14 Best Schools in Dubai

5 May 2023 Written by Arpan

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, where you can find the educational institutes. There are several excellent educational institutions around the city, and the following are considered to be among the top. These are unsurprisingly, located in some of the city's prime areas, and offer a wide variety of curricula, from the British curriculum to IB. 

1. Kings' School

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.

2. Dubai International Academy

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 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.

3. GEMS Wellington International School

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.

4. Repton School

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 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.

5. Dubai College

Dubai College

Dubai College has a history going back nearly 5 decades and it has established itself as one of the finest private schools in not just Dubai, but anywhere in the world. The school follows the English National Curriculum for Years 7 to 13 with a specially designed program that allows students to develop their skills both inside and outside the classroom. To that end, the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning was established in 2017 and serves as Dubai College’s research wing, working alongside international organisations to improve the educational experience for teachers and students alike.

Fees begin at AED 28,869 per term for Year 7, up to AED 32,690 per term for Year 13. A personal debenture of AED 25,000 is required for all new students, and existing students need to pay 5% of the tuition fees on re-enrollment.

6. Jumeirah English Speaking School

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 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 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.

8. GEMS Dubai American Academy

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.

9. Jumeirah College

Jumeirah College

Jumeirah College is known as one of the schools in Dubai, following the National Curriculum of England for Years 7 to 13. The school’s student body comprises 59 nationalities and it prides itself on having a global mindset. It is also registered with the Department for Education and Skills in London and is an official examination centre for UK board exams. Students of Jumeirah College perform exceptionally well on GCSEs and go on to studying at some of the world’s top universities.

Fees at Jumeirah College start from AED 75,178 (annual) for Year 7, going up to AED 93,972 for Year 13. For new students, a non-refundable deposit equivalent to 10% of the tuition needs to be paid. For returning students, the deposit is 5% and to be paid at the time of re-enrollment.

10. Dubai British School Emirates Hills

Dubai British School Emirates Hills

Operating in Dubai since 2005, Dubai British School Emirates Hills is conveniently located for all families living in the Emirates Living community and surrounding areas. It has been consistently ranked as ‘Outstanding’ by the KHDA for several years running, with a strong emphasis on building student well-being and confidence so they can excel academically. The school’s campus features a range of facilities that are designed to offer students a platform to broaden their horizons beyond the classroom.

The annual fees for the Foundation Years at Dubai British School Emirates Hills are AED 49,026, going up to AED 73,540 for Years 12 and 13.

11. Horizon English School

Horizon English School

One of the oldest primary schools in Dubai, Horizon English School offers a British Curriculum from the Foundation Years to the Upper Primary level. While English is the primary language spoken in the school, English fluency is not a requirement for admission and there are classes available for new students to build up their command of the language. The curriculum is ideally designed to foster personal growth so that students can grow up to be global citizens.

Annual fees for Horizon English School range from AED 40,872 to AED 54,770 for Year 6 students.

12. GEMS Jumeirah Primary School

Dubai College

A unique primary school in the heart of the famous Jumeirah district, GEMS Jumeirah Primary School offers a bespoke curriculum that is centred on the British curriculum and incorporates elements from other international teaching systems to create a diverse, well-rounded learning environment for its students.

Annual fees range from AED 40,865 to AED 51,511 for Foundation Year 1 going up to Year 6.

13. Victory Heights Primary School

Victory Heights Primary School

Since it was first established nearly 10 years ago, this is the first time that Victory Heights Primary School has achieved a ranking of ‘Outstanding’. This stands as a testament to the school’s willingness to go above and beyond in enhancing the student experience. The curriculum is varied, combining British educational standards with teaching practices from other school systems. Firmly established in the Victory Heights community, VHPS offers a fantastic opportunity for young minds to thrive and grow.

Annual fees at VHPS range from AED 36,576 for Foundation 1 to AED 49,877 for Year 6.

14. Dubai English Speaking School

Dubai English Speaking School

The history of Dubai English Speaking School predates the history of the UAE itself – since opening in 1963, it has always been among the city’s top echelon of British schools for students aged 3 to 11 years. In 2006, the Dubai English Speaking College was established as a dedicated centre of secondary education, and it should come as no surprise that both schools have been awarded with the rank of ‘Outstanding’.

Annual fees at Dubai English Speaking School start at AED 38,305, going up to AED 47,406. For Dubai English Speaking College the fees start at AEDF 73,708 and go up to AED 79,222 for the sixth form.