The shortage of adequate water experts in this region as the global value of water becomes increasingly evident was highlighted by Scottish experts and academics in Dubai.
The Heriot-Watt University (HW) Dubai campus aims to tackle this dearth, however, with a recent offering of a Master of Science (MSc) in water resources. The programme commenced last September but was officially launched on campus last week by a Scottish government and HW delegation.
"In this whole region the biggest concern now is the lack of fresh water," said Professor Ammar Kaka, head of the Dubai campus.
"What we are trying to do with this degree is equip the human assets here, such as engineers, to deal with the issues of water conservation and climate change," Kaka said.
Although three-quarters of the earth's surface is covered in water only two per cent of it is fresh and fit for human consumption. However, such issues do not seem to concern students in the UAE as the HW Dubai campus has only managed to recruit six students onto the MSc programme.
"We are hoping to see an increase with coming intakes where we get to a point of recruiting 30 students each intake," Professor Kaka said.