Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI Dubai

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Dubai was established in 2005 and initially located in Knowledge Village. In 2007, the campus moved to the prestigious Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center in Dubai Healthcare City.

The RCSI-Dubai Institute of Leadership is one of the schools that comprises the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The Institute of Leadership also operates in RCSI’s Ireland and Bahrain campuses.

RCSI-Dubai offers postgraduate education, training and consultancy in leadership, management, patient safety and quality. Our Masters programmes are accredited and designed with working healthcare professionals in mind. The Institute also provides continuing professional development and bespoke training programmes aimed at facilitating the development of effective healthcare organisations. 

All programmes have proved to be very popular, not only in the UAE, but also in the wider region, with many healthcare professionals travelling long distances to participate in them. The MSc Degree programmes are the only UAE-based Level 9 programmes of their kind, accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA).

Living in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), formerly known as the Trucial States, comprises seven Emirates.

While Abu Dhabi is the capital and by far the largest emirate, Dubai is the Gulf’s most vibrant city, despite possessing far fewer oil resources than Abu Dhabi. The modern city has expanded along both banks of the Dubai Creek (al-Khor), a sea-water inlet which effectively cuts Dubai into two semi-cities which are linked by a tunnel and an increasing number of bridges. The city offers outstanding buildings and architecture, including the 39 storey Dubai World Trade Centre. However, breaking all records to date, the 828 metre tall Burj Khalifa is probably the most extravagant of buildings in the emirate. Opened in January 2010, it holds several world records, including the world’s tallest building and tallest man-made structure. The tower spreads over a staggering 160 floors and its spire can allegedly be seen 95 kilometres away.

  Dubai location

Facts and figures

  • Population: Circa 2.7 million
  • Temperature (summer): 34-39C
  • Temperature (winter): 23-33C
  • Timezone: GMT +4






The official language is Arabic. Most business people speak English, however it is useful for those intending to remain in the area to gain a knowledge of colloquial Arabic. Other widely used languages among the expatriate community include Urdu, Hindi, Malayalaam and Farsi.


The climate in the UAE is exceptionally hot and humid in the summer and mild in the winter. Between May and October the heat is intense, the hottest months being July and August when midday temperatures may exceed 48C. At night, the temperature can drop to 20C or lower. In the winter months, from November to the end of March, midday temperatures range between 20C and 35C. Rain is infrequent throughout most of the country and falls mainly in the winter.

Transport and getting around

Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road in the UAE and a network of roads has been constructed connecting all the capitals of the UAE. Traffic congestion is busiest between the hours of 7am-9am, 1pm-2pm and 6pm-8pm. Driving can be erratic and traffic accidents are common. Cars can be hired in UAE and the major international companies have offices at the international airports and hotels.

Dubai has a number of public transport options; a high-speed driverless metro system is in operation and there is also a bus service. All journeys on public transport must be paid for via the contactless NOL card onto which credits can be loaded. Taxis are a popular mode of transport in Dubai and there are many ranks located across the city, mostly outside the malls and hotels.

Food and dining

Dubai has an extensive and diverse restaurant scene catering to all tastes and budgets. Excellent restaurants can be found in most parts of the city but are especially numerous in the area around the Dubai Marina. Visitors should note that all restaurants add a fairly high service charge.

Eating out in Dubai can be obscenely expensive but cheaper and simpler options are available to workers in the city. Al Dhiyafah Road is known for its cheap eats, specialising in Lebanese, Iranian and Indian restaurants and the deceptively simple Bu Qtair in Jumeirah is famous among local expats for its quality seafood at low prices. There are also numerous Indian and Pakistani restaurants, many of which cater for takeaway customers and are very popular among locals and expatriates alike.

Religion and culture

Islam is the religion of the UAE, but other religions are respected. There is an Anglican and a Roman Catholic Church in Abu Dhabi, both with resident chaplains. In Dubai there is an interdenominational and a Roman Catholic Church, together with churches for the expatriate communities.

Social customs vary between the Emirates, and between the different areas, for example, modes of dress and behaviour. Dubai combines traditional Arab culture with a Western outlook and is much more liberal in its attitudes than Abu Dhabi. There are greater restrictions on the sale of alcohol in Sharjah than in the other Emirates. In general, men and women should dress in a conventional manner throughout UAE, with formal dress for business and social functions.


In Dubai there are about half a dozen high-quality hospitals. In addition, there are over 20 clinics, some for general, others for specialised treatment. Dubai and Sharjah are the preferred locations for treatment in the UAE. In general, standards of care are excellent, with modern equipment and well-trained specialists, doctors and nurses.

Medical supplies are sold in pharmacies, several of which are open 24 hours. When importing prescription medicines, these must be accompanied by a doctor’s letter or copy of the original prescription.

In November 2013, a new Health Insurance Law was approved which stipulates that every national, resident and visitor in Dubai must have essential health insurance coverage and access to essential health services. The law was rolled out in phases with the final phase completed by June 2016.


For many, the word ‘Dubai’ is synonymous with ‘shopping’ and this one-time fishing village has become a world famous shopping destination! In Dubai, going to the mall is considered a family activity, so malls tend to be popular gathering places with restaurants and entertainment venues as well as retailers.

