If you want to live like an expat, Dubai is the place to do it. Only about one-fifteenth of the 3.3 million people who call the United Arab Emirates home are actually native-born Emiratis. This desert metropolis has only recently become a global powerhouse in the areas of international trade, global transportation, world finance, and luxury tourism.
Due to its status as a major international expat community, the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area is home to a large number of prestigious international schools. The high demand for international schools is a direct result of the region’s unique combination of three cities (Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman) into a single metropolitan area. Both pros and cons can be derived from this.
If there are more schools, that means more available school slots, less competition for those slots, and a higher probability that your child will receive an excellent education. Nonetheless, some of these modern institutions of higher learning are operated by for-profit businesses and are managed as such. Expenses are a prime example of this.
The three-city region of Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman has never been known as a budget-friendly option for international students. The cost of construction is high because of the need to import materials and the high cost of hiring and housing foreign teachers. Although the annual costs can be exorbitant, you can rest assured that your child is receiving an excellent education from some of the world’s most qualified educators. Everything is relative, then.
If you’re worried about your child’s education, it’s best to research international schools that have been around for a while. Explore prestigious educational institutions in the Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman area that also have campuses in other countries or cities.
International schools in Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman primarily follow the British, Indian, American, and International Baccalaureate curricula. European syllabi are available, but they are not as widespread. However, if you look hard enough, you can find just about any curriculum imaginable here. Although English is the primary language of instruction, Arabic is also taught as part of the curriculum.
Most universities have a rolling admissions policy and accept applications throughout the year. However, there is a lot of competition for spots at the best international schools due to their popularity and high academic standards. Primary school spots are among the most sought after, so your child may have to go through multiple “screening” phases before being accepted.
To give your child the best chance of getting a place, you should apply early even though there is a lot of variety and a rolling admissions system. Many schools have long waiting lists, and some even require deposits a year in advance to hold a spot. Note that most international schools in the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman area do not enroll students younger than four years old.
The tri-city region of Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman has experienced tremendous growth in a short amount of time. Many long-term expats can remember when the city had fewer than a dozen schools and it took no more than twenty minutes to travel from one end to the other.
Those times have unfortunately passed us by. Gridlocks and traffic congestion are becoming increasingly commonplace in the city. If your kid’s prospective school provides bus transportation, you should think about this. It may seem like a service that would benefit your family, but if it means sitting in traffic every morning and evening, your child’s health may suffer.
Listed below are, in the opinion of our users, the top Dubai educational institutions. Nonetheless, the city as a whole is home to an additional 137 educational institutions. Customizing your search will help you locate the most suitable international institution for your child. Just tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll give you an individual rating for each Dubai international school that meets your criteria.
Best schools in dubai
Kings’ School has three campuses in Dubai, all of which are situated in prestigious areas. Kings’ School Dubai, located in Umm Suqeim 3, is convenient for families living in the Jumeirah area; Kings’ School Al Barsha is easily accessible for those living in the Jumeirah Village Circle and Arabian Ranches; and Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba is only about 20 minutes away for those living in the District One and Al Barari Dubai neighborhoods. The English National Curriculum is offered at all three of these prestigious institutions. The use of cutting-edge technology makes learning easier and more enjoyable, and the school’s curriculum is rounded out by the inclusion of second languages, sports, music, and even Islamic education. The school has a business club for any aspiring chefs or photographers, and students are actively encouraged to try new things.
Tuition costs start at AED 43,619 for Pre-K and go up to AED 66,383 for Grade 6.
Gems Wellington International School
Gems Wellington is one of the most well-known campuses in the Gems Education Group. Both the British and International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula are used at Wellington International School. The school’s 12th and 13th grade curriculum includes iGCSEs, GCSEs, the International Baccalaureate, and career development courses. All students must take Science, English, and Math courses. Key Stage 3 includes Years 7, 8, and 9, and it is followed by Key Stage 4 which includes Years 10 and 11. Both of these stages of secondary education are based on the National Curriculum for England and Wales. Students in the United Kingdom take the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) during Key Stage 4. Students who meet the grade requirements can move on to more advanced coursework in preparation for university. This curriculum is completed in Key Stage 5, the final two years of secondary education.
The cost of a Wellington education varies from Year to Year. The lowest price point is AED 43,941 for a student in FS 2, and the highest is AED 95,597 for a student in Year 13.
Swiss International Scientific School
Omar Danial, an American Swiss hotelier and financier, relocated to Dubai in need of a school for his six children and came up with the idea for the Swiss International Scientific School, which opened in 2015. More than $600 million AED ($165 million) was invested in the school campus, the majority of which came from bank financing (70 percent) and the remainder came from equity funding (200 million AED ($54.5 million)). Mr. Daniel collaborated with the Seddiqi family of the United Arab Emirates, who not only helped found the school but are also well-known in the Emirates as distributors of Swiss watches.
