Student Research Tackles Issues of Significance for the UAE

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi: The sun sets behind Reem Island as the campus winds down for the day. Deepthi Unnikrishnan / NYU Abu Dhabi

Over four years of study, many NYU Abu Dhabi students from all over the world become champions of innovation and progress for the UAE, choosing Capstone research that can make a real difference, in the real world around them.

All students must complete a Capstone project to graduate, one of the most meaningful experiences of an undergraduate education at NYUAD.

Water treatment facility for the Northern Emirates
Maryam Al Mansoori, civil engineering

Summary: Detailed design of a recycled wastewater treatment facility located in the Northern Emirates of the UAE, including the water treatment process, structural housing, road access, and parking facilities.

Female political participation
Dubai Abdulhoul Alfalasi, political science

Summary: The first project to gather Emiratis’ public opinions about women’s political participation in the Federal National Council, and the underlying reasons behind the lack of support by the members of the electoral college for Emirati women who ran as candidates in the past three elections. The research concludes with a list of recommendations for the Ministry of Federal National Council Affairs and the General Women’s Union.

UAE value added tax
Al Anood Alnaqbi, economics

Summary: An examination of the effects of a five per cent value added tax on the UAE's goods market and labor market between expats and locals. The study also indicates the level of revenues the UAE government would gain from the tax policy, which would contribute to the goal of diversifying away from oil.

Islamic versus conventional banking
Nasr Issa Chaker, economics

Summary: An evaluation of the financial performance of Islamic banks relative to conventional banks in the UAE (2010-2015) and set of recommendations that will allow Islamic banks to compete more effectively with conventional ones moving forward.

RELATED: Powerful art project challenges UAE stereotypes

NYUAD graduate Samuel Ridgeway shoots a Capstone film about falconry in the UAE.

Textbooks in UAE schools
Sylvain Guillaume, Arab Crossroads Studies

Summary: An examination of the UAE social studies curriculum as a site for the construction of an Emirati national historical narrative.

RELATED: Student research provokes thought, growth for the UAE

Emirati identity in a land of expats
Shamsa Al Dhahry, visual arts   

Summary: An art project that explores how Emiratis are faced with culture shock because expats outnumber the local population. 

Abu Dhabi alleys
Brittany Trilford, social science

Summary: An investigation into the hidden side of Abu Dhabi using GIS-based mapping and video recordings to observe and analyze side-alleys, and show how pedestrians lay claim to the city.

Dubai's vanishing baqalas
Rend Beiruti, Arab Crossroads Studies

Summary: Dubai government officials recently announced that they will stop granting trade licenses for traditional cornerstores (baqalas) because they no longer fit the city's standards of living, and that current baqalas will be replaced with modern supermarkets (7-Elevens). This project investigates the potential impacts of this standardization process on Dubai’s urban fabric and the social and symbolic role of the baqala.