Over the past decade, higher education has made significant progress in the Gulf Corporation Council Region (GCC) due to the promotion and investments made by the local governments. Medical and dental higher education has undergone massive transformation across all the universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the implementation of innovative educational policies.


The objective of the survey was to determine the career choices and assess the perspectives on higher education among dental students of a medical university in the UAE.


Structured closed-ended survey questionnaire was provided to 377 respondents at a dental school of a private medical university in UAE.


The results of the survey revealed that 51% of the respondents wanted to pursue specialization in dentistry. Orthodontics (33%), endodontics (28%) and oral surgery (16%) were the most preferred branches for specialization. UAE was the most preferred destination for pursuing specialization. Quality of education and proximity to the family were the most common reasons for selecting UAE as the destination for specialization. 36% of the survey respondents wanted more dental post-graduate seats to be available in the UAE. 57% of the survey respondents felt that the cost of post-graduation is comparable to other countries. 64% of the survey respondents felt that Doctor of Philosophy(PhD) program should be offered by medical universities in the UAE.


To conclude it can be stated that dental undergraduate students in the UAE prefer to pursue specialization in clinical branches like orthodontics, endodontics and oral surgery. Majority of the respondents prefer to pursue their specialization in the UAE due to the quality of education. Survey respondents felt that there was a need to offer more dental post-graduation and dental PhD programs by UAE universities.

Keywords: Career choice, Middle East, University, Dental education, Specialization, Perspective.
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