Only one school in Dubai, the Swiss International Scientific School, provides the full Swiss curriculum from kindergarten through high school. It’s also the only place where you can get an International Baccalaureate education taught in both English and French or German. SISD offers the IB Career-Related Programme (IBCP) (beginning in September 2021) in addition to the IB Diploma and its scaled-down IB Courses programme, meeting the needs of students aged 16–19 who want to participate in more vocational, career-related learning.
GEMS Dubai American Academy
GEMS Education is a global leader in private education, serving students from age 3 through high school. Schools were first opened in the United Arab Emirates in 1959, and today the organization spans the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, offering a wide range of academic programs and accommodating students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. GEMS owns and operates more than 60 schools in the MENA region, providing education to more than 130,000 students.
GEMS Education’s crown jewel American school is the Dubai American Academy (DAA). DAA helps international students get into the best universities and colleges by providing them with a rigorous American education and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Dubai International Academy
Dubai International Academy, also known as DIA, has students from over 80 different countries and follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The school offers both elementary and secondary education through its Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma programs. The vast majority of DIA’s students are accepted to highly selective universities like Princeton and Yale, giving the school a stellar academic reputation. At Dubai International Academy, they want their students to have a well-rounded education, so they offer clubs and extracurriculars in areas like music, art, sports, and the United Nations Model.
Applicants must fill out online forms on the website and wait for a time slot to become available. The administration will contact the applicant when a position becomes available in order to schedule an interview. Each grade level will use a unique set of criteria to determine a student’s performance. The official website details the evaluation processes. The evaluation and admissions process has a deadline of 5 days. Once everything is done, the candidate will have to pay the registration fee.
Jumeirah English Speaking School
Located in the heart of Arabian Ranches, the Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) is widely regarded as one of the best schools in the region. It is one of the few schools in the city to offer specialized help and support for students with special needs, and it has been recognized as one of the best in the area since 2011. Many top universities around the world have accepted JESS alums. The school is known for its consistent academic performance and adherence to the English National Curriculum; over the past two years, the percentage of students scoring an A or A* on the General Certificate of Secondary Education Examination and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education has increased by double digits. There are numerous recreational facilities on campus, including a variety of sports fields and courts, an indoor swimming pool, a recording studio, dance and theater studios, an auditorium that seats 500 people, and an outdoor amphitheater. Extracurriculars offer students the chance to branch out and try something new each semester.
First, you should double-check to see if registration is currently open. The next step is to fill out the website’s electronic application for admission. You’ll get a confirmation email after you submit the form. You’ll receive additional instructions on how to pay the registration fee via email.
A liberal arts education can be found at the modern US institution, Clarion School. Clarion aspires to be the best American-curriculum school in the area by helping each student become a more collaborative, creative, and ethical member of the global community.
Clarion School provides a rigorous, engaging education that benefits from Dubai’s inventiveness, is bolstered by its cutting-edge pedagogical approach, and is taught by qualified faculty with U.S. master’s degrees. The school encourages curiosity, introspection, and critical thinking by providing a foundation in relevant education, as well as the opportunity to apply acquired training and teaching skills.
Students at Clarion will be inspired to set and reach lofty goals, and to participate in the world as responsible and contributing adults. They will be equipped for success in both their professional and personal lives, as well as for entry to the most prestigious universities in the United States and around the world.
The admissions process is entirely digital. Open the application on the website. Please upload all necessary forms and submit the application fee. Staff at the institution will then contact the applicant via email to confirm their acceptance.
Hartland International School
As a student, a teacher, or a parent, Hartland is the kind of school you’d like your child to attend because it’s a place of learning and discovery, where kids are encouraged to think critically and solve problems creatively, where they can make friends and have fun, and where they’ll receive the individualized care they need to thrive.
Star International School Al Twar
Academy of the Stars Al Twar is home to a unique English-Curriculum institution, Al Twar. In order to provide the best education possible for its students, the school’s faculty, administration, and support staff treat each other like family.
Last but not least, every year the standard of education in Dubai rises. Increased investment in training programs, accreditation, and quality assurance has led to an improvement in overall standards. Existing and future residents of Dubai have a lot to be grateful for thanks to the city’s wealth of excellent educational institutions. It’s improving and there’s a lot of it. In addition, parents and educators now have more budget-friendly options for their children’s education. We have already covered the best educational options in Dubai. You can use this list to narrow down your options for your kid’s ideal school.