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UAE Value Priced Schools

Schools defined as Value are those that charge less than 25,000 AED in their senior years. Note: This does not necessarily make a school 'good' value, just that their fees fall at the lower end of the spectrum across the UAE. Note: fees in the emirates range from less than 5,000 AED per year to over 100,000 AED.

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October 31, 2016

The City School International, Nad Al Hamar

“We aim to develop each one of our students into true learners, individuals who always seek to broaden their perspective and to face life’s challenges with courage and conviction.

Education is a pursuit that goes far beyond a qualification. While we aim to help our students excel in the course they are studying, we also hope to instil in them a thirst for learning throughout their lives.  At The City School, our teachers, students, and parents work together to realise this goal.”

Dr. Farzana Firoz, Chief Executive Officer, City Schools (Pvt.) Ltd.

Updated November 2016

City School International presents an extraordinarily mixed picture for [...]

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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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June 18, 2016

GEMS Our Own Indian School, Al Quoz 1

Formerly the Varkey International Private School, GEMS Our Own Indian School (OOIS), in its current form, was founded in its move to Al Quoz in 2002.

There are so many good things about this school – and some frustrations.

First, this is not simply a good school. It is in some key respects an outstanding one. This is recognised in the Dubai Schools’ Inspectorate’s awarding of such a broad splay of results. It is not usual for a school to be graded by the Dubai Inspectorate with such diversity – and especially for a school to effectively, in practice, be operating at Good, Very Good and Outstanding levels simultaneously.

The core problems first. [...]

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June 12, 2016

Sunrise English Private School, Shabiya, Mussafah

Sunrise Private English School presents us with many difficulties in making sense of its offer. There is no question, in terms of the school’s exceptionally affordable fee structure, that it represents good value for money. It is also classified, in part given its fee context and in part its commitment, as a Highly Performing Band A 3 School by the Abu Dhabi School Inspectorate.

Make no mistake, An A3 grading is a real achievement. It is particularly impressive too given that in 2014 the school received an equivalent C6 “Unsatisfactory” grading indicative of a school very significantly failing its children.

However, newly secured “Good” school rating notwithstanding, [...]

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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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May 16, 2016

Japanese School in Dubai, Al Wasl

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. The Japanese School in Dubai (DJS) mirrors this, with formal structured education beginning from the age of 6 years, and no educational provision after the age of 15 years. This division does not fit easily in our tables and to compensate we have provided extra clarification.

The Japanese School in Dubai is one of only two Japanese schools in the UAE, the other being the Japanese School in Abu [...]

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May 14, 2016

Russian International School, Muhaisnah 4

Russia International School in Dubai [RISD] is the only Russian curriculum school in the United Arab Emirates and provides a natural slipstream to the St. Petersburg State Economic University (Dubai Branch). RISD provides a through FS1 – Grade 11 education for around 400 students between the age of 4 and 17 culminating in the Class IX Certificate of Basic General Education at 15 years and Class XI Certificate of Secondary (full) General Education at 17 years on graduation. In 2016, RISD secured its first “Good School” rating from KHDA Inspectors after more than five years of securing the lesser “Acceptable” grading. The new rating was achieved under the Dubai Inspectorate’s new [...]

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April 16, 2016

Queen International School, Hor Al Anz East

Updated November 2016

The biggest statement made by Queen International School is found in its (arguably) gaudy front building design. Whilst not to all tastes, at least it says something about the school. Elsewhere the provision of public information is wholly inadequate, failing accepted standards of school communication significantly, leaving prospective parents with little on which to base a decision or otherwise to shortlist the school.

The majority of links on the school’s web site lead nowhere, what little information there is dates from 2014, updated information links to a discipline policy advising parents of a newly strengthened school approach to unacceptable [...]

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April 16, 2016

Gulf Asian English School, Muweilah Commercial

Updated November 2016

Gulf Asian English School, also known as the Gulf Asian Indian School and the Gulf Asian High School, was bought by the PA Educational Trust (Pace Group) in 2011.

The school is set on a large, 6.69 acre site, and delivers an Indian CBSE education to between 4,971 and 5400 children (data provided for the school is conflicting). The school has considerable history in the emirate, tracing its founding to the Sharjah Montessori School established in 1975.

Under its new owners, Gulf Asian High School seeks to set itself apart from other schools in ’embracing Audio-Visual technology and its masterful use of PowerPoint’, which replaces [...]

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April 14, 2016

Credence High School, Al Quoz 1

Updated November 2016

Credence High School is a new Indian all through school undergoing phased FS to Grade 12 launch. The school will follow the CBSE curriculum from Year 9.

The school aims, however, to radically differentiate itself from other Indian schools in the Gulf by replacing the standard CBSE curriculum to Year 8 with a curriculum provided by a relatively young start-up, XSEED, based in Singapore and founded by Ashish Rajpal, an MIT educated Indian entrepreneur.

The basic approach is to tackle one widely held critique of Indian education – that it teaches facts by rote with little relevance to the skills required later in life, with a model of education [...]

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April 14, 2016

Dubai Carmel School, Al Nahda 2

Updated November 2016

Dubai Carmel School is one of Dubai’s more established Arab schools, although no one agrees when the school was actually founded. The school currently dates its founding to 1995, but the KHDA traces it back further to 1990. Variously elsewhere the school’s routes are traced back to the mid 1980’s. Certainly the school is as far away as it gets from the modern bells and whistles of Dubai’s Elite Tier 1s in appearance and bijou scale.

