Best British Schools in Dubai: Nationality, Fees, Attainment

1,016,925 AED is the exact amount you will spend on tuition from grades Foundation/KG 1 to Year 13 at Repton School Dubai, currently the emirate's most expensive school, excluding any fee increases over the next 15 years, and excluding any costs other than tuition.
Best British Schools in Dubai: Nationality, Fees, Attainment
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Does the nationality of students make a difference in terms of the fees you will pay? Statistically yes. Does it make a difference in terms of the results and attainment of the school? Statistically yes. And is it a consideration for parents when choosing a school? Yes - according to the Which School Advisor survey of parents in the Emirate it is.


In the School survey only 2% of parents said that the nationality of students was the single most important criteria, but approximately 80% said it was 'a' criteria when choosing a school. Why parents think this is important is not made clear in the survey, however, superficially academic attainment and nationality appears to go hand in hand.

English National Curriculum schools are not just for British students. British students currently account for only 4.9% of the total student population. UK curriculum schools however account for 31.5% of all schools in Dubai. The maths is not hard - clearly education providers target a "British education" for a wide range of nationalities.

Around 40% of English National Curriculum based schools have British students as the main nationality, 20% have Indian students as the main nationality, 14% Pakistani, 12.5% Arab and 8% Emirati.


It is pretty hard to argue with the chart above. Of the eight Outstanding schools, all have British students as their principal nationality.

Of the Good schools, 11 have British students as their principal nationality, followed by 9 schools also ranked Good with Indians as their principal nationality.

So what do we make of this? Should you be actively targeting schools on the basis of nationality to get the best academic schools? Answer - not really. The reason for this is that the nationality hides other bits of information, notably wealth, propensity to spend on education, expats whose companies pay for schooling, and so forth.

Nationality, fees and attainment are all highly correlated. As well as having British kids, Outstanding schools with great results at I/GCSE, IB Diploma or A Level also tend to charge higher fees, have a better teacher to student ratio, offer more extra-curricular activities and so on. There is a correlation with students also being British, but that does not mean British kids are the reason that schools are Outstanding.


Fees for UK curriculum schools with British students as the main nationality are 44,300 AED, 41,623 for Emirati schools, 18,772 AED for Indian nationality schools, 14,000 AED for Arab nationality schools and 12,000 AED for Pakistani nationality based schools - the limits of what GEMs Education boss, Sunny Varkey has described as economically viable. Naturally you will pay less in lower years, and more in higher years of study.

Note: Price and academic attainment ARE correlated, but it is NOT axiomatic that high fees mean great results. Many other factors come into play for anything as simplistic as this - the principal, the age of the school, the teachers, the school's leadership and management... However, to ignore price would be equally foolish. It is inescapable that the less that is paid, the less a school can spend on its children.

Of the eleven most expensive schools in Dubai, one has Indian as the main nationality of students - Raffles, two have Emirati students as the main nationality (Deira International and Jumeirah Baccalaureate) while the remainder are British curriculum schools - Repton, Dubai College, Jumeirah College, DESC, Wellington, JESS Arabian Ranches, and Regent International.

The average price paid over the course of a school's life varies significantly from year to year, and rises based on grade are not evenly done. For this reason we average the fees out over the course of a student's life at a school to get a more accurate reflection of actual differences between schools. Note however, secondary only schools will be the most expensive schools, and primary only will be the cheapest. For this reason, for the most part we keep any analysis of cost within bands: KG, Primary, Secondary and Post-16.

There is of course wide variation around any mean. The most expensive school in Dubai is Repton, with average annual fees from Foundation/KG to Grade 13 of 67,795 AED. The cheapest school offering in theory the same curriculum is Al Sadiq Islamic English School which charges - for tuition - 4,931 AED per year.


