Best IB Continuum Schools in Dubai takes a look at Dubai's all-through continuum IB school options. How did schools in this category fare in their most recent KHDA inspection ratings? And what do parents think?
Best IB Continuum Schools in Dubai
By Susan Roberts
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The range of IB schools in Dubai is broadening, with a widening range of fee levels, locations and subjects offered. How did Dubai's all-through continuum IB schools fare in their most recent KHDA inspection ratings? And what do parents think?

In this feature, we focus on the all-through continuum IB schools, by which we mean those that offer at least  the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP).

Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills

Dubai International Academy DIA
DIA Emirates Hills

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Outstanding

WSA Parents Rating: 4.2/5

Location: Emirates Hills, Dubai

Average Fees: 57,000 AED

About: Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills has a record of firsts: it was the first IB World School authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation in the UAE to offer the full range of IB programmes; it was also the first IB curriculum school in the UAE to achieve an Outstanding rating (from the KHDA) which it received in 2015-16 and returned to in 2022-23. It is currently the only Outstanding rated all-through IB continuum school in Dubai. 

Strengths: DIA Emirates Hills' IB DP results tend to be very strong, with an impressive 37.1 average and 100% pass rate in 2022. For reference, the UAE average score was 34.03, and the global average was 31.98. 

Parent satisfaction levels remain high, according to results from our parent feedback survey, at a score of 4.2/5 currently. In particular, parents report a higher than average improvement in their child's confidence as a result of attending the school, as well as a positive development in students' public speaking and presentation skills. 


The school's KHDA inspection report shows Outstanding levels across most areas, with the usual exception of Arabic Language and Islamic Studies (although these areas have improved since the previous inspection in 2019). Based on this report, there is little that can be picked out as a potential concern for parents. 

According to feedback provided in our parent survey, a limitation at the school is its class sizes, although official statistics show a teacher to student ratio of 1:11, a relatively low ratio by Dubai standards. Facilities are not the most impressive but are certainly sufficient. 

Jumeira Baccalaureate School

Jumeira Baccalaureate School review update
Students at Jumeirah Baccalaureate School

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Very Good

WSA Parents Rating: 4.4/5

Location: Jumeirah 1, Dubai

Average Fees: 63,500 AED

About: Owned and operated by Taaleem, JBS opened in 2010 on the original site of American School of Dubai. The school is known for its inclusive practice and pro-diversity approach.

Strengths: KHDA inspection reports describe a school that cares (the school received Outstanding ratings for every age group for Care and Support, as well as in Personal Development).

Parents appear to agree with this judgement, according to our survey results, with an impressive 88% saying the school has improved their child's confidence either 'a lot' or 'a great deal'. A considerably higher than average number of parents report their child enjoying school and having a sense of belonging 'a tremendous amount'.  

The school's Arabic Language and Islamic Studies is rated Good and Very Good, putting it above many peer schools in this respect. 


The school has had a higher than average teacher turnover in the last year, at 30%. The average for an international school in Dubai is around 20-22%. 

The school's facilities are not the most impressive, but notable efforts have been made to develop them in recent years, and they are certainly fit for purpose. 

Greenfield International School

Greenfield Int School review
Students at Greenfield International School

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Very Good

WSA Parents Rating: 4.4

Location: Dubai Investment Park

Average Fees: 54,000AED 

About: Greenfield International School is perhaps one of the lesser known Taaleem schools, but is very much loved by the international community it serves. 

Strengths: This is a school with a strong community focus, as noted in its 2022-23 KHDA report (rated Outstanding in the criteria of Parents and the Community). This aspect of the school is also frequently referenced positively in feedback from parents, who report feeling involved and valued. 

According to the recent KHDA report for the school, Greenfield excels in the areas of student care and support, and in supporting the personal development of students. The school was rated as Outstanding in both of these areas.

Parents appear to agree with this assessment, with 93% of those surveyed reporting that their child feels a sense of belonging at the school: 69% reported a tremendous amount of belonging, while 84% said the school had improved their child's confidence either 'a lot' or 'a great deal'

Academically, the school appears to be strong (although not the strongest) with an average IB DP score of 35.7 in 2022 (way above the UAE average of 31.98).


