8 Best Schools in Dubai
If you are planning a move to Dubai with your family, there are doubtless many questions on your mind. Chief among them, especially if you have young children, is what is the best school in Dubai and where you can find the best schools in Dubai. There are several excellent educational institutions around the city, and the following are considered to be among the top. They have been awarded the highest rating of ‘Outstanding’ by the Knowledge & Human Development Authority (KHDA) in 2023, offer an internationally recognized and accredited curriculum, and are easily accessible from some of Dubai’s finest neighborhoods.
|1. King’s School||2. Dubai International Academy||3. Gems Wellington International School|
|4. Repton School||5. Swiss International Scientific School||6. Jumeirah English Speaking School|
|7. Nord Anglia International School||8. GEMS Dubai American Academy|
1. King’s School
There are three Kings’ School campuses in Dubai, each of which is ideally located near some of the city’s finest communities. Kings’ School Dubai in Umm Suqeim 3 is perfect for families living in the Jumeirah district, Kings’ School Al Barsha is a short drive away for residents of Jumeirah Village Circle and Arabian Ranches, and Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba is roughly 20 minutes from District One and Al Barari Dubai. All three schools are highly reputed, offering the English National Curriculum. Second languages, sports, music and even Islamic education help to round out the school’s educational offering, and the use of cutting-edge technology makes learning easier and more fun. Students are encouraged to try everything from cooking to photography, and the school even has its own business club for budding entrepreneurs.
School fees range from AED 43,619 for Foundation Years up to AED 66,383 for Year 6.
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2. Dubai International Academy
Dubai International Academy, also known as DIA, has a diverse student body comprising more than 80 nationalities and follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The school offers both primary and secondary education, divided into three programs - Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma. The academic performance of DIA is among the best in the region, and the vast majority of its students get accepted into renowned universities such as Princeton and Yale. The school emphasizes a well-rounded education program, with plenty of extra-curricular options, including an Eco Club, a Model United Nations, music, art and sport.
Dubai School fees at DIA vary depending on year level. Annual Fees starts at AED 45,604 for KG and go up to AED 79,995 for Year 13. There is also an AED 4,500 fee for ESL (English as a Second Language) students who require additional support for English in school.
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3. Gems Wellington International School
Gems Wellington is part of the Gems Education Group and is one of its better-known schools. Wellington International School follows the British curriculum and IB curriculum. The school offers iGCSEs, GCSEs and the International Baccalaureate and careers programmes for years 12 and 13. Science, English and Mathematics are compulsory subjects throughout the school. Students begin their secondary school years in Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9), following the National Curriculum of England and Wales, and then move into Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11). During KS4 they sit a range of UK national exams GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education). If students achieve the required grades they can go onto an advanced level of study which is a prerequisite for university. This course is done in the last two years of school (which are non-compulsory) and are spent in Key Stage 5.
Annual tuition fees at Wellington depend on the Year level. It starts at AED 43,941 for FS 2 students and goes up to AED 95,597 for Year 13 students.
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4. Repton School
Located in Nad Al Sheba 3, Repton is a co-ed British curriculum school that operates as both a boarding and day school. Repton follows the English National Curriculum through to Year 11, after which it offers students the unique option to continue with the same curriculum until Year 13 or pursue an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Oxford and UCLA are among the universities that have accepted students from Repton, and the school had 94% of students pass the IB diploma in 2017. Despite being the largest school in the region, Repton maintains a good ratio between students and teachers, creating a more balanced and personalised educational environment. Extra-curricular activities are emphasised, including arts, drama, music and sport.
School fees heavily vary depending on academic level and whether students are day or boarding pupils. For day pupils, school fees range from AED 52, 000 to AED 95,000. For boarding pupils, fees, tuition, and boarding, range from AED 130,000 to AED 164,000.
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5. Swiss International Scientific School
Opening in 2015, "because no school in Dubai offered the Swiss baccalaureate", the Swiss International Scientific School was conceived by Omar Danial, a US Swiss hotelier and financier who moved to Dubai with six children that needed a school. The investment in the school campus was a substantial 600m AED ($165 million) including the working capital needed to support the school through its ramp-up phase, 70 percent of the funding was by bank financing and 200 m AED ($54.5m) of equity funding. For the latter, Mr Daniel worked with the UAE based Seddiqi family who are are the co-founders of the school, but much better known for their distribution of Swiss watches into the Emirates.
The Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai is still the only school to offer the Swiss curriculum for students up to senior school. It is also unique in offering a bi-lingual English/French or English/German International Baccalaureate programme. In addition to the IB Diploma programme and its scaled down IB Courses programme, SISD offers the IB Career-Related Programme (IBCP) (from September 2021); a unique programme addressing the needs of students who wish to engage in more vocational, career-related learning, designed for students aged 16-19
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6. Jumeirah English Speaking School
Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS), Arabian Ranches, is one of the most established schools in Dubai, and one of the few non-profit making schools in the region. JESS started with 17 students in 1975 and has grown to two locations within Dubai, at Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah.
JESS Arabian Ranches was set up in September 2005 to meet demand from existing parents. Although the school had hoped to develop a neighbouring site to the original Jumeirah school, ultimately, the Arabian Ranches location was the best option presented at the time. The purchase of homes there by large numbers of Western expatriates (notably from Emirates and its associated companies) gave the school a head start.
7. Nord Anglia International School
Nord Anglia School is located in Al Barsha South, which puts it a short drive away from Jumeirah VIllage Circle and a 15-minute drive from Emirates Hills. It is one of 35 schools in the world operating under the Nord Education group. The school follows the English National Curriculum and has an International Baccalaureate option at the higher grade levels. It has a strong language learning program, offering French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic as second languages. Music is another key subject, as Nord Anglie is associated with The Juilliard School. Other extracurricular activities include sports, art, community activities and robotics.
School fees range from AED 62,160 for Foundation Years 1 and 2 to AED 94,000 for Years 12 and 13.
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8. GEMS Dubai American Academy
GEMS Education is one of the oldest and largest Kindergarten to Grade 12 / Year 13 private education providers in the world. Founded in the UAE in 1959, we hold an unparalleled track record of providing diverse curricula and educational choices to all socio-economic means, and have schools in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. In the MENA region alone, GEMS own and operate over 60 schools, serving in excess of 130,000 students.
Dubai American Academy (DAA) is GEMS Education's flagship American school. Offering both an enriched American Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma to students from around the world, DAA prepares its students for success in the world's most prestigious universities and colleges.
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