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Inclusive education for people of determination

The UAE has made big efforts to include people of determination in the mainstream educational settings. Ministry of Education provides expert teachers who specialize in dealing with children of determination.

In 2008, Ministry of Community Development launched an initiative to integrate people of determination in the government education system. The initiative which was launched under the slogan 'School of All' and adopted by Ministry of Education was a major step towards the social integration of the disabled and their involvement in the development process.

MoE offers several training programs and facilities targeting children of determination, their parents and kindergarten teachers.

Programs include guidance for dealing with people with visual and hearing disabilities, talent identification programs, getting familiar with sign language for the deaf and handling speech and language disorders in kindergarten-going children.

Ministry of Education has set up support centers to follow up and evaluate the progress of people of determination before and after integration in schools. These centers provide various services including individual diagnosis of students with disabilities and learning difficulties, recommendations, helping and supporting parents to deal with the child's situation and directing them to sources with appropriate support services for their child.

Canadian University Dubai campus is steps away from Sheikh Zayed Road, the main thoroughfare of downtown Dubai and the hub of the financial district. The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, and many of Dubai's premier attractions surround our facilities, and the Financial Centre metro station is walking distance from the University campus, ensuring an easy commute from anywhere on the network. There are also a wide variety of shops and restaurants nearby. Canadian University Dubai campus is an architecturally unique building. Our four Halls are surrounded by lush vegetation, providing the perfect backdrop in any of our courtyards for quiet conversation or study.

Academic Facilities

The University’s classrooms, laboratories and studios are fully furnished and well-equipped with the latest technology, enabling faculty and students to enhance the learning process with digital and online content. Wireless network access is available in all classroom areas and other common areas for the use of students.

Red Theatre

1 Our Red Theatre is a gathering place for both official ceremonies and student led activities. From MoU signings to student talent competitions, there is always something happening in this versatile space.


Canadian University Dubai has classrooms located in Halls B, C & D comprehensively fitted-out with comfortable chairs and workspace. Each classroom has wireless network access and is equipped with overhead projectors and computer workstations that enable faculty members to enhance learning with interactive content.

Computer Laboratories

Canadian University Dubai has several computer laboratories strategically placed throughout the campus, including one lab dedicated to Apple products. Each lab is appropriately furnished with computer desks, chairs and Desktop PC’s for students to use. Software required for all programs has been installed on these machines. The labs offer a great deal of accessibility for your needs.

Students Lounge1

Located in Hall C, the Student Lounge provides students with a space where they can relax, play games, and socialize.

Masters Lounge1

Our Masters Students’ have their own nicely decorated and fully equipped lounge on the third floor of Hall C near to most Masters classrooms. This lounge offers an excellent space to socialize, study, or relax during classroom breaks.

Sport Facilities1

Canadian University Dubai has a range of athletic facilities that allow students to balance their studies with physical activity. The 160-seat tennis court with its cement surface promotes a fast game with a high bounce. 1 These services are suspended during pandemic as per the directions of MOE, KHDA & DHA

Student Health Clinic

Free basic medical services are provided for students at Canadian University Dubai Medical Centre. A qualified nurse is available on campus, and a fully qualified medical doctor is available once per week for consultations and followups.

Prayer Rooms1

Canadian University Dubai offers two beautiful prayer rooms located on the third floor of Hall D. These rooms allow both male and female students the opportunity to perform their prayers in the University. The Holy Month of Ramadan During Ramadan, the University expects all members of the community to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking on the University premises during daylight hours. In acknowledgement of our diverse community, the University designates a particular room where non-Muslims may eat or drink according to their needs. The University expects all its members to respect the U.A.E. culture and regulations, and show deference to the Muslim community during this period.


Our campus is home to four cafeterias serving a wide range of cuisines. The cafeteria areas provide a coeducational, multicultural, multinational, and social environment. They are the main gathering place for students between classes and during their free time, where they can enjoy free wireless internet. In addition, the students can always use one of the many vending machines located throughout the campus.

Parking Facilities

Secure parking is available for a nominal fee per semester on a first-come first-serve basis. Please check with Physical Resources for more information. There is also free parking available on the streets surrounding the University.

