Login | Register
Email Twitter Facebook YouTube Google+ 2013 Survey

Best Schools Dubai – And Why

StudentsGradesIn the latest (2016) report from Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) the number of ‘Outstanding’ schools in Dubai has increased by two to 16 schools. In addition, a further 13 schools are now rated Very Good. This is an entirely new category for the 2015/16 reports.

The good news is that for all but one of these schools this is a move upwards. Only one school has slipped down from Outstanding to Very Good.

According to the emirate’s education regulator 61% of students (representing 154,000 from a total of 253,000 students) are now in schools that offer a good or better quality of education, as compared to 30% in 2008-2009.

The volume of good schools in the emirate should be of great comfort to existing residents, as well as those moving in. There is choice, and an increasing amount of it.

Read: Dubai School Fees 2016/17 – the complete list, by Year Group

And: Complete Dubai School Rankings – KHDA

And: Dubai school movers and shakers, 2015/16

And: Is there a relationship between school fees and rating?

In 2015/16 149 schools were inspected (six added over 2014/15). Of these, 16 were rated Outstanding, 13 were rated as Very Good, 57 Good, 56 schools are Acceptable, 7 schools are Weak, and currently no schools are considered Very Weak.


In previous years the KHDA has been at pains to outline the correlation between good leadership and quality education. In 2015/16, DSIB found that good or better leadership was exercised at 64% of all schools, an increase of 18 percentage points compared to 2008.

Performance levels for Dubai schools are now defined as follows:

Outstanding Quality of performance substantially exceeds the expectation of the UAE
Very Good Quality of performance exceeds the expectation of the UAE
Good Quality of performance meets the expectation of the UAE (This is the expected level for every school in the UAE)
Acceptable Quality of performance meets the minimum level of quality required in the UAE (This is the minimum level for every school in the UAE)
Weak Quality of performance is below the expectation of the UAE
Very Weak Quality of performance is significantly below the expectation of the UAE


Outstanding Schools Revealed


Caption: Dubai school ratings, by curriculum type.

Schools that score an overall outstanding rating will undoubtedly become the most sought-after school places in Dubai. Here are the 16 outstanding performing private schools in Dubai, as of May 2016.


School Name Curriculum Overall 2015/2016 Rating Overall 2014/2015 Rating Current School Fees Minmum (AED) Current School Fees Maximum (AED)
Dubai College UK Outstanding Outstanding 77,702 87,986
Dubai English Speaking private college – branch UK Outstanding Outstanding 74,219 79,772
Dubai International Academy IB Outstanding Good 38,318 67,893
Gems Dubai American Academy US/IB Outstanding Outstanding 21,781 80,640
Gems Jumeirah Primary School UK Outstanding Outstanding 38,202 48,155
Gems Modern Academy Indian Outstanding Outstanding 33,056 49,011
Gems Royal Dubai School UK Outstanding Good 35,834 45,182
Gems Wellington International School UK/IB Outstanding Outstanding 41,078 89,368
Jumeirah College UK Outstanding Outstanding 68,233 85,291
Jumeirah English Speaking School UK Outstanding Outstanding 36,506 45,115
Jumeirah English Speaking School (Br) UK/IB Outstanding Outstanding 36,506 86,006
Kings School Dubai UK Outstanding Outstanding 40,777 61,525
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Primary Oud Metha French Outstanding Outstanding 26,062 26,062
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School (Dubai Branch) French Outstanding Good 31,401 43,122
Repton School FZ-LLC UK/IB Outstanding Outstanding 50,379 100,759
The Indian High School Indian Outstanding Outstanding 4,921 9,321


In addition, there are the schools now rated Very Good. This is a new category for 2016, and schools here are performing above the expectations of the KHDA’s inspection team.


School Name Curriculum Overall 2015/2016 Rating Overall 2014/2015 Rating Current School Fees Minmum (AED) Current School Fees Maximum (AED)
Deira International School UK/IB Very Good Good 38,328 77,222
Delhi Private School Indian Very Good Good 9,682 13,555
Dubai British School UK Very Good Good 43,644 65,467
Dubai English Speaking School UK Very Good Good 34,000 42,078
Gems Our Own English High School Indian Very Good Good 6,804 14,397
Gems Wellington Academy (Branch) UK Very Good Good 35,067 79,185
Gems Wellington Primary School UK Very Good Good 40,795 51,422
Horizons English School UK Very Good Outstanding 24,872 34,834
Jebel Ali Primary School UK Very Good Good 41,093 41,093
Lycee Libanais Francophone Prive-Dubai French Very Good Good 23,151 49,610
The Millennium School Indian Very Good Good 15,888 23,364
The School of Research Science UK Very Good Good 32,069 68,853
The Winchester School UK Very Good Good 12,996 28,992


Note, only one Outstanding school lost its rating in 2015/16 – Horizon School, which fell to Very Good.


Schools rated Good by the KHDA

If you are currently research a school for your child, note – Outstanding schools tend to be at or near capacity. Good schools will also be targeted by parents but you should broaden your search to schools on this list. Note, targeting new (opened in the last 3-4 years) and new schools will yield the biggest opportunities for a space within a high performing school.


School Name Curriculum Overall 2015/2016 Rating Overall 2014/2015 Rating Current School Fees Minmum (AED) Current School Fees Maximum (AED)
Al Ameen Private School UK Good Good 9,084 10,296
Al Basateen Private Nursery Hatta Branch MOE Good Acceptable 5,400 5,400
Al Diyafah High School UK Good Good 8,312 17,902
Al Ittihad Private School (BR) US Good Good 19,427 37,834
Al Mawakeb School – Al Garhoud US Good Good 13,373 21,678
Al Mawakeb School (Br) US Good Acceptable 13,373 21,678
Al Mizhar American Academy School US Good Good 39,886 62,176
Al Rashid Al Saleh Private School MOE Good Good 8,354 17,927
Al Safa Private School UK Good Good 25,902 39,879
Al Salam Private School UK Good Good 12,482 27,899
Ambassador Kindergarten LLC Indian Good Acceptable 25,351 25,351
Ambassador School Indian Good Acceptable 19,976 39,306
American School of Dubai US Good Good 57,307 78,685
Cambridge International School UK Good Good 17,206 23,361
Collegiate American School US Good Good 40,071 72,352
Dar Al Marefa School IB Good Good 30,676 69,660
Dubai Gem Private School UK Good Good 11,820 24,268
Dubai National School US Good Good 20,164 33,087
Dubai National School (Branch) US Good Acceptable 19,761 32,395
Dubai Police Kindergarten – Deira Branch MOE Good Good 1 1
Dubai Scholars Private School UK Good Good 13,739 26,060
Emirates International Private School L.L.C UK/IB Good Good 33,836 71,702
Emirates International School Meadows IB Good Good 25,871 76,726
Foremarke School UK Good n/a 90,000 98,000
Gems New Millennium School Indian Good n/a 20,963 28,000
Gems Our Own Indian School Indian Good Acceptable 5,737 11,696
Gems Wellington Academy – Al Khail UK Good n/a 52,000 85,000
Gems World Academy IB Good Good 62,176 107,928
German International School Dubai German Good Good 35,146 66,398
Green Field Community School IB Good Good 41,441 76,315
Greenwood International School US Good Good 17,596 26,981
Horizon International School L.L.C UK Good Good 33,318 77,453
Iranian Towheed Boys School Iranian Good Good 8,500 10,000
Japanese School Japanese Good Good 16,816 16,816
JSS International School Indian Good Good 13,626 35,557
JSS Private School Indian Good Good 10,620 23,059
Jumeira Baccalaureate UK/IB Good Good 56,131 84,197
Lycee Francais International French Good Good 25,459 53,843
Our Own High School Indian Good Good 8,260 13,778
Pristine Private School UK Good Good 9,071 16,994
Raffles International School – Umm Suqueim South BR UK Good Good 29,328 65,812
Raffles World Academy UK/IB Good Good 29,328 82,119
Rajagiri International School Dubai Indian Good Good 10,945 21,941
Regent International Private School UK Good Good 42,265 92,482
Russian International School Russian Good Acceptable 13,747 21,138
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Islamic Institute MOE Good Good 1 1
Springdales School Dubai Indian Good n/a 18,000 28,000
St Mary Catholic High School-Dubai UK Good Good 5,825 12,512
Star International School UK Good Good 19,657 38,897
The English College Dubai UK Good Good 49,764 59,619
The Indian High School – Branch Indian Good Good 4,699 4,921
The Kindergarten Starters Indian Good Acceptable 6,666 8,897
The Westminster School UK Good Good 7,295 14,182
United International Private School Philippine Good Acceptable 4,659 8,482
Universal American School – Branch US/IB Good Good 38,465 73,030
Uptown School IB Good Good 54,703 83,852
Victory Heights Primary School UK Good Acceptable 34,589 47,167


