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Academic City, Dubai

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About Academic City, Dubai Overview

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), also known as Academic City, is the university town of Dubai, UAE, situated on the City's southern outskirts along the Dubai-Al Ain Road. Launched in 2007, Academic City today serves as the education hub of Dubai to cater to the global academic community. 

Academic City is the largest free zone in the world that is dedicated to education institutes. This means that the education institutes in this area are operating with 100% foreign ownership. It homes 27 colleges and universities, 3 innovation centres, and enrols about 27,500 students every year across 500 academic programmes. With a residential neighbourhood in the proximity of the education institutes, Academic City offers a relatively low cost of living to students compared to other areas of the City.

Key Highlights of Academic City

What’s Great Here!
  • The ultimate destination for higher education
  • Low cost of living as compared to other areas in Dubai
  • The residential neighbourhood is close to colleges and universities
  • Diverse culture because of global students
  • Safe and secure environment for residents with a peaceful atmosphere and 24-hour security
What Needs Attention!
  • The unavailability of large-format luxury housing properties such as villas
  • Limited shopping centres or shopping malls within the City

Real Estate Overview in Academic City, Dubai

Due to a large influx of students, Academic City has initiated student housing projects to provide affordable accommodation to students studying in the educational institutes of these areas. Instead of travelling far, students can find residential apartments in Academic City that are close to their colleges and universities. The Myriad and Al Shiba Complex are the popular housing properties in Academic City. There are many educational institutes in Academic City that offer on-campus accommodation as well. 

The infrastructure of Academic City spans a total area of 129 million sq. ft. (around 12 sq. km.), of which 20 million sq. ft. is reserved solely for colleges and universities. It is complete with amenities and lifestyle hubs like hospitals, public transport, mini-parks, restaurants, and shopping malls, that are easily accessible from the residential areas.

Public Transportion

When in Academic City, you can ride an RTA bus or hail a taxi conveniently. Bus stops are present close to the education campuses. Being located along the Dubai-Al Ain Road, Academic City is well-connected to the rest of Dubai and UAE through the main road network. 

The Metro and Bus routes that have connectivity to Academic City are:

Bus / Metro Route
Metro Rashidiya Metro Station
Al Jadaf Metro Station
Creek Metro Station
Etisalat Metro Station
Emirates Metro Station
Bus Routes Bus – 366
Bus – 365


Nurseries / Educational Institutes

The Academic City is home to some of the best education institutes across the globe. Some of the world-class universities in Academic City are: 

  • Murdoch University
  • BITS Pilani
  • American University
  • Institute of Management Technology

In addition to the educational institutes, the Academic City has excellent schools and daycare nurseries. Blossom Nurseries and Little Finger Daycare Centre and located within Academic City. There are a few renowned nurseries in Dubai Silicon Oasis, which are: 

  • Toddlers International
  • British Orchard Nursery
  • Fantasy Town Nursery
  • Play Lounge 

The international schools in Academic City are: 

  • Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou
  • German International School Dubai


Academic City has a good network of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and grocery stores. These markets offer a fresh supply of fruits, vegetables, and meat and offer a home delivery facility. Some of the supermarkets in the City include the following:


  • Allday Minimart 
  • Bluemart Fresh Minimart 
  • Walkers Stop Minimarket 
  • Naji Minimarket


  • Greens Supermarket 
  • Big Value Supermarket 
  • Zoom Supermarket 
  • Grandiose Supermarket 

The biggest hypermarket chain in Dubai, the Lulu Hypermarket, has a store in Dubai Silicon Oanear the Academic City.

Healthcare Facilities

The Academic City provides standard medical care, and visitors can avail of medical treatment from either private or government hospitals across the City. Some of the clinics and hospitals at the Academic City are: 


  • Apple International Polyclinic
  • Aster Clinic 
  • Al Taef East Medical Centre 
  • Thumbay Clinic 
  • Miracure Medical Centre 
  • Clinicare Medical Centre 
  • AG Care Medical Centre 


  • Magnum Gulf Medical Centre 
  • Fakeeh University Hospital

Place of Worship

Catering to the diverse student base, the Academic City homes churches, temples, and mosques. 


