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Diyafah International School, MBZ

Diyafah International School in Mohammed bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi is a sister school to the long-established Diyafah High School in Dubai.

The school is currently rated B4 by ADEC, a considerable leap from its previous rating of C6. C6 denotes a school in need of improvement, B4 is a school that is improving – which this one clearly is.

We are not surprised. The school shared a detailed development plan with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, to address the concerns raised by ADEC. It is clear that the school has and continues to take necessary steps – including strengthening the Senior leadership team – and so ensured a much improved rating.

“The new leadership team has already made an impact on creating a positive ethos, improving personal development and behaviour, and ensuring assessment of students’ achievement is accurate and used to inform future learning.” – ADEC

Positives in the school’s latest report include students’ personal development, their behaviour and attitudes to learning, relationships across the school that create a positive ethos, the quality of the care, guidance and support students receive,great premises for learning, the quality of self‐evaluation and monitoring systems to improve teaching and learning, the positive partnership with parents and improving student attendance levels.

There remain distinct areas the school has been requested to focus on: Firstly, students’ individual academic needs, especially for the more able and those students identified as having special educational needs; and secondly students’ understanding of their learning and what they need to do next to improve.

Established by an Indian teacher in Dubai 40 years ago, the two schools still remain under the direct management of the founder’s family with her husband the Chairman, their daughter the manager of the Dubai branch and their son now being responsible for the Abu Dhabi school.

The school has a current capacity for approximately 1,100 students and the second phase will increase this by a further 650.


The school currently has just over 700 students from 10 different nationalities and attracts students from around Abu Dhabi served by 16 school buses.

The school offers classes from FS1 to Year 7 at present with girls and boys taught separately from year 5. The average class size is 25 with a teacher and teaching assistant from FS1 to year 1 and a shared teaching assistant from year 2.

Staff come from 20 different countries, predominantly from the UK, South Africa and the US.

The management team, supported by its close ties to the Founder, is clearly dedicated and enthusiastic. The space created at the Abu Dhabi school may be functional rather than architecturally impressive, but it has been carefully thought through.

At the current time, the school consists of two large square buildings which are traditional in design and layout. They take up approximately half of a very large plot of land and it is not immediately evident on entry to the site, that in addition to space for two additional buildings (one of which will be a purpose-built secondary block and the other a large Sports facility including a swimming pool and Auditorium) there is a full-size astroturf playing field in the centre.

Work on the Secondary building and the additional sports and auditorium building are planned to start in 2016.

The Foundation Stage is located in a separate ground floor section of the first building with outside play areas, indoor play space, their own library, music and multi-purpose rooms. Corridors have plenty of art and other work on display. The upper floor of this building contains administration and meeting rooms.

Directly to the rear of the building is a large, shaded area with plenty of outdoor play equipment that is separated from the second building which contains the remainder of the classrooms for the other year groups. These are arranged across three floors of the building and a multi-purpose hall, laboratories, art rooms, library and other specialist facilities are included in this building.

It is all well laid out and organised, even if without some of the pizazz of other recently opened schools. The appearance and facilities of the school may be functional rather than impressive, but, based on classroom activity, and the buzz of the school in general, they seem to be providing their students with all their essential requirements.

Perhaps most importantly in a limited period Diyafah International School has become a welcoming and caring environment for its students. Classrooms are lively, and busy and children seem to be engaged in their activities. The school has clearly been addressing the concerns raised by ADEC, and we continue to see strong evidence that Diyafah’s leadership team are moving in the right direction, working on creating an environment that will deliver for their key stakeholders, their students.


Update on June 26, 2015 | Reviewed by WhichSchoolAdvisor.com on March 16, 2015


Leave A Reply
  1. Waqar Malik says
    October 16, 2016, 4:20 pm

    My Kids are studying in Abu Dhabi branch of Diyafah Int. School. I really like the behavior and attitude of teachers and school administration. Very professional

  2. Ameera Al Qubati says
    September 13, 2016, 10:37 pm

    My children are studying at it, its absolutely amazing and as mentioned well organized and functional. To add, teachers are very friendly and if any concern arised by parents they would take it serious and action will be made.

    • Nazneen says
      September 20, 2016, 7:29 am

      Hi ameera. Pls let me know if ur kids r going to al diyafah in Abu Dhabi. As I wish to enroll my son there for the next academic year. Thank you:)


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