The UAE offers many long-term education and training for cultural professionals and is provided by different organizations, as follows:
* National Public and Private Universities and Institutions of Higher Education: The UAE has a number of public and private universities and institutions of higher learning that provide degrees in various cultural specialization, some of these universities are Zayed University, UAE University, University of Sharjah, American University of Sharjah, New York University Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne Abu Dhabi and many other universities.
* Scholarships to international universities: Through the Ministry of Education, the UAE offers fully-funded scholarships for Emiratis to study abroad in top universities. These scholarships include programs mapped under the cultural sector and a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Ministry of Education tries to ensure wider coverage of cultural programs are available for students applying for scholarships.
* The Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI): The Institute is a private, not-for-profit education institution established in 2018 in collaboration with two of the world's leading universities for design innovation, teaching and research: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons School of Design. The institute offers bachelor's degrees in Product Design, Multimedia Design, Fashion Design and Strategic Design Management.
* Master of Science in Conservation Management of Cultural Heritage: The program is offered by the University of Sharjah in collaboration with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). This program looks at cultural heritage from a comprehensive point of view, taking into consideration technical, cultural, historical and management aspects. The main objective of this program is to enhance conservation practices among specialists and experts in the region. The program has been designed to include the importance of a multidisciplinary perspective and to provide students with a strong theoretical background, as well as practical training necessary to develop their conservation and heritage management skills.
* Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship (SEAF): SEAF is a program delivered by Salama bint Hamdan Foundation and is an intensive 10-month artistic education and development program for promising UAE-based artists. The program is operated in partnership with the US-based Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The SEAF program identifies and nurtures emerging artists in the UAE and provides them with artistic and technical knowledge and professional skills. The program is consistent with the Foundation's ambitions to establish a more connected community of emerging artists in the UAE and encourage graduate studies in the arts. Upon completion of the program, selected artists who are also able to gain admission to the Rhode Island School of Design are provided with a full scholarship to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts. Graduates join a growing community of emerging artists in the UAE and many have taken advantage of opportunities to participate in the Foundation's various other arts initiatives.
* Image Nation's Arab Film Studio: Image Nation, in collaboration with local, regional and international partners, offers training and education opportunities for the film industry. These include internship opportunities on the set of TV series, one year film programs involving making a movie, a 5 month in-depth program for scriptwriters, online filmmaking workshops for high-school students, online scriptwriting courses, and online media content development courses for marketing and communications executives.
* Tanween: The program is provided by Tashkeel and takes a selected cohort of emerging UAE-based designers through a nine-month development program to take a product inspired by the surroundings of the UAE from concept to completion. The program is carefully constructed to build, challenge and guide each participant right from the inception stage to prototyping and the manufacturing of their final product. Trained and mentored by UAE-based and international design professionals, each participant is guided through research and experimentation in order to define a product inspired by the UAE, which is then manufactured in the UAE, launched at Downtown Editions, and sold exclusively by Tashkeel.
* Critical Practice Program: The program is delivered by Tashkeel and is a professional development program for UAE art practitioners, inviting visual artists to embark on a one-year development program of studio practice, mentorship and training that culminates in a major solo presentation. The aim of the program is to provide the artist with sustained and empowering support to develop their work in an environment that encourages progressive experimentation, cross-discipline exchange and cross-cultural dialogue.
* Bait Al Oud Abu Dhabi: Bait Al Oud Abu Dhabi was established in 2008 and is one of the region's leading music academies. It preserves the songs and techniques of the oud but also other Arabic instruments such as the qanun, cello, violin, rebabah and Arabic voice. As a center of teaching and research, the academy aims to preserve Arabic musical heritage while also nurturing a new generation of professional musicians. The center also encourages craftsmanship, making ouds by hand and even developing new adaptations of the oud, one of the oldest string instruments in the world.
* International Program for Writing: The program is delivered by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation in Dubai. The program aims to encourage and empower young talented individuals who have demonstrated their potential for writing in various fields of knowledge including science, research, literature, fiction and poetry. The program includes four categories: Writing, Exchange of Writers, My Story Competition and Translation. The Translation program aims to qualify and train a generation of young professionals in translating books and publications. The program attracts young talents selected based on their previous experience in the field of translation and are placed in a five-month intensive course, delivered by a group of instructors specialized in translating literary works. At the end of the workshop, the Foundation supports the publication of a collection of books translated by the participants.
* School level Arts and Cultural Education: The UAE education system provides many specializations that align with the abilities and personal interests of students. UAE schools focus on building 21st century skills through the curriculum especially in subjects that relate to technology, engineering, and mathematics. Further, to ensure freedom of expression amongst students, the Ministry of Education has provided programs and platforms to encourage expression. Some of those include dialogue clubs that have been established in schools and local/international competitions in science, arts, music, theater and culture. The UAE also encourages students to participate in activities organized by UNESCO and other regional and international organization. UAE students participate in international programs and competitions in fields such as culture, debate, arts, and science. Moreover, students in UNESCO associated schools in the UAE participate in international exhibitions and scientific fairs that engage with the concept of cultural diversity. Furthermore, youth level education programs focus on international cultural awareness and the meeting of culture and education to engage youth in ideas related to arts, cultural exchange, cultural diplomacy, and cultural and social entrepreneurship. The Ministry of Education implements extra-curricular programs to ensure cross-cultural dialogue, specialized volunteering opportunities, teaching of UAE traditions and heritage, and programs implemented in collaboration between students from different schools. The UAE has introduced theatre classes in schools which allow students to engage theoretically and practically with concepts and experiences related to cultural diversity. The classes have allowed students to embody different characters from different backgrounds and engage collectively in different ways of thinking, behaving and reflecting about different societies and cultures.
Between 2017-2019, a total of 23,237 students entered bachelor's degree programs in institutions of higher education in the UAE with a specialization in culture and arts including, languages, design, journalism, media, film, no name a few.
There are many initiatives related to education in the UAE because the interest in nurturing the cultural sector and creating jobs and a cultural economy is real.
The UAE is currently assessing the arts and cultural education at school level to ensure that it is provided with high quality and to capitalize on investing in talent at its early stages.
Furthermore, an assessment of the available higher education programs is currently being conducted to ensure that a range of cultural programs are available and meet the requirements of the market and are in line with the UAE's future plans for the cultural and creative sector.
Another assessment on the status of vocational education for the cultural and creative industries is being conducted.
Once a clear and full assessment is available, an action plan to consolidate all various efforts in providing long term education to meet the requirements of the UAE economy will be put in place, to ensure continuity and impact from all the various investments done to support the arts and people interested in pursuing real careers in the cultural sector.