As with many international schools, Arabic and Islamic studies are not a strength of this school, although the recent KHDA report does show signs of slight improvement. 

Uptown International School

Uptown International School review
Children at Uptown International School

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Very Good

WSA Parents Rating: 4.0

Location: Mirdif, Dubai

Average Fees: 60,500AED 

About: Our third Taaleem school on the list, Uptown International School was a development from the original, and very popular, Uptown Primary School, enabling families to have access to an all-through IB education. 

Strengths: According to the latest KHDA inspection report, Uptown International excels in the area of student care and support. These views are backed up by our parent survey results, in which 90% of parents surveyed said their children enjoyed going to school either 'a tremendous amount' or 'quite a bit'. This appears to be a school that cares

Other areas rated outstanding include the school's curriculum design, adaptation and implementation, across all age groups (a notable achievement), as well as student personal development

While the school is rated highly across all age groups in the majority of areas, the Diploma Programme has been highlighted in particular as being strong. 

IB DP average scores in 2022 were higher than UAE average (34.03) at 34.4. 


With the exception of the usual lower ratings in Arabic and Islamic Studies (an almost universal issue in Dubai's international schools), there are no areas rated below Very Good or Outstanding by KHDA for this school currently. This is an impressive inspection report. 

Teacher turnover has been high in the past year (38%), which is a potential area of concern in the school. 

Emirates International School Meadows

Emirates International School Meadows
Emirates International School Meadows

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Very Good

WSA Parents Rating: 3.8

Location: The Meadows, Dubai

Average Fees: 51,500AED 

About: Emirates International School Meadows is a school with a very international student community (88 nationalities at last count), situated among multiple expat residential communities. 

Strengths: The school's 2022-23 KHDA inspection report highlighted strengths in the areas of care and support. This is somewhat in contrast to our parent survey results, which show lower than average rates of children enjoying school, but parent satisfaction has indeed improved considerably in recent years. 

Social responsibility and innovation are areas highlighted in the school's inspection report as being Outstanding. 

The school's inspection report shows Outstanding areas in its Diploma Programme (IB DP) in particular. 

Teacher turnover at the school has been low in the past year, at only 13% (average for international schools in Dubai is around 20-22%). 

Limitations: Our parent survey results for the school have been very mixed and although they have improved in recent years, several areas remain lower than average. Notably, 26% of parents feel they do not get value for money at the school (UAE average is 11%) and a very high 48% of parents surveyed felt their child needed additional tutoring to supplement learning at school.

The school does not share full details of its IB Diploma results, and although the KHDA appears to be impressed by them, it is not possible to compare them objectively with other IB schools.

The school has only one guidance counsellor, a sparse offering in this area for a school of 1826 students. 

Facilities at the school are best described as "modest" by Dubai standards, although they are certainly sufficient. 

Raffles World Academy

Raffles World Academy

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Very Good

WSA Parents Rating: 3.6/5

Location: Umm Suqeim, Dubai

Average Fees: 59,000 AED

About: The second school on this list from education group, Innoventures, Raffles World Academy is a sister school to the now outstanding-rated DIA Emirates Hills. The school prides itself on its "diverse cultural base of students and teachers representing over 85 different nationalities."

Strengths: According to the 2022-23 KHDA inspection report for Raffles World Academy, the school performs particularly well in the areas of 'student personal and social development and innovation skills', and 'protection, care, guidance and support'. All elements of these areas are rated Outstanding

Results from our parent survey are a little less enthusiastic in these areas, but do show slightly higher than average levels of positivity on questions relating to these criteria. 

The school is rated Good across all areas in Arabic and Islamic Studies, which can be considered as quite an achievement as an international school in Dubai. 

Limitations: According to survey results, parents at Raffles World Academy have varying views on whether they receive good value for money from the school. The majority (55%) are on the fence, saying they "partially agree", while only 38% feel that they do receive value for money. This can perhaps be attributed to the fact that there is a significant fee range across the age groups at this school. 

