Dubai parents will be delighted to learn that Dubai International Academy Al Barsha will be opening its doors on 2nd September 2018 according to the KHDA. With a swirl of rumours floating around Dubai since the transfer of Dubai American Academy from its original site to the former GEMS Nations Academy campus, the new occupant has finally been confirmed. DIA, based in Emirates HIlls, is one of the most sought after schools, with parents trying and failing year on year to gain admission.
Dubai International Academy Al Barsha will be the fifth school in the Innoventures Group, which includes the original DIA in Emirates Hills (opened in 2005), Raffles International School and Raffles World Academy in Umm Suqeim 2 and Collegiate American School in Umm Suqeim 1. In addition, Innoventures also owns and manages the 8 Raffles Nurseries located across New Dubai and the newest addition to the portfolio, the Burj Daycare Nurseries. Currently, approximately 7,700 children from over 100 different nationalities attend schools or nurseries operated by the Innoventures Group.
Each of the schools in the Group follows a separate curriculum, with the original DIA being the first school in the UAE authorised to offer the full International Baccalaureate World School continuum programmes of Primary Years (PYP), Middle Years (MYP) and the highly-regarded IB Diploma Programme, which is viewed as the Gold Standard among the most prestigious universities globally. DIA Al Barsha will follow in the foot-steps of its sister school in also offering the IB programmes from pre-KG to Grade 12.
In addition to being the first school in the UAE to offer the full range of IB continuum programmes, DIA was also the first IB curriculum school to be rated Outstanding by the Dubai Schools regulator (the KHDA) and this from an original rating of Acceptable back in 2008. Parents will, therefore, no doubt have high expectations of the new school also.
The former DAA site is an expansive one - considerably larger than the current DIA campus in Emirates Hills, with a separate Elementary School and a Middle/High School located either side of a large outdoor oval. The school offers all the usual facilities including a swimming pool, large sports halls, auditorium, cafeterias in each building and plenty of outdoor space for younger children and more chilled seating areas for older ones. The school also has a full range of subject-specific rooms including a range of laboratories, art rooms and so forth. No doubt, DIA Al Barsha will want to put its own mark on the appearance of the school, but in some ways, it is a more spacious and attractive facility than the Emirates Hills building.
Currently, there is only very limited information about the new school on the KHDA website; although there is a link to the Innoventures website, there is no information featured on the new school as yet. An email address can be found under our Contact information. We assume that the DIA Emirates Hills campus is handling most enquiries currently. We will update this information as soon as further details are provided.
Fees for the new school are definitely not inexpensive - starting at AED 48,188 for pre-KG to AED 87,382 for Grades 11 and 12. These compare with fees at the original DIA of AED 40,157 for pre-KG to AED 71,152 for Grade 12 in the current academic year.
On this basis alone, demand will no doubt continue to be greater for the Emirates Hills school, but there is likely to be a significant number of parents who will pay the higher fees, in order to be able to secure a place at a school that is the closest, in terms of background and reputation, to the one where they have potentially been seeking admission for some considerable time.
Many of the newer schools in Dubai will no doubt be secretly rather envious of Dubai International Academy Al Barsha for this ready-made potential list of applicants! However, with total capacity at DIA Al Barsha likely to be around 2,000+ students (DAA had 2,300 when last inspected in 2016), that is still a substantial number of seats to fill.
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