The United Arab Emirates (UAE) boasts a remarkable educational landscape, with over 500 foreign schools and more than 400,000 students enrolled. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the primary hubs for international schools in the UAE. While the majority of these schools are day schools, only a small percentage offer boarding facilities.
The education sector in the UAE is continuously expanding, with new foreign schools opening each year to meet the growing demand. For expats seeking the best international schools in Dubai, a comprehensive list can be explored to find the most suitable options for their children’s education.
The best international schools in Dubai are often recognized for their exceptional academic programs, high ratings from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and positive feedback from parents and faculty. These schools also offer a diverse range of co-curricular and enrichment opportunities to enhance students’ overall development. While I don’t have access to the specific list you mentioned, it’s advisable to refer to reputable sources or educational guides for an updated and comprehensive list of the best international schools in Dubai.
1. American School of Dubai; Number one international school in Dubai
The American School was founded in 1966 and is widely regarded as one of the top American schools in Dubai that do not charge tuition. Since it welcomes students from over 70 different countries, the school is multicultural.
In terms of nationality, the majority of his school’s faculty is American. There are 188 instructors and 53 TAs at this school, for a respectable ratio of 1 teacher per 10 students. The American School of Dubai (ASD) is an accredited institution that now offers lessons from Kindergarten (KG1) through High School (HS).
The American School of Dubai (ASD) follows a rigorous admissions process, where students are admitted after approval by the Admissions Committee and meeting the school’s standards. The school places a strong emphasis on academic success and aims to challenge students to perform at a level one year ahead of comparable schools in the United States.
ASD boasts a new, modern campus spanning 23 acres with a million square feet of state-of-the-art facilities. The campus is equipped with wireless internet access and was completed in 2010. These advanced facilities provide students with opportunities to explore their interests, pursue their passions, and engage in a conducive learning environment at ASD.
- Annual fees: AED 56,000–82,581
- Location: Al Barsha, Dubai
2. Clarion international school in Dubai
The Clarion School, established in 2016, is a prominent choice among top international schools in Dubai. Known for its excellent American education, the school adopts a progressive learning approach with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), providing students with a strong foundation for their future.
The unique educational approach at Clarion School aims to empower students to become confident and healthy individuals, setting them on a path towards success. The school offers a rigorous 11th and 12th-grade curriculum, enabling students to earn both a high school diploma and an IB Diploma, further enhancing their academic achievements and prospects.
The Clarion School in Dubai is supported by a team of 34 trained instructors, most of whom are American, along with 15 assistants, who collaborate to provide education to the students. The campus is renowned among parents in Dubai for its aesthetic appeal, often considered one of the most visually pleasing school campuses in the city.
The school’s premises blend elements of a spacious, ultra-modern family home and an elegant art museum. In addition, the outdoor area makes extensive use of natural materials for play equipment and landscaping, creating a harmonious and engaging environment for students to learn and explore.
- Annual fees: AED 43,000
- Location: Asayel Street – United Arab Emirates
3. Cambridge international school in Dubai
Cambridge International School (CIS), founded in 1983, is a well-established educational institution in Dubai. It is known for being one of the more affordable options among schools in the city. The student body at CIS is diverse, with representation from over 56 different countries.
While the majority of students at CIS are of Indian nationality (52%), there is also significant representation from other countries. This includes 17% of students from Pakistan, 7% from Sri Lanka, 5% from Egypt, and 3% from the Philippines. The multicultural composition of the student body contributes to a diverse and inclusive learning environment at Cambridge International School.
The facilities of Cambridge International School are extensive, covering an area of 200,000 square feet and divided into two sections with separate entrances. The school boasts impressive features such as four state-of-the-art science labs, IT labs, robotics facilities, and a coffee bar exclusively for students aged 16 and above. The learning environment is enhanced by 120 dynamic smartboards and free Wi-Fi access in all classrooms.
Additionally, the school offers amenities like a medical clinic and a theater with 850 seats. The outdoor section includes a swimming pool, a small soccer field, a larger football field, outdoor tennis and basketball courts, and a multifunctional Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) indoor and outdoor learning facility. These comprehensive facilities at Cambridge International School contribute to a well-rounded educational experience for its students.
- Annual fees: AED 22,000–34,000
- Location: Al Twar, Dubai
4. Deira international school in Dubai
Deira International School (DIS), founded in 2005, has established itself as a leading educational institution in Dubai. With a current enrollment of over 1,600 students from more than 80 countries, DIS provides a diverse and multicultural learning environment. Approximately one-fifth of the student body comprises native Emiratis.
