Answer: Yes, Dubai has some of the best in the world. It has a huge variety of schools and unlike most markets, all are inspected annually. The Dubai schools inspection bureau (DSIB) rates schools as Outstanding, Very Good,Good, Acceptable and Poor. 17 schools are currently considered Outstanding.
While it is hard to measure things like value added (this kind of data is largely unpublished and often not comparable in any case), in terms of raw output Dubai schools perform exceedingly well in terms of exam results, and in university placements. You can check Dubai's A Level results here, and Dubai's IB results here. The emirate's most successful A Level school, Dubai College, would be a Top 50 UK independent school in terms of its results in most years. JESS Arabian Ranches, with an IB DP average of 39.12, would be considered a high performing school in pretty much any country in the world. Both send a considerable number of students to Oxbridge, Red Bricks and Ivy League institutions - as do many of their peers.
Going to school in Dubai is not, for 99.99% of newcomers, a step backwards, quite the reverse, and the quite fierce level of competition between schools stops them from becoming complacent.
Answer: For all curricula except Indian, Pakistani and Japanese, school schools begin in September (or last week in August) and ends in June or July. For Indian, Pakistani and Japanese curriculum schools, the academic year is from April to March.
Answer: It is the question we are most often asked and everyone wants to know. However, the answer is kind of unsatisfying. The right answer is that depends upon your child's needs. It is understandable that many parents, and even students, would like a simple answer to the question because it would save a lot of time and research (and give some parents and students serious bragging rights!), but that does not mean there is one. Ask yourself:
The answers to these, and other questions like them, that may be unique to your situation, will help you identify the characteristics of the school that will be a fit for your child.
Please note, that does not mean that some schools are not performing better than others. In Dubai the KHDA provides a rating for all schools that will help you understand which schools the regulator thinks are currently Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable or Weak. Abu Dhabi has a similar rating, and Sharjah is in the process of implementing one. In all cases reports need to be read in the context of what the regulator is looking for. It may not be what you are looking for.
Parents also have a view of the best schools in Dubai which can diverge from what regulators, and indeed educators think of as "best". You can read the forums to get a view of this, or, in a much simpler format, take a look at our parent rated Best Schools in Dubai list. We at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com have tried to capture the wisdom of the crowds in our quantitive ranking - the Best Schools in Dubai by parents. The data comes from our parent surveys.
In terms of desk based research the other resources to look at includes our sister site, SchoolsCompared.com, and if you are looking at UK schools, the BSME reports. The latter are very much optional so only a handful of schools have been inspected this way.
Nothing however beats visiting schools, so our final recommendation - once you have made your shortlist - is to visit the schools themselves. On a school visit, here is what to look for.
Answer: You can ask which is the most popular - British with the GCSE (109,000 students) and then Indian with the CBSE (79,000), but to ask which is the best, depends very much on it being fit for purpose for you as a family. Click here for the latest Dubai school statistics.
Most families choose a curriculum that either a) aligns with their national curriculum or b) is a truly international curriculum that 'travels'.
Option (a) is especially important for international families that plan to 'return home'; while option (b) is important for those parents that do not see themselves returning home, but perhaps moving between countries. Option (b) is also important for parents targeting a tertiary education for their child(ren) outside their country of origin.
The most international curricula are the UK (I/GCSE and A' Level) and the IB. We define international simply as the curricula most frequently used by international private schools around the world, and the qualifications accepted most readily/easily by universities globally.
Note and fascinating factoid: With the addition of the Chinese School for 2020/2021 Dubai now offers 18 different curricula!
Answer: Our Dubai school database lists by default schools in order of average fees. North London Collegiate School (UK, IB) currently tops the list with fees of 106.000 AED per annum (USD $28,859.64), closely followed by two IB Continuum schools, GEMS World Academy Dubai (90,500 AED) and then Swiss International Scientific School (89,500 AED). You should note that these are the official fees, approved by the Dubai education regulator, the KHDA. In reality, there are often discounts - some of which are published, and some of which you have to ask for. The size of a discount (and whether there is one at all) depends on how much pressure the school has on school places.
Table of the most expensive schools in Dubai
|North London Collegiate School Dubai||IB||90,500|
|GEMS World Academy Dubai||IB||89,500|
|Swiss International Scientific School Dubai||IB||86,000|
|Dubai College UK||UK||82,500|
|GEMS Dubai American Academy||US||81,500|
|Dwight School Dubai||US, IB||81,500|
|Nord Anglia International School Duba||UK, IB||81,500|
|Dubai English Speaking College||UK||79,500|
Click here for the full directory of Dubai schools, listed by price.
