Updated 29 November 2020

Best American Schools in Dubai, 2020

The Best American Schools in Dubai as chosen by parents in the UAE

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

Location: Dubai
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 Dubai, we, currently, have 11 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 Dubai 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 Dubai 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 Dubai’ 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 Dubai?

In addition to capturing word of mouth recommendations numerically, we use the Parent Rating for the Best American Schools in Dubai, 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 Dubai

RANK
SCHOOL
PARENT
RATING
RATING
RISE/FALL
1
Collegiate American School
4.2
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Collegiate American School opened in 2011 in Umm Suqeim, and admits children from pre-KG to Grade 12. The school is part of the Innoventures Group, which includes three IB curriculum schools - Dubai International Academy (DIA), the newer DIA Al Barsha (opened in September 2018), and Raffles World Academy, together with the UK curriculum Raffles International School. CAS is the only US curriculum school, and the only one within the Group inspected by the KHDA, that is not yet rated Very Good.
Address: PO Box 121306, Dubai UAE
Curricula: US HS Diploma, IB DP, Common Core
Founded: 2011
Principal: Dr Bruce Major
Average fees: AED 63,500
Request info Read review
2
Dunecrest American School
4.0
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Dunecrest American School opened in 2018 in what is probably Dubai’s ‘leafiest’ neighbourhood, Al Barari. Owned by ESOL Education, the school is now the group’s flagship school in the UAE. Dunecrest initially opened from Pre-KG through to Grade 10, and is growing organically into Grades 11 and 12, year on year.
Address: Dunecrest American School, Dubailand, UAE
Curricula: IB DP, US HS Diploma, Common Core
Founded: 2018
Principal: Bill Delbrugge
Average fees: AED 67,500
Request info Read review
3
Clarion School
4.0
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Towards the Meydan Street end of Al Quoz, in an unassuming and quiet residential area, you'll find one of the most interesting and special schools in Dubai. It's name is Clarion.
Address: 13 Al Asayel, Al Quoz, Dubai
Curricula: US HS Diploma, IB
Founded: 2016
Principal: Lisa Ripperger
Average fees: AED 69,000
Request info Read review
4
Al Ittihad Private School Jumeirah
3.8
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Al Ittihad Private School Jumeira, is a private K-12 school highly popular with Emirati families located near Al Safa, Dubai.
Address: Off 8b Street, Near Al Safa Park, Dubai
Curricula: US HS Diploma
Founded: 1988
Principal: Nehad Saeed Al Shamsi
Average fees: AED 31,000
Request info Read review
5
Al Mawakeb School Al Garhoud
3.5
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Al Mawakeb School is a private, K-12 school (3 to 18 years of age) located in Al Garhoud, Dubai. The school is one of two campuses located in Dubai (the other based in Barsha) managed by the Academia Management Solution International (AMSI).
Address: PO Box 10799, Dubai, UAE
Curricula: UAE MoE, DELF, US HS Diploma
Founded: 1979
Principal: Omar Hatoum
Average fees: AED 17,500
Request info Read review
6
GEMS Dubai American Academy
3.5
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GEMS Dubai American Academy, part of the GEMS school group, is a US curriculum school offering a US High School Diploma and, increasingly, the option of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. It is the only US curriculum school to have achieved the highest inspection rating of Outstanding from the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, now for eight years in a row.
Address: Al Barsha 1, next to Al Zahra Hospital
Curricula: IB, US HS Diploma, IB DP
Founded: 1998
Principal: Tammy Murphy
Average fees: AED 82,500
Request info Read review
7
American School of Dubai
3.4
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Established in 1966, the American School of Dubai is one of the oldest co-educational K-12 schools in Dubai. It is a not-for-profit independent school, governed by a Board of Trustees. There is no owner of ASD.
Address: PO Box 71188, Dubai UAE
Curricula: US HS Diploma, AP
Founded: 1966
Principal: Dr Paul Richards
Average fees: AED 50,000
Request info Read review
8
North American International School
3.3
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North American International School is a dual curriculum school, teaching both the American and Ministry of Education curriculums.
Curricula: Common Core, US HS Diploma
Founded: 2007
Principal: Justin McCauley
Average fees: AED 25,500
Request info Read review
9
Next Generation School
3.3
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Next Generation School, located in Al Barsha, opened in August 2016 and teaches an American Common Core inspired curriculum in conjunction with an Islamic education.
Address: PO Box 390989, Dubai UAE
Curricula: Common Core, US HS Diploma, UAE MoE
Founded: 2016
Principal: Feriha Ramadan (Vice Principal)
Average fees: AED 33,500
Request info Read review
10
GEMS United School Sports City
3.1
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GEMS United School is the newest incarnation of Bradenton Prep Academy, a US curriculum K-12 school (KG1 to Grade 12) located in Sports City, Dubai that currently serves 660 students.The school has 86 full-time teachers, not including the Principal and a senior leadership team. The 2017/2018 KHDA report has the school ranked as Good for the second time.
Address: PO Box 111123, Dubai UAE
Curricula: US HS Diploma, AP, Common Core, SAT
Founded: 2009
Principal: Katharine Vavpetic
Average fees: AED 67,000
Request info Read review
11
Universal American School
3.1
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Opened in 2005 in Dubai Festival City, Universal American School is one of two schools in this location that are owned and operated by the Al Futtaim Education Foundation as not for profit schools. The school operates a mixed US/IB curriculum. UAS is one of a small number of US curriculum schools to have achieved the KHDA's second highest rating of Very Good.
Address: PO Box 79133, Dubai UAE
Curricula: IB, US HS Diploma, IB DP, IB PYP, AERO, NGSS, AP, Common Core
Founded: 2005
Principal: Mrs Janecke Aarnaes
Average fees: AED 57,500
Request info Read review
CUT
2.9
CUT
2.9
Methodology: How we choose the Best American Schools in Dubai

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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