Image description: NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Stern
Image description: NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Stern


NYUAD and NYU Stern Unite for New MBA Program

Starting January 2025, students will be able to embark in a one-year joint MBA journey, taking place in both Abu Dhabi and New York, and receive a dual degree from both NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Stern.

Oct 15, 2023

On September 19, NYU Abu Dhabi unveiled a new partnership with the Stern School of Business: Stern at NYUAD One-Year Full-Time MBA. It is the first professional degree delivered by NYUAD and the first full-time MBA offered by a leading US business school in the region. It caters to young professionals aiming “to build a career in the MENA region ​with educational modules in both Abu Dhabi and New York” as highlighted by the press release.
The Stern at NYUAD MBA is a 54-credit program running from January to December. Students will spend equal time between NYUAD campus and NYU Stern’s New York campus. They will learn “business fundamentals including finance, management, and accounting,” said Jemima Frimpong, the Associate Dean of the Program, and will have the opportunity to explore their interests through electives and extracurricular activities. Moreover, through the experiential internship in the program, they will apply their knowledge to help local or global firms in the UAE tackle real-world challenges. Students of the program will also have a dedicated career team focusing on job placement. Upon completion, they will receive a joint diploma from both NYU Stern and NYUAD.
To achieve those objectives, the program will draw heavily from the strengths of NYU Stern, one of the leading US business schools, with a top MBA ranking of 10th on US News. It will also benefit from NYUAD's strong anchorage in the UAE and the wider MENA region.
Yet, despite the fanfare of the announcement, the tuition cost of $115,638 USD is steep. Although the program doesn’t have direct contenders in the region, barring Hult One-Year Dubai MBA at 300,000 AED ($83,400), it will suffer heavy competition from counterparts in Europe, North America, and even Asia. Top US-based programs retain a similar sticker price, though it is unknown what level of scholarship support Stern at NYUAD will provide. The latter had trained business graduates aiming to pursue careers in the MENA region and continuously provided a talent pipeline for firms aiming to tap that potential.
Therefore, to remain competitive, the Stern at NYUAD MBA will have to provide real value for candidates. Despite its recent inception, the program has numerous strengths. The quality of its faculty drawn from both campuses, the alumni network provided by both institutions and the chance to live and study in both New York City and Abu Dhabi are major tailwinds. The experimental internships along with the Stern brand are significant advantages for the Stern at NYUAD MBA program. Grants such as the Stern at NYUAD MBA Scholarship may also increase interest in the program, alleviate concerns, and even encourage the most skeptical.
The relative position of the UAE, furthermore, sustains that interest as one of the most successful economic stories of the 21st century. It has experienced accelerating economic growth, trumpeted the global economic slowdown, and continues to profit from sky-high oil prices while intensively decarbonizing its economy and building a leadership role in net zero. It is the host of major initiatives such as COP 28 and an increasingly dominant player in international affairs, finance, and business. Its vast economy spans from traditional industries such as energy, real estate, financials, and tourism to nascent industries in industrials, technology, and healthcare. Even with headline-grabbing AI, the UAE has made a name for itself with the Falcon Large Language Model (LLM) dubbed by The Economist as “the world’s most powerful open-source model.”
The slowing global economic growth may incite early careers to take time off to pursue an MBA and relocate to a country full of opportunities. The careers business graduates tend to pursue, such as consulting, investment banking, and financial management can lead to starting salaries of over $200,000 and provide great ROI (Return on Investment) for graduates. Despite the muted activity in banking and consulting worldwide, the MENA region barely experienced layoffs and has been hungry for talent, with top firms reporting struggles to meet their recruitment needs.
Launching the Stern at NYUAD MBA is a proud moment for NYUAD, attesting to the quality of its education. This new addition, along with existing partnerships with NYU Tandon, GSAS and Courant shows a brilliant trajectory and hard work by administrators and UAE partners to ensure the ever-lasting success of NYUAD. With the first cohort matriculating in January 2025 and applications for the program opening in January 2024, the size of this seismic shift is soon to be observed.
Mouhamed Ba is a Deputy News Editor. Email them at
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