Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Heriot-Watt University and Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) announced a collaboration to establish an international Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in the UAE. The planned collaboration would allow students access to support and supervision across both Universities and the opportunity to align with the world leading faculty, facilities, and courses at MBZUAI as well as at Heriot-Watt University in Dubai and Edinburgh.

Capable of supporting up to 60 doctoral students at any one time, the CDT will aim to build capability and intellectual property in the UAE in alignment with the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031.

The CDT will enable Heriot-Watt University to bring its Scottish expertise to the UAE and position the country as a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2031. The four-year programme will include taught courses and an industrial placement in the first year of study, along with annual conferences and workshops in both the UAE and Scotland.

Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai Professor Dame Heather McGregor, said, “Heriot-Watt University in the UK hosts National Robotarium, an acknowledged international centre for robotics teaching and research. We are delighted to be partnering with the prestigious MBZUAI and bringing together leading faculty to support the UAE’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which aims to position the UAE as a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031, this collaboration with MBZUAI will allow us to jointly contribute to advancing the country as a leader in AI technologies.”

Deputy Principal of Business and Enterprise at Heriot-Watt University Professor Gillian Murray said, “Heriot-Watt University is well versed in running successful CDTs in collaboration with others. We have been home to two CDTs in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh (UoE), graduating approximately 140 PhD students to date. CDTs provide graduates with tech skills and industrial awareness to create an innovation pipeline and future-ready workforce.”

This collaboration will help both universities develop a doctoral programme that will deliver a highly applied approach and enable graduates to make an immediate impact in industry.

About Heriot-Watt University Dubai                                      

As the first British university to set up a campus in Dubai in 2005, Heriot-Watt University Dubai has established itself as a pioneer in the higher education market in the UAE. The University’s reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research combined with its strong links to business and industry, has seen it attract a thriving population of undergraduate and postgraduate students. It offers an extensive range of programmes and disciplines, spanning postgraduate and undergraduate courses. Heriot-Watt graduates are highly employable and sought after by the best organisations worldwide, with over 90% in graduate level jobs or further study within six months of graduation.

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About Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)

MBZUAI is a graduate, research university focused on artificial intelligence, computer science, and digital technologies across industrial sectors. The university aims to empower students, businesses, and governments to advance artificial intelligence as a global force for positive progress. MBZUAI offers various graduate programs designed to pursue advanced, specialized knowledge and skills in artificial intelligence, including computer science, computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics. For more information, please visit