The most affordable, cheapest or lowest cost schools can be found in the table below. Note these are either Iranian, or Indian curriculum (CBSE) schools.
Table of the least expensive schools in Dubai
|Iranian Salman Farsi Boys School||Iranian||2500|
|Little Flowers English School||CBSE||3500|
|Crescent English High School||CBSE||3500|
|Iranian Khadije Kobra School for Girls||Iranian||4000|
|Gulf Indian High School||CBSE||4500|
|Gulf Model School||CBSE||4500|
|The Central School Dubai||CBSE||4500|
|The Model (New Indian) Private School Abu Dhabi||CBSE||4500|
|New Indian Model School||CBSE||5000|
Click here for our Dubai schools directory, ordered by fee, lowest at the top.
The lowest cost UK school (GCSE based) would be the Grammar School Dubai that offers both A Levels and GCSEs and has average fees across age groups of AED 5,500. It is rated Acceptable by the KHDA. The lowest priced UK school rated Good or better is St Mary's Catholic High School, with average annual fees of AED 8,500.
The lowest priced IB continuum school (IB PYP, MYP and DP) in Dubai is considerably more expensive. The honour goes to Emirates International School Meadows or Jumeirah, with average fees of 51,500 AED across year groups.
Last, but not least, the most inexpensive US based school (offering the High School Diploma based on Common Core standards) is the New Academy School, based in Al Raffa.
Four new schools opened for the 2020/2021 academic year in Dubai bringing the total number of schools in the emirate to 207 by our calculation. Please let us know if we have missed any.
Here's a table, with their ratings, curriculum, and fees.
|School Name||Main Curriculum||2019-2020 overall rating||2018-2019 overall rating||2017-2018 overall rating||KHDA Approved Fees 2019-20|
|Dubai British School||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||49026 - 73920|
|Dubai College||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||82463 - 93399|
|Dubai English Speaking College||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||79392 - 85332|
|Dubai English Speaking School||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Very good||37334 - 46204|
|GEMS Dubai American Academy||US/IB||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||61190 - 86260|
|GEMS Jumeirah Primary School||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||40865 - 51511|
|GEMS Modern Academy||CISCE/IB||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||28646 - 60635|
|GEMS Royal Dubai School||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||38331 - 48331|
|GEMS Wellington International School||UK/IB||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||43941 - 95597|
|Horizon English School||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Very good||29126 - 40792|
|Jumeirah College||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||72988 - 91235|
|Jumeirah English Speaking School||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||39838 - 49232|
|Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches||UK/IB||Outstanding||Outstanding||Very good||40242 - 94805|
|Kings School Al Barsha||UK/IB||Outstanding||Outstanding||Very good||56322 - 106404|
|Kings School Dubai||UK||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||43619 - 66383|
|Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Primary||French||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||26922 - 26922|
|Repton School||UK/IB||Outstanding||Outstanding||Outstanding||52863 - 92000|
|Ambassador Kindergarten||CISCE||Very good||Very good||Very good||20108 - 26808|
|Ambassador School||CISCE||Very good||Good||Good||20904 - 42298|
|Deira International School||UK/IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||40657 - 81913|
|Delhi Private School||CBSE||Very good||Very good||Very good||10298 - 14416|
|Dubai British School Jumeirah Park||UK||Very Good||Good||Good||76553 - 100000|
|Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills||IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||40988 - 72625|
|Emirates International School Meadows||IB||Very Good||Good||Good||26802 - 79488|
|Foremarke School||UK||Very good||Very good||Very good||58500 - 83000|
|GEMS New Millennium School||CBSE||Very good||Good||Good||21397 - 31025|
|GEMS Our Own English High School||CBSE||Very good||Very good||Very good||7527 - 15313|
|GEMS Wellington Academy- Al Khail||UK||Very Good||Good||Good||57635 - 101515|
|GEMS Wellington Academy DSO||UK/IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||37296 - 84219|
|GEMS Wellington Primary School||UK||Very good||Very good||Very good||43398 - 54691|
|GEMS World Academy||IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||65747 - 114128|
|Hartland International School||UK/IB||Very Good||Good||Good||49750 - 87000|
|Jebel Ali School||UK||Very good||Very good||Very good||45891 - 83000|
|JSS International School||CISCE||Very good||Good||Good||15483 - 40401|
|JSS Private School||CBSE||Very good||Good||Good||11228 - 24384|
