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February 26, 2017

Delhi Private School, The Gardens, Jebel Ali

“In the business of education, you must focus on quality. Schools must not be run for profits, and whatever you earn from the school must be invested in increasing the salaries of teachers.

I believe in providing value education and holistic development of the child at an affordable cost.

I can tell you that if I were to double my fees, I wouldn’t lose a single student because that is the kind of standard we have set.” Dinesh C. Kothari, Pro-Vice Chairman, Delhi Private School – Dubai (KT)

“The USP of the school is our deliberate focus on encouraging students to have a moral compass: to have a sensibility greater than themselves and to have a philanthropic [...]

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February 25, 2017

GEMS Our Own English High School, Al Warqa’a 3

“The Our Own School was the goose that laid the golden egg for us.” Sunny Varkey, Chairman, GEMS Education.

“GEMS ‘Our Own’ moulds its students into confident, articulate and compassionate leaders who collaborate with others. We add value, not only to their wellbeing, but also to the wider global community. We constantly endeavour to achieve our vision to be a learning community that provides opportunities for all children to excel in their chosen field, respect their culture, celebrate diversity – and become leaders for a better world.” Thomas Mathew. Principal. GEMS Our Own English School

In its second year as one of an elite number of KHDA “Very Good” schools [...]

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September 23, 2016

Merryland International School, Shabiya 9, Musaffah

Updated November 2016

““At Merryland, we celebrate the wedding of traditional forms of education with white hot technology. But we do this bearing in mind the universal truth that the ultimate aim of education is to form men and women of character who shun evil and fear God. We stand by Victor Hugo in this regard: “When we open a school, we close a prison.” Susheela George. Founder. Merryland International School.

It is difficult not to be inspired by the founder of Merryland. It’s not a strange place to start a story, because if a school is founded, as is the case here, by an owner driven entirely by a care for children and their future, there is simply no better [...]

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September 4, 2016

Dubai British School, Springs 3, Emirates Hills

Updated March 2017

“As Principal and a parent of 3 children at the school, I value DBS as a happy school above all else, made up of happy people – happy to be respected, valued, and appreciated. We give every child the opportunity to succeed – and in a way that is meaningful to them.”

Brendon Fulton, Principal, Dubai British School

“I feel proud to be part of a school where students, parents and colleagues alike enjoy – and are happy – to come to school.

At its heart Dubai British School is a community; a community where everyone is valued and each of us contributes, in our own way, towards making this the extraordinarily special [...]

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June 8, 2016

Al Ain International School, Al Nayadat, Al Ain

Al Ain International School is quite extraordinary: It is an exceptionally good school by any standards, but it achieves this in ways that you have to experience to really appreciate just what has been achieved for children – and what they achieve for each other, their community and the school.

This is one of those schools that is resolutely not about numbers.

Our sister site,, has long campaigned for schools to calculate “value-added”, in simple terms, what a school achieves with its children from where they start on entering a school. Many schools will advertise themselves on the basis of stellar examination results – but this is less of an [...]

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June 6, 2016

The Winchester School – Jebel Ali, The Gardens, Jebel Ali Village

What a wonderful, extraordinary school. It is a rare thing to be able to be so positive about a school that many parents will simply not have heard of, this partly because it (confusingly) shares a name with another very different GEMS school, GEMS Winchester- Dubai (the poorest performing of all GEMS schools). The two schools could not be further apart.

Where to begin? First, this is a big school. With 3,583 students, The Winchester School- Jebel Ali (WSJA) may strike alarm bells with some parents. The logistics of managing this number of children – with a role that dwarfs the size of many companies, would be testing of the skills of any leadership team. But Winchester [...]

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June 5, 2016

Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé-Dubai, Al Muhaisnah 4

Founded in 2003, the Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé (LLFP) was originally created to meet the needs of the Lebanese and Francophone community established in the Gulf. Today, whilst remaining a fundamentally Franco-Lebanese school, LLFP welcomes a broad range of nationalities between KG and Year 12 for its core French syllabus culminating in the General Baccalauréat, the French system’s equivalent to UK A’ Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma [IB DP]. Since 2009, the school has shared extremely close educational, academic and administrative inks with the prestigious Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour Lebanon. It remains resolutely a not-for-profit.

Whilst somewhat [...]