Comparing Dubai schools internationally

UAE Schools Versus TIMS Pisa

The best Dubai schools are very good, with the likes of Dubai College comparing favourably with some of the best private schools in the UK – at least in terms of academic results. As a whole however, the UAE has some way to go on international benchmarks like the PISA test.

See: Problem: UAE schools at the bottom of the class

Results vary widely across curricula in the UAE, with IB and UK curriculum schools scoring significantly higher than their peers and already closing in on the benchmarks set in the UAE for 2021. Higher performance in these tests is reflected in the ratings of schools in the UAE by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau. Two thirds of Outstanding schools in the emirate are either UK or IB schools.

STEM scores by curriculum

Note however, that this is not necessarily to do with the curriculum. UK and IB schools tend to be the most expensive, charge the highest fees, and therefore are the most well funded schools in Dubai.


Getting into one of these schools

If you are currently researching schools, you want to read our guide to getting into a good school in the UAE.


How school inspections are done

Internationally qualified school inspectors pay on site visits to every private school in Dubai to rate the school on key questions such as:

  1. How good are the students’ attainment and progress in key subjects? (Key subjects focus on Maths, Science, Arabic, Islamic Studies and English)
  2. How good is the students’ personal and social development? 
  3. How good is the teaching, learning and assessment methods?

  4. How well does the curriculum meet the educational needs of all students? 
  5. How well does the school protect and support its students?
  6. How good are the leadership and management of the school?

  7. How well does the school perform overall?

Following each inspection, the school gets a full written report with details of the school’s performance and shortfalls. Parents considering specific schools should be able to access the latest school inspection report through the KHDA website.

The school is expected to prepare an action plan addressing any recommendations for further development, which is then used as a benchmark for the next year’s inspections.


Why you should filter reports

The KHDA rates schools based on its own weighting system. In its latest guide it notes its next round of reports will focus on Special Educational Needs provision, and core subjects Maths and English.

The inspection team will of course continue to look at MoE requirements for Islamic and social studies, Arabic as a first and second language – and so on.

As a parent not everything the KHDA uses in its overview rating, you will consider important – for non-Muslims the weighting given to Islamic Studies for example, may not be considered so vital.

If you do only look at the top line rating, you could be excluding schools delivering outstanding education in those areas you consider important…

What do you think? Have your say on Dubai schools – complete the 2015/16 School survey here.

Further reading: www.khda.gov.ae/en

And: School Availability – Latest Admissions Information. This list is updated regularly.




Leave A Reply
  1. Hussain says
    January 16, 2017, 11:51 pm


    My son turned 6 year in Jan-2017 studying in
    Class 1 in Beacon House. Now he’s moving
    To Dubai kindly advise which school shall be
    Appropriate for him according to slabus and fee structure


  2. Jonathan says
    January 11, 2017, 10:32 pm

    I am a student in year 9 in cbse school.I was wondering if i changed to IB would it help me?

    • January 14, 2017, 9:37 pm

      HI Jonathan,

      It is really difficult to answer your question without knowing much more about you, your interests and your future plans. If you have a clear idea of what you want to do after school and if your plans include further education in India, then staying where you are may well be the best option.

      If you want to study overseas, are keen to drive your own learning through a more independent approach, a broad range of subjects spread across both Arts and Sciences and are academically able, then the IB may suit you. You can find out more about the IB programmes through http://www.ibo.org. There are a lot fewer IB schools in the UAE and they tend to be more costly than CBSE, so this would also be a factor.

  3. Engela says
    January 4, 2017, 3:53 pm

    Hi everyone
    I would really appreciate some practical advice. My kids are currently in a school where our year is from January to December and does not follow either the British or American curricula. They are 15 (turning 16 in Feb) and 14 (turning 15 in April). Depending on visas we will probably move April/May 2017. I am concerned that their ages may make it a bit difficult for placement. Any recommendations regarding which type of school may be best?

    • January 4, 2017, 9:38 pm

      Dear Engela,

      I assume you are coming from the southern hemisphere. The timing of your move is problematic and my initial advice would be to postpone your move until later in the year. The reason for this is that schools following the September to June academic year (which applies to all but Indian curriculum here in the UAE) are not permitted to register new students after the end of April and will almost certainly not do so. Schools are on their Spring break during April, so the summer term is the only one that they would consider.

      The final term of the academic year runs from April to June and your children will only have completed one semester of the new academic year in your home country which means that they will definitely have to repeat the entire school year in September. If you move them after the summer here and they have completed two semesters in your home country, they can be assessed for and promoted to the next grade.

      The other challenge is that your children will not be able to enter a UK curriculum school as they would be joining part way through the two year GCSE programme which would not be permissible. You would be best advised to seek out either the IB or US curriculum for your children. However, the same issues around the April timing will apply.

      Good Luck with your move.

    • Charlotte says
      January 15, 2017, 10:50 am

      My son just turned 6 and i appreciate your advise on a good British/American school in which i can enroll him by September 2017. Fee range per year AED 24,000-AED 30,000.

      • January 18, 2017, 3:20 pm

        HI Charlotte,

        Your son should legally already be attending school as he is already 6 years old. He would be joining grade 1 or year 2 in September and if he has not attended school at all, this will be a huge transition for him. My advice would be to enrol him now if at all possible, but I suspect that most schools will not take him half way through the academic year. The alternative would be to enrol him in a Distance Learning school – the only one registered here with the KHDA (assuming you are in Dubai) is Icademy Middle East. This will give him the minimum academic tools to enter school in September.

        Here is a complete guide to schools and their fees: http://edu2021.com/guides/dubai-school-fees-complete-table/. I would advise you to start contacting those schools that are within your price point, but please ensure when you contact US curriculum schools that they are or are in the process of accreditation – many US curriculum schools are not and we believe that this will have consequences for schools being able to continue to offer the US curriculum going forward.

  4. Sarah Fathima says
    December 26, 2016, 6:52 pm

    Hi, My daughter will be 4yrs in Aug 2017, she is not eligible for CBSE schools, due to age criteria, pls advice which schools and curriculum will be best as we may stay here in Dubai for another 2-3yrs only and go back to India for further education….
    would appreciate ur advice and suggestions.


