With a population of 2.6 million (2015), Abu Dhabi is capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the premier education and R&D hubs in the Middle East. The Emirate is known to play host to a number of top internationally recognized academic institutions. Students looking to study at Abu Dhabi universities ( جامعات في أبو ظبي ) get an edge over other graduates. Diplomas attained in Abu Dhabi are recognized throughout the GCC region. Branch campuses of international universities also carry the added advantage of being recognized by the campus' country of origin.