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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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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

GEMS World Academy, Abu Dhabi

Updated December 2016

It is rare to find a dedicated International Baccalaureate KG, let alone a GEMS school – or one situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi. Little wonder GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi[GWAAD] is over-subscribed. The school as you would expect from a dedicated 4 to 10 years elementary is inherently one with considerable warmth, and the leadership of its historic Principal, Jay Roy, was graded “absolutely exceptional” according to independent feedback to our sister site, in founding the school. The new Principal (September 2016), Linda LaPine, is by all accounts equally driven, bringing with her a new focus on building a “home away [...]

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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 13, 2016

Al Basma British School, Al Dhafrah, Old Al Bahya

Whilst Al Basma British School can theoretically trace its roots to 1980 (the school had also been known as Giggles English School as well as variants of its current name), to all intents and purposes parents should view Al Basma as a new school. Comprehensive changes to leadership in September 2014, aligned with new buildings and location, a new academic ethic and the move to provision of education to GCE O’ (2016) and A’ Level (2018) has resulted in a school which faces all the challenges of a school in its developmental phase.

On this basis ADEC, in its April 2015 inspection, treated the school as a new school on a first inspection basis.

The school starts with a [...]

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December 18, 2015

Abu Dhabi International (Private) School – Secondary, Al Karamah & Mohamed Bin Zayed City

Abu Dhabi International Private School [ADIP] was founded in 1992. The school is currently located in Al Karamah, with a (relatively much higher quality) second campus opening in Mohamed Bin Zayed City. For new students attending the new campus, however, fees almost double, although existing students are (currently) protected from the increase.

This review covers only ADIP secondary provision which achieves a very creditable A3 ADEC rating. Kindergarten and primary provision is catered for in the same school but at a significantly lower level achieving only a B4 score by inspectors in 2015.  We review this provsion separately.

It is also worth noting that the [...]

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December 18, 2015

Al Bateen Secondary School, Al Manseer

“What really makes this school wonderful? Our students. ADEC “Outstanding” rating notwithstanding, it is our students that are the heartbeat of the school – academic, confident, independent, caring, open minded, tolerant, balanced, creative and high achieving. Al Bateen students are locally educated; internationally competitive.”

David Hutson, Principal, Al Bateen Secondary School [quoted in whichschooladvisor, 2016]

Opened on its (fabulous) purpose built site in September 2011, Al Bateen Secondary School is hugely innovative, combining the best of a British (English National) curriculum to (I)GCSE with the choice for students, post-16, of [...]

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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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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.


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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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