September 27, 2018; Dubai EnSENble is the UAE’s first choir for the ‘Determined Ones’ are now based in CUD.

The choir was founded by Mr. Rivaan Mager, Music Coordinator and Mr. Dusan Popovic, Sports Coordinator both employers at CUD. They have a passion for working with the people with determination and try to help their various challenges through their shared love of music.

There are also many volunteers who help out, some of them being ‘speech therapists or behavior therapists, all giving freely of their time to ensure the success of the choir.

The choir started in September 2017 and hosted their inaugural concert on November 24th 2017. This saw a full house at the CUD Red Theatre. The concert was the first of its kind in the UAE, and also featured the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert was a huge success and generated great emotion from the audience.

The choir has performed at various venues, including Global Village, MENA Special Needs Olympics in Abu Dhabi and they even had the opportunity to collaborate with leading schools in Dubai.

This year the choir has many events planned over the next 10 months, they will host their annual gala concert on 23rd November 2018 at 5pm at the Canadian University Dubai. The UAE Philharmonic will once again perform at this prestigious concert. There will also be guest performers from the “Which School Advisor” musician of the year competition and choirs from schools around Dubai.

The choir will also be performing at the Special Olympics World Games held in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

The Canadian University Dubai has been an integral part of the choir’s success, and they support the choir fully and have dedicated a ‘music studio’ for the choir to rehearse weekly. The university also has a passion towards inclusion through music.

The choir is free to join and is always welcoming new members to be part of this choir family. Through our passion for music, we want to show the UAE community that music unites everyone irrespective of our personal challenges in life. The choir rehearses every Thursday at the Canadian University Dubai from 4:30pm-5:30pm.

In addition to coordinating music in CUD, Mr. Rivaan also undertakes peripatetic work in other schools with Determined Ones among their pupils.

For more information regarding the choir please contact Rivaan Mager +971559071410


May 16th, 2019: Following the successful gala event, 'Music is our Voice', which brought together people of determination and the local school community in a spectacular celebration of music, Canadian University Dubai (CUD) Chancellor, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, has spoken to Edarabia about the institution's actions towards promoting inclusion.

  • Why did CUD organize a music gala for people of determination? Would this be a yearly event?

The event was organized as part of the University’s ongoing endeavors to promote inclusion, understanding and coexistence, in the spirit of the UAE Year of Tolerance. Since 2017 we have seen the Canadian University Dubai EnSEmble grow and flourish into an extraordinary realization of individual and collective talent. We wanted to share that talent with our local community to mark Autism Awareness month.

We know from our work with people of determination that awareness and inclusion across wider society remain among the biggest challenges they face in everyday life. Canadian University Dubai wanted to bring people together in an inclusive celebration of music to help further advance the conversation about autism in the UAE; to change the discourse into concrete action and progress across every aspect of society – from education and employment to cultural and social interactions. The gala was also hosted as a fundraising event, to help support therapy, care and community initiatives for children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have been delighted by the response and similar future events.

  • Studies suggest that sports are associated not only with social inclusion, but also with physical wellbeing and the enhancement of self-esteem. Does music have the same effect?

Absolutely, music is by definition inclusive, without boundaries, music does not discriminate against anyone. Numerous studies have shown that the effect of music on confidence levels and self-esteem is significant. For instance, music has helped young people in conflict areas to cope with stress. In other contexts, music has given young refugees a voice allowing them to be active participants in society. Music has had, over the history of mankind, an incredible unifying and healing power.

  • How does CUD cater to students of determination?

Canadian University Dubai was among the first universities in the UAE to welcome students with special educational needs, and has supported more than 100 determined students facing a range of personal challenges, from visual impairment to autism.

The University has a number of formal support structures in place, such as scholarships for individuals with special needs, tutoring programs that offer one-on-one academic support, and a dedicated student counselor to offer pastoral care throughout the students’ studies. However, the essence of our approach is to tailor our support to the specific needs of each individual and to work with families to achieve this, not only from the practical perspective of delivering an education, but also to ensure that we support their social, cognitive and emotional development to achieve success.