|Jumeira Baccalaureate School||IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||59356 - 89034|
|Kings School Nad Al Sheba||UK||Very good||Very good||Good||53891 - 79478|
|Lycee Francais International (AFLEC)||French||Very good||Very good||Very good||26922 - 56936|
|Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School (Dubai Academic City)||French||Very good||Very good||Outstanding||35021 - 48093|
|Lycee Libanais Francophone||French||Very good||Very good||Very good||24622 - 52764|
|MSB (Al Ameen) Private School||UK||Very Good||Good||Good||9411 - 10667|
|Nord Anglia International School||UK||Very good||Very good||Very good||63447 - 95946|
|Raffles International School||UK||Very good||Very good||Good||31485 - 81248|
|Raffles World Academy||UK/IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||31013 - 86836|
|Ranches Primary School||UK||Very good||Very good||Good||46630 - 56992|
|Regent International School||UK||Very good||Very good||Good||45373 - 95811|
|Safa British School||UK||Very Good||Good||Good||27389 - 46315|
|Safa Community School||UK||Very good||Very good||Very good||49700 - 81656|
|Sunmarke School||UK||Very good||Very good||Good||56992 - 98441|
|The Indian High School||CBSE||Very good||Very good||Very good||5525 - 10465|
|The Millenium School||CBSE||Very good||Very good||Very good||16898 - 24849|
|The Winchester School||UK||Very good||Very good||Very good||13822 - 30835|
|Universal American School||US/IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||37330 - 75659|
|Uptown School||IB||Very good||Very good||Very good||58181 - 89183|
|Victory Heights Primary School||UK||Very good||Very good||Very good||36576 - 49877|
|Al Adab Iranian School for Boys||Iranian||Good||Acceptable||Acceptable||8,960 -19,197|
|Al Basateen Nursery||MOE||Good||Good||Good||5,754|
|Al Basateen Nursery Hatta||MOE||Good||Good||Good||5,400|
|Al Diyafah High School||UK||Good||Good||Good||8,789 - 18,930|
|Al Ittihad School Al Mamzar||US||Good||Good||Acceptable||18,599 - 39,232|
|Al Ittihad School Jumeirah||US||Good||Good||Good||21,432 - 40,007|
|Al Mawakeb School - Al Barsha||US||Good||Good||Good||14,540 - 23,570|
|Al Mawakeb School - Al Garhoud||US||Good||Good||Good||14,540 - 23,570|
|Al Mizhar American Academy School||US||Not inspected||Good||Good||42,177 - 64,757|
|Al Rashid Al Saleh Private School||MOE||Good||Good||Good||8527 - 18928|
|Al Salam Primary School||UK||Good||Good||Good||13199 - 29501|
|American School of Dubai||US||Good||Good||Good||60144 - 82580|
|Amled School||CBSE||Good||Good||Acceptable||10414 - 18000|
|Apple International School||UK||Good||Good||Good||6465 - 15310|
|Bilva Indian School||CBSE||Good||Good||Acceptable||12000 - 22000|
|Cambridge International School||UK||Good||Good||Good||18194 - 24703|
|Clarion School||US/IB||Good||Good||Not inspected||40000 - 90000|
|Collegiate American School||US/IB||Not inspected||Good||Good||40900 - 73850|
|Credence High School||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||15311 - 25518|
|Dar Al Marefa School||IB||Not inspected||Good||Good||33346 - 75754|
|Dove Green School||UK||Good||Good||Acceptable||42000 - 55000|
|Dubai Gem School||UK||Good||Good||Good||12499 - 25662|
|Dubai National School Al Twar||US||Good||Good||Good||22349 - 36672|
|Dubai National School Al Barsha||US||Good||Good||Good||18373 - 35905|
|Dubai Scholars School||UK||Good||Good||Good||14638 - 30111|
|Emirates International School Jumeira||IB||Good||Good||Good||35054 - 74283|
|GEMS Al Khaleej National School||US||Good||Good||Good||16,546 - 31,661|
|GEMS FirstPoint School||UK||Good||Good||Good||40183 - 68734|
|GEMS Founders School Al Barsha||UK||Good||Good||Not inspected||22455 - 33683|
|GEMS Heritage Indian School||CBSE||Good||Good||Not inspected||14290 - 22455|
|GEMS International School- Al Khail||IB||Good||Good||Good||48460 - 73490|
|GEMS Our Own Indian School||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||6360 - 12965|
|GEMS United School||US||Good||Good||Good||33092 - 80899|
|German International School Dubai||German||Not inspected||Good||Good||37631 - 71094|
|Greenfield International School||IB||Good||Good||Good||43822 - 80699|
|Greenwood International School||US||Good||Good||Good||18606 - 28531|
|Horizon International School||UK||Good||Good||Good||35232 - 66346|
|International School of Arts & Sciences||US||Good||Good||Good||23540 - 32958|
|International School of Creative Science||UK||Good||Good||Not inspected||33500 - 52500|
|Iranian Towheed Boys School||Iranian||Good||Good||Good||14290 - 18883|
|Japanese School||Japanese||Good||Good||Good||25200 - 19200|
|Kent College Dubai||UK||Not inspected||Good||Not inspected||54000 - 98000|
|Mirdif American School||US||Good||Good||Good||23986 - 35512|
|North American International School||US||Good||Acceptable||Acceptable||29087 - 46539|
|North London Collegiate School||IB||Good||not inspected||not inspected||83000 - 130000|
