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The top universities in the Arab world

Fifteen universities in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Qatar have made into our snapshot of the best universities in the Arab World.

  • Rankings
Carly Minsky's avatar

Carly Minsky

January 28 2016
Saudi Arabia skyscraper


Saudi Arabia has triumphed in a snapshot ranking released on Thursday: the top universities in the Arab world.

Three of the top five universities were in Saudi Arabia, while Morocco and Egypt also secured three spots each in the top 15.

The ranking is an initial release before consultation with the sector to determine how best to evaluate the region.

Although none of the featured universities achieves a position higher than the top 300 in the overall World University Rankings, the two best universities in the Arab World – American University of Beirut in Lebanon – achieved high scores for their international outlook.

The American University of Sharjah, both in the United Arab Emirates, achieved high enough scores for international outlook to also make it into the top 15 of a recent World’s Most International Universities ranking.

At the top of that ranking, and at position six in the Arab world snapshot, is Qatar University. Its extremely high international score is based on proportions of international students, staff and collaborations – unsurprisingly high in a country where only 13 per cent of the population are Qatari nationals.

In addition to some high international scores, the ranking also includes impressive scores for industry income. Both King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia earn higher than average income from industry.

See the full top 15 here.

Top 5 universities in the Arab World

Arab Region Rank 2015-16

WUR Rank 2015-16





King Abdulaziz University

Saudi Arabia



American University of Beirut




King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

Saudi Arabia



King Saud University

Saudi Arabia



United Arab Emirates University

United Arab Emirates



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