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Heriot-Watt University became the first University in the UAE to light up the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – in a historical celebration on November 26 2019.

The celebration was in support of the many milestones the Dubai campus has achieved this year: Heriot-Watt University was named one of Dubai's top universities and awarded five stars by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the supreme educational quality assurance and regulatory authority of the Government of Dubai. The campus was also crowned the 'Best University' at the first ever Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards. And last week, it announced its upcoming move to a brand-new campus in Knowledge Park, Dubai a step which serves to bolster the University’s commitment to delivering the highest standards of teaching and learning in the Middle East.

Speaking on the occasion Professor Julian Jones, Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University said, “As the very first British University to set up a campus in Dubai, we started our first academic year in 2005 with an intake of just 120 students. Today we have almost 4,000 students enrolled across a variety of disciplines, highly employable globally and with much sought-after skill sets. We are pleased that all our milestones are culminating in this proud moment for the students and staff of Heriot-Watt University Dubai.”

At exactly 8.23 pm, the Burj Khalifa was lit up with imagery that reinforced Heriot-Watt’s position as a world-class Institution as well as showcasing its achievements. A one-minute-long film featuring James Watt, highlighted the University’s two biggest accolades this year, namely the awards from KHDA and Forbes Middle East.  It celebrated the Dubai campus’ distinguished academic record in subjects including engineering, business, construction, design and computer science and the heritage of Heriot-Watt since its inception in 1821.

At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 storeys, the Burj Khalifa is an iconic skyscraper gracing the skyline of Dubai and one of the best-known symbols of modern UAE.