It's Official: RGS Guildford Set for Dubai in 2021

As we reported at the end of last year, one of the UK's most successful and prestigious schools, The Royal Grammar School Guildford (RGS Guildford), will open its new campus in September 2021. On the day of its official launch in the UAE, details what you can expect from this 500 year old school.
It's Official: RGS Guildford Set for Dubai in 2021
By David Westley
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The UK's The Royal Grammar School Guildford (RGS Guildford), has announced it is coming to Dubai, and will open its new campus in September 2021. It is likely to be one of only a handful of new schools to open in the emirate in 2021, and is almost certain to be 2021's biggest name, and most ambitious launch.

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai, will be located in Tilal Al Ghaf, adjacent to Hessa Street, between Dubai Motor City and Sports City. On completion, the school will sit on a 40,000 square metre campus, and will be able to accommodate up to 2,100 pupils.

Established in 1509, RGS Guildford is well known, in the United Kingdom, for academic excellence.  In 2019, the school came 32nd in a ranking for all schools in the UK for A Level, and 36th for GCSEs. The school routinely secure places on the most competitive courses at leading world universities, with 325 graduates over the last 10 years attending Oxford or Cambridge - the UK's two benchmark universities for entrance. Its students have gone on to have incredibly successful careers in all areas from business to sports, the creative arts and politics. Notable alumni include England cricketer Bob Willis, and Monty Python actor and director, Terry Jones.

The promise of Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai is that it will share the same ethos and academic rigour of its parent school in the UK, and as a result provide the same pathways for its students to flourish and succeed.

The school's expansion to the UAE is said to marks a key milestone in the school’s 500-year history. It is the school's third internationally, with schools already up and running in Qatar and Nanjing.

The headmaster of RGS Guildford in the UK, Dr. Jon Cox, said in a statement released to the press today:

“Investing in the very best teachers, consistently and across the entire school, is a top priority for RGS Guildford Dubai, to ensure that our pupils achieve top-level results, and to build a culture and community that holds our children at its heart.”

The school is said to believed to be recruiting its teachers almost solely from the UK.

Dr. Cox added:

“Dubai is a global city which is renowned for its diversity and dynamic mindset – qualities which have inspired RGS Guildford for hundreds of years. To prepare our pupils for the challenges of the 21st century, we must lead by example: staying true to our values, collaborating with others, innovating and striving always to be the very best we can be. RGS Guildford Dubai is a central part of allowing us to realise this vision.”

Unlike the boys only UK school, RGS Guildford Dubai will be co-educational, offering education to boys and girls aged three to 18. The Dubai school also swaps the historical buildings of the UK school, "with a light and dynamic building" which will include "a 25-metre competition standard swimming pool and state-of-the-art classrooms and labs that will support science, art, languages, music and more".

The school will be led by Founding Principal Mr. Craig Lamshed, who brings over 25 years of education and senior leadership experience to the UAE, including as a Principal in Dubai and also covering the British, UAE, International Baccalaureate, Australian and American curricula.

Mr. Lamshed has been a brand leader for Cambridge Schools in Dubai, a member of the Global Education Review and is accredited as a British Schools Overseas reviewer. He founded a secondary school in the UAE, and offers "profound and wide-ranging educational leadership, including in Dubai, with a passion for excellence".

In a statement Mr Lamshed said:

“I cannot wait to welcome pupils and parents through RGS Guildford Dubai doors in 2021 to what will be a fantastic school and an amazing educational experience for our community. RGS Guildford Dubai’s stellar curriculum is entwined with the school’s core values and will provide a platform for pupils to reach their full potential, irrespective of their passion.”

A key piece of the puzzle is the school's partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Community company and its development, Tilal Al Ghaf. The two clearly hope to contribute to each other's growth.

“The decision by the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai to be part of Tilal Al Ghaf is a significant endorsement for this exciting community and we’re working closely with the educational team as construction of the flagship international school progresses. We are proud to welcome the school to Dubai, establishing new benchmarks in quality education.” Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Communities, Mr. Hawazen Esber.

The school says further admissions details will be announced soon. In the meantime however, parents may contact

Dubai Eye launch interview

Meet the school

The school will also have a stand at the up and coming Which School Show, which is taking place this Saturday (7th November), from 10 am to 4 pm. Register here.

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