schools in dubai

If you have recently moved to Dubai and you are looking for some friendly and highest-rated best schools in Dubai for your kids, you have come to the right place. Down below, we have compiled an extensive list of private schools in Dubai that will be fitting to your and your little one’s needs. Choosing a school for your kid is usually an anxiety inducing experience and with this list (which is approved by KHDA school rating), we wish to ease this process for you a little. 

What are the best schools in Dubai? If you ask about the best schools in Dubai, we are proud to say that the list is growing immensely. Dubai, being a huge metropolitan city and the cultural capital of the world has a huge number of schools which cater to the needs of every citizen or expat residing in it. In the latest reports launched by Dubai’s Knowledge and Development Authority (often abbreviated as KHDA), the number of ‘Outstanding’ schools in Dubai remained at 17, with 38 schools now rated Very Good, an increase of 7 compared with 2018-19. Moreover, in January 2020, KHDA released some information regarding the student count. According to their information, there are around 295,148 students who study in the private schools in Dubai. This figure indicates an enrollment growth of 2.1% as compared to the previous year. Further division of these students entails 143,040 girls and 152,108 boys, including 34,452 Emiratis.(for more info and figures you can visit:

With regards to the UAE’s remarkably wide scope of occupants’ identities, students come from somewhere in the range of 173 unique ethnicities, with the biggest identity bunches being 98,527 Indian, trailed by 34,452 UAE nationals, 22,668 Pakistanis, 17,238 Egyptians, and 13,594 students from the UK. The school with the most extensive scope of identities in the city was GEMS Wellington Academy DSO with students from 103 nations. There were a sum of 208 schools toward the beginning of the 2019-20 scholastic year, including three new ones (albeit four schools shut). The usage of accessible limits – that is the take up of spots inside the schools – was 81%. Around 79,000 students concentrate in Indian educational program schools (where there has been level development in the course of recent years) and 49,000 students concentrate in US educational program schools (where there has been an approx. 1% development in the previous 5 years). Nearly 18,000 students go to IB educational program schools – an educational program that has developed rapidly from 2015-16, by 5.7% in the course of recent years. 

In any case, it is as yet the UK educational plan that keeps on becoming most rapidly (an expansion in student numbers from approx. 80,000 out of 2015-16 to more than 109,000 students in 2019-20, and development of 7% in the course of recent years). Strangely, there has likewise been solid development in French educational program schools, with an increment in practically 5% of students in the course of recent years, however supreme numbers (approx. 6,500) remain similarly low. 

As indicated by the emirate’s schooling controller, in January 2020, 25,830 of Dubai’s 295,148 students (8.75%) went to Outstanding schools, 58,119 (19.7%) went to Very Good schools, while 113,691 (38.5%) went to schools considered to be Good. That implies more than 66% of students (66.9%) were concentrating in schools evaluated Good or better. The volume of good schools in the emirate ought to be of extraordinary solace to existing occupants, just as those moving in. There is a decision, and an expanding measure of it. Also, there is an undeniably wide scope of charge choices across all educational programs. In this article we have inclined intensely on the KHDA’s Dubai School Inspection Bureau reports, so it is critical to see how they are arranged. The school is required to set up an activity plan tending to any suggestions for additional turn of events, which is then utilized as a benchmark for the following year’s inspections.

Levels of Performance Ratings: 

Each of the schools listed above is rated according to the inspection visits of KHDA. These ratings are based on KHDA’s annual inspection visits to the schools. KHDA school rating has six levels. Their performance evaluation not only takes the academics into account but also focuses on the extracurriculars and community growth as well. These levels are given below:

Outstanding schools – Quality of performance substantially exceeds the expectation of the UAE;

Very Good schools – Quality of performance exceeds the expectation of the UAE

Good schools – Quality of performance meets the expectation of the UAE (This is the expected level for every school in the UAE)

Acceptable schools – Quality of performance meets the minimum level of quality required in the UAE (This is the minimum level for every school in the UAE)

Weak schools – Quality of performance is below the expectation of the UAE

Very Weak schools – Quality of performance is significantly below the expectation of the UAE

Why you should filter reports

The KHDA rates schools dependent on its own weighting framework. In the 2014/15 Guide to schools, for instance, it noticed its next round of reports would zero in on Special Educational Needs arrangement, and the center subjects of Maths and English. With extreme PISA and TIMMS focuses on, the KHDA’s reports in 2016/17 set more emphasis than any other time on scholarly outcomes in outside assessments. For resulting reports, precise evaluation of students and Value Added benchmark testing has gone to the front. The examination group will obviously keep on taking a gander at the Ministry of Education prerequisites for Islamic and social investigations, Arabic as a first and second language and Moral Education. As a parent it is possible that not everything the KHDA utilizes in its general rating, you will consider significant – for non-Muslims the weighting given to Islamic Studies, for instance, may not be considered so imperative. Nor may you be so worried about Arabic as a subsequent language (which is compulsory), albeit this is without question getting progressively more imperative to the controllers. In the event that you do just gander at the top line rating, you could be barring schools conveying extraordinary training in those spaces you consider significant.