  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church 
  • St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral 
  • Coptic Church 

These churches are in Oud Mehta near the Academic City and can be reached in under 20 minutes. 

Temples & Gurudwaras: 

  • Shiva Temple 
  • Shrinath Ji Temple 
  • Shree Krishna Haveli 
  • Sindhi Gurdarbar 
  • Sikh Gurudwara 

These temples and Gurdwaras are also in the nearby residential clusters and can be reached within 20 minutes. 


  • Al Waha Masjid 
  • EPPCO Petrol Station Masjid 

These mosques are in Dubai Silicon Oasis, which is adjacent to the Academic City.

Best Hotels in Academic City

Academic City doubles as a tourist destination, being the education hub of UAE. It has many affordable and premium hotels for international tourists. Some of these hotels are: 

  • Premier Inn Ibn Battuta Hotel 
  • Raintree Hotel 
  • Arabian Park Hotel 
  • Emirates Grand Hotel
  • Fairmont Dubai


Shopping Centers

The shopping centres for the residents of the Academic City are in Dubai Silicon Oasis and are within a 2 to 5-minute drive. The nearest shopping malls are:

  • Souq Extra 
  • Dubai Outlet Mall

The Avenue Mall is scheduled to open soon opposite the Zayen University on the Dubai – Al Ain Road and will serve as an ultimate shopping destination for the residents of Academic City.


The restaurants and cafes of Academic City reflect the diverse culture of the City. These restaurants offer a range of world cuisines and vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Some popular restaurants in the Academic City are:  

  • Soulgreen Dubai 
  • Bombay Chowpatti 
  • Sumo Sushi & Bento 
  • Set El Sham 
  • Puranmal 
  • Fuel Up 

Academic City also has food and café chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Bink Station, and Papa Murphy’s Pizza which are close to the residential complexes and education campuses. 

The bars & nightclubs in the area are:

  • Mr Toad’s Pub & Kitchen 
  • Incyas 
  • Chingari

Beaches Nearby

Since Academic City is landlocked, commuters have to travel approximately half an hour to one hour to reach the nearest beaches. Jumeirah Beach is the closest beach to Academic City at a distance of 28 kilometres. Some of the other beaches near Academic City are: 

  • La Mer Beach 
  • Marina Beach
  • Pine Beach
  • Kite Beach

Leisure Activities Nearby

Academic City is versatile, with a plethora of leisure activities. Some of the activities that can be enjoyed in and around Academic City are: 

  • Sports Activities: Outdoor sports such as Golf, Polo and Tennis can be played at the various sports centres in and around Academic City. Some of these sports centres are Crystal Sport Tennis Academy, Al Habtoor Polo and Resort Club and Desert Palm Polo Club. Dubai Water Polo Club is for water polo lovers. 
  • Water Sports Activities: The waterparks at the nearby beaches, such as Wild Wadi Waterpark at Jumeirah Beach, offer water rides and slides. Deep Dive Dubai is a water sports club that offers scuba diving, snorkelling and free diving.
  • Walking and Bird-watching: There are several parks for walking and bird-watching in and near Academic City. Some of these are Central Park, Joury’s Park, Silicon Park, and Triangular Park, all of which are within a 7-minute drive from the City. 
  • Annual Education Fairs: Academic City frequently hosts career fairs, workshops, competitions, and creativity festivals to give exposure and learning opportunities to students.

Academic City - Location Map and Landmarks

City Connections
Shopping Centers
Business Hubs
Schools Near by Academic City Dubai

Distance and Commute Time from Academic City to Other Popular Places

Academic City is well connected to the prominent areas of Dubai through roads and a metro network, and all these places require a travel time of less than an hour. 