|Our Own High School||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||8734 - 14569|
|Primus Private School||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||11339 - 22731|
|Pristine Private School||UK||Good||Good||Good||10054 - 18835|
|Russian International School||Russian||Good||Good||Good||14536 - 22352|
|Sharjah American International School||US||Good||Good||Acceptable||16619 - 41547|
|Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Islamic Institute||MOE||Good||Good||Good||n/a|
|Springdales School||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||18814 - 32000|
|St. Mary Catholic High School-Dubai||UK||Good||Good||Good||6243 - 13410|
|Star International School Al Twar||UK||Good||Acceptable||Acceptable||20365 - 52630|
|Star International School Mirdif||UK||Good||Good||Good||32372 - 53000|
|Swiss International Scientific School||IB||Not inspected||Good||Acceptable||62484 - 124968|
|The Arcadia School||UK||Not inspected||Good||Not inspected||61242 - 75000*|
|The City School International||UK||Good||Good||Good||13949 - 24728|
|The English College Dubai||UK||Good||Good||Good||47150 - 61765|
|The Indian Academy||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||11102 - 20414|
|The Indian High School Al Garhoud||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||5276 - 5525|
|The Kindergarten Starters||CBSE||Good||Good||Good||7711 - 10292|
|The School of Research Science||UK||Not inspected||Good||Very good||34359 - 73769|
|The Sheffield Private School||UK||Good||Good||Good||21848 - 41201|
|The Westminster School||UK||Good||Good||Good||7860 - 15281|
|Al Adab Iranian School for Girls||Iranian||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||8,778 - 18,808|
|Al Arqm Private School||MOE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||7,952 -16,982|
|Al Eman Private School||MOE||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||5,825 - 8,679|
|Al Maaref Private School||US||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||10,597 - 30,492|
|Al Nibras International School||US||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||22827 - 45375|
|Al Sadiq Islamic English School||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||4333 - 8783|
|Al Shurooq Private School||MOE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||7302 - 11694|
|Alpha School||UK||Acceptable||not inspected||not inspected||19750 - 28500|
|American International School||US||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||12097 -19505|
|American School of Creative Science||US||Acceptable||Acceptable||Not inspected||35000 - 58000|
|Amity School Dubai||CBSE||Acceptable||not inspected||not inspected||15000 - 28000|
|Arab Unity Private School||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||5975 - 9992|
|Buds Public School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||7907 - 14118|
|Capital School||UK||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||38000 - 58000|
|Crescent English School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Weak||2643 - 9591|
|Deira Private School||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||21142 - 30042|
|Dubai Arabian American School||US||Not inspected||Acceptable||Weak||13845 - 30864|
|Dubai Carmel School||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||8433 - 14312|
|Dubai International School - Al Qouz||US||Acceptable||Good||Good||14404 - 22615|
|Dubai International School Garhoud||US||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||13915 -21846|
|Dubai Modern Education School||US/MOE||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||11053 - 17218|
|Elite English School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||4480 - 9889|
|English Language Private School||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||4186 - 10991|
|GEMS Al Barsha National School For Girls||UK||Acceptable||Good||Not inspected||42869 - 63283|
|GEMS Metropole School||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||34491 - 45989|
|GEMS Winchester School Oud Metha||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||11494 - 24845|
|Grammar School||UK||Acceptable||Weak||Acceptable||4686 - 6509|
|Gulf Indian High School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||3520 - 6656|
|H. H. Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School (English Lang)||Pakistani||Acceptable||Acceptable||Weak||3260 - 6518|
|International Academic School||US||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||13861 - 25991|
|International Concept for Education||French/IB||Not inspected||Acceptable||Good||45000 - 77000|
|Iranian Khadije Kobra School for Girls||Iranian||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||3402- 4593|
|Iranian Salman Farsi Boys School||Iranian||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||2472 - 3733|
|Iranian Towheed Girls School||Iranian||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||8721 - 9258|
|Islamic School for Training & Education||MOE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||8500 - 12500|
