Which Schools Have the Fewest Holidays?

Feeling short changed with frequent school holidays? How does your child's school compare on the number of school days provided per year?
Which Schools Have the Fewest Holidays?
By Susan Roberts
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A common source of irritation for Dubai parents is the number of school closure days. Whether it be half terms, lengthy public holidays or the long summer break, the change in routine and struggle for childcare can be challenging. While there are set minimum requirements for schools to follow, there may still be some variance in the number of school days provided. Wondering how your child’s school fairs? 

The minimum requirement…

The UAE’s federal education body, the Ministry of Education, stipulates the minimum of number of school days for UAE schools, which varies slightly from year to year, largely depending on where in the week public holidays fall. While Ministry of Education schools must provide 188 in the 2022-23 academic year, international schools (i.e. any schools following a curriculum other than UAE’s Ministry of Education curriculum) are permitted to provide fewer days: a minimum of 182. This has become the standard, with only a minority of schools having fewer closures.

Do all private schools in Dubai follow the same academic calendar?

There are two basic academic year formats: one starting in August/September (UK, American, IB schools) and the other starting in April (Indian, Pakistani, Japanese schools). Dubai’s private schools must follow the directives given from KHDA regarding holiday and term dates and public holidays, but there is some flexibility permitted. Notably, a school’s spring break can last for a duration of two weeks or three weeks and schools can opt to close for half term breaks or not.

Public holidays, while often communicated by schools in advance, are expected dates only, and are confirmed by KHDA closer to the time.

Why do schools have longer public holidays than the private sector?

While the intention to unify public holidays between the public and private sector has been reported on in recent years, there are still discrepancies between the two, and schools tend to fall under the public sector category where holidays are concerned, whether private or public. Private schools are directed on these closures and are not permitted to deviate from this.

Which schools will provide the most school days in 2022-23?

According to KHDA, of the 201 schools licensed to operate in Dubai for 2022-23 academic year, 163 schools will provide the minimum number of school days: 182. If you do not see your child's school in the list below, it has opted to align with the standard, and minimum, 182 school days. 38 of Dubai’s international schools will be open for a higher number of days, ranging between 183 and 191. 

School  Days Open Curriculum KHDA Rating
Japanese School 191 Japanese Good
Crescent English School 189 Indian Acceptable
Credence High School 188 Indian Good
Icademy Middle East 187 American(online) Not yet inspected
Dubai Scholars Private School 187 UK Good
The Philippine School 187 Philippine Acceptable
New Academy School 187 American Acceptable
Gulf Model School 187 Indian Weak
Buds Public School 187 Indian Acceptable
Dubai Int. Private School (Al Quoz) 186 American Acceptable
The Indian Academy 186 Indian Good
Springdales School 186 Indian Good
Bright Riders School 186 Indian Acceptable
GEMS Modern Academy 185 Indian Outstanding
GEMS Our Own Indian School 185 Indian Good
GEMS Legacy School 185 Indian Good
Pakistan Educational Academy 185 Pakistani Weak
Queen International School 185 UK Acceptable
Millennium School 185 Indian Very Good
JSS Private School 185 Indian Very Good
Pearl Wisdom School 185 Indian Not yet inspected
New Indian Model School 185 Indian Acceptable
Clarion School 184 American Good
Ambassador School 184 Indian Very Good
JSS International School 184 Indian Very Good
H.H. Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School 184 Pakistani Acceptable
Little Flowers English School 184 Indian Acceptable
The Central School 184 Indian Acceptable
The School of Research Science 183 American/UK Good
Mirdif American School 183 American Good
The School of Research Science 183 American/UK Good
Oxford School 183 UK Acceptable
Apple International School 183 UK Good
St Mary’s Catholic High School 183 UK Good
Primus Private School 183 Indian Good
Woodlem Park School 183 Indian Good
Elite English School 183 Indian Acceptable
The Apple International Community School 183 UK Not yet inspected

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