  • The distance between Academic City and Dubai International Airport is 21.9 km, which can be covered in 18 minutes by road. The best route to travel to and fro is via taxi or private car.  
  • The distance between Academic City and Dubai International City is 9 km, which can be covered in 10 minutes through Metro and Bus routes. 
  • The distance between Academic City and Dubai Silicon Oasis is 4 km, which can be covered in 5 minutes via a taxi or a bus ride. 
  • The distance from Academic City to Jumeirah Beach is 28 km, which can be covered in 24 minutes via bus or car route.
Academic City, Dubai

Ratings and Reviews

Abhishek Sinha
A world-class education hub

Academic City is a world-class education hub with offices and educational institutes. The universities have good infrastructure and calm surroundings. With Dubai Knowledge Park close to the City, it creates job opportunities for students studying here.

Sissaoui Rafik
Leisure living

The residential apartments in Academic City include well-lit and ventilated large living spaces. Most apartments have balconies and are semi-furnished. The residential compounds are surrounded by serene green parks that can be viewed from the apartments.

Priyanka Garg
Offers great hangout places

Great place to hang out with friends as the City has large food courts and many restaurants that offer multiple world cuisines. Filli Café is a nice place to sit and relax over a cup of tea.

Sabriena Angelin
Affordable Living

As a PG student studying at Curtin University, Dubai, Academic City offers a complete experience as well as a very calm environment overall. The residential apartments in Academic City are affordable as well.

Vinit Rughani
Good for Leisure Activities

Academic City has majestic sports stadiums. With its many sports and fitness clubs, it offers an array of leisure activities to its residents.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Academic City Freehold?

Academic City is among the freehold zones in Dubai. The owners of properties in Academic City enjoy free ownership and can use the property for any purpose following local regulations.

What are the top attractions in Academic City, Dubai?

The top attractions in Academic City are the Al Habtoor Polo and Resort Club and the Desert Palm Polo Club. Dubai Outlet Mall and Jumeirah Beach are the nearby attractions.

How to get to Academic City in Dubai by bus and metro? Which is the nearest metro station?

Academic City offers a well-connected metro and bus route to all the prominent areas of Dubai. Rashidiya Metro Station is the closest metro station to Academic City, while bus lines 365 and 366 operate in and around the City.

Which are the best communities to live in Academic City, Dubai?

The Myriad, Al Shiba Complex, and KSK Homes Phase 2 are some of the best and most convenient residential complexes in Academic City.

What are the best hotels and restaurants in Academic City?

Fairmont Dubai, Premier Inn, and Best Western Plus are some of the best hotels in Dubai Academic City. Set El Sham, Filli Café, Puranmal, and Fuel Up are among the best restaurants in the City.

Which are the famous malls and supermarkets in Academic City?

Souq Extra and Dubai Outlet Mall are the most famous malls in Academic City. Greens Supermarket, Big Value Supermarket, Zoom Supermarket, and Grandiose Supermarket are the best supermarkets to visit in the City.

Which are the best schools in Academic City, Dubai?

Toddlers International Nursery, Blossom Nursery, Little Fingers Daycare Centre, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou, and German International School and the best schools of Academic City, Dubai.

Which are the best hospitals and clinics in Academic City, Dubai?

Miracure Medical Centre, Clinicare Medical Centre, and AG Care Medical Centre are some of the best clinics. At the same time, Magnum Gulf Medical Centre and Fakeeh University Hospital are the best hospitals in Academic City, Dubai.

Which are the famous places of worship in Academic City, Dubai?

The popular churches are St.Mary’s Catholic Church, a Mary’s Thomas Orthodox Cathedral. The Shiva Temple, Shri Krishna Haveli, and Sikh Gurudwara are the popular temples, and Al Waha Masjid and EPPCO Petrol Station Masjid are the popular mosques near Academic City, Dubai.

What are the pros and cons of living in the Academic City, Dubai?

The advantages of living in Academic City, Dubai, are that it provides convenient and budget-friendly housing options, has a diverse culture and is affordable overall. However, the downfall of living in Academic City is that it does not provide any luxury housing like villas and has no shopping malls or complexes within the City.

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