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GEMS Heritage Indian School, Dubailand
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GEMS Heritage Indian School, Dubailand

by Jon WestleyFebruary 22, 2017

• Specialist, technology-enriched, CBSE school with significant investment in STEAM underpinnings of the curriculum
• Dedicated Academies for Sport, the Performing Arts and Debate - bespoke curriculum in Drama and Communication in partnership with Trinity College London
• Value fees
• GEMS commitment to minimum KHDA “Good School” status
• 50 years’ experience in Indian schooling brought together in delivering the Heritage model
• Outstanding leadership resourced from GEMS stand-out school in this sector
• Promise of significant numbers of scholarships to talented children in Sports, the Performing Arts and Technology/Science to ensure that parental income is not a bar to admission
• Significant founding student discounts


• Potentially the largest school in the Emirates – large schools do not suit all children
• Inevitable teething issues of any new school likely
• Whilst fully operational operational and sharing a campus with GEMS New Millennium School – Al Khail, the new Heritage Indian School buildings will not be completed in 2018

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• In its offer of scholarships, specialist technology provision and dedicated Academies (particularly sports and the Performing Arts) GEMS Heritage promises to redefine the benchmark for quality in the Indian school sector. GEMS has set the bar high for Heritage promising a minimum KHDA Good standard of provision. We have little doubt that it will deliver.

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“With the opening of GEMS Heritage Indian School we are reaffirming our commitment to education in the country – and helping to take forward the vision of the nation’s leadership, which is placing an emphasis on quality education.

“We recognize there is a need for high quality Indian curriculum schools and we know that GEMS Heritage Indian School will further the reputation that GEMS Indian curriculum schools have already built in the county.”  Dino Varkey, Group Executive Director and Board Member, GEMS Education.

GEMS Heritage Indian School is a new 10,000+ capacity role Indian CBSE curriculum specialist STEAM focused school that will open in Dubailand in April 2017.  The school is currently hosted in GEMS New Millennium School .

With GEMS leading Our Own English High School, it will stand as one of the largest schools in the Emirates. The school is currently open to Grade 10, but operating from the Phase 2 Building of GEMS New Millennium School in Al-Khail.

For students enrolling at the school GEMS is offering a significant 30% discount on the fees (which sees a reduction of between 4200 AED and 6000 AED according to phase on the advertised fees in our tables below) – and impressively is making available a range of scholarships for gifted children across the arts, sports and sciences. Parents are strongly advised to request scholarship details at the time of visiting the school. Visits “Learning Walks” are being made available daily between Sunday and Thursday between 8:00 am and 10:00 am at GEMS New Millennium School.

The school is being modelled on the “Our Own” family of schools which, overall, and notwithstanding our concerns over over-crowding, provide stand-out levels of education within the Indian sector. GEMS later-phase all-girls Our Own English High School is in the top-5 of all Indian curriculum schools in Dubai, and one of only three Indian schools to achieve the Dubai Inspectorate of School’s “Very Good” accolade – the second highest award of any Indian school in the Emirate.

Our review of its sister school, GEMS Our Own Indian School can be found here. Our review of GEMS Our Own High School can be found here.

Heritage is one of the most important of GEMS investments in the Indian school sector, and is clearly aimed at resolving a lack of places in the sector. It is hoped that eventually its knock-on impacts will see all GEMS schools, and those elsewhere in the sector, being able to operate without overcrowding.

The investment being made is significant. The basic ambition is to take the very best from each of the Our Own schools – already recognised for their exceptional delivery of the Post-16 CBSE Science subjects.

First, the Heritage school aims to be unique in Dubai in the breadth of its Tier 1 positioned technology specialisation. Its Labs facilities will include the spectrum of provision, including a dedicated LEGO Robotics/Mindstorms focused LEGO Education Academy. The level of investment in technology will be a first in this value fees sector in which Heritage is positioning itself.

Second, Heritage will include a series of further dedicated Academies within the school, each focused in areas in which the “Our Own” schools have built up expertise. These include a Heritage Cricket Academy, Heritage Debate Academy and a dedicated Heritage School of the Performing Arts.