GEMS World Academy

GEMS World Academy
GEMS World Academy Dubai

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Very Good

WSA Parents Rating: 3.4

Location: Al Barsha, Dubai

Average Fees: 90,500AED 

About: This ultra-premium school is known for many things. It was the first IB school within the GEMS group, and the first to achieve World School Status. Its facilities were the talk of Dubai when it opened in 2007, and even 16 years on, this campus is still quite remarkable. With almost 2000 students, of more than 85 nationalities, this can be considered a truly international school.

Strengths: According to the school's 2022-23 KHDA inspection report, GEMS World Academy particularly excels in the personal development of students. The fact that the school can boast having six guidance counsellors speaks volumes here. 

The school is also rated Outstanding for efforts in engaging parents and the community, for its initiatives in social responsibility, and for how its curriculum is designed, adapted and implemented. 

The school has a relatively low teacher turnover currently (15%).

Students enjoy exceptional facilities at this school.

Feedback from our parent survey shows that GWA's parents rate the schools fine arts, sports and performing arts offering very highly.  

Limitations: Feedback from our parent survey is mixed, which can largely be put down to changes in the school in recent years (parent satisfaction will certainly have fluctuated). The school does appear to be very much back on track now, with its high enrolment numbers speaking for themselves. 

As a school with fees in the ultra premium range, it is perhaps unsurprising that a portion of parents question value for money. 22% of parents surveyed at the school said they 'totally disagreed' that they received value for money. 

Areas of parent satisfaction that are below average for UAE schools in our survey results currently include feedback received on children and the school's disciplinary policy, which could be considered in contrast to the school's KHDA inspection report. 

North London Collegiate School

North London Collegiate School Dubai

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Very Good

WSA Parents Rating: 3.4

Location: Sobha Hartland

Average Fees: 106,000AED

About: NLCS Dubai was the second international campus of the original NLCS London, an all-girls school which is over one hundred and seventy years-old, and is consistently ranked in the top five UK schools for both GCSE and IB results.

Strengths: Going by the 2022-23 KHDA inspection report, as well as results from the parent school survey, NLCS has many strengths.

The school's 2022-23 KHDA inspection report is very strong, with all areas, with the usual exception of Arabic and Islamic Studies, being rated as either Outstanding or Very Good. 

Areas rated Outstanding include Care and Support, Curriculum Design, Adaptation and Implementation and student Personal Development.

The school's teacher to student ratio is uncommonly low at 1:9, which should translate into increased individual attention for every student.

Teacher turnover has been remarkably low in the past year, at only 12%, although this figure was 33% back in 2019-20. Schools will often have fluctuations on this, but these figures do suggest improvements going on internally.  

In terms of parent satisfaction, results from our parent survey show that students at the school enjoy going to school (74% tremendously so, compared to a UAE school average of 56%). 

Parent satisfaction at the level of academic performance at the school is above average (75%) at 81%, although 41% also reported feeling that their child needed additional tutoring (possibly a function of highly demanding parent expectations). 

Parents also reported relatively low levels of concern about bullying at the school, with 9% reporting feeling either extremely or very concerned, well below the UAE school average of 21%. 

The average IBDP score from NLCS was the highest of any UAE school in 2022 at 38.1.  This comes with the significant caveat that the school has not released the number of students who entered the Diploma, despite repeated requests to do so. We suspect a very small cohort size, which, to some degree, makes including NLCS Dubai in any ranking of results meaningless.

Click here for more info on understanding results.


The overall parent rating of NLCS Dubai is one of the lowest in the schools on this list, although it is difficult to pin point specific concerns.

The only noteworthy negative cited by parents of the school is the cost. 14% of parents surveyed said they 'totally disagreed' that they received value for money. 

Fairgreen International School

A student developing green fingers at Fairgreen International School

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Good

WSA Parents Rating: 3.6/5

Location: Sustainable City, Dubai

Average Fees: 65,000 AED

About: Fairgreen International School was set up by ESOL Education, an established provider in the UAE, that also owns the American International School in Abu Dhabi and Dunecrest American School in Dubai.  Fairgreen follows a modified all-through IB curriculum, integrating sustainability into its educational programme.

Strengths: Fairgreen International may only have been rated Good in its last KHDA inspection, but we suspect its on its way up to higher ratings; there is a whole lot to love about this school. 

