The purpose of this paper is to examine the academic and athletic motivation and identify the factors that determine the academic performance among university students in the Emirates of Dubai. The study examined motivation based on nontraditional measure adopting a scale to measure both academic as well as athletic motivation. This study involving 217 athlete and non-athlete students reveals that academic motivation, career athletic motivation and student athletic motivation are motivational factors in improving students’ academic performance. Further, it showed there is a significant trend in student athletic motivation as a function of both father educational qualification and mother educational qualification. Findings also suggests a significant trend in career athletic motivation as a function of nationality, however, there is no significant pattern observed from all the three factors as a function of gender and GPA.