The opulent Mall of the Emirates contains 560 international brands, including a somewhat unexpected but exceedingly popular Ski Dubai snowpark. The Dubai Mall, next to the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world), is the largest shopping mall in the world. The mall is a tourist destination in its own right with a reported 75 million visitors in 2013. For those looking for a more traditional experience, there are a number of traditional souks in the city, including the gold Souk in Deira and the Souk Madinat in Jumeirah.


Dubai has a lively nightlife. Hotel bars range from sophisticated cocktail lounges to typically informal British and Irish pubs and Western style lounges. Most of them serve food and many feature nightly musical entertainment in the form of pianists, guitarists and bands. All the major hotels have at least one nightclub, where after dinner revellers can enjoy the latest sounds!

Dubai also hosts a number of foreign theatrical companies each year and regularly plays hosts to some of the biggest acts in the industry. The Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC) puts on performances from dance to music and theatre productions in its 543 seat theatre, as well as hosting a number of creative courses in pottery, creative writing, drawing and painting, film-making, photography and many more. The Laughter Factory also organises monthly comedy events, featuring comedians from around the world.

Sports and family clubs

Dubai is host to many sporting events and activities. It is one of the top golf destinations in the world, with golf clubs including the Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

The long coastlines in Dubai offer excellent fishing and it is possible to hire fully-equipped boats with crew for deep-sea fishing trips. It is also possible to hire equipment for water-skiing, sailing and windsurfing. Dubai is a very popular destination for windsurfing as the waters off it are considered to be among the best in the world.

Other popular attractions in Dubai include the municipal Mushrif Park (which features a public swimming pool and opportunities for horse and camel riding), Mushrif Equestrian & Polo Club, Dubai Zoo, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and Dubai Museum. Children can delight in Dubai’s Wonderland, a family fun park, and Wild Wadi Water Park, a water based theme park.


Useful links

Relocating to Dubai

As is the case when relocating to any new location, there is a lot to consider when relocating to Dubai – where to live, schools, cost of living, visas, work permits, etc. The RCSI International Talent team are available to assist with providing detailed information on all aspects of relocating, from the logistics of flying out, transporting personal effects and other support services available. A brief overview on some aspects of relocating to Dubai can be found below.


Dubai has accommodation options to suit many tastes and budget. The first factor to consider is the preferred location of a property, of which there are many to choose form in Dubai. There are a number of family-friendly gated developments available, as well as high and low rise apartment blocks.

Tenancy agreements in Dubai are typically for one year, with an option to renew, and rent is usually payable six-monthly or annually in advance. Newly arrived expatriates have the option of living in serviced apartments hotels while trying to find long-term accommodation. Services apartments are furnished and usually have a weekly cleaning and laundry service. The rental cost is inclusive of all furnishings, and the monthly cost varies depending on length of stay, location, property size and time of year.


There are many private international schools in Dubai catering specifically to the large foreign community that calls the emirate home, and expats generally choose this option over the emirate's public school. International schools generally have an American curriculum plus UK and/or international syllabus. All the schools are well subscribed so early registration is recommended, and many require a uniform to be worn.

Cost of living

While tax-free wealth lures expats to the UAE, it is worth remembering that the cost of living in Dubai can still be high. However, as with relocating to any destination, the cost of living in Dubai can vary depending on the lifestyle one chooses to lead.
Litre of milk  AED 5.5 €1.40
Dozen eggs AED 14.20 €3.58
Loaf of bread AED 8.20 €2.10
Three course meal (mid-range restaurant) AED 255 €65
Lunch in a cafe AED 86 €22
Bottle of beer AED 12.38 €3.15


Working in Dubai

As an RCSI international employee, there are many support services available when relocating to Dubai. The RCSI International talent team and dedicated HR support will work collaboratively to ensure all necessary visas, work authorisation paperwork is arranged.

Work environment

The working week in the UAE is generally Sunday through to Thursday. English is widely spoken in business, but knowledge of the more common Arab greetings is useful, As in all Arab countries, marks of respect are greatly appreciated and readily reciprocated. The business dress code is generally formal and modest, and both men and woman should dress conservatively. Business customs and practices in Dubai vary from one company, colleague and client to the next, and the most important preparation an expat can make is to be flexible and understanding. As in the rest of the Middle East, hospitality is held in high regard and people will take great pride in their displays of their personality, refusal of which may cause offence.

Work authorisations and visas

RCSI in Dublin work collaboratively with RCSI in Dubai to ensure all necessary arrangements of work authorisations and visas for all RCSI international employees. RCSI aim to have all appropriate documentation in place in advance of arrival to Dubai.


VAT is currently not imposed on salaries or wages in Dubai, and sales tax is for the most part minimal. Despite the favourable tax climate, living expenses can add up depending on the lifestyle one leads.


Foreign nationals may open bank accounts in the UAE. To do so, applicants must provide their original passport, a valid residence visa letter and letter from their employer stipulating salary and amount that will regularly be paid in to their account. Banking hours are generally 8am-1pm Sunday to Thursday, and 8am-12pm Friday.


Useful links

RCSI Dubai

Visit the RCSI Dubai website