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New York University Abu Dhabi

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Title: New York University Abu Dhabi  
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Subject: New York University Shanghai, Iván Szelényi, Library of Arabic Literature, James Zogby, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
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New York University Abu Dhabi

New York University Abu Dhabi
Established 2010
Type Private
President John Sexton
Vice-Chancellor Alfred Bloom
Students 670 [1]
Location Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Campus Urban
Mascot Desert Falcons [2]

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) is a degree-granting liberal arts and research university, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Together with New York University in New York City and New York University Shanghai, the portal campus is part of NYU's Global Network University. It opened in 2008 at a temporary site for conferences and cultural events. The academic program opened in September 2010 on the permanent campus built on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.[3][4]

History and background

In October 2007, New York University announced its intention to open a complete branch campus in Abu Dhabi, financed by the government of the United Arab Emirates.[5] The Abu Dhabi campus was planned by New York University, and the funding mainly came from the UAE government.[3]

The school was first opened in 2008 on a temporary site in downtown Abu Dhabi, where it held various public events such as academic conferences, workshops, and performances.[6] Alfred Bloom, former president of Swarthmore College, was appointed to lead NYU Abu Dhabi as vice chancellor in September 2008.[7] NYU Abu Dhabi accepted its first class of 150 students in September 2010.[3] As of 2010 the college offered liberal arts and science subjects, including engineering.[8]

New York University moved the Abu Dhabi campus to a new site in 2014 in the Marina district of Saadiyat Island. It was designed by Rafael Viñoly, an Uruguayan architect,[9] and and built by Al-Futtaim Group Carillion.[10] NYU eventually plans to have 2,000 students at the campus.[3] The university plans to open a graduate school and to make the school a center for research.[8]

Campus and locations

Sama Tower

NYU Abu Dhabi students, faculty, staff, and university administrators live primarily in Sama Tower, which is near the Downtown Campus. Sama Tower was designed as a living space that includes areas for dining, art and athletic facilities, which are only for members of the NYUAD community. Performance spaces, classrooms, lounges, residences, a health and wellness center, art studios and music practice rooms can also be found in Sama Tower. A recording studio is being added. Students live on student-only floors in studio and two-bedroom apartments with lounges, bathrooms, and kitchenettes. NYU Abu Dhabi inhabits the majority of Sama Tower.[11]

Downtown campus

The Downtown Campus was opened in December 2009, and is located one block from the Corniche, Cultural Center and Al Hosn Fort. Students and faculties perform academic activities in the Downtown campus until the completion of the Saadiyat Island campus.[12] The Downtown Campus offers a two-story library with media resources and access to Bobst Library in New York, conference rooms, classrooms, a dining hall, café, faculty and administrative offices, a courtyard, and the Mariët Westermann Garden, which is named after NYU Abu Dhabi’s first Provost. In cooperation with UAE University, the campus also has a Neuroscience Language Laboratory.[13]

Centre for Science and Engineering Labs

The Science and Engineering Labs are located in the NYUAD Center for Science and Engineering (CSE). The CSE houses approximately 53,800 square-feet of laboratory spaces for science, engineering and the arts. In addition, it contains faculty offices, a library storage facility, a digital media lab, conference rooms and a lounge.[14]

19 Washington Square North

From its location in Greenwich Village, 19 Washington Square North (19 WSN) is the gateway to NYU Abu Dhabi at Washington Square. With a gross 11,400 square-foot, 19 WSN is the academic home for NYUAD students, faculty, and administrators who are living in New York as well as the connection center for the two campuses. Global Network Seminars link students in New York and Abu Dhabi for a shared educational experience. A classroom equipped with videoconference equipment is connected to a similar classroom in Abu Dhabi and enables joint seminars based on exchange and cooperation between NYU students on both campuses. 19 WSN has a media center, conference rooms, classrooms, gallery space, a lounge and office space for NYUAD Staff and Faculty.[15]

Saadiyat Island campus

A permanent campus is under construction on Saadiyat Island within a planned cultural district for the city that will also house branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim Museum(s).[16] Architect Rafael Viñoly was named master planner for the campus, designing it to combine elements of NYU’s Greenwich Village environment and traditional Islamic villages.[17] Reports have been made since the beginning of the project of abuse of foreign construction workers at the site, including the arbitrary withholding of wages, unsafe working conditions and failure of the construction companies to pay recruitment fees to laborers. In December 2013, The Guardian wrote, in a multi-part report, that conditions for the foreign workers at the construction site for the campus amount to modern-day slavery.[18]