    • December 28, 2016, 10:01 am

      HI Sarah,

      I believe that you have two options; some Indian schools do offer a pre-KG class for which your daughter would be age appropriate – this may offer one solution and would ensure that she is in the Indian curriculum for KG1. Both Springdales and Ambassador schools offer pre-KG and it is worth checking what other options there may be in your area.
      The other option would be to consider UK curriculum for which, due to the academic year starting in September, she would probably be able to join FS2 which is the equivalent of KG1. Not all UK curriculum schools apply the August cut off date – some follow the calendar year – and in this case, she would be accepted into FS1 (equivalent to pre-KG).

      Since you plan to return to India and to a CBSE curriculum school, it makes most sense to follow this curriculum here, but she will also have a good foundation if you choose the UK curriculum route.

  5. Ali says
    December 21, 2016, 2:50 pm

    We recently moved from Singapore to Dubai. My son was in Singapore curriculum (IGCSE) Secondary I. He joined in Dubai in a CBSE School on Grade 8 in Oct 2016. Now, we hear from KHDA that, this school will not have Grade 9 due to poor rating.. 🙁

    Now, we are forced to look for other schools. Is UK curriculum would be good for him? Our long-term plan is to send him to Indian University after 12th Grade. Taking UK curriculum will turn-out disadvantage for him while applying for Indian Entrance Test / College study?

    Note: In his two months study in CBSE, he scored pretty good in mid-term examinations including Arabic. And he is now confident to choose Indian or IGCSE curriculum.

    Request your advice.

    • December 28, 2016, 8:56 am

      Hi Ali,

      My advice would be not to change curriculum again. It seems that your son is settled and performing well in his current school. A change to another school will in any case be disruptive and a change of curriculum will potentially make it more so. There is no real benefit to your son in sending him to a UK curriculum school if you plan for him to go to India for university.
      If you do choose to transfer to the UK curriculum, he will in any case have to repeat one school grade, since he will not have completed the current grade by September when the UK curriculum academic year begins. A transfer to a UK curriculum school in April is likely to be difficult to arrange as this will be 2/3 of the way through the current academic year.
      Good luck with the change of school – I am sorry that you have been affected by the current school’s poor performance. Can you tell me which school your son currently attends?

      • Ali says
        January 3, 2017, 12:15 pm

        Hi Lyn,
        I will notify you separately through your email (please send your email id).

  6. Viola says
    December 2, 2016, 3:51 pm

    Hi, I’m looking for the best school for my son he will be 4 years in June 2017. Which curriculum is better UK or American?. In Dubai?

    • December 8, 2016, 9:12 am

      Hi Viola,

      At your son’s age, the curriculum is probably not as important as the atmosphere and ethos of the school. Both curricula are widely recognised and accepted around the world. As your son will already be 4 by September, he would join FS2 in the UK curriculum in all likelihood. Since most schools offer FS1 for children who have turned 3 by September, he will already have missed a year in school and may find it slightly more difficult to adapt as the children around him will already be used to the school routines. However, wherever he goes, it will be a new experience and so it is not going to make a major difference.
      My suggestion would be that you think about your long term plans. Are you planning to stay in Dubai for his education, where are you likely to go if not and where do you see him studying if he goes to university. If there is a likelihood that he will go to the US, then US curriculum may be the better option; if he is likely to go elsewhere in the English speaking world, then the UK curriculum will give him a solid grounding.
      I would suggest that you also narrow the field by considering location and fees. Choose schools that are right for you in this context, definitely aim to visit a short list of them and then make your decision based on all these factors.
      Bear in mind also that most schools will have already opened the admissions process for September 2017 so you should probably aim to make applications within the next month or so as many schools start their assessment process in January/February with the aim of offering places by April,
      Good luck in your search!

  7. HG says
    November 22, 2016, 5:37 pm

    Hi, I am moving to Dubai in February and started looking for schools for my 4 year old son(Dob: Jan/2013) We are moving from Turkey and he doesn’t know English apart from a couple of words. My plan is to make appointments once we come to Dubai for 2017/2018 and I read lots of good recommendations for GEMS schools. My plan is to apply for GEMS Wellington, Raffles International, Jumeirah Primary,Dubai American Academy or Regent International. I don’t have a 2-3 year contract, that’s why I don’t have any plan about coming back to Turkey where most of schools apply IB curriculum. We will be staying in JBR and I will appreciate any guidance for the schools selection and the language barrier that my son will probably face.

    • November 29, 2016, 5:50 pm

      Dear HG,

      Schools in Dubai are very used to children who arrive with little or no English and at your son’s age, he will learn very quickly. The schools you mention are all UK curriculum. I would suggest that you do also consider the IB curriculum as this may well be the most appropriate, since you do not know how long you will be staying in Dubai. I would suggest that you consider Dubai International Academy, Raffles World Academy and Emirates International Schools (both Umm Suqeim and Meadows).

      I would strongly advise you not to wait until you arrive in Dubai to apply for places. Demand in FS2/KG1 is still very high, especially among the most popular schools (which those on your list generally are). Generally they accept applications until January and then start to assess children to offer places by around March. You can usually apply on-line to the schools and many will either arrange an assessment at the current school or will hold a place for your arrival when they will assess your son if appropriate.

      At his age and given the language barrier, the main interest will be to see how he deals with be away from you for a short period, how he interacts with other children and how he plays with the items offered to test his gross and fine motor skills.

      Good Luck with your move.

  8. Falguni says
    November 22, 2016, 8:22 am

    Hi . We r try to get add mission for grade 4 and 2 CBSE board in Dubai, we r looking school wich is good for aducation and sports.now they r study in Bright rider school Abudhabi. So pl advice me wich Indian school is best in Dubai

  9. Ayman Saad says
    November 18, 2016, 6:52 pm

    Good afternoon
    my boy in Gr10 this year. we are moving to Dubai 2017 and I think about having a home study for Gr11 and gr 12.
    Is it possible in UAE to have home study?

    • November 22, 2016, 3:46 pm

      Dear Ayman,

      Strictly speaking, children are required to attend school from the age of 6 years. Families do home school, but if you do so, you would not be able to obtain any form of certification of the studies. The only option would be to enrol your son in i-Cademy which is the only home school organisation that is registered with education authorities in Dubai. You can choose for your son also to be registered with the KHDA (the regulator). i-Cademy only offers US curriculum through a mix of either entire home study or a blended programme where children attend their centre. You can find out more by searching K12 – iCademy on Whichschooladvisor.

  10. Fal says
    November 15, 2016, 11:40 am

    Hi, my son is in grade 6 of ICSE (Indian) curriculum. I plan to shift him to a more research and independent learning based school where there is broader area of development. Eventually he will be going to a US or Canada based university. Which curriculum will be suitable for him – UK, American or IB? I am very keen for IB but the high fees of most good schools is somewhat prohibiting factor for me to consider. Any insights? Thanks!

    • November 16, 2016, 5:35 pm

      Hi Fal,

      Your definition of the type of school you want for your son is very close to the IB, though you may also find that UK curriculum schools offer similar attributes, but in a rather less project-based way although this is also changing.
      However, given that you are seeking possibly Canada or the US for further education, it may be that IB would be the best option. You may possibly also want to consider the Canadian curriculum.
      There is a Canadian curriculum school in Mirdif and this has the advantage that if your son matriculates from a Canadian school overseas, his qualification is regarded as a domestic one. This has benefits in relation to university entry and fees.
      We believe another Canadian school is also due to open in Dubai in September 2017. There is also a Canadian curriculum school in Abu Dhabi.
      US curriculum is probably also acceptable but please ensure that you choose a school with proper accreditation through NEASC or another of the accrediting bodies. Schools in Dubai are required to seek such accreditation and it is possible that some will fail to do so. Without full accreditation, any High School Diploma would be almost valueless.