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May 18, 2016

Japanese School of Abu Dhabi, (Abu Dhabi Japanese School), Al Bateen

The Japanese School in Abu Dhabi, also known as the Abu Dhabi Japanese School, provides an ADEC “High Performing A3 Good School” certified FS1/2 – Year 9 education to children between the ages of 3 years and 15.

Prospective parents should note that education is compulsory in Japan only between the ages of 6 and 15, with schooling divided between elementary provision between the ages of 6 years and 12 years, and Junior High/ Lower Secondary provision between the ages of 12 years and 15 years. This division does not fit easily in our tables and to compensate we have provided extra clarification.

The Japanese School in Abu Dhabi (ADJS) is one of only two Japanese schools [...]

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April 5, 2016

Repton School Abu Dhabi, Shams Abu Dhabi, Al Reem Island

Updated December 2016

Repton School Abu Dhabi [RSAD] is located within Sorouh Real Estate’s residential and business community development, Shams Abu Dhabi, and is the first school to be built on Reem Island.

This review reflects only the Foundation Campus of Repton School Abu Dhabi, a 7000 square metre FS-Primary which will eventually offer only FS to Year 2 slipstream provision to the larger Year 3 – Year 13 Repton Abu Dhabi through school.

Whilst the site for the Upper School of Repton Abu Dhabi is fabulously located adjacent to Sun and Sky Tower, the trade-off is available space. The plot is restricted to around 20,000sqm and as result the architectural brief [...]

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April 5, 2016

Deira International School, Dubai Festival City

Updated December 2016

Deira International School is an extremely impressive school and one that only just misses KHDA “Outstanding” school status. In the majority of areas DIS is already hitting, and in some cases at the very highest level, this standard and, in its combination of outstanding curriculum provision, leadership, academics and whole child development, it’s a school worthy of prospective parents’ attention.

Deira International deserves particular praise for its outstanding parental communication. The school offers the most detailed, comprehensive and transparent online presence of any school we have reviewed in the UAE.

Online information evidences [...]

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April 3, 2016

The Millennium School, Al Qusais 1

Updated December 2016

Prospective parents should note that the KHDA has reviewed The Millennium School on its new scale which replaces its earlier four-stage grading (Unsatisfactory, Acceptable, Good, Outstanding) with a six-point scale running through Very weak; Weak; Acceptable; Good; Very good and Outstanding awards. As of 2016-17, The Millennium School on this new grading structure has been classified as a “Very Good” school after 6 years consistent annual scoring by the KHDA Inspectorate in the “Good” class of schools.

Founded in 2000, The Millennium School is an FS1 to Year 12 through school offering a CBSE Indian national curriculum educating Indian children from [...]

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April 1, 2016

The British International School Abu Dhabi, Khalifa City B

Updated May 2017

“The British International School Abu Dhabi is an environment that nurtures confidence in young people, helping them to reach great success in school and prepare them for life beyond. Students are supported to do their very best in all aspects of school life and to develop the skills and attitudes to be successful individuals in our constantly evolving global society. They are surrounded by the highest quality teachers in a happy and supportive family community.

The core values of Kindness, Honesty and Respect underpin our school: we aim for all children to grow up as caring and contributing members of society who can make a difference to all around [...]

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March 6, 2016

American Community School of Abu Dhabi, Al Khalidyah

Updated December 2016

The American Community School of Abu Dhabi [ACS] is a non-profit, US curriculum college mixed, co-educational preparatory offering a parallel stream International Baccalaureate and US High School curriculum for 1094 children between KG phases and Grade 12.

Established in 1971 -72, the school was the first American school in the capital and founded with the support of the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who provided its current site. The school prioritises admission to families of officers within the American Embassy Abu Dhabi and the school in its founding reflects the close links between the US and Abu Dhabi governments.

The [...]

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March 1, 2016

The School of Research Science, Al Warqa 4

Updated December 2016

Prospective parents should note that The School of Research Science [SRS] moved to landmark new premises in 2014, increasing the student body by 678 from 2047 to 2725 children between February 2014 and September 2015 when the school moved from Al Qusais to Al Warqa.

The new school has a capacity of 3,000 children and outstanding new facilities compared with an already very good standard of facility provision at the previous school.

Very popular with local families, almost 7 out of 10 students studying at the school are Emiratis. The remainder come largely from Arabic families.

The school is academic, providing the full-phase English [...]

