News & Reports

Arab Families and Foundations that Give Scholarships

Many prominent Arab families and foundations are among the donor institutions that provide scholarships to Arab undergraduate and graduate students. Al-Fanar Media takes a look at some of the major contributors in this area.

The Abdullah Al Ghurair Family 

The Abdullah Al Ghurair Foundation, based in the United Arab Emirates, is one of the largest privately funded philanthropic foundations in the Arab region.  It describes its target audience as young Emiratis and Arabs who have demonstrated academic and leadership merit but do not have the financial means to pursue quality education. To find out more about the foundation’s grants and scholarships, click here.

The Chalhoub Family

The Chalhoub Group, founded by the Syrian-French businessman Michel Chalhoub, offers scholarships for study at the Sciences Po campus in Menton, in southern France. The Chalhoub Scholarship supports three years of undergraduate study and two years of postgraduate study for students who continue their studies at the master’s level. Applications must be submitted on Sciences Po‘s admissions website. For a list of the university’s master’s and dual degree programmes, click here. For bachelor’s degree programmes, click here.

The Al Maktoum Family

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, named after the current Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, offers a number of scholarships to Arab students for master’s degree studies in business administration, public administration, public policy, and finance at prestigious international universities.

Candidates for these scholarships must secure admission to one of the approved master’s programmes at a partner international university, submit a certificate verifying at least two years of work experience, and attend an interview with the institution’s scholarship programme advisory committee, if requested. To learn more, the Scholarships Programme’s website is here.

The Al Qasimi Family

The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research established its Scholarship Office in 2020 with the support of the current ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The scholarship provides promising Emirati students and professionals who are from Ras Al Khaimah with scholarship to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate studies at select domestic and international universities, particularly in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. For information about how to apply for these scholarships, visit the foundation’s online portal here.

The Heikal Family

The Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation provides opportunities for Egyptian students to pursue full-time master’s degree studies at top universities abroad. The foundation is supported by an endowment from the Qalaa Holdings investment company, which is led by its founder and chair, Ahmed Heikal. (Heikal is a son of the late journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, who was editor-in-chief of the Cairo newspaper Al-Ahram for nearly 20 years during a career that spanned half a century.)

The foundation provides 15 to 20 scholarships annually to applicants with financial need for master’s degree study in any discipline. Beneficiaries pledge to return to work in Egypt and contribute to the country’s progress after completing their studies. For information on how to apply for a scholarship from the Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation, click here.

The Muhammad Alagil Family

In partnership with the Rhodes Trust, the Saudi businessman Mohammed Alagil, co-founder of Jarir Bookstores, supported the launch of the Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi Arabia in 2018. Saudi Arabia thus became one of the 25 constituencies from which Rhodes scholars are selected.

Rhodes Scholarships provide full support for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom. Established in 1902, the Rhodes Scholarship is one of the world’s most prestigious international scholarship programmes.

Candidates interested in applying for a Rhodes Scholarship through the Saudi Arabia constituency can find more information here. Those who succeed in winning a Rhodes Scholarship will need to apply separately to the University of Oxford for admission to their chosen programmes. Information about the university’s graduate admissions requirements is available here.

The Sawiris Family

The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, founded by Egypt’s Sawiris family, and Orascom Construction, which is owned by the Sawiris family, offer several scholarships that support Egyptian students  in undergraduate or graduate study in Egypt and abroad.

In cooperation with AmidEast, an American nonprofit organisation,  the foundation offers the Sawiris Distinction Scholarship for graduates of Egyptian public high schools to pursue bachelor’s degrees at prestigious public and private universities in Egypt. The scholarship is awarded  through two tracks, one supporting high school graduates in general, and the second supporting students with disabilities.

Through the Onsi Sawiris Scholarship Programme, Orascom Construction provides fully funded scholarships for Egyptian students to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees at prestigious universities in the United States in fields that will promote economic prosperity of Egypt. The institutions include Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Also, in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the foundation offers scholarships each year to two outstanding graduates from four German schools in Cairo and Alexandria, for bachelor’s and master’s degree studies in various fields at top German universities. For more information on the SFSD–DAAD Scholarship Programme, click here.

The Abu Ghazaleh Family

The Abu Ghazaleh Foundation, founded by Shakur Abu Ghazaleh, a Saudi businessman of Palestinian descent, offers scholarships in cooperation with its partners. The foundation’s scholarship criteria assess each applicant’s academic excellence and financial circumstances. For more information, click here.

The Elia Nuqul Family 

The Elia Nuqul Foundation, established by the family of the late Jordanian businessman Elia Nuqul, supports social-development initiatives in the field of education that benefit individuals and communities in Jordan. The foundation offers scholarships for study at universities, community colleges, and vocational training institutions. It aims to enable youth to hone their academic, life and technical skills; enhance their employability; pursue their future career aspirations; and play a proactive role in the development of their communities. To learn more, click here.

The Abdulkarim Allehedan Family 

The Mohammed Bin Abdulkarim A. Allehedan Endowed Scholarship and Scientific Research Fund at the American University in Cairo provides scholarships to Arab students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in the university’s School of Science and Engineering. The fund was established by the Saudi businessman Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Ali Allehedan to support academically distinguished students who would otherwise not be able to afford higher education, and to encourage specialised research in fields that are not common in the Arab world.

For information on the Mohammed Bin Abdulkarim A. Allehedan Fellowship, click here. For information on AUC graduate admissions requirements, click here.

The Shoman Family

The  Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, named after the late Palestinian founder of the Arab Bank, is dedicated to encouraging knowledge, research and development in the sciences, humanities and arts.  You can find more about the foundation’s scholarships here.


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