  11. Erum says
    November 15, 2016, 4:22 am

    I m looking admission for my son in fs2 for the next year , my son got admision in Gems Royal Dubai school n Gems jumeirah primary school so which school is best for him , i m little confused that in which school my son should go from this 2 school , plz help me to take decision

    • November 16, 2016, 5:19 pm

      HI Erum,

      Our advice would be to visit the schools and see which one feels the most comfortable for you and your child.

      Both JPS and Royal Dubai School are long established GEMS schools. JPS is a much larger school and, as you probably know, is in the heart of Jumeirah, whilst Royal Dubai is in Mirdif. You may wish to consider the travelling time involved depending on where you live. Most schools would not want FS2 children to travel long distances to and from school.

      Curriculum-wise, they both offer the UK curriculum, so the way in which your son is taught and the topics he will cover will be very similar in terms of outcomes.

      JPS does have the advantage of providing access to Jumeirah College (JC) for Secondary school on a preferred basis – places are not guaranteed as children must be able to achieve JC’s academic requirements. JC is located very close to JPS.

      Royal Dubai does not have an associated Secondary school but both GEMS Wellington Academy in Dubai Silicon Oasis and GEMS Firstpoint in the Villa Project closeby, are natural progressions.

      Good Luck with your decision.

      • Erum says
        November 21, 2016, 10:38 pm

        I m looking admission for my son in fs2 for the next year , my son got admision in Gems Royal Dubai school n Gems jumeirah primary school so which school is best for him , i m little confused that in which school my son should go from this 2 school , plz help me to take decision Thank u so much Lyn for helping me to take decision.

  12. Venkat says
    November 13, 2016, 9:08 pm

    I am looking for best CBSC Indian schools in Dubai for KG1 admission for my twin girls currently got offer from The Millennium School in Alquasis and also got interview at JSS Private school also applied Our own Indian English School please advise which one is best for CBSE curriculum and my budget is AED 25000 per child. Thanks to reply if anyone has idea.


    • November 16, 2016, 5:28 pm

      Hi Venkat,

      all 3 schools have a good reputation. Given that the demand for places in CBSE schools for KG1 is usually oversubscribed at the established schools, I would suggest that you take the offer that you have unless you have strong reasons to consider the other schools.

      • venkat says
        November 17, 2016, 4:20 pm

        Hi Lyn,

        Thanks for your reply. Initially I have applied Indian High School but not selected in draw. After that I have approached other schools. I did not applied in Delhi Private School due to long distance to travel for my small kids from Burdubai to Gardens. I did not get any feedback from JSS private school and also our own English high school both they told first they fill siblings quote and after that only they will consider for general public quota based on availability of the seats. In the mean time I got registered and put admission in The Millennium School but fees is high compare to others anyhow I have no other option right now. What other schools you will suggest for me in CBSE curriculum.


      • November 17, 2016, 5:25 pm

        Hi Venkat,

        There are several articles on WSA which have been recently posted http://edu2021.com/guides/wsas-5-most-popular-indian-schools-2016/ and http://edu2021.com/guides/dubais-top-indian-schools-2016-update/. There are also numerous articles and Q and A’s for Indian curriculum schools – http://edu2021.com/?s=Indian+curriculum+schools. Given your location, have you considered Ambassador in Bur Dubai or Sabari in Deira?
        Unfortunately, I cannot help with details of schools that have places, but this is usually the newer schools.

  13. Hind says
    October 26, 2016, 11:38 pm

    My daughter has slit down syndrome, she is in al Muna school in Abu Dhabi British, we are moving to Dubai, looking for British or ok schools with an inclusion department, my budget aed 35000.
    Kindly assist.
    Thank you

    • October 30, 2016, 2:44 pm

      Hi Hind,

      Can you let me know your daughter’s date of birth and which year group she is currently studying in? I will then aim to guide you further.

  14. Sachin says
    October 24, 2016, 2:36 pm

    Hi, My son is attending GWPS in FS2. We are wondering if there is a better school for him amongst all the UK curriculum schools. Please advise

    • October 26, 2016, 4:43 pm

      Hi Sachin,

      I am curious to know why you are looking for a different school. GEMS Wellington Primary is a relatively small school in a central location with an average fee level. There are many other UK curriculum schools that may well be suitable for your child, but this depends on what it is you are looking for or feel is lacking at the current school. The school is rated Very Good by the KHDA – one place below the Outstanding rating – and therefore makes it among the best primary schools in Dubai. Only JESS (Primary and Arabian Ranches), Kings Umm Suqeim and GEMS Jumeirah Primary School and GEMS Wellington International offer UK curriculum Primary among the Outstanding schools and are notoriously difficult to get into. Since 2 of the top 6 schools are GEMS schools, this suggests that they know what is required to enable GEMS Wellington Primary to achieve that extra grade, but in my opinion, if your son is happy where he is in a school that is evidently doing the right things educationally, then why move him?

  15. Vivek Verma says
    October 20, 2016, 12:22 pm


    My kid will be turning to 4 years on August 16, 2017, I want to know if he will be eligible to get admission for academic year 2017-18.

    Since his age will be short by 15 days for July 31 cut off, is there any way or any school where he can get admission.

    Vivek Verma

    • October 26, 2016, 2:58 pm

      HI Vivek,

      The KHDA applies fairly strict rules around admissions dates and as your son will not have turned 4 until mid-August, I do not believe that you will be able to place him for April 2017. You may wish to contact some of the Indian curriculum schools to confirm this, but my understanding is that there is little if any flexibility.

  16. Juhee says
    October 19, 2016, 8:44 am

    Hi I’m going to join my Son to School for next academic year 2017-2018. I’m in a Big confusion to join him in Uk curriculum or CBSE curriculum. Please suggest some ideas.
    In Uk curriculum Schools , i have chosen Gems Winchester, The Winchester School Jabel Ali, the Westminister School, Pristine private School,Apple international School and Oxford School.

    In Cbse Curriculum i have Chosen Indian High School(applied),Delhi private school, GEMS Heritage Indian School,Gems our own Indian School,Gems Our Own English high School,Rajagiri International School.

    Which would be the better option?

    • October 20, 2016, 11:36 am

      Dear Juhee,

      This is a problem faced by many parents. My suggestion would be that you consider your long term plans. Do you intend to remain in Dubai or return to India at some stage before your child finishes school? Do you expect your son to go onto college? If so, is that likely to be in India or elsewhere? I know this is a long way into the future, but these are questions that may help your decision.
      You don’t mention your son’s age. Is he old enough to join the Indian curriculum schools in April? He will need to be 4 before 31st July to be able to do so. For UK curriculum, he can join many schools at the age of 3 years in September in FS1.
      You are probably also aware that many of the Indian curriculum schools are oversubscribed and this situation is likely to worsen with the announcement recently of the closure of one school.
      My suggestion would be that you perhaps apply to one UK curriculum school in addition to the Indian curriculum schools as a back up.
      The UK curriculum is structured differently to the Indian in that children are able to study across both Commerce and Science streams – there is not the division which takes place in the CBSE curriculum. There is probably also more emphasis on independent learning and research in the UK curriculum and much of the learning in the early years is through a play-based approach. However, the CBSE curriculum is also evolving.
      Once you have taken all of the factors into account, my main advice would be to ensure that you spread the applications so that you are assured of a place for your son.