As a liberal arts college and research university, NYU Abu Dhabi offers 22 majors in the area of Arts and Humanities, Social Science, Science, Engineering and Mathematics. Undergraduate students graduate with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. As a prerequisite for graduation, students are required to take courses from the core curriculum, which encompasses topics in world literature, social studies, arts and natural science. Over their college years, undergraduates take four 3-week courses in January that count toward their graduation requirement. Students' education also includes a capstone project in their senior year, a project similar to a senior thesis. Additionally, students are encouraged to study up to two semesters at New York University's Global Network sites in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague and Shanghai. The university further provides regional study trips within the United Arab Emirates and to countries in Africa, Middle East and Western Asia.[19]

Selected graduates of NYU Abu Dhabi will be offered special considerations to enroll at New York University's graduate professional schools and programs.[20]

In the future, the university will offer graduate and executive education programs. [21]


According to Inside Higher Ed, NYU Abu Dhabi is among the most selective undergraduate universities in the world. In its first year, the school saw 9,048 applications and accepted 189 of those students, an acceptance rate of 2.1 percent. [22] The average SAT Reasoning Test scores of those NYU Abu Dhabi students who submitted SAT Reasoning Test scores would rank them in the top six colleges in the United States.[3]

The second class saw a slightly higher acceptance rate of 2.6 percent. [23]

NYUAD received a record number of applications in 2012, with 15,489 applicants vying for about 150 places. It has an acceptance rate of 0.9 percent.[24]

The above information is mistaken and not entirely true. For an overview of the admission profile, please visit the official NYUAD website for further information:

Student life

The university has a small and diverse student body, with a total student enrollment of about 670 in 2014. The first class (class of 2014) consisted of 148 students from 40 different countries. The class of 2015 is made up of 161 students from 60 different countries. The class of 2016 is made up of 151 students from 65 different countries. The number of applications to NYUAD has grown rapidly, with 15,520 individuals submitting dual NYUAD & NYUNY applications and 2,470 primary NYUAD applications.[25]

NYUAD has almost 40 student groups, providing a variety of opportunities for student involvement outside of the classroom. Student organizations include Abu Dhabi Culinary Society, ADvococy (humanitarian aid group), Alpha Kappa Psi (professional business fraternity), American Computing Machinery, The Art Guild, Astronomy Club, Catalyst (entrepreneurial business group), Cultural Ambassadors, Debate Society, Ecoherence (environmental concerns), Fishbowl Tribune, Global Medical Brigades, Headless Society (poetry and creative writing), NYUAD Sailing Club, Photography Club, and Tango Club.[26][27]


Notable members of the NYUAD faculty include:


With financing from its host Emirate, Abu Dhabi, NYUAD is able to offer financial aid on par with the top universities in America. The university has committed to ensuring students and their families take on no debt in financing their education.[30] In order to commit to this principle the university practices need-blind admissions.[31]

The school offers two scholarships, the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholarships for Outstanding High School Students.[32] The purpose of both of these scholarships is community outreach.[32] The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program is intended for undergraduate students at institutes of higher education in the United Arab Emirates other than New York University Abu Dhabi. Recipients take academic courses and receive English training and leadership training. They also travel to the United States to see the university's New York campus.[32] The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholarships for Outstanding High School Students is intended for students in their 11th year at high school in the United Arab Emirates. These students receive lessons in the Abu Dhabi campus, in the subjects of English, mathematics, leadership and test preparation.[32]


NYU Abu Dhabi’s Athletics Department is in the process of developing fully-fledged athletics facilities on Saadiyat Island. In the interim, NYU Abu Dhabi’s Athletics Department relies on sporting venues in and of the city, such as the Officer’s Club, Al Muna Primary Schools local pool and field, Zayed Sports City, the Corniche and other available locations on an as necessary basis. The college currently offers Dragon Boating, Cricket, Soccer, Touch Rugby, Go-karting, Ice Skating, Ping-Pong, Capoeira, Wakeboarding, Volleyball, Scuba, Triathlon, Squash and Ultimate Frisbee. The college has also organised, occasionally through student-led organisations, other sporting events such as rock-climbing, kayaking, go-karting and horseback riding.[33][34]