  • Are schools equipped to meet the needs of gifted students in the regular education (inclusion) classroom?

Canadian University Dubai is able to provide a learning environment that meets the needs of students of all backgrounds. This means creating inclusive classrooms and providing the supplementary support measures to those students with special education needs, from additional academic tutoring or personal counseling, to extracurricular activities that provide an outlet for personal creative expression.

  • How does CUD equip its students with the right skills to enter the workforce? Are any special measures taken to prepare students of determination for the same?

All of our academic programs are industry-driven and are designed to develop the employability of our students. As market needs are constantly evolving, we regularly talk to our advisory boards, alumni and employers of our graduates to gauge if our courses match their specific current and future needs.

What we’ve learnt from this is that employers are increasingly looking for qualities and skills that transcend typical sector boundaries. Competencies such as teamwork, leadership, reasoning, responsiveness and ethics are the skills that will help the future workforce to navigate the rapid pace of change. These are the skills that students develop through their practical work, which includes course-related internships, but also through special initiatives like the Canadian University Dubai EnSEmble.

April 18th, 2019: Canadian University Dubai marked International Autism Awareness Month and UAE’s Year of Tolerance with a unique musical celebration last evening at Dubai Opera uniting the musical talents of people of determination and Mohammed Assaf, in an awe-inspiring gala event.

The audience of the enchanting event titled ‘Music is Our Voice’ enjoyed the incredible musical talents of the enSEmble choir and Mohammed Assaf’s captivating performance. Assaf’s inspirational story of overcoming challenges to realize his musical dream was a fitting accompaniment to the young singing stars of Canadian University Dubai’s enSEmble choir.

Speaking about Music is Our Voice event, Mohammed Assaf, said: “This has been a heart-warming and an empowering experience. Being able to sing along with these outstanding determined talents was an uplifting moment in my career, and I’m proud to be supporting this worthy cause.”

Celebrating the unifying power of music, the gala event was organised by Canadian University Dubai to mark International Autism Awareness Month and to contribute to promoting inclusion and understanding as part of the UAE Year of Tolerance. Music is Our Voice was also proud to host the renowned Emirati vlogger, Khalid Al Ameri who delivered a touching speech on change, awareness and inclusion.

The concert brought together a diverse audience of people of determination, their families and support networks, as well as members of the wider UAE community. In partnership with the Emirates Red Crescent humanitarian organisation, all proceeds from the event will be donated to the Autism Awareness campaign.

According to Autism Speaks diagnosis has risen 15% in the past few years through improved identification from awareness, research and support services. The event is part of the global campaign to raise awareness of the condition and to promote understanding across the wider community of the special needs and talents of people on the spectrum.

For further information about Canadian University Dubai, please visit:


Students at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have received an inspirational talk from paralyzed athlete, Mr. Chris Khoury, about the importance of positivity and inner strength in day-to-day life.

Khoury, who was paralyzed from the chest down following a motocross accident in 2009, visited CUD in his capacity as an ambassador for the Wing for Life campaign, a non-profit research foundation that aims to find a cure for spinal cord-related disabilities.

Speaking about his life-changing accident, Khoury said that he made a conscious decision early on to adopt a positive attitude and seize every opportunity that came his way.

He said, “A voice inside my head said that this was my new reality and I immediately chose to be positive about it. I have met so many different people and learnt so many new things because of this. Most of all, I’ve discovered that positivity is contagious, and if you face your fears, you come out stronger both physically and emotionally, and so lead a fuller life.”

Following his accident, Khoury learned to cope with his constant pain through persistence and determination, and ultimately started to carve a new pathway to enjoy the recreational side of his life that had been hindered by his injury. Starting out with hand-cycling, he progressed to compete in triathlons, and is now at the forefront of promoting the Wings for Life World Run in Dubai.

The run, which will be held on May 8th at Dubai Autodrome, challenges participant to stay ahead of the ‘catcher car’ to stay in the race for as long as possible. It is part of a global event that takes place in 35 countries simultaneously and involves more than 150,000 runners. All funds raised go to the Wing for Life Foundation.