  17. yusra says
    October 4, 2016, 12:27 pm

    Is it just me or you guys also think the outstanding and good schools have 2 major issues:
    1: capacity
    2: overly priced.

    Having said that, my son is currently in Emirates International School and i am paying 34k a year. Which is now out of my budget. he is in EY2. Can anybody suggest to me any UK curriculum schools near Marina are but in the range of 20-25 k ?
    I searched every where but there is no good school in this price range near this area except Winchester which is full in capacity.

    • October 10, 2016, 10:44 am

      HI Yusra,

      It is probably difficult to generalise – some curricula have much higher resource requirements both in terms of materials and staff and some schools also offer much more in terms of infrastructure for instance. These things do not necessarily ensure an outstanding or good education, but they should clearly contribute to it. The KHDA reports and our reviews also provide a much deeper insight into the day to day at the schools – our advice would always be not to focus on the overall rating but to look at the detail.
      If you are seeking a less costly school, you may be interested in 2 recently opened schools that are closer to your budget. These are GEMS Founders at Al Barsha South (just off Hessa Street) or Smart Vision School in Al Barsha 1 (near Mall of the Emirates). Both are UK curriculum and offer lower fees.

  18. Nada says
    September 28, 2016, 2:26 pm

    hi, my both kids grade 4&5 studied in Choueifat school and my plan to shift them to another school either IB or USA curriculum. Any advice to which suitable school within the same budget but less strict/intensive study and more fun to learn?

    • Nada says
      September 28, 2016, 3:10 pm

      in dxb

  19. Jai says
    September 22, 2016, 12:19 pm

    Hi my son is shifting to Dubai…… He is looking for an IGCSE school….. I’m looking for a school in which the fees are below 45000 dirhams…… And he’s currently studying in Indian Circulim so he isn’t that great in studies…. He’s an average student. Therefore requesting some guidance

  20. HAMZA KHAN says
    September 19, 2016, 8:29 pm

    Will it be hard to manage in UK curriculum if you studied in Indian curriculum?
    Which Board is easier cbse or Igcse ?

    I’m really confused, please reply


    • September 21, 2016, 6:03 pm

      Hi Hamza,

      The UK curriculum places more emphasis on research, application of knowledge and personal learning than the Indian curriculum where students tend to be provided with information and required to learn it and deliver it. Switching from an Indian curriculum to IGCSE can be a challenge for this reason. There is no simple right and wrong answer as the questions are more complex and often made up of several elements. Students do successfully transfer from CBSE to IGCSE but generally they need to be extremely self-motivated and able to learn independently. Switching in grade 9 (year 10) would certainly be a real challenge and it is unlikely that a grade 11 (year 12) place would be offered as (I)GCSE results are almost always a requirement. Students are not usually permitted to join in grades 10 (year 11) and 12 (year 13) equivalent.

  21. aiesha says
    September 18, 2016, 8:29 pm

    Hello everyone. My 5yo son is in wesgreen currently but i am planning to change his school next year from grade 1. Any suggestion for good school in Sharjah with british/australian curriculum with affordable fees. I am currently paying almost 24k oer year.

  22. Neetika says
    September 18, 2016, 12:18 pm

    My son is turning 3 in January 2016 , I want to know when I can start school for him. And which are the good schools in /near Al Rigga Deira for UK curriculum.


  23. Selien says
    August 31, 2016, 5:05 pm

    Hey, I’m searching for a American curriculum school for grade 11 next year 2016/2017. She’s now at almawakeb garhood and i would like to change her. So i need school suggestions

    • September 3, 2016, 11:57 am

      Hi Selien,

      There are many US curriculum schools in the Deira – Mirdif area, but it is very important that you check two key pieces of information – 1) is the school accredited in the US? – This is important since any diploma issued by a non-accredited school will not automatically be accepted by US colleges and 2) does the school offer an alternative to the HSD? Increasingly schools are offering the International Baccalaureate programme. This is a very demanding course academically and does not suit all students. I would suggest that you also check the latest KHDA reports on US curriculum schools which you can find on Whichschooladvisor.com under the reviews, or on the KHDA website. This will provide you with the regulators’ view on how well the schools are teaching. You don’t mention why you want to change from Al Mawakeb which generally has a good reputation and is one of the schools rated Good by the regulator.

  24. Fabrizio says
    August 27, 2016, 2:46 am

    I am relocating to Dubai in October 2016. My 14 y.o. daughter attended year 9 in Italy (Liceo scientifico: Italian, English, maths, physics, science, art history, history, geography, IT, sport). Speaks fluent English, excellent English comprehension and reading, fair writing. Which school with IB curricula will better support her @ year ten making her a happy, not stressed student? She does not know what will be her future profession ( archaeology, psychology, medicine, business?)

    • September 3, 2016, 12:05 pm

      HI Fabrizio, congratulations on your move to Dubai. There are a number of IB curriculum schools in Dubai and depending on where you plan to live, you may well have several choices. Those offering the MYP programme include Uptown School in Mirdif, Dar Al Marefa also in Mirdif and then the remaining schools are located to the south of the city. These include Dubai International Academy, GEMS World Academy, GEMS International School, Swiss International School, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Emirates International School (two branches) and Greenfield Community School. Of these, GEMS International School and the Swiss International School are the newest and probably have the largest range of nationalities. Since they are new, they are still expanding and are well used to accommodating new students. Emirates International School Umm Suqeim is also expanding and is an established school in a popular location. My advice would be to check the reviews of the schools on Whichschooladvisor.com, the regulator’s (KHDA) reports where available (new schools are not inspected in the first two years) and to contact the schools directly that are in suitable locations for you.

  25. Krishnan says
    August 23, 2016, 7:39 pm


    I’m looking for a good school with IB curriculum for my 5 year old son. Please suggest any good school which gives equal importance to sports and arts.

    • August 25, 2016, 8:03 am

      Hi Krishnan,

      The number of IB curriculum schools in Dubai is still quite limited. They include Raffles World Academy, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Greenfield Community School, Uptown School, Dubai International Academy, GEMS International School, The Swiss International School and Dar Al Marefa. The IB curriculum is a very well rounded and broad curriculum. I would suggest you contact the schools to find out more about their arts and sports focus and facilities.

  26. malika lala says
    August 22, 2016, 2:06 pm

    I need help to decide, which is a better option for my 14year old daughter for grade 9, AL DIYAFAH or DUBAI GEM PRIVATE. as she is brilliant student and needs guidance to be able to pursue her further studies in UK or US. Can someone please help. Thanks.

    • August 23, 2016, 11:54 am

      HI Malika,

      Can I suggest that you check the KHDA inspection reports for each school – http://www.khda.gov.ae/DISB/AttachmentDownload.aspx?DOC_ID=ip%2f75uO7wH0%3d (Dubai Gem) and http://www.khda.gov.ae/DISB/AttachmentDownload.aspx?DOC_ID=xSFlIJk7iNk%3d (Al Diyafah). Both schools are rated Good and have been so consistently for a number of years. The schools are really very similar in terms of their support for students at all levels. My advice would be that you try to visit both schools and specifically ask about their recent exam results (IGCSE and A level) as well as find out more about where students go to study and what experience the school has in assisting students to apply to the UK or US universities. Often the personal impression you receive when you visit a school is the deciding factor. Good Luck.

