Everything you need to know before joining
Dubai was S P Jain’s very first campus, and it’s very impressive. It’s located in the heart of Dubai’s International Academic City, along with a host of other prestigious international universities. It’s about a 20-minute drive from the heart of downtown Dubai. The great thing about this location is that you mix with students from all over the world, especially at the shared food court. Wait till you try the hummus and falafel at the Lebanese booth!
Okay, everybody knows that Dubai is a very hot place, right? But don’t let that scare you. The hottest months are in the summer, when Jaguars are on their break. In September it starts cooling off. And by November, the weather is downright pleasant. Also consider that absolutely everything is air conditioned. You may even need a sweater sometimes in class.
Campus itself — You’ll feel right at home, because almost everything looks and feels just ike the campus in Singapore, including lecture halls, leadership hall, high-tech facilities, etc.
Hostel — Jags in Dubai live in shared apartments off campus. These apartments are in “clusters”, where many other expatriate workers and students live. Each apartment has either three or five students in it, with a private bathroom, kitchenette, and washing machine. The housing is about a 15 minute drive from campus. The school has a handy (free) shuttle to take you back and forth. You can always take a taxi if you miss the shuttle. Students can also arrange for their own housing, with family in Dubai or with other Jags, if they want.
Fun — There is a surprising amount of things to do in Dubai. Yes, people come here from all over the world to shop. But those glitzy shopping malls have a lot of other things in them than just Louis Vitton or Chanel stores. There is the world’s only indoor ski slope, ice skating, boating, and much more.
Sports — The school provides access to a fitness center very close to the hostel. When the weather is cooler, outdoor games are possible.
Off-campus jobs — Nope. It’s illegal in Dubai for foreign students to work. However, the school offers some paid “volunteer” opportunities, so keep your ears open.
Islamic sensitivities — Women don’t have to wear the veil / abaya / burqa in Dubai, like they do in Saudi Arabia. Women can drive, work, and own bank accounts. It’s actually a fairly Westernized place. That said, there are still a lot of conservative people around. So tight jeans are just fine. Wearing a bikini outdoors with a see-through tunic on top is probably not a great idea — a big change from Singapore, where you will see some downright racy outfits on the street.