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Best Schools in Abu Dhabi – Full School Ratings

Best Schools in Abu Dhabi – Full School Ratings

Any list of the best schools in Abu Dhabi is going to be a small one: Just 15 per cent of the private schools in Abu Dhabi, numbering 23 institutions, are considered to be high-performing by ADEC, the emirate’s education regulator. None of the 146 schools it has inspected have achieved the regulator’s top score of “outstanding”.

Note: Have your say on Abu Dhabi schools – complete the 2015 School survey here.

The best schools in Abu Dhabi are: Yasmina SchoolGEMS American Academy, German International School, Pearl Primary SchoolThe British School – Al KhubairatThe Cambridge High School

A further 19 per cent, or 29 schools, currently have satisfactory educational standards at present.

A total of 100 private schools, representing 66 per cent of the schools, need significant improvement in their educational standards.

Given the ratio of good to satisfactory to poor, parents clearly have their work cut out getting into one of the best schools in Abu Dhabi.

Eight factors are measured for each institution by the regulator to determine a school’s performance: pupils’ achievement and level of progress, pupils’ personal development, teaching and learning quality, meeting pupils’ needs within the curriculum, protection and guidance for pupils, quality of the schools’ buildings and premises, school resources and effectiveness of leadership and management.

Based on their performance, schools are then ranked as High-performing (Band A), Satisfactory (Band B) or Needing significant improvement (Band C). These bands are themselves subdivided into a total of eight ranks, with Band A schools – effectively the list of the best schools in Abu Dhabi – ranked as outstanding, very good and good, Band B divided into satisfactory and improving, and satisfactory and Band C ranked as unsatisfactory, very unsatisfactory and poor.

Inspectors have found no link between a school’s fees and its rating. “There are schools that have very low fees, not high fees, and the performance was excellent,” Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Adec’s director general said. Inspectors found that the scores were only weakly linked to the type of curriculum offered. “Many of the schools who apply the British curriculum in the right way have achieved satisfactory or high ratings but many schools in American, Indian and Ministry of Education curriculum received good ratings as well,” Mr Al Dhahiri said. “The curriculum is not a main factor but it’s an important one.”

Asked where schools needed to improve the most, Mr Al Dhahiri said: “Teaching”.

“Schools must concentrate on professional development and they should also invest in teachers,” he said.

Full details of the best and worst schools in Abu Dhabi, according to their ratings at least, below.


Band A – The best schools in Abu Dhabi

1. Outstanding:
No schools

2. Very good:
Yasmina School
GEMS American Academy
German International School
Pearl Primary School
The British School – Al Khubairat
The Cambridge High School

3. Good
Al Ain International School
Al Ain Juniors Private School
Al Bashair Private School
Al Bateen Secondary School (Aldar)
Al Danat Private School
Al Muna Primary School – Abu Dhabi
Al Mushrif Private School (Aldar)
Al Rabeeh School LLC
Al Sanawbar Private School
American Community School
Bloom Gardens School (Brighton College)
Canadian International School
GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi
Japanese Private School
Merryland International School
Raha International School
Sheikh Zayed Private Academy


Band (B) – Competent Schools in Abu Dhabi

4. Satisfactory (improving):
The International School of Choueifat Abu Dhabi City (Secondary)
Al Ittehad National Private School – Abu Dhabi
Al Nahda National School – Boys
Beit Al Maqdes International Private School
The Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi (Secondary)
International Community School
Islamia English School
Liwa International Private School
Lycée Louis Massignon
The American International School in Abu Dhabi
The Model Private School (Secondary)
Théodore Monod French Private School

5. Satisfactory:
Al Rowais Private -Choueifat International
Emirates National School Mohammad Bin Zayed,
Abu Dhabi Grammar School (Canada)
Abu Dhabi Indian School (Secondary)
Al Ain English Speaking School
Al Andalus Private Academy
Al Bateen Scientific Private School
Al Ittihad National Private School
Emirates Falcon International School
Emirates National Private School Al Ain
Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi Madinat Zayed Campus
Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi – Primary Section
Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi – Ruwais Campus
Horizon Private School Branch
Indian School Al Ain
The British International School Abu Dhabi
Zakher Private School (British Division)
Emirates National Private School Al Ain