  27. otila osborne says
    July 23, 2016, 10:03 pm

    Hello there, we are looking at enrolling our daughter into a high school in Dubai in 2018 – she will be NZ year 10-11. When is the beginning of the school year? In NZ it starts in Feb and ends in December. Also there is a huge discrepancy in lowest to highest fees per school is that a reflection of the school year ie highschool year 12 is higher etc or what constitutes the range? Also is there any schools that are better known for their Maths and Science programmes? She wants to be a Marine Biologist.Thanks Otila

    • July 24, 2016, 10:51 am

      Hi Otila,

      The school year commences in September and ends in late June/early July. Most NZ students choose the UK curriculum although the IB (International Baccalaureate) may also be an option. The fee ranges are from KG level to year 13 (UK system) or grade 12 (International curricula). Since your daughter has such a clear focus, enrolling her in a UK curriculum school where she would be able to narrow her focus for A Levels in the final two school years may well make sense. If you use the search function for Secondary or Through UK curriculum schools and also check our reports on the latest round of inspections by the regulator (the KHDA) on WhichSchoolAdvisor you will be able to find details of schools offering A levels. Please be aware that if your daughter is entering year 10 in a 13 year school, it is very important that she is in Dubai for the start of the academic year in September. Students follow a two year programme (GCSE) for UK public examinations (a precursor to the A Level programme) and it is not possible to enter part way through the academic year. Your daughter would need to be 14 years old by 31st August to be able to join this year group.

  28. Ashish says
    May 23, 2016, 9:42 pm


    I am moving to Dubai in a month’s time. My son is 5.5 years old and currently studying in class I .Can you help me with information regarding good Indian schools (CBSE board) to shortlist and start communication?

    • Sana says
      July 23, 2016, 1:22 am

      Hi,I would definitely recommend Delhi Private School Dubai(DPS).

    • July 24, 2016, 10:40 am

      Dear Ashish,

      Please search the articles on the latest KHDA reports on our site. The articles provide you with information about the CBSE schools and their performance based on the inspections carried by the Schools regulator in Dubai. There are many good schools, but demand for CBSE is high and you may find that you will need to approach the newer schools such as Springdales, Credence, AMLED and GEMS New Millennium. Each school website will provide you with further information.

  29. Raj says
    May 16, 2016, 4:19 am

    I am looking for school preferably IB stream for my daughter who now studies in grade 9 (year 13) and we come from land of mountain Nepal.
    We are planning to shift to Dubai and looking for best school for our daughter offering IB stream to continue her further studies.
    Can you guide us which schools are to be shortlisted for visit?
    Will she be subject to examination, or her previous academic records will substantiate for her admission?
    Pls guide us.

    • May 18, 2016, 2:39 pm

      Hello Raj,

      There are a number of IB curriculum schools in Dubai who would probably be able to assist your daughter. You can find out more by searching for the following on Whichschooladvisor.com –

      Dubai International Academy,
      GEMS International School
      Uptown School
      Greenfield Community School
      Jumeira Baccalaureate School
      GEMS World Academy
      Dar Al Marefa
      Swiss International Scientific School

      The Admissions policies vary between schools, but I would expect that your daughter will need to sit an entrance test. In some cases this may be possible at her current school in Nepal. The Admissions staff at each school will be able to inform you about the process.

      Good Luck with your daughter’s admission and move to Dubai.

  30. zahwa says
    April 25, 2016, 2:07 am

    i want to know more abaout MOE curriculum, cant you give me more explanation about it or link. if can please show me the syllabus

    • April 28, 2016, 11:39 am

      Hi Zahwa, the Ministry of Education curriculum is followed by all government funded (public) schools in the UAE. It is taught in Arabic with English taught as a second language – http://www.uaecd.org/k-12-education – this article tells you a little more. The Ministry of Education website contains details of the curriculum and development plans but in Arabic only – https://www.moe.gov.ae/. Public schools do not usually accept non-Emirati students. Many private schools follow the Ministry of Education curriculum for Arabic. 40% of Emirati students study in private schools.

  31. Bibi R says
    April 21, 2016, 7:08 pm

    Excellent informative web site …. any help with a challenging issue? Two girls – aged 10 and 11 years – British nationality, native English speakers but educated in international schools in Asia and completely fluent in Mandarin. Ideal educational environment would cater for a continuation in Mandarin studies and also offer IB curriculum. Would such exist in Dubai?

    • April 22, 2016, 8:47 am

      Hi Bibi

      There are a number of schools that offer Mandarin including Nord Anglia (which is a testing centre for HSK tests), Safa Community School, Raffles International School and Repton. Generally, this is only offered to Secondary students – so 11 plus – and is aimed at beginners. However, the schools may be able to assist you with appropriate learning for your daughters and I would suggest that you contact each directly. These schools are all UK curriculum but Nord Anglia and Repton offer the IB Diploma programme in years 12 and 13. You can also contact http://www.dubaiclc.com to find out about the programmes they offer.

      • Tham says
        May 17, 2016, 10:30 am

        Nord Anglia provides mandarin for beginner, intermediate & advanced starting from pre-school.

    • April 22, 2016, 8:49 am

      In addition, Dubai International Academy (an IB World School) will offer Chinese for both native and non-native speakers from September 2016.

  32. panayota alexopoulos says
    April 1, 2016, 2:13 am

    I am moving my 6 year old daughter to dubai, she speaks no english( we are Greek) .should that be a problem? do schools have support classes for non english speaking children?

    • April 5, 2016, 9:20 am

      Dear Panayota,

      Many schools in Dubai provide assistance for children who are not native English speakers. Usually they will assess the child and determine how much support is required. Initially she may be taught on a one-to-one basis and then in a smaller group. Children at this age learn very quickly. The main issue is to ensure that you start researching and applying to schools that offer ESL or EAL support as soon as possible, as places are limited. There are some UK curriculum schools that require children to be able to speak English on entry, but many of the newer schools in particular do offer support and are actively seeking students to join them.

  33. Shweta says
    March 26, 2016, 1:38 pm

    I will be coming to Dubai in August. Can you suggest a good schools for cbsc?

  34. Sonia says
    March 23, 2016, 7:27 pm

    My daughter is going into grade 9 in Sept 2016. We are Canadian. Are there any Canadian schools in Dubai?

    • March 23, 2016, 9:00 pm

      Dear Sonia,

      Unfortunately, there is no Canadian curriculum school in Dubai offering Secondary school. Most Canadian families favour the US curriculum as an alternative, although some feel that the UK curriculum is more rigourous. Your other option is the IB curriculum which is now recognised globally and the only truly transferable curriculum. More information is available at http://www.ibo.org.

    • Yasmine says
      April 10, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Actually there is a Canadian school in Mirdif. Ontario International School

      • April 11, 2016, 12:34 pm

        HI Yasmine,

        You are correct, but the school is only Elementary at this point and the children involved are in High School.

  35. Suzanne says
    February 12, 2016, 8:18 pm

    This is Suzanne
    I transferred with my son from Canada to Dubai, I am looking for a good equivalent curriculum to Canada’s one
    My son is going to grade 7 and I need your advise to the best school that has outstanding certificate specially in math , English and science
    Is it good to join a UK curriculum then transfer him into US one when he is in grade 10, since I am looking to teach him in Canada after grade 12
    Please adivice me

    • February 25, 2016, 11:47 am

      Hi Suzanne, you can find details of all the schools and their ratings on the KHDA website http://www.khda.gov.ae/en/DSIB/Reports?isSearched=1. However, we think it is important to look beyond just the KHDA rating and look at all the keys areas of performance of the school. You will find that there are many more UK curriculum schools in Dubai than US (and it would be very important to check on the accreditation of the US curriculum schools that you investigate). Your son would gain admission to university in Canada with qualifications from a UK curriculum school, but as you probably know, the number of subjects taught in the final two years of the British curriculum are much narrower than in the US or Canadian (usually 3 or 4 subjects only). It would make sense to switch from the UK curriculum to the US for grade 9 (year 10 in the UK system) so that your son completes the full 4 years in High School. The other option would be to keep your son in the UK system through to year 11 and then ensure that he follows the IB Diploma programme for years 12 and 13. This qualification is extremely well regarded globally and provides the broader range of subjects. An increasing number of UK curriculum schools now offer the IB Diploma instead of the traditional A Level programme.