Further reading:

This goes without saying that the year 2019-2020 has been a year like no other. Amid the global pandemic of COVID 19, many endeavours of KHDA’s annual school inspections were sidelined and disrupted in various ways. This includes but is not limited to the publication of the results and reports, which were finally published in July 2020 – 3 months later than usual. The KHDA had already announced in September 2019 that schools that had been rated Outstanding and Very Good would not receive the full inspection in 2019-20 and would retain their rating, based on a one-day slimmed down version of the inspection. Therefore, as a result, a total of 17 schools retained their Outstanding rating. Schools that score an overall Outstanding rating are undoubtedly some of the most sought-after school places in Dubai. The list given below encapsulates all the details regarding the outstanding schools in Dubai as per KHDA school rating. 

Table of Outstanding Schools

School NameMain Curriculum2019-20 overall rating2018-2019 overall rating2017-2018 overall ratingKHDA Approved Fees 2019-20
Dubai CollegeUKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding82463 – 93399
Dubai English Speaking CollegeUKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding79392 – 85332
Jumeirah CollegeUKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding72988 – 91235
GEMS Dubai American AcademyUS/IBOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding61190 – 86260
Kings School Al BarshaUK/IBOutstandingOutstandingVery good56322 – 106404
Repton SchoolUK/IBOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding52863 – 92000
Dubai British SchoolUKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding49026 – 73920
GEMS Wellington International SchoolUK/IBOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding43941 – 95597
Kings School Dubai (Primary)UKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding43619 – 66383
GEMS Jumeirah Primary SchoolUKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding40865 – 51511
Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian RanchesUK/IBOutstandingOutstandingVery good40242 – 94805
Jumeirah English Speaking School (Primary)UKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding39838 – 49232
GEMS Royal Dubai School (Primary)UKOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding38331 – 48331
Dubai English Speaking School (Primary)UKOutstandingOutstandingVery good37334 – 46204
Horizon English School (Primary)UKOutstandingOutstandingVery good29126 – 40792
GEMS Modern AcademyIndian (CISCE)OutstandingOutstandingOutstanding28646 – 60635 
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Primary Oud MethaFrenchOutstandingOutstandingOutstanding26922 – 26922

Apart from these, KHDA rated a further 38 schools Very Good. Here, however, there were some new entrants, with IB curriculum Emirates International School Meadows, Indian curriculum Ambassador School, and UK curriculum Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail, Hartland International School, MSB (Al Ameen) School, and Safa British School achieving the KHDA’s second highest rating. All these schools have great potential to reach an outstanding rating. Moreover, they may already be outstanding for your child since every child has specific needs that schools are duly equipped to cater to. All will have many outstanding features, and will have fallen short of Outstanding status because of one one or two key criteria. This could be Arabic/Social Studies, SEN support, Value Added Performance testing and so on. However, we strongly believe that your choice of school will be significantly enhanced should you understand these criteria and be able to weigh them in importance to the needs of your child.

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Table of Very Good Schools

Despite assurances from the KHDA that schools can achieve a rating of Very Good or even Outstanding, none has ever achieved this on first inspection. Again, the highest first time rating for any school this year was Good, achieved by North London Collegiate School. 