Applications for scholarships in each of these Academy areas – Sport, Performing Arts and Science and Technology will be a focus of student recruitment – and GEMS is set on ensuring that talented children whose families would not otherwise be able to afford the fees are welcomes at the school through the provision of 100% fee remission.

The school’s Founding Principal, Darryl Bloud, is the former Principal GEMS Modern Academy. Mr Bloud led Modern for over 14 years, this ultimately culminating in the school being currently one of only two Indian schools in Dubai to achieve the Knowledge and Human Development Authority “Outstanding” school status – an award it has held since 2011:

“GEMS Heritage will ensure that students gain mastery not only over academic principles, but also the doctrine around which success in the 21st century revolves. The enriched curriculum and additional facilities, which build on the history and excellence of Our Own English High School and all the GEMS Indian Curriculum Schools, will provide engaging opportunities to craft well-rounded and well-adjusted students.

This leading initiative by GEMS is set to change the landscape of education in the region.” Darryl Bloud. Founding Principal and CEO, GEMS Heritage School Dubai

Subject choices extend across English, Mathematics, Science & Technology, Information Technology, and the Social Sciences. Optional language study is provided in Arabic, Hindi, French & Malayalam. All students will undertake industry placements as part of their education and the aim is for all subject to operate with an inter-disciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM) focus.

ECAs include Cricket; Reading Club; Drama; Choir; Basketball; Robotics; Badminton; Football (soccer); Karate; Art Club; Dance; Fitness Club; Gymnastics; Ballet; Chess Club; and a spectrum of Performing Arts classes.


Bottom line?

Whilst the school is rapidly opening its provision at Modern in anticipation of the landmark new school’s opening in April 2018, it is too early to fairly reflect on the school. We anticipate making a first visit to the new school prior to its launch in Dubailand and will update parents at that point.

This said, GEMS has almost five decade’s experience in this sector – and, as importantly, its reputation with the government in delivering solutions to the significant lack of places in Indian schools to some degree rests heavily on ensuring that Heritage provides a very high quality of education, guaranteed by GEMS to be at a minimum “Good” standard of provision. With this level of experience, and with KHDA “Very Good” schools already operating in this value fees sector behind it, GEMS knows how to deliver. That should give prospective parents confidence that Heritage will meet GEMS published and ambitious aim for Heritage to change the landscape of schooling in Dubai.

Updated March 2017

Note to Prospective parents: ratings below are awarded by teachers and students at Heritage at its pre-launch location at GEMS Modern and may not represent final scoring achieved by the school when it opens in its landmark new school buildings in Dubailand in April 2018. 

Details to consider
Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 14,000
FS2: 16,000
YEAR 1: 18,000
YEAR 2: 18,000
YEAR 3: 18,000
YEAR 4: 18,000
YEAR 5: 20,000
YEAR 6: 20,000
YEAR 7: 20,000
YEAR 8: 20,000
YEAR 9: 22,000 est. Phased launch TBA
YEAR 10: 22,000 est. Phased launch TBA
YEAR 11: 24,000 est. Phased launch TBA
YEAR 12: 24,000 est. Phased launch TBA
YEAR 13: -


Indian - CBSE
(1) Structured through GEMS Our Own with a particular focus on STEAM

External Exam Boards

Central Board of Secondary Education


Fully inclusive
(1) Heritage does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, colour, gender, or national origin
(2) Assessments are designed only to decide entry level placement

Waiting list


Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Capacity: 10,000
(1) Phased launch

Teacher to Student Ratio


Largest nationality teachers


Year opened

(1) (1) For year 2017-18 the school is operating from the Phase 2 Building of GEMS New Millennium School, Al-Khail
(2) School opens in Dubailand April 2018 and all children will automatically transfer to the new school


Dubailand, Dubai
(1) For year 2017-18 the school is operating from the Phase 2 Building of GEMS New Millennium School, Al-Khail
(2) School opens in Dubailand April 2018 and all children will automatically transfer to the new school

Student composition

Indian (largest nationality)


Mixed, co-educational

School canteen



GEMS Education

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)4 445 2960

Web Address

Expected 2018-19

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Acting Editor of and the International Editor of You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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