|Little Flowers English School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||3548 - 3823|
|Modern Skills School||US||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||16171 - 27341|
|National Charity School-Boys and Girls||MOE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||4366 - 8003|
|New Academy School||US||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||7945 - 21180|
|New Indian Model School||Indian(CBSE)||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||3915 - 6811|
|New World School||MOE||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||11922 - 19530|
|Newlands School||UK||Acceptable||not inspected||not inspected||19200 - 28800|
|Next Generation School||US||Not inspected||Acceptable||Not inspected||26500 - 38500|
|Oaktree Primary School||UK||Not inspected||Acceptable||Not inspected||35000 - 50000|
|Oxford School||UK||Not inspected||Acceptable||Acceptable||11448 - 18150|
|Philadelphia Private School||US||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||18514 - 31704|
|Queen International School||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Good||14381 - 26969|
|Sabari Indian School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||14463 - 16307|
|Smart Vision School||UK||Not inspected||Acceptable||Not inspected||29900 - 69900|
|St. Mary Catholic High School Dubai - Al Muhaisnah||UK||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||11228 - 15311|
|The Central School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||3718 - 6545|
|The Indian International School||CBSE||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||9679 - 14290|
|The International School of Choueifat||SABIS||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||20244 - 38744|
|The International School of Choueifat DIP||SABIS||Acceptable||Acceptable||Acceptable||24314 - 45359|
|The Philippine School||Philippine||Acceptable||Weak||Weak||5956 - 15065|
|United International School||Philippine||Acceptable||Good||Good||5164 - 11346|
|Gulf Model School||CBSE||Weak||Weak||Weak||3563 - 6478|
|Pakistan Educational Academy||Pakistani||Weak||Weak||Acceptable||5985 - 8210|
|Dubai Heights Academy||UK||Not inspected due to Covid 19||not inspected||not inspected||44200 - 58400|
|GEMS Al Barsha National School For Boys||UK||Not inspected due to Covid 19||not inspected||not inspected||42000 - 62000|
|Global Indian International School||CBSE/IB||Not inspected due to Covid 19||not inspected||not inspected||27000 -32941|
|Lycee Francais Jean Mermoz||French||Not inspected due to Covid 19||not inspected||not inspected||36000 - 50000|
|Rising School||US||Not inspected due to Covid 19||not inspected||not inspected||31500 - 61500|
|Al Mawakeb School Al Khawaneej||US||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||33450 - 64350|
|Al Salam Community School||UK||first inspection 2021-22||not inspected||22000 - 38000|
|Ambassador International Academy||IB||first inspection 2021-22||not inspected||45850 - 59600|
|Apple International School (Secondary)||UK||first inspection 2021-22||not inspected||10394 - 17000|
|Bright Riders School||CBSE||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||19000 - 26500|
|Brighton College Dubai||UK||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||64000 - 107000|
|Dubai International Academy Al Barsha||IB||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||48188 - 87382|
|Dunecrest American School||US/IB||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||46000 - 89000|
|Dwight School Dubai||IB||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||85000 - 130000|
|Fairgreen International School||IB||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||50000 - 78000|
|GEMS Founders School Al Mizhar||UK||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||23000 - 35000|
|Ignite School||US||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||28000 - 38000|
|Renaissance School||US||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||35000 - 45000|
|Riverston School||UK||first inspection 2021-22||not inspected||67500 - 70500|
|South View School||UK||first inspection 2021-22||not inspected||43000 - 56500|
|The Aquila School||UK||first inspection 2021-22||not inspected||45000 - 60000|
|The Arbor School||UK||first inspection 2020-21||not inspected||56000 - 85000|
|iCademy Middle East||US||not inspected||not inspected||not inspected||18332 - 25672|
|Al Ghaf Primary School||UK||Opening 2020||29750 - 40800|
|Bright Learners School||US||Opening 2020||21000 - 26000|
|Pearl Wisdom School||CBSE||Opening 2020||14500 - 16000|
|The Arcadia Secondary School||UK||Opening 2020||75000 - 90000|
|Vernus International School||US||Opening 2020||34000 - 39500|
Answer: The KHDA rule is that children need to be 3 years by 31st December to start school in the September, many UK curriculum schools with strong links to the UK still follow the UK cut-off date which is 31st August.
