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September 25, 2016

The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls, Al Musalla

““The Sheikh Zayed Academy is one of the most exclusive and prestigious schools in the region.” Sunny Varkey. Chairman. GEMS Education

Updated November 2016

The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls, established in 2000, is the founding school for what has, since 2015, been a group of two schools, one for boys, one for girls operating under the same brand and mission of the “Sheikh Zayed Private Academy”.

Both schools are bi-lingual American curriculum schools that have are part of a growing cluster of schools seeking to provide both a traditional, faith-based curriculum for its children that nurtures a love, knowledge and respect of/for Arabic traditions, [...]

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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 22, 2016

Reach British School, Baniyas

Updated March 2017

Reach British School is a new (2014) all through FS to Year 10 (equivalent) English National Curriculum school offering phased launch provision through to IGCSE for children between 3 and 16 years of age. Prospective parents should note that the school, somewhat confusingly, works through Nursery, KG1 and 2 to Year 12 rather than using the standard UK school progression from FS1 and 2 to Year 13. We are advised that this is at the insistence of ADEC. The end result is, however, the same. As a school in phased launch, Sixth Form provision (Years 12 and 13) is not due to open until 2020 and is currently not confirmed. The school is currently operational [...]

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June 14, 2016

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island

Updated May 2017

One of very few “Good Schools” (its highest award), and an ADEC A3 High Performing Good School with Outstanding Features, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is a school in phased launch offering an all-through, British-founded, education from FS to Year 13. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is, for us, a school that that has been quite extraordinarily successful in meeting the ambition, almost vocation, of its Founding Headmaster, Brendan Law, to create an education for children that begins and ends with each child’s personal journey. It is hard to think of another school in the Emirates that has so successfully, and inspirationally, drawn on and captured the [...]

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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 12, 2016

Emirates National School, Abu Dhabi City Campus, Al Nahyan

Established by Presidential Decree, and owned by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MOPA), so much is expected of Emirates National School (ENS). Given the brand, cache, stamp of the President, and significant investment, one would expect the school, or what is actually a cluster of schools operating under a single brand, to be setting benchmarks for the sector and shining a light for best practice as beacon schools in the emirate. We would have expected glowing ADEC reports, happy, positive feedback from teachers and glowing reports from students.

In contrast, the schools as a whole have fared badly since the first school, established in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, opened its [...]

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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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April 30, 2016

Raha International School, Al Raha Gardens, Khalifa City A

Updated January 2017

As of May 2016, Raha International School [RIS] is one of just three schools in Abu Dhabi to have achieved the “Band A. High Performing. Outstanding” school award from the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) under the education inspectorate’s Irtiqaa programme of independent school inspections. Prospective parents should note too that RIS is fully and impressively inclusive – the school does not discriminate  Fully inclusive. The school does not discriminate on grounds of disability, Special Educational Needs [SEN], nationality, additional language status or sex – and all applications are considered fairly on a “first come, first [...]

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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 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 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 5, 2016

German International School Abu Dhabi, Za’ab area, Al Tabbiyah

Updated December 2016

The German International School of Abu Dhabi [GISAD] was founded as “The German School Abu Dhabi” in 1976 by the STRABAG company.  The school started with just 16 students and 3 teachers. The school grew to educate 70 students by the late 1980’s, but during the Gulf War the school faced closure as numbers dropped to just 20 students. The school was kept alive by the dedication of a former English teacher, Maggie Topping, until 1990 when numbers started to pick up again and a new Principal was recruited. Ms Topping has become something of a hero to the German community in Abu Dhabi, eventually retiring in 2009 after more than 31 years at the [...]

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March 5, 2016

Global Indian International School, Abu Dhabi Campus, Baniyas East

Updated December 2016

The Global Indian International School, Abu Dhabi [GIISAD] campus is the first school opened by the Singapore-based not-for-profit Global Schools Foundation [GSF] in the Emirate. Extraordinarily, the school was completely built in just 140 days – impressive even by UAE standards.

