During the last decade, several countries across the Middle and Far East have established higher education hubs, some of which have grown rapidly by attracting foreign universities to set up international branch campuses. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is by far the largest host of international branch campuses globally, having over 40 providers at the end of 2009. The UAE higher education market has become highly competitive and, in the private sector, supply currently exceeds demand. This paper explores and analyses the outcomes and impacts of this market situation on student recruitment, the student experience, quality and institutional strategies. The long-term viability of international branch campuses in the UAE is also considered, in the context of local political and social issues.