As a rule, it is better for children to be among the oldest in the class rather than the youngest, as the level of maturity (and therefore the ability to settle in school) varies enormously at this age.
You should be guided by the Admissions team at the school in choosing what is the best for your child when that time comes.
For Indian, Pakistani and Japanese schools, children need to be four years of age by 31st July to commence school.
Short answer, no if you are an expatriate, but yes if you are an Emirati. That said, even for international families there are very low cost schools in the emirate. At the time of writing the Iranian Salman Farsi Boys School was the school with the lowest annual fees (2,500 AED, or USD $681).
Answer: Schools are not permitted to suspend or expel students without authorisation from KHDA, so within a school year it is unlikely you would need to take your child from school.
Some schools may withhold certain documents, such as a transfer certificate or school reports, until they have been paid, however.
It is always a good idea to be honest with your school and keep them informed of your situation.
Answer: Easy enough. If you are transferring within Dubai, you will need a transfer certificate. If you are leaving Dubai, you may need a ‘student leaving certificate’ to prove the years of study in school in Dubai.
Your child’s school can provide you with these certificates. You may want to ensure they are verified by KHDA.
The difficulty you may have is switching schools mid year, especially between schools of different curricula. You may find your child needs to repeat a year - especially as end of academic years may not coincide...
Answer: School fees vary significantly are cater to every segment of society. While everyone always wants fees to be cheaper, the truth is that all price points are pretty much covered with fees currently ranging from 2,500 AED to 106,000 AED.
Note the cheapest school is not necessarily the best value, and the most expensive school is not necessarily the most overpriced. Any parent doing their due diligence needs to ask: Will I be getting what I'm paying for?
Answer: This is based on the Educational Cost Index, an inflation rate specifically for schools, that is calculated by the Dubai Statistics Office.
|Very Weak to Weak||2x ECI|
|Weak Acceptable||2x ECI|
|Acceptable to Good||2x ECI|
|Good to Very Good||1.75x ECI|
|Very Good to Outstanding||1.5x ECU|
|Schools maintaining a rating||1 x ECI|
|Schools dropping a rating||No increase allowed|
Note, just because a school CAN increase its fees does not mean it will do. In the last few years, schools have actually been lowering fees as a result of increasing competition for students.
The ECI is, moreover, sometimes held at zero, as it has been for the 2020 academic year.
Not for profit schools in Dubai do not have to follow the fees framework as detailed above, but can set their own fees so long as there is board approval, and there is demonstrable, and broad parental support for any fee increases.
Schools can also bypass the ECI if they can show their fees have somehow been left behind. The mechanism they can use to prove this is to compare to a Fair Rate of Return. Details can be found in the Schools Fee Framework, published by the KHDA.
Answer: Dubai has government owned and run schools (operated by the Ministry of Education) and it has private independent schools. The UAE also has schools which are government owned, but run by private school groups. None of these are in Dubai.
Answer: This would fall into the same category as the answer as the best school in Dubai - it depends very much on what you are looking for.
The highest rated IB school by parents currently in Dubai is North London Collegiate School - although it has received a limited number of surveys from parents so far. It is also the most expensive.
The most successful in terms of IB results is Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches, and has been since we began keeping records, over five years ago.
Currently, the following IB Diploma schools are rated outstanding by the KHDA: GEMS Dubai American Academy (US and IB), GEMS Wellington International School (UK and IB), JESS Arabian Ranches (UK, and IB), Repton School Dubai (UK, and IB) and GEMS Modern Academy (CISCE and IB).
Click here to find the 30 IB DP schools in Dubai.
Click here for the full list of the Best IB Schools in Dubai by Parent Rating.
Answer: The KHDA should be your first port of call. It is a wonderfully open organisation. You can literally walk in to its offices at Block 8, Academic City, from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM Sunday to Wednesday and 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM Thursday.
For complaints, suggestions or enquiries specifically, use its e-Feedback system.
You can also contact the Ministry of Education which has a toll free hotline: 800 51115.