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January 30, 2016

American International School in Abu Dhabi (AISA), Muroor, Al Reehan

Updated December 2016

The “American International School in Abu Dhabi” (AISA) was established by ESOL Education in 1995 to provide the local and expatriate residents of Abu Dhabi with a high quality American education, based on American standards. This only tells half the story, however, as AISA rarely also offers a parallel international curriculum via the International Baccalaureate at both primary (PYP) and, at secondary level, through its provision of the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD), the latter targeted at its top 25% of students.

ESOL Education also manage the American Universal School (UAS), Deira International School (DIS) and INSPIRE Children’s [...]

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January 26, 2016

Dubai English Speaking School [DESS], Umm Hurair, Oud Metha

Updated December 2016

Note to existing and prospective parents: please read this review in association with the review of DESS’s sister, Dubai English Speaking College.

One of Dubai’s most loved Early Years and Primary schools, Dubai English Speaking School [DESS] is also the Emirate’s oldest British school, established in 1963. A consistently KHDA rated “Good “school over the last seven years, in 2016 DESS secured a rating of Outstanding in its British Schools Overseas Inspection and “Very Good” under the Dubai Inspectorate’s new 6 gradings of inspection. We rate the school as this side of Outstanding.

Read the 2016-2018 British [...]

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January 19, 2016

Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Park

Updated January 2017

Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, established in 2015, is a new school with all the opportunities, and some, but not all, of the risks for new parents that an opening school presents.

Positives abound.

The school draws on a considerable history from Taaleem, its experienced owners, and in particular, on the ground, its namesake Dubai British School which opened in 2005. The Dubai British School in Emirates Hills achieves a “Very Good with outstanding Features” rating from the Dubai schools inspectorate, and, in part, the new Jumeirah Park school was established to respond to its sister being at capacity with a long waiting list [...]

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January 18, 2016

The Pearl Primary School, Al Dhafrah

Highly regarded, The Pearl Primary School is a recognized option for parents seeking a smaller-scale, stand-alone Primary school specializing in the education of children between KG1 and Grade 6 (Ages 5 – 11) whilst also offering a natural feeder stream into secondary education, in this case to either of the outstanding Al Bateen and Al Yasmina secondary’s, both Aldar Academy sister schools.

A specialist primary, Pearl differentiates itself in its unique (and effective) teaching methodology which, whilst following the English National Curriculum in subject content, adopts an enquiry-based format much more analogous to the IB programme; all topics are subject-integrated and [...]

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December 16, 2015

Al Yasmina School, Al Raha Gardens, Khalifa City

Abu Dhabi based Al Yasmina School offers the English National Curriculum for students from 3 to 18 years and is ranked A2 by the Abu Dhabi education authority, the highest grade it is currently awarding. No other school in Abu Dhabi has yet to achieve an A1 (Outstanding) grade. Al Yasmina achieved good school status 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Opened in 2008, Al Yasmina was the second school established by Aldar Academies, after the Pearl primary school, which started with 247 students in 2007. Today Aldar Academies educates 3700 children across 5 schools, including 1672 children at Al Yasmina, in Abu Dhabi and one school in Al Ain.

The school options [...]

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December 2, 2015

GEMS American Academy Abu Dhabi, Khalifa A

Updated February 2017

“Inclusive schooling is making a commitment to provide each student in the community with the right to belong and assumes that living and learning together benefits everyone.

Inclusion is a value, a belief system, an intentional community commitment and attitude that is taught and modelled by example. 

As educators, our aim is to insure that each student is academically and personally engaged, challenged and successful. To fulfil this aim, we must design learning environments that address the unique needs of each student, across the spectrum. 

Students require a highly personalized approach to learning that is matched to their unique [...]

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New Reports Coming

The 2016/17 KHDA reports are due for release this month. Make sure you understand the keys to decipher them to determine what schools work for you.... Top Tip: Do not only look at overall ratings...

In this section

Very Good Rated UAE Schools

Make no mistake these will all be very, very good schools, falling just outside the top tier of UAE schools according to the country's inspectors. Currently, only Dubai and Abu Dhabi have a formal inspection process, so while there will be "Outstanding" schools in Sharjah, or Fujairah, here we detail only schools from Dubai and Abu Dhabi where there has been a rating from a government based inspection team.

We would always advise you to read the detail as to why a school has achieved a specific rating. There may be criteria that the KHDA or ADEC feel are important that you may not.

For the 2015/16 inspection reports, Abu Dhabi and Dubai moved to a unified six point rating: Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Weak and Very Weak.


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