Results of our parent survey paint a picture of an extremely happy school. 67% of parents surveyed said their child feels 'a tremendous amount' of belonging at the school, with 25% selecting 'quite a bit' of belonging. Additionally, 71% of parents surveyed said their child enjoyed going to school 'tremendously', with 23% enjoying school 'quite a bit'. These figures are considerably higher than the UAE average. 

It is perhaps not surprising then that 90% of parents surveyed said they would recommend the school to others (UAE average is 82%). 

Parents also reported very high rates of satisfaction with academic performance at the school, having a high level of confidence in the school's ability to meet their child's individual needs, and notable improvements in their child's confidence since attending the school. 

The student to teacher ratio at Fairgreen is usually strong, at 1:10. This should translate into increased individual attention for every student.

Teacher turnover in the past year has been remarkably low, at only 8%. This suggests a very happy team at Fairgreen (which is very much aligned with the experiences of our editor, when visiting the school this year.

The school's 2022-23 KHDA inspection report shows that the school has improved in a whopping 28 areas of the inspection criteria since its prior (and only other) inspection a year earlier. This is a remarkable achievement. 

The report shows the school is performing notably well in the areas of student personal development, and in the Diploma Programme age group in particular. 

Limitations: As is often the case in Dubai's international schools, Fairgreen's Arabic and Islamic Studies are not rated highly by KHDA. 

Our parent survey results show that parents do not rate the school's performing arts offering highly, although we understand considerable effort has been made in developing this department in the past year.  

As a relatively new school, Fairgreen does not have a record of exam results to use for comparison with other IB schools. The school's first cohort of IB Diploma students are due to take their examinations in May 2023.  

Dwight School Dubai

Dwight School Dubai

KHDA Inspection Rating (2022/23) : Good

WSA Parents Rating: 4.7/5

Location: Dubai Sports City

Average Fees: 82,500 AED

About: Founded in 1872 in New York, Dwight is a leading international IB World School with global campuses in London, Seoul, Shanghai, and Dubai. Dwight School in New York has been owned and operated by the Spahn family for over 50 years. 

Alumni of Dwight schools internationally, includes: John Williams, Truman Capote, Vin Diesel and a “who’s who” of figures from politics, the Performing Arts, business, sports and the Sciences worldwide. 

Dwight School Dubai opened in 2018 and moved from Al Barsha to its new Sports City campus in August 2022. 

Strengths: Quite simply, feedback received on this school in our parent survey is overwhelmingly positive, meaning we simply had to include it in this list. If we are to use this as our sole metric, Dwight is currently the best school in Dubai, with a rating of 4.7.

Parent survey results suggest this is an extremely happy school:

92% of parents surveyed said their child feels either 'a tremendous amount' of belonging, or 'quite a bit' of belonging at the school.

96% of parents surveyed said their child enjoys going to school either 'tremendously' or 'quite a bit'

54% of parents surveyed said they 'totally agree' that the school is good value for money; a particularly impressive result considering the 'ultra-premium' fees here. Only 6% said they 'totally disagree' with this statement. 

The school's Performing Arts and Fine Arts departments were highly rated by parents. 

Dwight's teacher to child ratio is remarkably strong, at 1:8. This is likely a contributor to the outstanding levels of child happiness shown in our parent survey results for the school. 

The school's 2022-23 KHDA inspection report described a school that has made vast improvements in the past year, with raised ratings given in an incredible 47 areas of the inspection framework. 

While KHDA clearly recognises the school's improvements, this report falls short of the school's glowing parent survey results. It is, however, important to recognise that this is only the school's second inspection, and ratings above 'Good' do not tend to be given so early. 

The report shows particular strengths in the areas of student personal development, and parents and the community.  


Dwight School's KG department is rated Acceptable in most areas in its 2022-23 KHDA inspection report. It is unusual for this section of a school to be rated at a lower level than other age groups, and suggests this part of the school requires development.

Typically, the school's Arabic and Islamic Studies departments have not received glowing reviews from KHDA, but have improved in multiple areas since the inspection prior. 

As a relatively new school, Dwight does not have a record of exam results to use for comparison with other IB schools. The school's first cohort of IB Diploma students are due to take their examinations in 2024.  

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