School NameMain Curriculum2019-20 overall rating2018-2019 overall rating2017-2018 overall ratingKHDA Approved Fees 2020-21
Ambassador KindergartenIndian (CISCE)Very goodVery goodVery good20108 – 26808
Ambassador SchoolIndian (CISCE)Very goodGoodGood20904 – 42298
Deira International SchoolUK/IBVery goodVery goodVery good40657 – 81913
Delhi Private SchoolIndian (CBSE)Very goodVery goodVery good10298 – 14416
Dubai British School Jumeirah ParkUKVery goodGoodGood76553 – 100000
Dubai International Academy Emirates HillsIBVery goodVery goodVery good40988 – 72625
Emirates International School MeadowsIBVery goodGoodGood26802 – 79488
Foremarke SchoolUKVery goodVery goodVery good58500 – 83000
GEMS New Millennium School Indian (CBSE)Very goodGoodGood21397 – 31025
GEMS Our Own English High SchoolIndian (CBSE)Very goodVery goodVery good7527 – 15313
GEMS Wellington Academy Al KhailUKVery GoodGoodGood57635 – 101515
GEMS Wellington Academy DSOUK/IBVery goodVery goodVery good37296 – 84219
GEMS Wellington Primary SchoolUKVery goodVery goodVery good43398 – 54691
GEMS World AcademyIBVery goodVery goodVery good65747 – 114128
Hartland International SchoolUK/IBVery goodGoodGood49750 – 87000
Jebel Ali SchoolUKVery goodVery goodVery good45891 – 83000
JSS International SchoolIndian (CISCE)Very goodGoodGood15483 – 40401
JSS Private SchoolIndian (CBSE)Very goodGoodGood11228 – 24384
Jumeira Baccalaureate SchoolIBVery goodVery goodVery good59356 – 89034
Kings School Nad Al ShebaUKVery goodVery goodGood53891 – 79478
Lycee Francais International (AFLEC)FrenchVery goodVery goodVery good26922 – 56936 
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou FrenchVery goodVery goodOutstanding35021 – 48093
Lycee Libanais Francophone Prive-DubaiFrenchVery goodVery goodVery good24622 – 52764
MSB Al Ameen SchoolUKVery goodGoodGood23986 – 35512
Nord Anglia International SchoolUKVery goodVery goodVery good63447 – 95946
Raffles International SchoolUKVery goodVery goodGood31485 – 81248
Raffles World AcademyUK/IBVery goodVery goodVery good31013 – 86836
Ranches Primary SchoolUKVery goodVery goodGood46630 – 56992
Regent International SchoolUKVery goodVery goodGood45373 – 95811
Safa British SchoolUKVery goodGoodGood27389 – 46315
Safa Community SchoolUKVery goodVery goodVery good49700 – 81656
Sunmarke SchoolUKVery goodVery goodGood56992 – 98441
The Indian High SchoolIndian (CBSE)Very goodVery goodVery good5525 – 10465
The Millennium SchoolIndian (CBSE)Very goodVery goodVery good16898 – 24849
The Winchester SchoolUKVery goodVery goodVery good13822 – 30835
Universal American School US/IBVery goodVery goodVery good37330 – 75659
Uptown International SchoolIBVery goodVery goodVery good58181 – 89183
Victory Heights Primary SchoolUKVery goodVery goodVery good36576 – 49877

Schools rated Good by the KHDA

If you are currently researching a school for your child, note that Dubai’s Outstanding and Very Good schools have traditionally been run at or near capacity (although with increasing competition this is less the case than at any time in the past). Very Good and Good Dubai schools will also be targeted by parents and you should broaden your search to schools on this list. This is NOT about second or third best. Again, quite often the KHDA will mark down schools for criteria that may not be relevant to you. It is important to read beyond the overall KHDA ranking. Some schools have been rated Good for years, and a lower fee structure can impede the improvement of their facilities or campus. However, if you’re looking for a school strong academically but without the sparkling facilities, these schools can often be a good option. (See here for more information.) It was predominantly schools due to be inspected for the first time (five in total) who missed their visit from the KHDA’s DSIB inspection team as a result of the interruption by school closures due to Covid 19. A further 13 schools were not yet due to be inspected. However, since the DSIB teams make regular visits to new schools prior to the first inspection taking place in the third year of operation, parents should not be concerned if a school they are considering has not yet received the regulator’s rating. In light of the suspension of face-to-face learning in March 2020 and the move to distance learning, the Regulators in the UAE, led by the Ministry of Education, initiated a Distance Learning Evaluation process for all public and private schools which commenced in April 2020. In results issued in July 2020, the KHDA claimed that Distance Learning had been largely a success with over two-thirds of schools offering a fully-developed online learning experience. Each school was rated as offering either ‘Developed’, ‘Partially Developed’ or ‘Not Developed’ on-line provision. Every school rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Good’ by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau in the 2019/20 academic year was found to offer ‘Developed’ distance learning. 80% of schools rated ‘Good’ and 26% of schools rated ‘Acceptable’ also offered ‘Developed’ distance learning provision.

