Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is a transnational higher education institution located in the United Arab Emirates. The University was established in 2006 through an agreement between Sorbonne University Paris and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research under the Government of Abu Dhabi. This historic agreement represents a shared vision by the UAE Government and Sorbonne University Paris to bring world-class standards of French education to the Middle East by providing access to specialised undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes and a range of executive and lifelong learning courses. Today, the University is under the administrative leadership of the Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi and the academic leadership of Sorbonne University Paris.

The University as it stands today brings the renowned excellence and worldwide recognition of Francophone education, from a world top 100 institution to the UAE with the assimilation of academic and research activities within the national context of the UAE.  All programmes are taught in either French or English.

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (SUAD) offers students access to world-class international higher education and academic faculty across 11 undergraduate and 14 postgraduate programmes. These programmes are developed and offered by Sorbonne University Paris in the fields of arts, humanities and sciences; and by Université Paris Cité in the fields of law, management and economics. SUAD degree programmes follow the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) and are globally recognized as such. 

All SUAD programmes are evaluated by the Higher Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES) and accredited by the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation (MESR) in France. Furthermore, all programmes are accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA).

 The Mission of the University is:

Building the bridge between civilizations through excellence in education and research, uniting the renowned French model of learning and knowledge development with the vision of the UAE.

The Vision of the University is:

Fostering intellectual excellence, cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research and innovation, critical thinking, cultural harmony and tolerance for the benefit of society.

In addition to providing excellent academic programmes, SUAD is also an important research centre in the region. From a geostrategic point of view, SUAD is the product of a European academic tradition nourished by regional influences and a central international location. Thanks to the University’s marked multidisciplinary advantage given the range of disciplines offered, and the many links and synergies already existing between these disciplines, high-quality collective research is now being undertaken with a global outreach. The SUAD Research Institute has a number of laboratories, centres and institutes that align with the activities of leading labs and researchers in France and beyond. These have fostered transdisciplinary, collaborative research which is having an important impact on building research capacity and capability. The University has identified key research themes including Culture and Heritage, Artificial Intelligence and the Environment.  To support its research activities on the environment, the University established a new Ocean Institute which was announced at COP28 in December 2023.  This institute will be a beacon for transnational research being conducted in the region and a leading contributor to the global success in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In keeping with the philosophy of offering access to a world-class education, a state-of-the-art campus was designed to provide students a balanced approach to all aspects of campus life.  Educational delivery is serviced by fully equipped, modern classrooms, laboratories, and auditoriums, while the University library, the hub for all learning resources, provides access to the latest technology to support teaching and research activities, and to encourage independent and collaborative learning. The SUAD library, in fact, hosts the largest collection of French and Francophone academic literature and resources in the entire GCC region.

Moreover, the campus provides onsite accommodation to students and hosts a world-class Sports Centre which includes a large sports hall, gymnasium, dance studio, climbing walls, martial arts room, and an array of classes and activities. This facility is available to all students and staff as well as the SUAD community as part of our commitment to enhancing community engagement.

As part of its strategic plan, SUAD is committed to being a globally recognized cultural and societal agora where ideas, culture and communities collect to celebrate not only French and European culture but also to showcase global cultural diversity.  The SUAD student population comes from over 60 different nationalities, and this is recognized and celebrated throughout the year with a number of campus events that promote the values of inclusion, diversity, equality and tolerance.  SUAD recognizes the important of student wellbeing.  To support and promote this, counselling services are provided on campus in addition to peer support networks and mentorship programmes.

Enhancing student support is one of the key objectives of the University.  A student support centre with support clinics and tutorial centres is being created in 2024 to support and promote the achievement of students educational and personal goals. Several programmes are also being rolled out to develop students green and soft skills as well as empowerment and leadership skills.

To date, the University has over 2,800 graduates acting as its ambassadors around the world.

  • Established: 30 May 2006
  • Patronage: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi
  • Motto: A bridge between civilisations
  • Affiliations: Sorbonne University and Université Paris Cité
  • Accreditation: UAE Ministry of Education, French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
  • Subjects: Humanities, Sciences, Languages and Social Sciences
  • Teaching language: French, English, Arabic
  • System: European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
  • Student diversity: over 60 Nationalities (more than 60% of the graduates are UAE Nationals)

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi operates under the administration of the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and the academic leadership of Sorbonne University.

The degrees are awarded by Sorbonne University or Université Paris Cité, depending on the programme, and accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. These degrees are recognised worldwide.