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Deira International School

Deira International School

Deira International School is located in the new part of old Dubai – Festival City, and is currently home to just over 1,596 students (up 100 on last year and 300 on the last two academic years) from a mixed range of nationalities (over 80 in total), including a strong local presence (around 13% of the student body are Emirati). There are 153 full-time teachers, including the Director and senior management team.

All teachers in the school have appropriate teaching qualifications.

The curriculum is based on the English National Curriculum with the International Baccalaureate (IB) and vocational courses at the post-16 stage. Students take the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) at the end of Year 11 and the IB Diploma or Certificate at the end of Year 13.

The school claims a maximum classroom size of 26 – which would put it mid-table for Dubai schools following the English system.

As long ago as 2013, we had noted in our review that Deira International was “a school not content with its Good rating”. It has proven us right. The school has now become one of a very small group of schools ranked Very Good – a new KHDA grade offered for the first time this year. It puts Deira International just outside the tier-one ranked Outstanding Dubai and Abu Dhabi schools.

Strong leadership has been at the heart of the story since 2012/13 when the KHDA noted “a strong drive for improvement, with the leadership team and teaching staff sharing the vision and determination to ensure all students did as well as they could’. This was echoed in 2013/14 with “school leaders and all staff work[ing] extremely hard to address issues arising from the previous inspection and had been successful in taking the school further along the journey of improvement.” In its latest report the KHDA notes a “bold vision” and “clear direction” set by the governing board, in partnership with the director and senior leaders, which is resulting in “sustained improvement in the school’s overall effectiveness”.

The school Director has been in place since January 2012. Jeff Smith had been the Principal of an academically successful, selective grammar school in the United Kingdom for five years – Guernsey Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre who left the post in August 2011. Previously Mr Smith had been the “Representative of the British Education Department” in Indonesia.

Mr Smith’s team are clearly building a high performing environment. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com is particularly pleased to see the addition of (strong) examination results on the school’s web site. 


For the IB Diploma the average grade of DIS students was 34 in 2015 – one of the highest averages in the UAE, and 5 points above the world average. A 34 point grade would be sufficient for most Red Brick universities in the United Kingdom.

Three students achieved +40 points, 10% of the IB cohort.

At IGCSE results for 2015 were “the best ever recorded at the school”. 71 % of all grades were A*/A/B grades. DIS scored 21% A* grades compared to the UK 6.7 % A* grades. 47% of all grades were A*/A beating the school’s previous best of 38% in 2014. Some 92% of students achieved 5 A*-C grades including Mathematics and English.

You can find Deira International School’s results in full here. The 2016 results should be added shortly.

The KHDA notes outstanding teaching in the Foundation Stage with outstanding progress in English, mathematics and science. It notes the outstanding personal and social development of students as global citizens and future leaders. It also praises the inclusive ethos of the school that ensures outstanding care and support for all students.

There are areas to improve on, notably students’ attainment in Arabic as a first language, in the secondary and post-16 phases, “by planning and delivering lessons that continually engage, motivate and challenge students”.The school also needs to increase the amount of outstanding teaching by providing training to enhance the effectiveness of teaching assistants, ensuring that learning technologies are used consistently well in the primary years, raising teachers’ expectations of what students can achieve in Islamic education, particularly in the post- 16 years and improve the transition from the Foundation Stage to Year 1 so that children make a seamless transfer into their next stage of education.

DIS offers a good range of after-school activities. Extracurricular sports include boys’ and girls’ football, basketball, rugby, tennis and swimming. A vocal and instrumental programme offers a broad range of musical study. Band, chorus, dance and art programmes are also offered along with other academic and non-academic programmes.

Note: Separate lessons for physical education are provided for boys and girls from years 5 to 13.

The school sits on an 80,000 sq. m. campus. Its first phase was completed in August 2005 and includes art rooms, libraries, computer and science laboratories, vocal and instrumental music rooms, design technology workshops, business studies centre, an indoor gymnasium, a swimming pool and a large sports field. The second phase involved further classrooms, a media centre and a multipurpose hall which will opened in 2013.

Fees for the school are on now on the high end of the spectrum. The school has been raising fees every year at the upper end of the range the KHDA allows – and exceeding them in some years. Tuition fees start from 38,328 in EY1 and rise to 77,222 AED in its Year 13 (2013/4 fees). Details on fees below.



FS 1 38328
FS 2 38328
YEAR 1 49856
YEAR 2 49856
YEAR 3 49856
YEAR 4 49856
YEAR 5 49856
YEAR 6 54171
YEAR 7 54171
YEAR 8 58499
YEAR 9 58499
YEAR 10 61384
YEAR 11 70016
YEAR 12 77222
YEAR 13 77222


KHDA Ranking

2008-2009 Acceptable click here
2009-2010 Acceptable click here
2010-2011 Acceptable click here
2011-2012 Good click here
2012-2013 Good click here
2013-2014 Good click here
2014-2015 Good click here
2015-2016 Very good click here





If you are the principal or the owner of the school and note any factual inaccuracies, or would like to update any information, please do not hesitate to contact us at editor@edu2021.com.


Update on July 31, 2016 | Reviewed by David on July 7, 2012

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