Khoury concluded, “Once every six minutes, someone learns that they will never walk again. Our mission through this event is to raise awareness of spinal cord injury and make paralysis a thing of the past.”

Canadian University Dubai (CUD) graduate, Mohammed Kasim, has once again proved the power of determination, completing the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi following his incredible journey to lose 100kg in weight.

Kassim, who earned a Master of Business Administration with specializations in General Management and Finance, weighed almost 200kg when he graduated from the University for the second time in 2013. Following stark warnings from doctors about his health, he started out on a calories controlled diet and exercise regime, and now weighs in at a muscular 98kg.

The ITU Triathlon – a 1500m swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run – is the latest challenge Kasim has set himself as part of his remarkable transformation. Having confessed at one time to eat nine burgers in one sitting, his journey started when he joined Dubai gym Inner Fight to take up cross-fit, and he became part of the Intisaar project, a government initiative to promote healthy lifestyles for Emiratis.

It was when he was supporting a friend in the Dubai Ironman that he decided to set himself the next goal. “I’ve been running, cycling and swimming for two years and I decided now was the time to test myself”, said Kasim, who trains around 17 hours a week.

Having completed the Dubai Standard Chartered marathon a few weeks earlier, he joined a field of 3500 amateurs, along with some of the world’s top triathletes, to take on the gruelling challenge, which centred around Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

Having proved himself among a top-class field, Kasim already has his sights set on the next challenge, as he aims to take part in the Olympic distance event next year. In the meantime, his main aim is to inspire others to take their health and fitness seriously.

“I had accepted that I was obese, but then my knee collapsed and even after two surgeries things were only getting worse. It has been a long road to fitness but my sec ret is to keep focused and surround myself with supportive people. It has changed my life and I encourage anyone in the same situation to do the same. Nothing is impossible”, Kasim concluded.


CUD student reveals academic and sporting ambitions on return from first Paralympic games

Tuesday, October 12, 2021: Following an historic first outing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games, Emirati paracycling coach, Mohammed Al Murawwi Al Blooshi, says he has already set his sights on Paris 2024. As he begins preparing his team for the all-important qualifying events, Mohammed has another milestone to pursue before the next games, as he aims to be among the first graduates of the Canadian University Dubai (CUD) sports management degree program.

Combining his roles as a government employee, national team cyclist, undergraduate student and paracycling coach, Mohammed is no stranger to ambitious challenges. The UAE team fielded its first and only paracycling athlete at Tokyo 2020, and Mohammed is now aiming to coach up to seven paracyclists to make it to Paris in 2024. At the same time, he enters the fourth year of his university studies, with the aim of graduating in the midst of the qualifying events calendar in 2022.

Reflecting on the recent games, Mohammed revealed, “We learnt a great deal from our time in Tokyo, both from the racing itself and also from the Paralympic experience as a whole. In particular, dealing with the challenges of fast-changing weather situations is something that will help us in our future training and race strategy. We were also able to learn a lot off the track from the previous Paralympians who were generous in sharing their knowledge and experience with us.”

An accomplished athlete himself, Mohammed has been cycling since 2000, when he was inspired by a member of his family to take up the sport. “It seemed that he was always away on exciting adventures, and I wanted to experience that,” Mohammed explained, “so I started cycling, recreationally at first, and then it turned into a passion, and I joined a club and began competing.” Starting out with domestic tours, Mohammed has gone on to race at local and international events across the UAE, Europe, and Asia with his club, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai.

Driven by his passion for the sport, Mohammed began his coaching career in 2017 and following training and professional development in the field he became an official coach for the Dubai Club for People of Determination, which led him to his role at the Paralympics. As he starts work with the team to build up points in the 2024 qualifying events, Mohammed also has the important matter of his Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management to complete.

Speaking about how he juggles his studies with his work and coaching commitments, Mohammed said, “It’s a challenge of course, but the flexibility in the program and class timings have enabled me to do it all at the same time. In fact, it’s been very beneficial learning about the business aspects of sport, from HR and leadership to event and facilities management, as I can bring this to my work with the club.”

Mohammed is now looking forward to the challenges ahead and hoping that both 2022 and 2024 will be milestone years in his sporting career.