Dubai Carmel provides an English National Curriculum based all through education from FS to Year 13, although this will culminate in GCE AS Levels rather than full A Levels. This represents an extension of the [...]

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April 10, 2016

Al Ameen Private School, Al Nahda

Updated December 2016

There are a number of extremely rare schools in Dubai that operate at levels significantly above their fee structure. Al Ameen, which delivers its education at some of the lowest fees anywhere in the Emirates, re-writes the rulebook that says schools cannot deliver a good standard of education to a budget.

With fees that run between 5,037 AED at FS phases, through to 5,709 AED in Year 11, in fact Al Ameen goes beyond even KHDA “Good” school provision in its attainment both at Post-16 (I)GCSE and the degree to which the school is integrated and engaged with its community. In these areas the school attains the award of “Outstanding” across the board, [...]

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April 10, 2016

The Elite English School, Al Waheda, Deira

Updated November 2016

This mission of Elite school is to “surge forward and reach the pinnacle of institutional and educational glory…”

Students at the school are known as “Elitians.”

The school’s Principal, Vatsala Mathai (also known as Vatsala Mathew), however, has been vocal in her frustration that the degree the school is able to reach “glory” is limited by the school’s inability to substantially increase its fees.

Dubai’s education regulator, the KHDA, restricts the ability of weak schools to increase fees in order to provide an incentive for improvement. However, without increasing fees, Ms Mathai argues that this is [...]

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April 3, 2016

The Philippine Global School, Hadbat Al Zaafran, Al Muroor

Updated December 2016

The Philippine Global School [PGS] opened in September 2015, taking over the buildings, many staff and students of the 21st Century Academy School which was placed in special measures and closed by ADEC. The school offers an FS to Grade 10 Philippine education, although this is not underwritten or certified by any external body and Philippine amounts in real terms to no more than the the cultural context of the school.

The 21st Century School (originally named the Philippine Academy Abu Dhabi) had opened in September 2010 in the 30 years-old buildings of the old government 6th August, 800-capacity, boys school.

When the 21st Century school [...]

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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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March 26, 2016

The Apple International School, Al Qusais

Updated December 2016

The Apple International School is an Indian/Filipino school with teaching based on a limited English National Curriculum to Year 8/KS3 only.

In her introduction to prospective parents by The Apple International School’s Principal, Pranjala Dutta Das, sets the scene for the school asking prospective parents to join with the school to “brace ourselves for the era to which the milestone of ‘Concept Revolution’ directs.”

It is “essential” she says, for “schools to help students build the skills of applying the given information/knowledge on various platforms so that their cognitive skills are chiseled.” She confirms that the issue is that [...]

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March 24, 2016

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah, Sharjah Schools Zone, Al Muweilah

Updated December 2016

GEMS Westminster School Sharjah [GWSS] is a 2518 capacity school offering a British, National Curriculum for England based, education for boys and girls from FS2. The school, established in 2012, is to all intents and purposes a new school and is in a process of transition to opening secondary provision from 2017-18. Whilst GWSS has announced planned opening to Grade 13 and full provision to GCE A’ Level, its handbook currently confirms planned academic provision to AS Level only.

The school is modelled on GEMS Westminster School in Dubai, its largest UK curriculum (IGCSE, AS and A’ Level) school. The Dubai school is currently double the size of [...]

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March 13, 2016

Dubai International School Al Quoz, Al Quoz 1

Updated December 2016

Dubai International School Al Quoz [DISQ] is the sister school of Dubai International School, Al Garhoud [DISG]. Together they comprise the Dubai International School [DIS]. Whilst the schools refer to themselves as campuses of a single school and, notwithstanding that the schools share common ownership, curriculum and values, the Dubai inspectorate treats them separately.

There is some merit in this as there are differences between the schools both in terms of facility provision, school transparency, delivery on the ground and leadership from the school’s respective Heads.

As of 2016-17, both schools achieve a basic “Acceptable” rating by [...]

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March 5, 2016

Dubai Scholars Private School, Al Ghusais School Zone, Al Qusais

Updated December 2016

Dubai Scholars Private School [DSPS] brands itself as having academic foundations rooted in the “British model for teaching and learning, offering students a rigorous program to progress from one stage to the next supported by classroom interactions that challenge students to think deeply.”

The school is run for profit and, founded in 1976 as a micro primary school operating from a villa in Deira, was the first school opened by the Scholars International Group [SIG] which today owns the Scholars International Academy, Sharjah and the newly established Clarion School in Dubai.

Dubai Scholars educates around 1600 predominantly Indian students [...]

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March 5, 2016

Grammar School, Al Garhoud

Updated December 2016

Prospective parents should note that we have been contacted by the Grammar School [December 2016] and our review should be read in conjunction with the following advice by the school:

The school was purchased by new owners in November 2015 A new UK senior leadership team, husband and wife, William and Margaret Deacon, took over management of the school in February 2016 The school has been “completely overhauled” in academics, improvements to infrastructure and in educational and administrative software to aid teaching and learning The school has now moved away from grades and introduced the formal all-through UK Year system from FS to Year 13 The [...]
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