Updated 29 November 2020

Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi, 2020

The 9 Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi

The Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi ranks all schools in our database that meet these criteria:

Location: Abu Dhabi
Price point: All
Phase: All
Curricula Group: American

The ranking lists schools in order of their Parent Score, that is how well the score meets the expectations of this key stakeholder group represented numerically. We discuss why below. Schools not on this list, that you think should be and are missing, are likely to be as yet unrated. To be rated, a school simply needs a sufficient number of parent surveys to be undertaken. If you are a parent at one of these schools, please take the survey!

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com currently has 639 schools in its database. These are all independent, private, international schools offering a total of 46 curricula. All schools, we believe, aspire to offer the highest levels of care and performance for their students. Not all, however, are equally successful at doing so.

In this ranking, the Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi, we, currently, have 9 schools competing for top spot. The total number of possible schools that could be on this list if all schools had a sufficient number of parent surveys, and all these schools had a rating of above 3.0, is 40.

Again, if your child currently attends a school in UAE, then please do review it, by taking the survey here. Your input will help 1000s of parents that follow you!

How we compile this list

When a parent completes a survey, his or her feedback is incorporated into the database and the ranking updated each Sunday. Tune in on Sunday 6th of December just after midnight to see the changes to the Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi next week!

The WSA Parent Rating is based on the following questions in the survey:

  • Would you recommend your school to another parent?
  • How much of a sense of belonging does your child feel at his or her school?
  • To what extent do you think that children enjoy going to your child’s school?
  • How much do you agree to the statement: I think the fees I pay represent good value for money given the quality of the school offering.
  • Have you thought about moving your child from his current school?
  • Rate your satisfaction with the level of academic performance at your child’s school
  • How confident are you in your ability to make sure your child’s school meets your child’s learning needs?
  • Rate your satisfaction with the level of feedback you receive from your child’s school
  • How concerned are you about bullying at this school?
  • How much has this school improved your child’s confidence?

The WSA algorithm

We do not disclose the weighting we use, but in order to give schools, and parents, the power to impact their score, we skew results to those most recently received. A school looking to turnaround a score can therefore make improvements, and then ask its parents to retake the survey.

If parents appreciate the changes made, it will make a difference to a school’s position on the Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi list quite quickly.

Moreover, if a school has yet to send out a survey to its parents, then we would urge it to do so as soon as possible. The probability is it will make a significant difference to its score. Schools that asks their parents to take the survey, do better. Parents that are motivated to take a survey independently are often driven by high passions, which may not always be positive!

Why we do a Best School rating?

In choosing schools, parents have always used word of mouth, and the Parent survey captures this quantitatively.

Looking at the ‘Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi’ should only be one way you short list schools, however. It is a fun and informative way to order schools, and by being based on Parent Rating, is a way to get a good overview quickly.

Why use the Parent Rating for Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi?

In addition to capturing word of mouth recommendations numerically, we use the Parent Rating for the Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi, because unlike other measures it is not country, or even area specific as government regulations can be. The parent rating cuts across both curricula, and territory, to be a measure that we can apply equally anywhere and everywhere. Parents all want the best for their child, and will be equally critical, in whatever state they are in, for whatever curricula school their child attends.

Using a rank in this way also means that each school is measured quite independently through the lens of its own parent body. In order to do well, a school ‘simply’ has to understand and then meet the expectations of its parents.

Issues with ranking this way

This way of ranking is both a weakness and a strength. It is a strength because not only can it be universally applied, but it is a true way to measure a school based on the stakeholders that matter the most, its parents.

It is a weakness in the sense that the top school on the list, will not necessarily be the best school for you and your child. It is also NOT a comment on specifics: price point, curricula, location, but an holistic view of schools that fall within a set of criteria.

Expectations will also clearly be different between the parents of different schools. For example, a parent paying premium fees would have very different expectations when it comes to the scope of facilities offered than a parent paying fees associated with the value segment. A high score for a school is not about meeting a universal set of criteria, but about it delivering on its unique promise to its unique parent body.

One size in this context does not fit all and for this reason amongst others WhichSchoolAdvisor.com always encourages parents to look beyond simple rankings and ratings, and determine the best school for your child.

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has undertaken multiple Best ofs, allowing us to be quite specific and therefore do some of the homework for you in your shortlisting. We do have Best ofs for curricula and for some price points for example.

To go further in your analysis of the Best School for you, then you need to look at additional resources.

In the UAE, some (but not all) parents are blessed with additional resources they can use when evaluating schools. Dubai parents have access to KHDA reports, Abu Dhabi parents have access to ADEK reports, while Sharjah parents will, eventually, have access to SPEA reports. That still leaves three other emirates without government ratings. What’s more, these reports have their own criteria and their own rating grades and scales, and are not compatible enough to compare across the country in the Best of Rankings we use here. We should also note, that all government ratings, are used to drive an agenda and the UAE is no different in this regard. We note the weighting for Arabic and Islamic and Social studies in this regard, which may be of interest to some parents, but will not be to all.

Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi

RANK
SCHOOL
PARENT
RATING
RATING
RISE/FALL
1
Liwa International School - Al Mushrif
4.6
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Liwa International School - Al Mushrif is the third school to open under the Liwa Education brand, and the first in the capital. The original schools, based in Al Ain, offer both a co-educational and All Girls' option, offering a US curriculum.
Address: Um Salamah Street
Curricula: US HS Diploma, Common Core, NGSS
Founded: 2019
Principal: Ms Nicki Williams
Average fees: AED 26,500
Request info Read review
2
Horizon Private School Branch
4.2
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Horizon Private School branch is a US curriculum school catering mainly to Emirati and native-Arabic speakers, located in one of the newer housing areas off-island.
Address: 26th Street, PO Box 41989, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi
Curricula: AP, SAT, Specialist SEN, Common Core, US HS Diploma, UAE MoE
Founded: 2008
Principal: Mrs Amal Shahine
Average fees: AED 39,500
Request info Read review
3
GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi
4.1
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Very Good rated GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi carries the name of its sister school in Dubai, but that – at least externally – is where the similarities end.
Address: Fatima Bint Mubarak Street, PO Box 110273 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Curricula: IB, IB PYP, Common Core
Founded: 2011
Principal: Linda LaPine
Average fees: AED 56,000
Request info Read review
4
Al Yasmina Academy
3.8
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Al Yasmina School, located off the island of Abu Dhabi, close to the airport, offers a British curriculum for students from two to eighteen years old, and has a capacity for 2000 students, and is currently at full capacity.
Address: PO Box 128484, Abu Dhabi UAE
Curricula: A Level, BTEC, GCSE, UK National Curriculum, EYFS, AS Level, IGCSE, SAT
Founded: 2008
Principal: Mr Jared Nolan
Average fees: AED 51,000
Request info Read review
5
West Yas Academy
3.7
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West Yas Academy Abu Dhabi, located on Yas Island, is the first US curriculum school to be operated by Aldar Academies.
Address: West Yas School, Yas West, Yas Island
Curricula: US HS Diploma, AP, Common Core, NGSS
Founded: 2016
Principal: Mr Joseph Kotarski
Average fees: AED 57,000
Request info Read review
6
American International School Abu Dhabi
3.6
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The American International School in Abu Dhabi (AISA) is one of a small group of schools owned or managed by ESOL, a family-run business based in Cairo, with branches in Nicosia, Cyprus, the Lebanon and the UAE. AISA, although a US curriculum school, was also among the first to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme (IBDP) in Abu Dhabi, subsequently adding the Primary Years programme (PYP). AISA is a truly international school with students of 60 different nationalities.
Curricula: IB, IB DP, IB PYP, US HS Diploma, Common Core
Founded: 1995
Principal: Patrick Rich
Average fees: AED 48,000
Request info Read review
7
GEMS American Academy
3.4
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GEMS American Academy Abu Dhabi is a highly rated (Very Good) US/IB curriculum school located on the outskirts of the city near the airport catering to 2,000 students from a wide range of nationalities.
Address: PO Box 110273, Abu Dhabi UAE
Curricula: US HS Diploma, IB DP, IB PYP
Founded: 2007
Principal: Robert Rinaldo
Average fees: AED 70,500
Request info Read review
8
International Community School Mushrif
3.3
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The original International Community School is a private K-12 school located in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi. The school was first established in 1990 and caters to approximately 1,600 students, almost exclusively of Arab origin, with UAE Nationals the largest single grouping, followed by Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians.
Address: P.O Box: 55022, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Curricula: US HS Diploma, Common Core, AP, IB DP, NGSS
Founded: 1990
Principal: Ziad Aoudi
Average fees: AED 35,500
Request info Read review
9
American Community School Abu Dhabi
3.2
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American Community School Abu Dhabi is one of the older international schools in Abu Dhabi and was established in 1972 on land donated by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The school was founded with the aim of serving the American community, as well as students of other nationalities, within Abu Dhabi.
Address: PO Box 42114, Abu Dhabi UAE
Curricula: IB, US HS Diploma, IB DP
Founded: 1972
Principal: Monique Flickinger
Average fees: AED 67,000
Request info Read review
CUT
2.9
CUT
2.9
Methodology: How we choose the Best American Schools in Abu Dhabi

Why this cut off point?

To make it onto the Parent Recommended Best Schools List, a school needs to score 3.0 or above on the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Parent Rating.

The WSA Parent Rating score is drawn from multiple questions from our parent survey. More details can be found if you click Read More in the Best Schools explainer at the top of the page.

A score below 3.0 means a school could be admired for facets of its delivery, but there will be areas with question marks. A score above 3.0 means that its parents rate a school highly across the board. Any score above 3.5 is the sign of a school truly loved and admired by its parents, who have clearly bought into its vision and leadership.

A school can move up (and onto the list if it is not here), or down (and off the list) as more feedback comes in. The algorithm is weighted to more recent responses to allow schools to make improvements and for that to reflect in the rating. It also means that if a school takes unpopular decisions, or lowers the quality of its offering, it can move off the list altogether.

Note: If the school you are interested in is not here, it is either because its score is below 3.0, or has yet to receive sufficient surveys. We have a school reviews directory that lists all UAE schools.

Note, it is possible to score 5 if a school has perfect scores from its most recent respondents. It is difficult if not impossible to please all people, all of the time however… Parents doing their due diligence when choosing a school should pay attention also to the number of parent reviews a school has received. The more it has, the less likely the score will be to change as new reviews come in.

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