United Arab Emirates / Dubai / Festival City / Universal American School

Universal American School Q & A

Opened in 2005 in Dubai Festival City, Universal American School is one of two schools in this location that are owned and operated by the Al Futtaim Education Foundation as not for profit schools. The school operates a mixed US/IB curriculum. UAS is one of a small number of US curriculum schools to have achieved the KHDA's second highest rating of Very Good.
Parents' Rating
2.9 out of 5 based on 98 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Very good
Curricula taught
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 57,500
Annual fees
AED 29,864–76,670
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jun
Teacher turnover help
Mr Kevin Loft
Al Futtaim Education Foundation
Main teacher nationality
United States of America
Main student nationality
United Arab Emirates
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Welcome to the Universal American School official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

Does your school have a waiting list? In which years?

For the 2020/21 Academic Year:

Waiting lists for Grade 6, 9 and 10

What are qualities and characteristics that define your school and its students?

Without a doubt UAS lives and is defined by it's mission: To Nurture a Community of Integrity and Academic Excellence

How many nationalities are represented in your school? How international would you say your school is?

At present (2020) 68 nationalities are represented at UAS

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

22% of our student body hails from the USA, followed by Lebanese at 11%

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?


If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?

We offer the MAP Testing, CAT4, PSAT & SAT external examinations

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

Universal American School prides itself on offering students a variety of personalized learning pathways. Beginning in elementary school and culminating at graduation, students receive academically rigorous instruction designed to meet their individual needs and interests.

The elementary school offers a personalized curriculum that is aligned to both the US AERO standards as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP).

In grades 6-10 students are provided the opportunity to explore a variety of course offerings aligned to the US AERO standards. This exposure is designed to help students make informed choices as learners in their culminating pathway selection. During their 10th grade year, students, teachers, counselors, and parents work together closely to select an appropriate, personalized graduation pathway.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

We strive for broad participation and competitive excellence; encouraging the highest levels of sportsmanship and fair play. Our UAS athletics program seeks to provide opportunities for student-athletes to develop skills in leadership and teamwork within an environment of fair play, mutual respect, and fun. We strive to develop programs that are safe and lead our student-athletes to value commitment, to work for academic success, and to learn about health and wellness. UAS is a member of the Emirates Athletic Conference (EAC) as well as the Near East Schools Activities Conference (NESAC).

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

At UAS we place a lot of importance on a healthy lifestyle, aside from the set curriculum which incorporates some aspect of physical education, our students have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of after school activities, ranging from sports activities, to creative arts, dance, strategy games such as chess, robotics, engineering and much more. In addition to the after school activities, our students are encouraged throughout the year to participate in the athletics program and be part of our volleyball, football, swimming, badminton, academic games, track and field and cross-country teams. UAS also boasts of a newly introduced junior athletics program, open to our elementary students.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Healthy eating is an integral part of the school education. From the earliest years, our students are introduced to healthy eating habits. We recommend parents to provide healthy snacks for their children, and our cafeteria also caters a wide selection of healthy meals for students to chose from. In addition to this, our school physician with the help of a teacher, introduce a healthy snack to our Elementary School students once a month, the snack is served to the students and on the same day they get to watch a video showing them how to prepare the snack and receive a copy of the recipe. Our school is also a nut free school.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students? How does it promote a balanced diet?

We have a cafeteria which provides a large selection of healthy foods and snacks.

What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

Approximate 10-15 AED

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

PreK, KG1 start at 7.45 AM and finish 12.45

Elementary School, Middle School and High School start at 7.45 and finish at 3.10, except for Tuesday which is an early release day, students finish at 2.00

Is there a school uniform?


How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?

By regular Director's and Principal's Newsletter and presentations that are held regularly for the parent.

Which languages are taught at your school - please detail any as a first as well as second language?

French and Spanish

Do you offer a dedicated prayer room/s for students? For which faiths?


Do you have a learning support team in your school?


Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes we have both the PTSO (Parent, Teacher & Students Organization). As well as a Fine Arts Booster Club spearheaded by a dedicated group of parents.

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