International Boarding in Asia, Middle East

Are you looking for the best education for your child while you live and work overseas? Here’s our round-up of international boarding schools in Asia and the Middle East.
International Boarding in Asia, Middle East
By Carli Allan
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The UAE

Dubai Marina

Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai (SISD)

  • Curriculum: IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (IBDP)
  • Boarding options: Flexi, weekly and full-time (Grades 6-12, 11-18 years old)
  • Boarding facilities: Boarding houses with shared or single en-suite rooms, and each floor has a fully equipped pantry and spacious community room; 24-hour medical care; boarders have access to facilities onsite as well as organised after school activities
  • Annual boarding fees: AED 2,500 (per six-night stay,); AED 192,650-221,850 (weekly, includes tuition fees); AED 231,500-260,700 (full-time, includes tuition fees)
  • Location: Dubai

SISD is the second school in Dubai (Repton Dubai being the other) that offers boarding. Shared or single en-suite rooms with catering through the school kitchen situated in the Middle and High School building. Boarding is offered on a weekly or full-time basis to include full pastoral care and a programme of activities to support students during their time after school.

Like many schools in the UAE, SISD is a truly international environment. The school has approximately 1,200 students, the majority still in the IB’s Primary Years Programme. What makes this school truly unique is its bilingual programme, where children choose to study either the fully-immersive bilingual English/French or English/German streams. Alternatively they may choose the bilingual English+ stream where English is the main language of instruction with one daily lesson of French or German, and additional Arabic.

Read our full review of Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai (SISD).

Repton School Dubai

  • Curriculum: UK National Curriculum, IGCSEs, IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), IBCP
  • Boarding options: Flexi, weekly and full-time (Years 7-12)
  • Boarding facilities: Two boarding houses (one boys and one girls) at the heart of the school campus; 24-hour medical care; boarders have access to facilities onsite as well as organised after school activities
  • Annual boarding fees: AED 42,500 (3 days a week); AED 60,500 (weekly); AED 66,000 (full-time)
  • Location: Dubai

Repton School Dubai is currently home to over 1,770 students, three times as many as its sister school in the UK. The largest single nationality within the school is, as you would expect, British; however this is a school also favoured by the local community – over 350 students are Emirati, some 19.7% and a growing percentage.

Boarding take up has mainly been from locally-based students or GCC boys on a weekly basis, and Repton Dubai is still trying to develop interest in this very British offering. Repton's buildings, which are often compared with Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books, do offer a very fine range of facilities. The school is on a dedicated campus which it claims is the largest in the Middle East. At 1.3 million square feet it's certainly big, with expansive outdoor space.

Read our full review of Repton School Dubai.

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