To support the student body, DIS has a team of 182 teachers and 47 aides who contribute to the instructional process. The students at Deira International School are known for their respect and tolerance towards one another, creating a conducive atmosphere for learning and personal growth. These qualities contribute to a thriving educational environment at DIS.
Deira International School maintains high expectations for its students, striving to support their academic success and personal development. The school values parental involvement and seeks input from parents to ensure a collaborative approach to education. Situated in the heart of Dubai Festival City, the school enjoys a spacious 80,000-square-meter campus, which accommodates state-of-the-art scientific labs, libraries, an IB center, and interactive media facilities, among other amenities.
While tuition prices have increased in recent years, Deira International School’s fees are positioned at the upper end of the scale. Annual tuition fees have consistently kept pace with or exceeded the inflation rate. For instance, Early Year 1 tuition stands at AED 39,938, rising to AED 56,466 in Year 7, and reaching a peak of AED 80,465 in Years 12 and 13.
- Annual fees: AED 39,938–80,465
- Location: Festival City, Dubai
5. Jebel Ali international school in Dubai
Jebel Ali School, established in 1977, initially served as a primary school for expatriate children and has evolved into a comprehensive international institution. It offers a complete British education, including the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and Advanced Level Examinations (A Levels).
The school has consistently achieved an Outstanding rating in the KHDA inspections, including the most recent one conducted in 2018-2019. With the new KHDA policy streamlining inspections for schools with Very Good and Outstanding ratings into a single-day process, further termite inspections have not been conducted. Jebel Ali School’s continued excellence is evident in its ongoing commitment to providing high-quality education.
Jebel Ali School follows a curriculum that aligns with the English Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the English National Curriculum. The Foundation classrooms provide an introduction to the EYFS curriculum, while students in higher grades receive instruction based on the English National Curriculum.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which includes Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 courses, children engage in various activities that foster their development. These activities encompass play, exploration, active learning, creativity, and critical thinking. Through these approaches, students in the EYFS stage learn and grow while building a strong foundation for their future education.
- Annual fees: AED 45,891–74,950
- Location: Damac Hills (Akoya), Dubai
6. Horizon English international school in Dubai
Horizon English School, established in 1989, holds the distinction of being one of the founding members of the British Schools Middle East (BSME) network. With a current enrollment of just over a thousand students, the school has experienced a significant increase compared to the previous school year.
The student body at Horizon English School represents approximately 70 different countries, with the United Kingdom being the largest single nationality. The majority of the school’s 69 full-time faculty members hail from the United Kingdom, bringing a wealth of expertise to the educational environment. Additionally, the school employs 38 support staff members, including learning support assistants, to provide comprehensive support to students and ensure their overall development.
Horizon English School follows the English National Curriculum, which serves as the foundation for teaching various subjects including Mathematics, Science, Islamic Studies, Music, I.C.T., Physical Education, and Swimming. Instruction in these core disciplines is conducted in English.
The school is situated in a prime location in Al Safa, neighboring Safa Park and the Gulf News headquarters. It enjoys a magnificent and spacious campus that offers a peaceful and tranquil environment, shielded from the surrounding residential noise. Despite the high demand for expansion, the initial plans to build a secondary school on the same premises have been abandoned.
- Annual fees: AED 40,872–54,770
- Location: Al Safa, Dubai
7. GEMS American international school in Dubai
GEMS Dubai American Academy is widely regarded as the top choice for students seeking education aligned with the Common Core State Standards, which are prevalent in the United States. The school boasts a large faculty of over 450 highly-trained members and a student population of 2700.
Renowned for its American curriculum, GEMS Dubai American Academy holds the distinction of being the only school in Dubai to achieve an “Outstanding” grade since 2011. This recognition underscores the school’s commitment to academic excellence and its consistent delivery of high-quality education to its students.
GEMS Dubai American Academy’s building is thoughtfully organized, with each level dedicated to specific grade ranges. The ground floor accommodates kindergarten through second grade, while grades 3-5 are located on the first story. The second floor houses grades 6-8, and the top floor is designated for grades 9-12.
At the highest level of the building, high school students have access to their study rooms and lounge. The school provides students with a beautiful environment and modern facilities, including state-of-the-art laboratories, libraries, theaters, and sports arenas. These amenities contribute to the overall development and enjoyment of students at GEMS Dubai American Academy.
- Annual fees: AED 61,190–86,260
- Location: Al Barsha, Dubai
8. Dubai British international school in Dubai
In accordance with the English National Curriculum, the Dubai British School educates young men and women from three to eighteen. About 1,171 kids call the British school in Dubai home right now. This school is among the best British schools in Dubai.
