awareness Day, as well as its support for the UAE “Climate Connection Champions” program, which was conceptualized around the COP26 summit to develop and amplify support for climate change action among young people and institutions in the UAE while building a network of climate champions.

On the recruitment front, AUE’s admissions department worked hard to organize multiple “Open House Events” in which prospective students were able to visit the campus and speak directly with student ambassadors and members of staff. These outward-looking events were mirrored by a number of inward-facing occasions, such as the AUE Club Fair, Career Fair, T-shirt Design Competition, and CMMC Capstone Event and Forum. In celebration of graduating students, the university also made certain to organize a truly spectacular graduation ceremony at the Dubai EXPO 2020, as well as organizing a memorable honors ceremony.

2022 – 2023

In the academic year 2022-2023, the American University in the Emirates (AUE) achieved significant milestones that marked a year of growth, recognition, and celebration. A notable highlight was the 5th American University in the Emirates International Research Conference (AUEIRC), held under the patronage of H.E Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, UAE. The conference sought to provide a platform for researchers to present and discuss recent developments, trends, and challenges in their respective disciplinary fields. Research topics navigated a wide range of disciplines, including Humanities, Social Sciences, Business Administration, and Applied Information Technology.

Following closely was the 2nd IAGSC, held under the patronage of H.E General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, covering diverse subfields of International Relations, including Security, Diplomacy, Economy, and Cybersecurity. The conference’s success was marked by the active involvement of students and alumni, showcasing the university’s dedication to research, collaboration, and the development of future leaders.

A significant achievement was the President’s invitation to be a panel speaker at the Times Higher Education (THE) event for sustainability, the Global Sustainable Development Congress (GSDC), hosted at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. This prestigious invitation underscored AUE’s leadership in sustainability and its commitment to global development goals. Furthermore, AUE entered the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking for the first time, positioning the university among the recognized institutions of higher learning globally.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) assessed the College of Design’s four undergraduate degree programs to be substantially equivalent to accredited programs in the United States, reflecting the University’s commitment to excellence in education. Additionally, the campus expanded from 2 blocks to 3, enhancing the learning environment for students and faculty.

The AUE Car Show celebrated its tenth year, attracting over 15,000 visitors and featuring an array of vintage cars, sports cars, and bikes, along with thrilling drifting shows. The AUE Career Fair continued to bridge the gap between students and the market, offering opportunities for internships and jobs, and rounding off a year filled with achievements and vibrant community engagement.