Marhaba, meaning ‘welcome’ in Arabic, is a mandatory orientation program for all first year students. Marhaba comprises of sessions led by staff, faculty, and student leaders to help first year students to find out about essential campus resources, learn how to navigate their first semester in university, and feel more connected to one another as well as the broader campus community, while also introducing key concepts in diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion (IDBE). The first part of the mandatory First Year Dialogue program focuses on identity, home, and belonging, allowing students to practice vulnerability and empathy-building with story sharing and listening, laying the groundwork for intercultural friendships. Marhaba programming will help first year students reflect on the experience of being new to campus and prepare themselves for their adjustment to NYUAD.

Marhaba takes place in late August, the week before classes begin. Visiting students from NYU New York and NYU Shanghai are also invited to select Marhaba activities and events.

Designed by Waad Ibrahim, Class of 2022.
  • This year's virtual Marhaba program runs from August 20 to August 28, 2021. The schedule is modeled after what a well-balanced day of remote classes might look like. 

    The program consists of mandatory and optional sessions offered in the (Gulf Standard Time, GST). Students are required to attend all mandatory events either as live sessions or recorded replays. 

    First year students will learn about academic and non-academic resources available to them during a remote semester, as well as time management and self-care tools to thrive during the semester. 

    Adjustment to university life takes time. That's why we have mandatory programs throughout the first semester to connect first year students with their peers, and to support their transition to a remote semester at the University.

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If you are a first year student and have questions about Marhaba, please email us at

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