  36. Javier says
    January 31, 2016, 11:03 am

    If you have the choice to choose between two schools which one you will go with: Kings or Nord Anglia.

    Any recommendation? Thanks for your help

    • February 2, 2016, 11:31 am

      HI Javier,

      We would not recommend any particular school to you as this is such a personal decision. It is not just about the academic performance of the school, but so much more also about the atmosphere, ethos, facilities, teaching style, policies related to homework, Extra curricular activities, focus of the school on academic and non-academic activities etc. Our only recommendation would be that you visit both schools and see for yourself, ask as many questions as possible and then take a view on which school is right for you and your child. Often you will know within minutes of visiting a school whether it is right for you. Both the schools you have mentioned appear to have excellent reputations, so it is likely to be your personal impression that will be the deciding factor.

  37. Ine says
    January 29, 2016, 12:44 am

    Since arriving in Dubai with my search on schools for my kids, I have had horrific experiences. Don’t get me wrong, school standards are high and it was an eye opener to see what is being offered.

    I was looking for a good international school, and the only standard I knew was British. However, at a certain school offering that curriculum, my perfectly fine child was told he was special needs because English was his second language.

    DIA however had the open mind to test my child for who he is and his abilities. He is currently a happy normal Year 5, speaking English as first language and excelling every term in his marks (which was good from the start given the circumstances).

    My 4 yr old daughter was accepted in KG2 there without formal schooling before and is currently above the average in her class (Yr 1).

    Again, DIA pulled through and helped my child as an individual. It might get only a GOOD from the KHDA, but so did the school which did not know a normal boy from a special needs one…

    I would rather have my kids at DIA any day. Every school has its hiccups, but I find that some outstanding schools do not teach the empathy in life that opens doors. I am grateful that my kids are being taught the same values at school that I teach at home.

    • February 2, 2016, 11:33 am

      Hi Ine,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It is great to know that your children are now settled and happy at your chosen school.

    • Karim Bhanji says
      April 19, 2016, 3:24 pm


  38. miriam says
    January 14, 2016, 7:22 pm

    I have 2 daughters that attend American schools, one in in Grade 10 but I am not fully convinced regarding the quality of education she receives. I am looking for a school that has good teaching, and has diverse nationalities within the school. Any recommendations?

  39. AN says
    December 30, 2015, 12:41 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew which is a good IB school in Dubai for my child who is going to go to year 11.

    • January 6, 2016, 9:46 pm

      Hi AN,

      The number of IB curriculum schools is still quite limited, but the following offer year 11 (grade 10) – Uptown Mirdif, Dar Al Marefa, Dubai International Academy, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Greenfield Community School, GEMS World Academy and Emirates International Schools are the best known.

  40. Teena sikka says
    December 25, 2015, 9:01 pm

    Hello. Can anyone tell .How’s the english college dubai school.my more concern is with it’s academics (secondary level).

    • December 30, 2015, 12:36 pm

      Hi Teena,

      The English College is one of the oldest Secondary schools in Dubai and has consistently been rated by “Good” by the KHDA. Secondary standards for Maths and English are rated as Outstanding whilst Science is rated Good; post 16 standards are rated as Good across all 3 subjects. The main area of improvement focuses around Arabic and Islamic Studies. You can read the full report here – http://www.khda.gov.ae/DISB/AttachmentDownload.aspx?DOC_ID=OCfD99zWXvw%3d.

  41. Annonymous says
    December 7, 2015, 7:39 pm

    Ok.. so i am 9 grader student .. i go to a US curriculum…its not that good and i am hearing that my school is not accredited… i want to shift to CIS (cambridge international school) so is it right to shift school in grade 10 to another curriculum and to take in consideration that grade 10 marks are needed for university .. so will shifting curriculum actually affect my studies ? Bcz this is what i heard

    • December 9, 2015, 11:26 am

      Dear Annonymous,

      I am sorry to learn about your concerns. Moving to a different curriculum school in grade 10 is not going to be easy. CIS is a UK curriculum school and grade 10 (year 11) is part way through the two year IGCSE programme. I think it is very unlikely that they would accept you and the same is true all UK and Indian curriculum schools. In all likelihood you would need to repeat a year in order to complete the two year programme.

      Your best option is probably to stay within the US curriculum but to seek a school that is either already accredited or at least part way through the accreditation process (which usually takes 2-3 years). This would mean that they would be accredited by the time you complete grade 12. Good Luck in your search.

  42. Maryam says
    November 28, 2015, 10:41 am

    Hello everyone ..
    My two kids 5,8 studying in grade 1 and 4 are currently studying in viss Sharjah .. But as il be shifting to dubai .. Could anyone suggest schools in dubai .equivalent to viss curriculum (Australian curriculum ) . Thanks

    • December 9, 2015, 11:28 am

      Hi Maryam,

      There is currently no Australian curriculum school in Dubai. Many Australian families choose either the UK curriculum (as it is similar to the Australian) or the IB (which is becoming increasingly popular in Australia). Your children are relatively young, and for this reason, a change of curriculum is not likely to affect their studies.

  43. Lee says
    May 9, 2015, 4:45 pm

    Could you comment on the US curriculum and UK curriculum in primary stage? kindly note we are Asian and no prefer to any one.

    Second question: both of Jebel Ali Primary School(FS2, 2016) and GEMS Wellington(FS1, 2015) offer a place to my daughter? What is the key difference between them and which one we should accept? For my daughter’s education, we try to let her to be a happy girl and has hobbies and interests, not successful person! Which school use less award and punishment methods between GWI and JAPS in primary stage?
    The award and punishment methods are very good to control people, but will destroy focus and interest.

    • May 11, 2015, 5:33 pm

      Hi Lee, the main difference is that the UK curriculum starts when children reach the age of 3 turning 4 (although there are a few UK schools that do not offer this grade). All other international curricula (including the US curriculum) take children into a formal school environment when they are 4 turning 5. Although the FS1 classes tend to be very much nursery classes, children will be in larger groups than they would usually find at nursery, wear a school uniform and be subject to a certain amount of school discipline, which may not suit all 3 year olds.

      In terms of the schools that have offered you places, I would strongly advise you to visit the schools. You don’t mention which GEMS Wellington, but all the GEMS schools are newer, generally larger and “through-schools” (to age 18), unless you are referring to Wellington Primary (behind the Shangri-la Hotel). The GEMS schools are very different in nature to JAPS which is an older, smaller and more traditional school. However, JAPS is due to relocate to a new site on the Emirates Road next September, so you may want to bear this in mind in terms of the logistics. If you feel that your child is ready for school and you are happy with GEMS Wellington when you have visited it, then it would probably make sense to take that place. If you feel that you prefer the JAPS environment and would prefer to wait a further year, then this is the option open to you.

