Marhaba, meaning ‘welcome’ in Arabic, is a mandatory orientation program for all first year students. The program comprises of sessions led by faculty, administration, 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 NYU Abu Dhabi community. 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.

Marhaba 2020

More information will be shared about Marhaba over the summer.

What to Expect

A range of orientation sessions, optional activities, and evening entertainment is offered during Marhaba. Sample sessions and activities include:

  • connections to the NYUAD community
  • orientation to campus, student resources, and community expectations
  • workshops in building intercultural understanding
  • meetings with academic deans and faculty mentors
  • mall trips and visits to various parts of Abu Dhabi

Easing into University Life

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 the University. The programs consist of small group discussions and off-campus outings led by an NYUAD upperclass student and a staff/faculty member. First year students will build strong intercultural relationships, explore cultural expectations, and learn more about campus resources.

Marhaba Stories

Jack's Story

Experience Marhaba through the eyes of Jack Adeney, a rising Economics major from the UK.

Asma's Story

Asma came to NYU Abu Dhabi from Dubai, planning to major in Social Research and Public Policy.


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