Table: Fees

School Nationality Fees KG Fees Primary Fees Secondary Fees Post 16 Fees Average
Kings Dubai None 33441 45073 53695 NA 44,436
Sharjah English School* British         40,000
Dubai College British NA NA 63937 72,400 66,355
Dubai English Speaking College None NA NA 61739 66,358 63,058
GEMS Jumeirah Primary School British 37,045 41,315 NA NA 40,247
Horizon School British 20,934 29,319 NA NA 27,223
Jumeirah College British NA NA 61,469 73,177 64,814
Jumeirah English Speaking School British 34385 38252 NA NA 37,285
GEMS Wellington International School British 39,817 44,319 64,274 76675 54713
Jumeirah English Speaking School - Arabian Ranches British 34,385 38,252 65661 74991 51771
Deira International School Emirati 31,750 41,893 50129 63970 46229
Emirates International School - Jumeirah Indian 30,140 40,194 50235 63870 44,109
Emirates International School - Meadows Arab 26,645 39,608 50414 66218 45,029
Jumeira Baccalaureate School Emirati 50000 65000 65000 75000 65,384
Raffles World Academy Indian 28737 46392 56743 73150 50,650
Repton School Dubai British 47599 55159 80076 95199 67,795
Al Ameen Private School Indian 4703 5016 5330 5330 5,088
Al Diyafah High School Indian 7404 7660 10730 14580 9,572
Al Safa Private School British 26133 31324 NA NA 30,026
Al Salam Private School Arab 11,265 12504 16781 22580 15286
Cambridge International School Indian 15,327 17481 20810 20810 18747
Dubai British School British 36,993 40,518 50,212 55,490 45,276
Dubai English Speaking School British 34360 34360 NA NA 34360
Dubai Gem Private School Indian 9919 10912 14250 19785 13075
Dubai Scholars Private School Indian 11666 13448 14182 17792 14024
GEMS Royal Dubai School British 35539 39639 NA NA 38614
GEMS Wellington Academy - DSO British 34750 38500 62500 NA 45,875
GEMS Wellington Primary School British 40761 45458 NA NA 44,284
Jebel Ali Primary School British 36297 36296 NA NA 36296
Pristine Private School Pakistani 8731 9857 12606 15867 11424
Raffles International School South Campus Arab 28738 44726 56744 NA 46067
Regent International School British 34172 39867 57927 75763 49341
St. Mary's Catholic High School Indian NA 5099 6742 8412 6199
Star International School - Umm Al Sheif British 29678 39205 51331 NA 39725
The English College - Dubai British 25457 27578 45270 50599 35618
The School of Research Science Emirati 23650 27691 36311 41225 31510
The Winchester School Indian 9923 12542 15518 22135 14464
Al Sadiq Islamic English School Pakistani 3811 4302 6135 NA 4931
Apple International School Pakistani 5861 7094 9930 NA 7415
Arab Unity School Asian 5290 5820 6613 7406 6197
Deira Private School Emirati 19500 24663 NA NA 23372
Dubai Carmel School Arab 7620 8056 10948 NA 9357
GEMS Winchester School Indian 9377 11851 13283 NA 11792
Queen International School Arab 12844 14047 17464 22483 16056
Star International School - Al Twar Arab 19055 24720 34649 NA 26398
Star International School - Mirdif British 29252 38642 NA NA 36295
The City School International Pakistani 12349 13846 17491 NA 15018
The Oxford School Pakistani 10135 11511 11958 16068 11840
The Sheffield Private School Pakistani 19117 22701 28078 36050 25795
The Westminster School Pakistani 5392 6661 8355 10483 7566

Next > Best British Schools in Dubai: A Final Summary


Jump to:
The Best British Schools in Dubai Part 1: Start Here
Best British Schools in Dubai: What We Measure
Best British Schools in Dubai: The Data we have Used
Best British Schools in Dubai: The Demand for Places
Best British Schools in Dubai: Post 16 Education
Best British Schools in Dubai: Secondary Education
Best British Schools in Dubai: Best British Primary Schools
Best British Schools in Dubai: Best British KGs
Best British Schools in Dubai: The WSA Survey, What Current Parents Think
Best British Schools in Dubai: Nationality, Fees and Attainment
Best British Schools in Dubai: A Final Summary
Best British Schools in Dubai Table: Contact Emails and Overview

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