The requirements of the students and their education are met by a staff of 84 skilled educators, including the principal and other senior leadership team members. Additionally, the school employs thirty adjunct faculty, including a physician, a guidance counselor, and two nurses.
GEMS Dubai American Academy is committed to providing a high-quality education to its students through rigorous standards and an engaging approach to learning.
Although the school may be modest in size and lacks accessible green spaces, it maximizes the use of its indoor and outdoor areas. The primary classrooms occupy three stories, while the basement is utilized for theater-related events. The ground level is home to the main library and classrooms, ensuring convenient access for students. Despite space limitations, the school effectively utilizes its available resources to create a conducive learning environment.
- Annual fees: AED 58,000–75,000
- Location: Jumeirah Park, Dubai
9. Dubai College international school in Dubai
Dubai College (DC), an early adopter of the British curriculum, takes pride in its academic standing and was honored as the International School of the Year 2019 at the Independent Schools of the Year 2019 awards in London.
Referred to affectionately as “DC” by its students, the school fosters a culture of hard work and dedication to achieve success. Despite its less modern facilities, Dubai College is highly sought after, resulting in a substantial waiting list for admission. The school’s strong reputation and commitment to academic excellence contribute to its popularity among students and parents.
Dubai College (DC) is an excellent choice for parents who prioritize education, particularly for middle and high school students. The school caters to students in Years 7-13, offering a curriculum aligned with the English National Curriculum.
In the twelfth and eleventh grades, students undertake 10 GCSEs and a short information technology course. Upon admission to the Sixth Form, students who have achieved a minimum of five B grades at GCSE level have the opportunity to specialize in their education by selecting four courses. This allows them to focus on their areas of interest and pursue a more tailored academic path.
- Annual fees: AED 82,482–93,999
- Location: Al Sufouh, Dubai
10. Repton international school in Dubai
Repton School Dubai, established in 2007, currently has an enrollment of approximately 1,770 students. The school provides a curriculum that is based on the UK’s national curriculum, catering to students from FS1 through Year 11. For students in Grades 12 and 13, Repton School Dubai offers the IB Diploma and IB career-focused programs.
While the majority of students at Repton School Dubai are of British nationality, there is a growing minority (19.7%) of Emirati students, with over 350 Emirati students currently enrolled. The school also has a dedicated SEN (Special Educational Needs) staff to support and assist 71 disabled students, ensuring an inclusive and supportive learning environment.
Repton School Dubai boasts a favorable instructor-to-student ratio of 1:10, indicating a well-resourced educational environment. The school has a team of 165 skilled teachers and 50 teaching assistants, ensuring that students receive individual attention and support.
The campus of Repton School Dubai is equipped with a wide range of high-quality amenities. Spanning over 1.3 million square feet, it stands as one of the largest educational facilities in the Middle East. These well-appointed facilities contribute to creating a conducive learning environment for students at Repton School Dubai.
- Annual fees: AED 52,863–95,000
- Location: Nad al Sheba, Dubai
11. Woodlem Park international school in Dubai
Woodlem Park School Dubai has gained recognition as a notable educational institution in the region. It has received a good rating from the KHDA, signifying significant progress and achievement.
The school’s program is designed with the goal of cultivating a new generation of globally aware and environmentally conscious individuals who are committed to the sustainable future of our planet. The school provides a conducive learning environment that promotes enjoyment, originality, practicality, and inclusivity, enabling students to thrive on multiple levels.
The Woodlem Park school now enrolls students in pre-K through Grade 10. However, only transfers from UAE institutions can attend Grades 9 and 10. With 58 full-time professors and 25 adjunct instructors, this institution has a staff-to-student ratio of 1:11.
Built in the Al Qusais Education Zone, the school, is a massive, cutting-edge structure. Reviews from students and their parents indicate that this is one of the best schools in Al Qusais Dubai.
- Annual fees: AED 12,000–23,000
- Location: Al Qusais, Dubai
12. Swiss International Scientific in Dubai
The Swiss International Scientific School, established in 2015, offers exceptional education to students with a focus on the Swiss educational system. What sets this school apart is its unique dual-language International Baccalaureate (IB) course, where students can study in English and choose between German or French as their second language.
With students from approximately 70 countries, the school has a diverse international community. While the majority of students come from Europe, there is representation from various nations, including France, Switzerland, Russia, Canada, Germany, the United States, Great Britain, and Italy. This multicultural environment fosters a rich learning experience and promotes cultural exchange among students.