Band C

6. Unsatisfactory
International School of Choueifat – Al Ain
The International School of Choueifat – Abu Dhabi City (Primary)
The International School of Choueifat –Khalifa A
Abu Dhabi Australian School
Abu Dhabi Indian School (Primary)
Al Ekhlass Private School
Al Adhwa Private School
Al Ain American Private School
Al Awa’il Private School Al Ain
Al Bahya School
Al Dar Private School
Al Dhabiania Private School
Al Dhafra Private School
Al Dhafra Private School – Al Ain
Al Ekhlass Private School
Al Hamadanya Grand Private School
Al Manhal International Private School
Al Nahda National School – Girls (Primary School)
Al Nahda National School – Girls (Secondary)
Al Najah Private School
Al Nash’e Assaleh Private School
Al Saad Private School
Al Safwa Private School
Ashbal Al Quds Private Secondary School
Bani Yas International Private School
Baraaim Al Ain Private School
Baraem Al Ain Private School ‐ Bani Yas
Dar Al Uloom Private School‐Al Ain
Darul Huda Islamic School
Emirates Education Academy
Emirates National Private School‐Al Nahayan Campus
Emirates Private School
Emirates Private School Al Ain
First Lebanon Private School
Future International Academy
Future International School
Global English Private School
Good Will Children Private School
Ibn Khaldoun Islamic Private School
International Jubilee Private School
International Private School
Madar International School
Manor Hall International Private School
New Indian Model School
Our Own English High School
Pakistani Islamic Private School
Palestine Private Academy
Private International English School
Rosary Private School
Saint Joseph’s School
Sunflower School
Sunrise English Private School
The Gulf International Private Academy
Iranian Private School
The Model Private School (Primary)
Twenty First Century Academy
United School of Al Yahar
Universal Private School
Yas Academy School PL

7. Extremely unsatisfactory:
Abdullah Bin Zubair Private School
Ain Al Khaleej Private School
Al Ain Iranian Private School
Al Iman Private School
Al Maali International Private School
Al Manahil Private School
Al Manara Private School
Al Marfaa International Private School
Al Sorouh American School
Al Wathba Private School
Al Worood Academy Private School
Al Yaher Private School Al Ain
Asian International Private School
Asian International Private School Zayed City
Belvedere British School
Crescent International Private School
Dar Al Uloom Private School
Emirates Future International Academy
Emirates Private School Bani Yas
Grace Valley Indian School
International Community Kindergarten LLC
Manar Al Ilm Private School
Middle East Private School
Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Generations
Oasis International School
Pakistan Community Welfare School
Polaris Private Academy
Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia Private School
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Arab Pakistan School
Tawaam Model Private School
United School of Baniyas
Vision Private School

8. Poor:
Abu Mousa Al Ashaari Private School
Al Ettehad Private School
Al Khalil International Private School
Al Seddeeq Private School
Ambitions Private (Al Tumooh) School
Horizon Private School
Scientific Distinction Private School
Western Private Model School
Zakher Private School – MOE Division

Note: Have your say on Abu Dhabi schools – complete the 2015 School survey here.

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Leave A Reply
  1. Allam says
    January 25, 2015, 8:37 pm

    I need any feedback about the three schools Gems Winchster, Al Bateen Scientific Private School and Al Najah Private school which one is the those school. Please if any have any feedback please share with me the information because I am just new in Abu Dhabi and my kid will be in KG1. So I need to admin him with a good school

  2. Mohd Aftab Alam says
    January 17, 2015, 12:09 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am looking KG1 admission for academic year 2015-2016 my son Rayyan Mohd Alam his date of birth 23. 11.2010, Indian national and resident of Abu Dhabi.

    Please advise for KG1 admission in Abu Dhabi.

  3. Imran says
    January 15, 2015, 9:21 am

    Nice one

  4. Sara says
    December 2, 2014, 9:31 pm

    I am yr 10 student who studies gcse and as u know education is not as tough , next year I will be studying in Abu Dhabi but I need a school that you will fulfill my needs in education and my love for art and pe , I heard Sherwood school ( don’t if they changed the name ) has a good education And after school tuition where weak children catch up with studies which I am in need of ,it would have been a perfect school that I would go to but I heard that they do not take sports seriously nor do they have a curricular for Art , so which school would be the best for me

  5. Randy says
    December 1, 2014, 12:13 pm

    I am planning on transferring my kid to International Community School next year for year 11 and I was wonding if any of you know anything about the fees. Are they under 25K? And when should I register my child? Do you know anything about the available space in the year 11part

  6. Marwah says
    November 25, 2014, 6:20 pm

    My son is currently studying at Ajyal Intl School, and I would like to move him to a different school next year. Im considering International Community School in Abu Dhabi. Does anybody have any feedback or info about the school, it curriculum, and academic performance? Any information will be helpful.
    I’ve seen the ADEC rating, but im looking for more ‘on-the-ground’ info.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Lyn Soppelsa says
      November 27, 2014, 4:21 pm

      HI Marwah,

      You are right to seek feedback from parents with children already in the school, but in addition to the ADEC rating, please do also review the actual inspection report – https://www.adec.ac.ae/en/Education/KeyInitiatives/Pages/Irtiqaa-Reports.aspx – which is available through this link. This provides you with very clear information about how the Regulator arrived at their rating and the areas of improvement required.

