Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the attitudes of students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) towards non-institutionally sanctioned student evaluation websites, and to consider how educational institutions might respond to the demands of students for specific information. Design/methodology/approach – The study involved a self-completed questionnaire administered to 118 undergraduate students at a single university in the UAE. Findings – Even though there exists no UAE-based website that carries student evaluations of faculty/teaching, 13 per cent of the survey participants had previously visited a site that held student ratings, 85 per cent said they would consider posting on one if it existed in the country, and just over a half of the students were in favour of such websites being established in the UAE. Research limitations/implications – Despite limitations, such as the sample size and convenience sampling strategy, it is clear that students appreciate information about course evaluations and that educational institutions should consider how students obtain this information. Practical implications – The advent of student evaluation websites in the UAE could bring a set of challenges and opportunities to educational institutions, but, whether they are established or not, institutions might benefit from developing effective strategies for the dissemination of course evaluation and other student-related data in the near future. Originality/value – Student evaluation websites, such as RateMyProfessors.com, are popular in the United States (US), Canada and United Kingdom (UK), but it was unknown how students in a relatively conservative country such as the UAE would react to such websites. Educational institutions can use the findings of this study to develop suitable policies and strategies that address the issues discussed herein.