Its actual opening has not been without difficulty, however, delayed by ADEC for 6 months from its planned opening on 1st April 2015. The reasons for the delay remain undisclosed, but its eventual opening on 6th September 2015 was restricted to KG1 and KG2 only and came with commitments from the school not to exceed the capacities of individual classrooms and [...]

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March 3, 2016

West Yas School, Yas West, Yas Island

Updated December 2016

West Yas School, situated, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Yas West, will be the first to adopt the American curriculum in the Aldar Academies network when it opens in September 2016. It will be the second major school to open on the island after SABIS International School situated in Yas East.

The kindergarten to Grade 12 co-ed school will offer the Massachusetts State curriculum, another first for the Emirate, and a curriculum widely mooted in the US for both its academic rigor and whole child focus, in part drawn from sharing developmental links with both Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT].

The curriculum is [...]

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February 21, 2016

Al Mamoura School, Al Nahyan

Updated December 2016

Al Mamoura School is an intrinsic part of ADEC’s Future Schools Programme, the ambitious project to build 100 world class schools by 2020 to transform education in the Emirate.

Al Mamoura seeks to set the benchmark for single-sex, girls only secondary provision in the Capital whilst primary phases will be fully co-educational.

In structure, Al Mamoura will see Aldar’s KHDA “Outstanding A1” Al Mushrif Primary re-branded to Al Mamoura; its students will move from their current location within Aldar’s equally exceptional “Outstanding A1” Al Bateen School. Al Bateen itself will serve as the automatic slipstream for boys at secondary [...]

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February 16, 2016

GEMS United Indian School, Baniyas West

GEMS Education claim United Indian School [UIS] will be “the finest CBSE curriculum school in Abu Dhabi”. This is no small claim for a new school in the emirate with an (at capacity population) of close to 4,000 students.

Tracing its roots to the two-villa based “Our Own English High School” which opened in the capital in 1990, the history of UIS is closely bound was the dynamics of an exponentially growing market for Indian education provision in which demand by 2010 more than doubled the number of available places.

This, in combination with ADEC’s (laudable) closure of outdated Villa schools (the last six Indian villa schools closed in 2015) has created a [...]

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January 30, 2016

ADNOC Schools – Ruwais Campus (Formerly Glenelg School)

Updated December 2016

Established as the Glenelg School by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in 2010, in 2016-17 the school is undergoing significant, and positive change.

Originally visited by our sister site, in early 2013, inspectors found a single school educationally and strategically divided by two competing heads, each separately driving the two Elementary and Middle/High sections of the school under their control.

The rationale for the dual Head/Principal approach was driven in part by the physical design of the school (the Middle/High School section opened one year later in 2011 and, unhelpfully, was built separately, [...]

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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 21, 2016

Canadian International School, Khalifa City A

Four changes of Head in under two years since its last Inspection, and rapidly growing student numbers (up to 900 from a recorded KHDA school at maximum capacity with 650 pupils in April 2014), have resulted in a school in a clear process of transition. This follows expressed concerns by inspectors of The Canadian School in 2014 that:

“Further and speedier progress has been inhibited by frequent changes in the senior leadership. If the school retains senior staff with experience and outstanding management and leadership skills it will be well placed to move towards being a very good or outstanding school. ”

The 2016 Abu Dhabi inspection is not yet complete and in [...]

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Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem!

Kindly note, school and working hours will be reduced throughout the holy month.

Third party external examinations will proceed as normal. wishes you all a very happy, peaceful and reflective Ramadan.

In this section

UAE All Through Schools

Representing by far the majority of schools in the UAE Through Schools or All Through Schools take children from FS/KG all the way through to Secondary, and sometimes Post 16 education.

Many parents prefer all-through schools as worries over entrance to primary/secondary schools at a later stage is obviously removed. Other parents however prefer the dimensions of FS/KG or Primary only schools which are smaller, and can be less of a challenge to younger children.


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Tue 30

Ramadan Begins

May 27 - June 26
Tue 30
Tue 30

GEMS New Millennium School – Al Khail Tours

May 30 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am GST
Tue 30

GEMS World Academy Guided Tours

May 30 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am GST
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