  7. Sarwat says
    November 25, 2014, 10:02 am

    My 4yrs 7month daughter has been offered a place for KG 1 at the Indian high school Dubai, but I am looking for KG 2, and in that school KG 2 is not available. How about the school, and what should I do for kg2 admission?

    • Lyn Soppelsa says
      November 27, 2014, 3:23 pm

      Hi Sarwat,

      You will find details of other schools offering the Indian curricula on Whichschooladvisor.com both in the “Schools” section (under Dubai Primary) and also in our availability listing which appears on the Home Page. The KHDA inspection reports – http://www.khda.gov.ae – can also be searched by curriculum. Once you have completed your research, you will then need to approach the schools directly. New schools – such as Credence High School and Springdales School in Al Qouz, are more likely to have places than the older, more established schools.

  8. Maria says
    November 17, 2014, 3:47 pm

    I am looking for a school for my autistic 10 year old son. My son is highly functioning (intellectually very able, can read and communicate), but needs special provisions in terms of SLT, OT and behaviour management. Could you please recommend special school units or education centres that provide both exposure to UK / US curriculum and access to therapies/ autism intervention strategies. Any suggestions and recommendations are most welcome.

    • November 21, 2014, 1:59 pm

      Hi Maria, sorry it’s taken me a little time to come back to you on your query. Provision of additional learning support in the UAE is still a difficult area, with many schools not well resourced to assist. Added to the fact that many schools are full in Abu Dhabi, the task becomes still harder. There are specialist centres such as Future Centre for Special Needs – 971-2-6669625 and The New England Centre, 971 2 642 9550 or email admissions@neccuae.org who specialise in working with Autistic children, Stars for Special Abilities – http://www.starzuae.com – +971 2 446 2048, email: starzuae@eim.ae and the Sheena Wilson Centre – +971 50 348 8625, info@thesheenawilsoncentre.com. These groups will almost certainly be able to suggest mainstream schools that may be supportive. Please let us know how you get on.

  9. Umarfaruk says
    November 12, 2014, 11:26 am

    My daughters are studying in Al Basma Y-1 and Y-4. For Y-1 seems they are very slow on teaching, if i compare with other schools like Winchester or CBSE…etc. Has anybody observed this?

  10. Mazahir Abbas says
    November 10, 2014, 12:33 pm

    I am looking for good Pakistani school in Al Ain, can any body help me that which Pakistani school is good?

  11. Arshia Sultana Ahmed says
    October 31, 2014, 9:02 pm

    I have been looking for information about Giggles English school which has now shifted in Al Bahia with a new name, Al Basma British school. But there is no mention of the school.Can someone help.

  12. omarr frey says
    September 29, 2014, 12:02 pm

    Wow, this is a very good list! However, most of the schools are too far from my area. Are there any schools from the list which are near the Corniche? I found out about Ajyal International School (http://www.ajyal.sch.ae/) through a neighbor but it already started on 11th. Have you heard anything about it? And do you think they would still accept my 7 year old even though the year has begun?

    • Lyn Soppelsa says
      September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm

      HI Omarr,

      If you could please post this query on the Q and A section of the site, we will ask one of our consultants to assist you.

      • omarr frey says
        October 1, 2014, 11:10 am

        Thanks! I will…

      • omarr frey says
        October 1, 2014, 11:21 am

        Hi! I can’t seem to post a question on the Q and A page because it says my email has already been used.

      • Professor says
        October 1, 2014, 7:08 pm

        Have you signed in Omarr?

      • Professor says
        October 11, 2014, 8:45 pm

        Hi Omarr – the sign in issue on the Q and A site has been fixed.

  13. Sarah says
    September 5, 2014, 11:08 am

    This is VERY out of date and contains many inaccuracies even at the time of creation.

    For example Raha International School is an A2 school (narrowly missing an A1) in April 2014 inspection. I know this because I work at Raha International School and coordinated the inspection.

    I believe that they have the Gems schools ratings the wrong way around too. But that is for this website to research and update. Parents are advised to contact the schools directly themselves and ask for copies of the ADEC reports. The ADEC website is yet to be updated as it currently shows reports up to December 2013 only.