In addition, whilst participating in several wider competitions, such as Duplays sporting leagues, the Wadi Bih run, the Dead2Red marathon, Tri-Yas and the Dubai Dragon Boating Association league. To date, NYUAD remains in the first position at Dragon Boating in the university division of the Dubai Dragon Boating Association.[35]

Other victories in athletic competitions have included premierships in Duplay’s Flag football league, victories over local universities in intramural Soccer matches, Ping-pong and Cricket, and placings in the Olympic-distance team division of the Yas-Tri.[36]


  1. ^ "NYUAD The Search for the Director of Health and Wellness". NYU Abu Dhabi. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  2. ^ "NYUAD Mascot Unveiled". NYU Abu Dhabi. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Foderaro, Lisa W. (June 20, 2010). "N.Y.U. Abu Dhabi Scours Globe for Top Students". New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Global". New York University. 
  5. ^ Tamar Lewin (2007-08-31). "N.Y.U. Plans a Branch in Abu Dhabi, Officials Say". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  6. ^ "New York University Abu Dhabi Institute launches third year of public event series". Ameinfo. September 15, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Alfred Bloom, President of Swarthmore, to Lead NYU Abu Dhabi". New York University. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "NYU Abu Dhabi announces inaugural class". Ameinfo. June 21, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  9. ^ Hume, Jessica (September 30, 2008). "New York University chooses architect for main campus". The National. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Al-Futtaim Carillion wins New York University contract in Abu Dhabi". MEED. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Your Student Life". NYU Abu Dhabi. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  12. ^ "Downtown Campus in Abu Dhabi". NYU Abu Dhabi. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  13. ^ AMEinfor (2012-04-29). "New York University Abu Dhabi launches language neuroscience lab". AMEinfo. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  14. ^ "Locations". NYU Abu Dhabi. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  15. ^ Jane C. Timm (2009-09-23). "NYU Abu Dhabi to open N.Y. center on park". Washington Square News. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  16. ^ "Architect Rafael Vinoly Named Master Planner for NYU Abu Dhabi Campus". New York University. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  17. ^ Jane C. Timm (2009-04-22). "University opening up on NYUAD after year of few details". Washington Square News. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  18. ^ Carrick, Glenn and David Batty. "In Abu Dhabi, they call it Happiness Island. But for the migrant workers, it is a place of misery", The Guardian, 21 December 2013, accessed 30 June 2014; Batty, David. "Conditions for Abu Dhabi's migrant workers 'shame the west'", The Guardian, 21 December 2013, accessed 30 June 2014; Batty, David. [ "Campaigners criticise UAE for failing to tackle exploitation of migrant workers"], The Guardian, 22 December 2013, accessed 30 June 2014
  19. ^ "NYU Abu Dhabi Bulletin 2011-12". NYU Abu Dhabi. 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  20. ^ "NYU Abu Dhabi". New York University. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  21. ^ New York University Office of Public Affairs (2009-12-08). "NYU Abu Dhabi Opens Doors to Downtown Campus". NYU Poly. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  22. ^ Elizabeth Redden (2010-06-21). "The World’s Honors College?". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  23. ^ Sallie Isobel Moffat (2011-09-20). "NYUAD Welcomes Class of 2015". NYU Abu Dhabi. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  24. ^ "NYUAD Receives Record Number of Applications for Class of 2016". 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "NYU Abu Dhabi Faculty". New York University Abu Dhabi. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "NYU Abu Dhabi Faculty". New York University Abu Dhabi. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  30. ^ Kathryn Lewis (2010-06-20). "NYUAD set to join the Ivy League". The National. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  31. ^ "Financial Support". NYU Abu Dhabi. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  32. ^ a b c d "NYU Abu Dhabi selects 2011-12 Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars". Zawya. Aug 24, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  33. ^ NYUAD Athletics (2011-11-24). "Ultimate at NYU Abu Dhabi". NYU Abu Dhabi Athletics. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  34. ^ "U.S. universities and the like". Education USA. 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  35. ^ Staff (2012-04-03). "Dragon Boat Festival set to begin in Dubai on April 6". Emirates247. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  36. ^ "NYUAD Runners Travel to Jordan for 14th Annual Dead2Red Relay". NYU Abu Dhabi Athletics. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 

External links

  • Official site
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