Now Reading
GEMS Vertus School, Al Waha, Dubailand – The Review

GEMS Vertus School, Al Waha, Dubailand – The Review

by Jon WestleyMay 27, 2017

GEMS Virtus is a new British, English National Curriculum school in planning phase. GEMS Virtus School will launch in September 2018 in Al Waha, Dubailand and will offer a pure, all-through UK curriculum and Sixth Form from EYFS to IGCSE and A’ Level. Map below:

Our Guide to choosing the Right School can be found here.

Our Guide to IGCSEs can be found here.

Our Guide to AS Levels can be found here.

Our Guide to A’ Levels can be found here.

Our Sixth Form Guide can be found here.

The school will offer a mixed, co-educational education and is expected to open in phases, initially to Year 6, although we are awaiting clarification on exact plans.


The defining feature of GEMS Vertus School, however, at this stage, for us, is scale.

This is going to be a large school by any standards with a role at capacity of around 4,260 students.

Although final fee levels have yet to be confirmed, the provisional banding of GEMS Vertus School, which has set KHDA/GEMS fees to fall in a range between 40,000 AED at FS phases and 55,000 AED at Sixth Form, is mid-tier and suggestive that GEMS is looking at scale to deliver “affordability” (relatively, of course).

GEMS Vertus School is certainly not, on the basis of current planning at least, a Premium Plus, “bells and whistles” school. Obviously, however, it’s early days. Vertus is a new brand for GEMS and it will be very interesting to see how it develops the particular focus, ethos and positioning for the school. GEMS does tend to give a degree of autonomy to its Founding CEOs in developing these and we are awaiting confirmation on the name of the school’s Founding Head.

GEMS Virtus School has promised “state of the art” facilities, however, these including:

  • Foundation Stage specialist learning areas
  • Foundation Stage indoor and outdoor play areas
  • A multi-sport games outdoor area
  • Full-sized football pitch
  • Dedicated Junior School multi-purpose Sports Hall
  • Dedicated Senior School multi-purpose Sport Hall
  • Technology rich classrooms
  • Art rooms by phase
  • ICT Labs by phase
  • Science Labs by subject and phase
  • Dedicated Junior and Senior School libraries
  • Specialist music rooms

Interestingly, missing from its advertised facilities is a reference to either swimming facilities or specialist Robotics Labs. This is again suggestive that GEMS Vertus School will be firmly targeted to be affordable with a focus on delivering core academics.”

GEMS has also confirmed that Vertus School will offer extensive ECA provision, although understandably it is too early for the detailed programme to be released. The same holds true of the breadth of IGCSE and A’ Level offer at GEMS Vertus School. We also have no clarification yet whether GEMS Vertus school will offer a technical stream, either BTEC or T Level – something we believe is critical for all British schools – and particularly for those schools, like GEMS Vertus School, which are committed to fully academically inclusive school entry. Bottom Line?

It is very difficult, at this early stage, to provide any more of a steer on the likely positioning of GEMS Virtus School. However, there are a number of points to draw together for prospective parents seeking a Dubailand education in 2018.

First, GEMS is an organisation that almost invariably delivers for children. There are always trade-offs in “bells and whistles”, breadth of subject offer and the nationality of faculty dependent on the fee levels – but, within the context of the segment in which its schools are positioned, with very few exceptions, it is usually bankable to do what it says it will do.

Second, a large school like Vertus will not fit the needs of all children. However, it is likely that the economies of scale such a large capacity role offers, will result in a much higher standard of facility provision and faculty investment than that available from smaller schools operating at this level of comparative frees.

Third, GEMS now commit to all parents and families of children at its schools that “no child will be left behind or held back from their potential” and “no effort will be too great to protect, inform and prepare every child for the future.”

These are quite some commitments for GEMS Vertus School, and we look forward to exploring how they will be met. Details… to follow.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers from our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.

Request School Information


Details to consider
2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

(1) KHDA First Inspection due 2019-20
(2) New GEMS school in planning phase

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating


Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 40,000
FS2: 40,000
YEAR 1: 45,000
YEAR 2: 45,000
YEAR 3: 45,000
YEAR 4: 45,000
YEAR 5: 45,000
YEAR 6: 45,000
YEAR 7: 50,000
YEAR 8: 50,000
YEAR 9: 50,000
YEAR 10: 50,000
YEAR 11: 50,000
YEAR 12: 50,000
YEAR 13: 50,000
(1) These fees are provisional and reflect the basic structure/positioning of the school by GEMS/KHDA
(2) Founding discounts have not been published


National Curriculum for England (NCfE)
(1) EYFS
(3) A' Level

External Exam Boards


A Levels offered


Number of I/GCSEs Offered


I/GCSEs offered




Waiting list


Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Capacity: 4,260

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:12 - 1:30

Largest nationality teachers


Teacher turnover


Year opened

September 2018


Al Waha, Dubai

Student composition

TBC (projected Indian)


Mixed, co-educational

School canteen



GEMS Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0 )4 347 7770

Web Address

• GEMS brand and reputation
• Mid-tier fees offering high ROI for a pure British all-through
• Dedicated Sixth Form
• Phased launch


• Early days still for a considered view of eventual school provision and market.

Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
In my Top 5
A possibility
No way
About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

Leave a Reply