The Swiss International Scientific School accommodates around 900 students in its Early Years and Primary Years Programme, with an additional 600 students enrolled in the Secondary portion. The school demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity, with approximately 120 students classified as having a disability and 40 identified as highly gifted.
Over the years, the school has made substantial improvements to its infrastructure. Notably, it boasts a state-of-the-art sports complex that includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an aerobics studio, and weight training facilities. These facilities enhance the overall learning experience and promote physical well-being among students.
- Annual fees: AED 53,000–99,000
- Location: Dubai Healthcare City Phase 2, Dubai
13. Dubai English Speaking international school
Dubai English Speaking School, established in 2005 and relocated in 2007, holds a prestigious reputation in Dubai’s education landscape. Its grand opening was graced by Princess Haya of Jordan. Each year, approximately 150 students graduate from the school, with many pursuing further education in renowned institutions in the United Kingdom, including several prestigious Russell Group universities, as well as universities in the United States.
Since the 2012–13 academic year, the school has consistently received the highest rating of Outstanding from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Notably, Dubai English Speaking School is one of the few non-profit schools in Dubai to achieve this exceptional rating, along with its older sister institution.
The overwhelming positive feedback from parents in the School Survey reflects the strong sense of community, dedication of staff, academic achievements, and welcoming atmosphere at Dubai English Speaking School. It is evident that these aspects have garnered the full support and satisfaction of the school community. Such consistent positive feedback highlights the school’s commitment to providing a nurturing and inclusive environment for its students and fostering their academic and extracurricular accomplishments.
- Annual fees: AED 69,865–75,092
- Location: Dubai Academic City, Dubai
14. Jumeirah College international school in Dubai
GEMS Jumeirah College (JC) has established itself as one of the top schools in Dubai since its establishment in 1999. Despite the school’s ongoing efforts to expand and improve its facilities, a proposed relocation faced significant opposition from parents, leading to a reconsideration of the original plan by GEMS Education. The school’s commitment to addressing the needs and concerns of its parent community is evident in this decision.
GEMS Jumeirah College focuses on preparing students for the GCSE examinations in Year 11 and offers pathways to GCE Advanced and Advanced Placement levels for further education opportunities. While the school does not currently offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, it is updating its curriculum to provide students with a broader skill set that aligns with the requirements of academia and the workforce.
- Annual fees: AED 72,988–91,235
- Location: Al Safa, Dubai
15. Jumeirah English Speaking international school in Dubai
Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS Jumeirah) has a long-standing history of providing British curriculum education in Dubai. Since its establishment in 1975, the school has grown to serve over 2,050 students across its original site and its modern campus in Arabian Ranches. Located in a desirable area between Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim, the school offers a convenient location for families and is situated near Safa Park.
Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) provides a unique learning environment with its single-story buildings and age-specific clusters, reminiscent of an authentic Australian rural school. The school’s expansive lawn offers ample space for various sports and games. Despite not being the newest school in Dubai, JESS is committed to offering a cutting-edge curriculum that focuses on personalized learning, online collaboration, and preparing students for future careers and college.
- Annual fees: AED 39,837–49,230
- Location: Al Safa, Dubai
16. Kings international school in Dubai
Kings School Dubai, situated in Umm Suqeim, has consistently received the highest rating of “Outstanding” from the KHDA for six consecutive years. The school welcomes students aged 3 to 13, offering an education based on the English National Curriculum from kindergarten to eighth grade. The school’s pedagogical approach emphasizes active student involvement, authentic learning experiences, and fostering initiative and responsibility in education.
Kings School Dubai was founded with the aim of providing a nurturing educational environment for children to thrive. The school offers a range of extracurricular activities and after-school programs, facilitated by both in-house and external staff. The Umm Suqeim 3 campus accommodates six kindergarten classes with twenty students per class and five classes for first through sixth grades with twenty-four students per class.
- Annual fees: AED 43,619–66,383
- Location: Umm Suqeim, Dubai
17. GEMS Wellington international school in Dubai
GEMS Wellington International School, located in Al Sufouh, is a coeducational school catering to students aged three to eighteen. The school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum for preschool and kindergarten and the English National Curriculum for grades 1 to 12. It has consistently received the “Outstanding” rating from KHDA since 2009. The school’s expansive eight-acre campus is a notable feature and source of pride.
GEMS Wellington International School excels in evaluating students and providing a stimulating academic environment. The school utilizes modern technology including WiFi, interactive whiteboards, and audio-visual and multimedia projectors in classrooms to facilitate the dissemination of up-to-date knowledge to students. These resources enhance the learning experience and contribute to a dynamic educational environment.
