United Arab Emirates


Directory of OA journals (DOAJ) lists fourteen open access journals: Electronic Journal of Theoretical Physics by Electronic Journal of Theoretical Physics; Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture by United Arab Emirates University, ICGST International Journal on Graphics, Vision and Image Processing by ICGST, Information Management and Business Review, Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, Journal of Education and Vocational Research, and Journal of Social and Development Sciences by International Foundation for Research and Development (IFRD) and Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal by Iranian Hospital, Dubai, Journal of Middle East Applied Science and Technology, Open Journal of Hematology, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, International Journal of Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Advanced Nursing Studies, International Journal of Applied Mathematical Research.

As of March 2021, UAE has the 10 OA journals indexed in DOAJ. There is one OA mandate registered in ROARMAP. Three OA digital repositories are listed in OpenDOAR.

Researchers from UAE publish articles in international Open Access journals, for example, in 2013, 71 research articles have been published with BioMed Central – an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the Open Access publishing model– and among them are highly accessed (most viewed) articles published by researchers from Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, College of Science, United Arab Emirates University, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Department of Physiotherapy, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Dubai Hospital, Tawam Hospital, and Al-Cornich Hospital.

Enabling Environment

The UAE has been at the forefront when it comes to the use of digital technologies in the Middle East due to the increasingly central role ICT occupies in the government’s agenda as an enabling infrastructure for socio economic diversification. The government’s focus in the sector has been matched by an equal interest in and capacity. The government supported ICT development in the country through both investments in education and infrastructure. It is amongst the most highly Internet connected countries in the Middle East with 3,555,100 Internet users as of March 2011, 69.0 percent penetration rate.

There is positive feedback from the stakeholders towards OA in UAE. Study by Shawabka and Bouzza conducted in 2007, addressed attitudes of faculty members at the UAE University to a system of free access to scientific information. Amongst the important findings of the study results:

  • 62.9% are familiar with OA concept;
  • 68.6% have never been published in research journals and free access;
  • 31.4% indicated that they already published research in such journals;
  • that 82.9% of participants had not previously published research in digital archives;
  • 17.1% reported that they had already deposited their research to those archives.

In (2007) presented Shawabka and Bouazza, a study addressed the attitudes of faculty members at the UAE University to a system o Open Access to the scientific information, and the most important findings of the study results that the rate of 62.9% of the participants are familiar with the concept of free access, and the proportion of 68.6% have never been published in Open Access research journals while 31.4% indicated that they already published research in such journals. The study also revealed that 82.9% of participants had not previously published research in digital archives, while 17.1% reported that they had already deposited their research to those archives.

The establishment of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation is part of Sheikh Mohammed’s overall vision which includes empowering young leaders and future generations in the Arab World with the necessary knowledge and education to meet the challenges faced by their societies to narrow the 'Arab knowledge gap'. The Foundation was launched with an endowment of AED 37 billion (US $10 billion), as a personal initiative by His Highness at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2007.The foundation will establish scientific research centers in Arab universities, offer research grants to Arab researchers and from 2008 will provide scholarships to students. The foundation published reports as Arab Knowledge Report and Arab Human Capital Challenge. Since its launch, many projects and initiatives were conducted such as: Arab Library, a comprehensive Arabic e-library- part that seeks to become the world’s largest Arabic online library. The inclusive e-library comprises numerous books, poems, biographies, periodicals, and articles easily accessed by Arab users. Similar initiatives launched supported by the Foundation, including the Arab Narrative Encyclopedia and Al Ghani Dictionary.

alwaraq is one of the biggest online electronic libraries for the Arabic and Islamic heritage and it is owned by the Electronic Village, Abu Dhabi.

Key Organizations

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation. The foundation aims to develop the knowledge and human capabilities of the Arab World and contribution to the dissemination of knowledge and the advancement of solutions to problems facing sustainable development in the Arab societies.

Communication address P.O. Box: 214444 Building No. 7, Dubai Outsource Zone, Dubai, UAE. Local phone: 800-MBRF (6273), Tel.: +97143299999, Fax: +97143687777.


  • Abdoulaye Kaba , Raed Said , (2015) "Open Access Awareness, Use, and Perception: A Case Study of AAU Faculty Members", New Library World, Vol. 116 Iss: 1/2, pp.94 - 103: This paper reports the findings of a survey undertaken at Al Ain University of Science and Technology (AAU) to investigate and understand faculty awareness, use and perception of Open Access (OA) resources. This kind of research is new to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in general and the UAE in particular. The findings of the study may help to improve the awareness and the use of OA resources among scientific communities not only in the Arab countries but also around the world.
  • Bruijnen, P., W. J. Plug, G. Van Yperen, and W. Botermans. 2016. “Integrated Development of Europe’s Largest Open-Access Underground Gas Storage by Use of a Multidisciplinary Simulator.” in 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016: Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential.
  • Chervova, O., L. Conde, J. A. Guerra-Assunção, I. Moghul, A. P. Webster, A. Berner, E. Larose Cadieux, Y. Tian, V. Voloshin, T. F. Jesus, R. Hamoudi, J. Herrero, and S. Beck. 2019. “The Personal Genome Project-UK, an Open Access Resource of Human Multi-Omics Data.” Scientific Data 6(1). doi: 10.1038/s41597-019-0205-4.
  • Kaba, A., and R. Said. 2015. “Open Access Awareness, Use, and Perception: A Case Study of AAU Faculty Members.” New Library World 116(1–2):94–103. doi: 10.1108/NLW-05-2014-0053.
  • Maha Bali (25 March 2014), "Take Advantage of Open-Access Publishing" posted on blog, www.al-fanarmedia.org . This opinion article discusses views of researchers from the Arab world towards open access publishing.
  • Mavodza, J. 2013. “A Review of the Open Access Concept in the UAE.” New Library World 114(5):259–66. doi: 10.1108/03074801311326885.
  • Shawabka, Younis Ahmed and Abdul Majid Saleh Bouazza. (2007). "Trends of Faculty at the UAE University towards the Open Access System of Scientific Information", The Eighteenth Conference of the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information (AFLI), Jeddah 17 - 20 November, 2007. (in Arabic).
  • Stone, T. E., and R. C. Rossiter. 2015. “Predatory Publishing: Take Care That You Are Not Caught in the Open Access Net.” Nursing and Health Sciences 17(3):277–79. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12215.
  • Yammine, K. 2015. “Open Access of Evidence-Based Publications: The Case of the Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal Literature.” Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 8(4):181–84. doi: 10.1111/jebm.12178.

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