Director's message

Welcome to the British Council United Arab Emirates website. We have been promoting cultural relations between the UK and UAE for 46 years, introducing young Emiratis and UAE residents to a wide range of educational opportunities available through the UK. 

We are on the ground in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, where our English language centres offer courses to almost 6,000 students annually. We know there is a great thirst for English language among young people looking to develop professional skills, and as you explore this site you can also find out about UK qualifications available through our centres, as well as our online English language learning materials. Our focus is on helping learners communicate more effectively through English in an international context.

At the British Council, we believe we can achieve a lot through working in partnership and sharing our collective experience. Our wider education programme links schools, colleges and universities across the UAE with their counterpart institutions in the UK, promoting cultural exchange, shared learning and collaborative research, and strengthening the international dimension in education. The UK has some of the world’s top-ranking universities, and we are delighted that many young Emiratis and UAE residents seeking an overseas education choose the UK as their destination of choice for higher education. With such a large proportion of our work aimed at young people, we take our child protection and safeguarding responsibilities very seriously.

We also bring the UK and the UAE closer together through the arts, making a distinctive contribution to existing festivals, but also working to develop the creative economy through capacity building initiatives.

We go the extra mile to reflect inclusivity right across our portfolio of programmes and services in this uniquely diverse country.

We have a team of over 140 staff in the UAE all working to build stronger and deeper ties between our two countries. It is a great privilege for me to have recently taken up my new role in Abu Dhabi and I look forward to an exciting few years ahead.

Marc Jessel

Director, British Council UAE