    It’s a mine-field trying to choose a good school, and my advice as a teacher and as a parent of 3 young children is to visit the schools and get a real “feeling” of the school. Does it have a nurturing, happy, supportive feeling. Does the school seem to be organised in structure and try and meet the Head of the school or Head of section. Does he/she have a strong vision of where they are leading their school?

    Inspection reports only give parents a snapshot of one week in the life of a school. There are another 37 weeks to take into account.

    With lots of new schools opening in Abu Dhabi, there is an increase in competition and this is good news for parents!

    Good luck with your choice :)

    • DR.FIDA says
      September 6, 2014, 1:17 am

      Very nice piece of advice. Just visit the school personally and look it is going to fulfil your wishes or not.
      See, for grooming of your child, the triangle should be completed i.e. Efforts of teachers, Efforts of the parents and that of your child.
      Ranks of the schools may be changed ,the next year.
      Good luck for all parents, all respectable teachers and their students.

    • Professor says
      September 6, 2014, 9:15 am

      Hi Sarah, this was a consolidated list by ADEC itself, so certainly at the time of creation there should not have been any errors. It is possible some schools have been updated – but not too many as ADEC does not do annual reports. For individual schools we ask them to update their information here: http://whichschooladvisor.com/wsa-review-required-information/

  14. Aliaa says
    August 4, 2014, 9:48 pm

    Hello everyone

    Can anybody share his/her experience of Belvedere British School. Thanks in advance.


  15. Safiyah says
    July 29, 2014, 8:57 pm

    Does anyone know what Glenelg school in ruwais is like? Do they have a challenging curriculum? Do they have a variety of extra curricular activities?

    • Professor says
      July 31, 2014, 2:37 pm

      We have just updated our review of the school. It provides information on the curriculum, parent feedback, as well as its current rating.

  16. Farzana says
    March 12, 2014, 11:22 pm

    My both children attended , The Cambridge High School Abu Dhabi & from primary till “A” Levels. I appreciate this school’s Principal ,Teachers , Staff & management team. We are very so happy that we , as parents selected such a good school for our children. Fees is reasonable & they many activities for children in school. I would highly recommend this school to other parents too.

    • ramya says
      October 9, 2014, 10:09 am

      hi Farzana,
      Thanks for your info… Is this school different from GEMS Cambridge International School? How about safety and security in the school? And their co-ordination with parents?

      • Farzana says
        October 10, 2014, 1:02 am

        Hi! Ramya ,
        yes this is The Cambridge High School Abu Dhabi, it moved to Mussafah 1997.This is the link http://www.gemscis-abudhabi.com/
        Its very good regarding safety & security. They have parents teacher meeting also on regular basis. My kids started school from Grade 5 till A Levels. Teachers & all staff are good.We were very satisfied regarding education& all. hope this will help you.

  17. Tilly says
    February 26, 2014, 7:48 am

    Just wondering what everyone has heard about the Canadian International School? I am considering working there and want to know how the teachers are treated.

  18. Beata says
    February 23, 2014, 10:03 pm

    My kids have been at Yasmina since the opening in 2008. I agree its an awesome British school. Great teachers and challenging curriculum, professional attitude of the management, easy and efficient contact with the administration, friendly and creative atmosphere, all systems in place, lots of extracurricular activities. Strongly recommend.

    • FahaDUKE says
      March 12, 2014, 5:54 am

      My 3 yr old girl has been offered a place at Al Yasmina & Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. I will be working in one of the clinics at Al Bahia ( near Shamama ). Which school would you recommend and where to find a place to live as I am due to relocate in April.

      • Professor says
        July 31, 2014, 2:42 pm

        Both very good schools. Please look at the reviews of both to get an idea of their strengths…

  19. Tahira says
    January 26, 2014, 4:51 pm

    Hi Danny J, i don’t know about american international school, but my one of my kids in Yasmina school and the other one is in Pearl Primary. Both of them are great. Yasmina is the best I feel.

  20. Mahmoud Hay says
    January 21, 2014, 6:23 pm

    I was shocked by the rating of ISC-KC, I thought it was a good school but the report says unsatisfactory.

  21. DannyJ says
    September 17, 2013, 11:40 am

    Dunno if anyone can help, but looking at making the big jump and plying my trade in Abu Dhabi. Had a look at the expatarrivals abu dhabi schools guide and liked the way the american international school sounded, so this was good validation. Has anyone had experiences of these schools? And, am I wasting my time with that guide? It seems very good but can anyone recommend anything else?

    Thanks in advance,


  22. Faisal Ali Al Katheeri says
    September 3, 2013, 10:09 am

    I would like to share my experience

    • Bill says
      September 3, 2013, 11:48 am

      Hi Faisal, please do :)


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