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 storysharing 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 29 to September 5, 2020. The schedule is modeled after what a well-balanced day of remote classes might look like. 

    The program which consists of mandatory and optional sessions offered in two scheduling tracks to accommodate time zone differences. The Early Bird starts in the morning (Gulf Standard Time, GST), while Night Owl starts in the evening, 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.

Vice Chancellor's Message to the Class of 2024

Memories Worth Sharing #myNYUAD

Share your experiences on social media!


Instagram Takeovers

Click on the photos below to view our Marhaba instagram takeovers!


Meet the First Year Students

Here are some of our Class of 2024 students who have joined the NYU Abu Dhabi family.

This is Maya Muwanga

Despite being 10 hours behind Abu Dhabi, Muwanga gets up as early as 6am to attend classes taking place in the afternoon on campus in the UAE.

This is Nina Zhao

While keen on majoring in either biology or bioengineering, Zhao is also taking full advantage of the liberal arts education system so integral to first-year students at NYUAD. 

This is Iwo Hachulski

Hachulski values the idea of a global community and it fuels the first-year’s excitement about joining NYUAD.

This is Al Reem Al Beshr

“I’ve been attending The Arts Center events since I was in high school. To go now as a NYU Abu Dhabi student is so surreal."

Class of 2024: The First Few Weeks 

A few members of NYUAD's Class of 2024 share what's made their first few weeks at university memorable.

Let's Connect


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

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