Given the fact that parents still have the option at many schools to continue with distance learning, at least for the Winter term, and the possibility of a return to this mode of teaching for all schools in the event of an upturn in Covid cases, this evaluation process was clearly an important one.

It is Not All About The KHDA: Other Inspections and Affiliations

Despite the fact that KHDa inspections are necessary for private schools in Dubai as well as international schools in Dubai. But the inspection and rating is not limited to them. Schools can also choose ‘voluntary’ accreditation and inspections linked to their curricula ‘home country. Usually, these inspections often emphasize different indicators and analyze diverse variants of the institution. These indicators include cultural orientation etc which can be seen by parents in addition to the KHDa inspection report as well.

International schools in Dubai such as British schools can choose to get inspected by the British Schools Overseas. These overseas inspections send OFSTED trained inspectors within the interval of five years. To find out more about the BSO process see here and for UAE schools most recent BSO inspection summaries see here.

Moreover, every French school in Dubai has to apply to become affiliated with the French Ministry of Education. This process entails a detailed audit on the application. Once the schools are licensed, they are inspected by the French government on an annual basis. However, the important thing to note here is that this process is not optional. However given all the French schools’ KHDA ratings (mainly Outstanding to Very Good), this would certainly appear to be no bad thing.

In recent years, US curriculum schools were requested by the KHDA to be affiliated with an approved US accreditation body. The preferred choice is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, (NEASC). However a few schools have already been associated with accreditation with other bodies (notably the Middle States Association).

Comparing Dubai Schools Internationally

The best Dubai schools are excellent, with any semblance of Dubai College, Dubai English Speaking College, Jumeirah College, JESS Arabian Ranches, Kings School Dubai and Al Barsha, etc contrasting well and the absolute best non-public schools in the UK – at any rate as far as scholarly outcomes. All in all nonetheless, the UAE has some best approaches on global benchmarks like the PISA test. This is changing anyway with especially Dubai schools starting to gain some genuine ground. The KHDA distributes PISA results which show consistent improvement in the course of recent years. 

There is, notwithstanding, a bay between the best performing and most exceedingly awful performing schools, and this degree of detail – for example which are the schools conveying – is not delivered to the general population. We do know anyway that IB and UK educational program schools are scoring essentially higher than their friends and are as of now surrounding the benchmarks set in the UAE for 2021. Better in these tests is reflected in the appraisals of schools in the UAE by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau. 66% of Outstanding schools in the emirate are either UK or IB schools. 

Note: nonetheless, that this is not really to do with the educational plan. UK and IB schools will in general be the most costly, charge the most elevated expenses, and thus are the most all around supported schools in Dubai.

Exam Results

Not the most important but nonetheless important way to analyze the performance of schools in Dubai is to check their results. These results and their comparison with both domestic and international schools in Dubai can help the parents narrow down the options and choose the best school for their kid. This system has worked well internationally especially in the UK Baccalaureate curriculum schools – although the IB organisation frowns on using the Diploma for international comparison. 

On the other hand, for Indian schools, their local modes of examination i.e CBSE and CISCE results have never been considered important. The reason behind this is that Indian universities do not base their admissions on CBSE and CISCE to assess the competence of a student. The same applies for US universities which offer places before exams are taken.

For GCSE, A Level and IB, guardians likewise need to draw a differentiation among specific and comprehensive schools. In Dubai, Dubai College is the solitary genuine particular school scholastically, and its outcomes mirror this. On the off chance that you enlist scholastically arranged understudies, you will get solid scholarly outcomes. Numerous comprehensive schools say that Value added is the main measurement. This is the distinction between the extended score of an understudy upon entrance, and what the individual gets in light of the fact that (in any event part of the way) of the work put in by the school. Shockingly, this sort of information is perplexing and hard to analyze across schools.

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All in all, the norm of schools in Dubai is expanding each year. A thorough way to deal with schools’ tasks, accreditation and review has guaranteed that norms are improving. Regardless of whether a school keeps up a similar KHDA rating for a long time, this does not imply that upgrades have not happened – a remarkable converse indeed, since the requests of the controller have likewise developed and keep on doing as such. As well as perusing the audits on, we in every case firmly encourage guardians to really expound of the examination reports – which can be found under the Inspection report tab over each survey – to look at the WSA Experience, which is our very own investigation interaction that we embrace by our OFSTED prepared group, and to look at the Parent Feedback from our studies which can likewise be found on the survey pages. Choosing a new school for your child is indeed a nerve wrecking task. We wish that this list eased your nerves a little bit. We wish you and your children the best of luck for their school year ahead.

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