      • Lee says
        May 12, 2015, 12:11 am

        Thanks for your comments. GEMS Wellington International School and Jebel Ali Primary School offer a place separately, WIS is FS1 2015 and JAPS is FS2 2016. Many friends recommend JAPS because it is smaller, closer and has a very good reputation. However JAPS will relocate to Emirates road and will open middle school and or high school. That means JAPS will be bigger to as large as 1600 students. So I do not how they can manage these changes. GEMS WIS is big and popular, which is outstanding for many years. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages. I had visited both of them. In 2012(when my daughter was four months old) I visited JAPS and 2014, 2015 also. I do like it. However GEMS WIS is good also when I visited in 2014 and few days ago. So I need professional comments and suggestions. Which one should I choose? Thanks

        HI Lee, only you can make this decision as you know your daughter and your own personal situation best. Which school atmosphere did you prefer? What were the class sizes and mix of children? What impression did you have of the teachers (age, experience)? Which school do you think would suit your daughter in 2 years time or 5 years based on your impressions? Wellington is rated “Outstanding” by the KHDA, JAPS is rated “Good” – check the KHDA inspection reports on their website – http://www.khda.gov.ae – and see what they perceive the differences to be. Consider the location – is JAPS’ new location going to be an inconvenience for you? Would you prefer to place your daughter in an established school environment or are you happy to be involved in the building up of a new school, which JAPS will be? All schools in Dubai need to succeed academically in order to attract new families to the school, so there will inevitably be an academic focus, but certainly for the Foundation years, the UK curriculum is all about learning through play, so neither school should be placing any academic pressure or strict code of conduct on your daughter. Good luck with your decision.

  44. Karim says
    March 7, 2015, 10:42 am

    The fact that the American School of Dubai isn’t one of the top 10 schools in Dubai shows how ridiculous this list is. The only thing holding them back is that they are not strong in Arabic and Islamic studies. Too bad. They’re one of the top schools not just in Dubai but in the UAE.

    • Professor says
      March 7, 2015, 11:46 am

      A key to both the ADEC and KHDA reports is to read them properly and understand why a school is rated as it is. A school may be high performing in those areas that you personally feel are valuable. The devil is always in the details – but both ADEC and the KHDA allow you very easily to see what they have rated and how they have rated it on purpose to allow you to do this…

      • Jane says
        March 8, 2015, 4:19 pm

        Yes, but…

        “What stops the American School of Dubai attaining an Outstanding ranking is perhaps because it does not require students to take Arabic beyond grade 5, nor does it currently provide Islamic Studies as part of its curriculum thereby not complying fully with MoE curriculum.”

        Considering the target audience of the school, I don’t think these are major issues which concern the parents. Which makes one wonder, should that issue really carry such weight when ranking a non-Arabic language private school that caters to a mostly non-Arab student body? One has to wonder if there would be slight shifts in the rankings if the issues Arabic and Islamic studies did not carry so much weight.

      • Professor says
        March 8, 2015, 4:59 pm

        Well it really depends upon the parent Jane – some parents at ASD will consider it important despite it being an American curriculum.

        We also do need to factor in the school is in the UAE, an Arabic speaking, Islamic country, and therefore it is understandable if the national regulator makes these key considerations in its overall rating. As a parent however, it is up to you what you factor into your personal conclusions on inspection findings

  45. AZ says
    February 4, 2015, 5:43 pm

    I have twin boys (7years) with different academic abilities and interests. They were accepted in both Kings and DAA. Both are outstanding schools, but seeing your comments above, shall i deduct that UK curriculum is better than the American one? Any advice or recommendation is welcomed. Thank you

    • Professor says
      March 8, 2015, 9:04 pm

      The UK curriculum is not better than the US – just different. There are however a lot more UK schools than US schools, and the list above reflects that fact. As the comments above show, there are some very good US curriculum schools passionately supported by parents. I would look at those rated Good, and then read the reports to make your own conclusions.

      For the choice between curricula I would also consider where your child will continue schooling when you leave the UAE. If you are a US citizen, and plan to return to the US one day, then clearly that would suggest a US school…

      Most people considering a US curriculum would normally evaluate it against IB. For that we did have a question in our Q and A site here – http://edu2021.com/qanda/curriculum-best-ib-us/

  46. onutza kindrish says
    June 26, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Middle East countries have been duped into employing only native speaking UK , USA, CANADA, Australian etc specialists disregarding the tremendously poor quality of the respective countries’ education and universities.In many European countries these ” native speakers”-poor specialists are sent home.

    • Amal says
      July 14, 2014, 3:57 pm

      As a matter of fact, there was not much of transparency in terms of data, school displays, teachers’ performance or parents’ council in some schools . Preparations were made in advance, for the accreditation purpose, and such schools got highly effective although it has never been one of their systems or school procedures to keep records or have parents’ council or even have displays in the school! MOE accreditation should consider all these.
      Thank you for your good realistic point Onutza.

  47. Ibo says
    May 28, 2014, 7:38 am

    If Star international School in Mirdiff offers a superb educational environment with specialist facilities that include an art room, music room, science laboratory, cookery room and specialized teaching rooms for French, Arabic, Islamic Studies and support programmes for Literacy, Numeracy and EAL….as they claim….then it makes you wonder why they keep getting Acceptable Rating for the past few years…Rating for the School for 2014 was again Acceptable.

  48. Nadira Jaffar says
    April 18, 2014, 7:04 pm

    My son is facing mild dyslexia, but he is good in studies and would like to do commerce in Plus one. Kindly assist please.

  49. samih says
    February 7, 2014, 4:00 pm

    How come all of the 10 best schools are UK or similar based curriculum! Does this has anything to do with visiting teams background! Or it is marketing concept back ground? Visiting teams ignore or devaluate certain aspects or give it less weight than other standards so that results will reflect better level of performance in Uk based curriculum schools. Some schools are accreditted by CIS and NEASC yet they hardly recognized good!?

    • Professor says
      February 9, 2014, 3:50 pm

      It is an interesting point Samih as to why UK curriculum schools do well, however note it is the most widely adopted curriculum so therefore just in terms of brute numbers, you would expect to see proportionally more at the top of the list.

      It is also worth noting that while the KHDA is at pains to point out higher fees do not equal better quality (and that’s true – if you do the research you will see there is no direct correlation) there is no doubt schools with more funding, should they spend their money well, can have better/more support structures in place. The majority of schools here are mid to premium range schools in terms of pricing.

      The KHDA is very transparent in terms of what it looks for in its reports. If you’re interested, its handbook may be found here: http://bit.ly/1bBan0X

    • Point of view says
      March 29, 2014, 2:05 pm

      Beware of schools run like a supermarket! Oversized schools are good for economy but not for children. Beware of labels. CIS etc. accreditation has its place but has become a meaningless, money spinner, sounds good, adds prestige, but look into how the status is achieved and what it really means.

      At Primary level, small classes are conductive to good learning, the teacher can know your child as an individual, not as a number or statistic. Problems in the later school years spring from what has been overlooked and not dealt with at the early stages.

      Big is not best, as far as schools are concerned although it is a trend in business.

    • Professor says
      June 3, 2014, 3:10 pm

      Hi Samih, look also at the PISA report – this is an international benchmark that tests maths, science… and critical reasoning skills… This has nothing to do with the KHDA. We can see IB and UK curriculum schools performing relatively better than other curricula in the UAE…

  50. Khan Bibi says
    November 25, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Please add the below criterion too:
    1. What is the staff turn over and the reasons for it
    2. How much is being invested into staff development and benefits to reduce the staff turn over
    3. The quality of IT labs/staff
    4. Library
    5. Sports and extra curricular activities


Share YOUR experience... Have your say here...