- Annual fees: AED 43,941–95,597
- Location: Al Sufouh, Dubai
18. Dubai International Academy
Dubai International Academy (DIA) is a prestigious IB World School offering education from kindergarten through high school. With a diverse student population representing over 80 countries, DIA provides a global learning environment. The school’s focus on the International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, including the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma programs, prepares students for success in higher education. DIA has an impressive track record of students gaining acceptance to elite colleges such as Princeton and Yale, reflecting the school’s commitment to academic excellence and student achievement.
The school promotes a balanced education by providing several extra-curricular activities for students, such as the Eco Club and the Model United Nations, as well as art, music, and sports. The school is considered to be among the best schools in Al Barsha – Dubai.
The cost of attending DIA depends on the student’s current grade level. Tuition for Kindergarten is AED 45,604 per year, while Grade 13 is AED 79,995 per year. Students who speak English as a second language (ESL) and need academic assistance with the language pay an extra AED 4,500 each academic year.
- Annual fees: AED 41,500–75,470
- Location: Al Barsha 1, Dubai
19. Nord Anglia International School in Dubai
Located in Al Barsha South, Nord Anglia School offers a comprehensive education to students in grades 6-12. Alongside the English National Curriculum, the school also provides the renowned International Baccalaureate Program. Nord Education, the school’s parent company, operates 35 schools worldwide, showcasing their expertise in education. Nord Anglia School focuses on language learning with a range of languages offered, including French, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic.
Nord Anglia International School Dubai has a total enrollment of 1,745 students across its primary, secondary, and early childhood programs. With a faculty of 161 teachers and 90 teaching assistants, the school ensures manageable class sizes with a maximum of 20 students per classroom. The school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including robotics, sports, arts, and community service, providing students with a well-rounded educational experience.
- Annual fees: AED 63,447–95,946
- Location: Al Barsha, Dubai
20. Dunecrest American international school in Dubai
Dunecrest American School, established in 2018, provides a comprehensive American education focused on empowering students to develop their skills, pursue their interests, and make a positive impact on their communities and the world. With a faculty of 61 instructors, 15 teaching assistants, and two counselors, the school ensures personalized attention and support for its students. The lower teacher turnover rate indicates a high level of teacher satisfaction within the school.
Dunecrest American School, an Esol Education property, is part of a prestigious global education provider with a long-standing reputation. The school follows a curriculum that combines the Creative Curriculum for PK and KG, the AERO Plus Common Core Standards for grades 1-10, and offers the IB Diploma Programme for grades 11 and 12. With its diverse educational offerings and affiliation with Esol Education, Dunecrest provides a strong foundation for students’ academic and personal development.
- Annual fees: AED 46,000–89,000
- Location: Al Barari, Dubai
21. Emirates international school in Dubai
Emirates International School (EIS) Meadows, established in 2002, is one of the pioneering educational institutions in the Emirates Hills area. The school benefits from its location in the diverse Meadows neighborhood, allowing it to offer a comprehensive range of International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. With its longstanding presence and commitment to quality education, EIS Meadows has become a trusted choice for families seeking an inclusive and globally focused learning environment.
Emirates International School (EIS) Meadows and Jumeirah offer a comprehensive International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, providing students with a seamless education from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) through the Diploma Programme (DP). The school takes pride in its qualified faculty, many of whom hail from the United Kingdom, and their commitment to delivering high-quality instruction. While the annual staff turnover rate at international schools in Dubai is within the average range, EIS remains focused on providing a stable and nurturing learning environment for its students.
- Annual fees: AED 26,802–79,488
- Location: The Meadows, Dubai
22. Dwight international school in Dubai
Following its separation from Bloom Education, Dwight School Dubai has moved to its permanent campus in Dubai Sports City. The new campus offers excellent sports facilities, including a 25-meter swimming pool, outdoor courts, and a full-sized indoor basketball court. Furthermore, the school benefits from its association with Dubai Sports City, providing students with access to a wide range of athletic facilities and expert coaches.
Dwight School Dubai offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, covering all grade levels from Early Years to Grade 12. The curriculum includes the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Diploma Programme (DP). Students can start their IB journey from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 2 and continue through to Grade 12.
- Annual fees: AED 62,700–97,850
- Location: Dubai Sports City, Dubai
Here is our list of the best international schools in Dubai for expats. If you’re an Indian ex-pat living in Dubai and want your child to attend a school that follows the Indian curriculum, you should check into the top Indian schools in Dubai.
Expats from the United States and the United Kingdom are in the same boat when locating appropriate educational materials from their home countries. What is clear, however, is that your children will get an excellent education at some of the top international schools in Dubai for expats.
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