Middle East Familiarization Program

About MEFP

Study Abroad Program Focusing on the Middle East

Besides delivering internationally accredited professional programs and Executive Management Development programs, CED offers the innovative “Expand your Horizons - Middle East Familiarization Program (MEFP)” to undergraduate and postgraduate business school students as well as business investors. We realize that business crosses international borders each and every day, and the MEFP fulfills the various needs arising out of the globalization of business. MEFP specifically:

  • Provides valuable insights into the Gulf region, one of the fastest-growing economies that holds 56% of the world's oil reserves.
  • Prepares today’s business students to be tomorrow’s business leaders by emphasizing international business.
  • Equips both undergraduate and graduate students with the skills required to succeed in today’s ever-changing global economy by experiencing first-hand and therefore gaining a deeper understanding of the global business environment;

Through site visits and workshops delivered by expert speakers, the participants in the MEFP are exposed to:

  • The UAE’s vision and strategies and how these strategies are planned and implemented.
  • How Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the two leading emirates, are positioning themselves in the global market as financial, real estate, logistics, culture and tourism hubs, while at the same time holding on to their traditional roots without losing their unique culture.
  • Insights into the history, politics, culture, society and religion of the GCC region.
  • The role of Islam in business and society.
  • Special sector overview sessions on real estate, finance, tourism, logistics, healthcare, education, etc., by industry leaders.

Site visits form an integral part of the program. Guided city tours to traditional markets (souqs), cultural and historical sites and corporate visits are arranged. Students get an opportunity to meet face-to-face with government officials, business leaders and senior management from leading private sector companies in order to get a feel for the developments taking place, what is being planned for the future and the way business is conducted.

The MEFP typically runs for a week to ten days, but can be customized to the needs of the group and may run for up to three weeks.

CED has successfully designed, delivered, and coordinated several batches from overseas universities since 2008. These programs are customized and designed to complement the readings and materials covered in class and could lead to assignment or project submission at the end of the program due to the large body of knowledge the students are exposed to.

Studying abroad through MEFP is an exciting and enriching experience, both academically and personally, as it gives students the chance to experience life in another country, develop a global business perspective, and broaden their viewpoint of the world.  In addition to building lasting relationships, students gain self-confidence, flexibility and the ability to thrive in a new environment. 

CED hopes that you and your business school or organization will take advantage of these opportunities to gain international experience. We look forward to partnering with you!


Testimonials of participants from:

University of North Carolina, Kenan Flagler School of Business

  • This immersion trip was very educational and eye opening. it was an intensive introduction to the Middle East and the UAE. A great trip overall - Branagen Fuller
  • This experience truly was an immersion into Arabic culture and life meeting western business practices. I have a much better understanding of the social, political and economic climate of the middle east specially Dubai as the hub and am excited by the opportunities in the region – Reed Barton
  • My experience in Dubai exceeded expectations. The mix of activities, tours and lectures was excellent and catered to the varied interests of the students in my group. I am very excited to come back again and see how the city continues to develop – Valarie Grant
  • I gained a great perspective on the UAE, both good and bad, that will forever impact my outlook on the world as a whole – Andrew Justice

University of Minnesota

  • I learned so much on this trip and I believe it really helped break my cultural stereo types that the US has put in my head.
  • Overall, it may have been a very packed schedule but we learned a lot. I can see a big difference in the two countries, the US and Dubai and that was one of the main things that I wanted to get out of the trip.
  • This trip really opened my eyes to the Middle Eastern world and I’ve had the best time. It was a great real world experience to international business among other things I would certainly recommend this program to everyone, regardless of major.
  • Seth Werner, Marketing faculty at Carlson School, University of Minnesota and Coordinator of the Study Abroad Program - The students enjoyed the trip and learned a great deal. This program is proof that short term study abroad programs can help in transforming student’s lives. In preparation for this program, many students had to get a passport for the first time. That step alone helped them in their journey of becoming global citizens. Once in the UAE, you could see the stereo-types being confronted and real progress being made in expanding students thinking. I would like to encourage more faculty to take the time to help their students to experience the world beyond their own borders.

Nova Southeastern University, Huizenga School of Business

  • Please accept my sincere thank you for a wonderful week in Dubai. The students are really excited and overwhelmed by their experience and really enjoyed the lectures and the visits. As they continue in their careers they will begin to understand the pressure of being expats and working globally. - Dr. Ruth Clarke, Associate Professor & Team Leader
  • I would like to thank you personally for everything both of you have done for us while we attended our stay in Dubai. From the hotel to the presentations, I have learned so much and have seen a different side of the Arab World which is not shown through the media. It is a shame the media projects such a stigma on such a wonderful community and most beautiful and energetic society in Dubai. I am looking into possibly moving to Dubai and opening a business. I would love to keep in contact with you for future reference. The program you and Dr. Clarke ran was one of a kind and I will never forget it. Thank you. - D.W. Johnson, Participant

Meridian Junior College

  • “On behalf of Meridian JC, I would like to once again thank you for being a wonderful host in showing us around Dubai and Abu Dhabi last week. We truly appreciate all the help that you rendered us during our stay to make us comfortable. We look forward to working with you again in the near future when we return to Dubai!” - Eu Lin, Vice Principal
  • Overall it was a meaningful and certainly an eye-opening experience. It has certainly raised my awareness for the emerging economy situation and taken me out of my comfort zone during the appropriate time in 5 days.- Participan

Contact information

E-mail: ced@ud.ac.ae

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+971 4 5566 800

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University of Dubai

Academic city
Emirates road
Dubai - UAE
P. O. Box: 14143