United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Mirdif / GEMS Royal Dubai School

GEMS Royal Dubai School Review

A mixed gender GEMS owned KG to Year 6 school following the English National Curriculum, GEMS Royal Dubai School takes children from 3 to 11 years of age and, as of May 2016, is Mirdiff's first and currently only Outstanding rated school.
GEMS Royal Dubai School
First Published: Saturday 24 November, 2012
Updated: Tuesday 26 December, 2017
  • School Type
    Inspection Rating
  • Curricula Taught
    Also Known As
    Year Opened
    Annual Fees
    AED 37,554 - 47,351
    Annual Fee Average
    AED 46,000
    Kevin Loft
    GEMS Education
    Main Teacher Nationality
    Main Student Nationality

A mixed gender GEMS owned KG to Year 6 school following the English National Curriculum, GEMS Royal Dubai School takes children from 3 to 11 years of age and, as of May 2016, is Mirdiff's first and currently only Outstanding rated school.

First Published: Saturday 24 November, 2012
Updated: Tuesday 26 December, 2017

NOTE: As GEMS Royal Dubai School received an Outstanding rating in 2015/2016, there is no new KHDA report for the 2016/2017 inspection cycle.


GEMS Royal Dubai School is currently home to 1240 students (up approximately 100 students over the previous academic year), with 81 teachers, and 62 teaching assistants, giving the school the resources to be able to offer a good level of individual attention. The largest single demographic grouping of student is British, although over 60 nationalities are represented in total, and one in six of the school's pupils is Emirati.

Teachers are largely recruited from the United Kingdom, and the school currently enjoys a very low (and good) teacher turnover of 12% in the last academic year. The teacher:student ratio is 1:15 - average for this tier of school.

As a GEMS school, the children in Year 6 are guaranteed a place in Year 7 at a number of colleges within the group including GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis, GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail, FirstPoint and Bradenton Preparatory School without the need for an Entrance Test.

While teacher turnover may be low, previous KHDA reports have noted high student turnover, with pupils often staying for 2-3 years at the school, something fairly unusual for Dubai. This is not mentioned in the school's latest report, and it is not clear if as an issue it has been resolved. High pupil turnover is not noted in most other primaries, and as a GEMS school, the children in Year 6 are guaranteed a place in Year 7 at either GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis or GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail, without the need for an Entrance Test.

Students identified with SEN seems to have declined sharply. Two years ago some 27% of GEMS Royal Dubai's pupils were identified as having mild SEN requirements, including learning delay, mild behaviour difficulties, dyslexia and dyscalculia. In 2016, it is less than 10%. It is not clear if this is a real decline in numbers, or a question of definition.

The school has clearly done an awful lot right to move to an Outstanding rating. Students now make rapid progress in acquiring knowledge and understanding in English, Maths and Science according to inspectors. Students have also developed "exceptionally strong learning skills", while - unusually for a British school - "attainment has also improved in Arabic as an additional language, and in Islamic education". Students’ personal and social development is described as excellent.

The 2015/16 report notes a well planned and stimulating curriculum which, which along with teaching, "was often inspiring". Inspiring is high praise - and not a word that is used generously by inspectors.

Teaching, leadership and teamwork lie at the heart of improvements.

GEMS Royal Dubai School follows the English National Curriculum (offering FS and Key Stages 1 and 2), and has departments for Art, English/Literacy, Mathematics/Numeracy, Science, French (from Year 1 onwards), Arabic and Islamic Studies (from Year 1 onwards), ICT, Geography, History, Library, Social Studies, Music, Technology along with Physical Education (PE) and swimming.

Parents in general have very positive feelings towards the school, with good feedback on the level of friendliness and helpfulness of teachers, especially at foundation stage.

At the time of our last survey parents recorded under average satisfaction levels with the educational attainment of their children, something likely to have changed significantly over the last 24 months. In more interpersonal feedback to WSA, a strong belief the school offers a safe, warm and caring environment has been expressed. There had been some grumbling about access to, and parking at the school, however the school has told Which School Advisor that Arabian Shopping has ample parking, and the pedestrian crossing ensures a safe place to cross.

The school provides a number of after school and extra-curricula activities (including swimming lessons, ballet, karate, music, art, computers, clay modeling, chess, cookery and Indian dancing). Paid activities are provided by outside providers through Esports and Academy Plus with payment made directly to the outside provider.

School fees for tuition are mid to top end of the range - but not out of the ordinary for a British curriculum school from a top tier private education provider. They start at AED 37,554 for FS1 and rise to AED 47,351 per annum for FS2 to Year 6.

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3 Archived Comments
Syed Irfan Ali
Archived 13th May 2015, 10:58

My daughter Areesha studied in this school in FS2 under Mrs. Laura Palmer and teaching assistant Ms. Una. Focus of the school is more on other activities than core learning. At the end of the year she couldn't count from 1 to 20. She didn't learn to read simple two or three letter words. In deed, the whole year was just a waste as she was not given admission in grade 1 in Choueifat DIP Branch. They assessed her twice and found her suitable for KG2 only. So, now she is repeating KG2 thanks to GRDS. I hold GRDS responsible for the waste of my daughter's one year of school.

Archived 20th Nov 2015, 17:36

In addition to what I'm basil said.... she probably learned many more skills which children need at such a young age. The fs stage focuses on developing their love for learning and do an amazing job. I have children that come to me who write pages once in year one. Please remember in fs1 they are only 3-4 years old. If you expect her to be reading at that age then I would have to say you have unrealistic expectations.

Om Basil
Archived 22nd Jun 2015, 01:35

Fs2 is equal to kg1 so she is doing good and year one is equal to kg2