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Best British Schools in Dubai – the Parent Guide 2017
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Best British Schools in Dubai – the Parent Guide 2017

by Jon WestleyFebruary 9, 2017

The Schools Compared Best British Schools in Dubai 2017

Note: Click on the school headlines to go through to an in-depth review…


British Primary Schools

Victory Heights Primary School

“There is so much to like about this school and to admire in the achievements of both its owners and Head, who are clearly working in unison. A new school yes – but one with huge potential to set benchmarks for the sector.”

Jumeirah English Speaking School Jumeirah



“Genuinely outstanding, hugely impressive, not for profit co-educational primary school and, arguably, the best of its kind not only in Dubai, but the UAE.”

GEMS Jumeirah Primary School

“Highly recommended, not only for being an academic heavyweight, but also for creating such a genuinely happy, nurturing and inspirational school for its children … One thing JPS is resolutely not is a SAT factory. Bottom line – this school absolutely shines.”

GEMS Royal Dubai School

“The accomplishment of all the GEMS Royal team, the school’s students – and parents, cannot be over-stated. They each deserve significant praise for a journey that has achieved the pinnacle of KHDA recommendation in Dubai.”

Dubai English Speaking School

“One of Dubai’s most loved Early Years and Primary schools, Dubai English Speaking School [DESS] is also the Emirate’s oldest British school, established in 1963. We rate the school as this side of Outstanding.”

Horizon English School

“Horizon School continues to drive its credentials as a Dubai top-tier (mixed) primary school, although it lost its ‘Outstanding’ rating (held for three years in a row), picking up a Very Good rating in the KHDA’s latest round of inspections (2016).

Dovecote Green Primary School

“Dovecote provides the single most affordable in-house direct route to Repton Dubai from Year 7. For prospective parents of Repton Dubai facing a waiting list in given years, or struggling with the fees, Dovecote represents a valuable alternative option within the same family of schools.”

Manor Primary School

“Manor Primary School is a new school, but in some ways also the re-opening of the English College Primary School (ECPS), a deeply loved and cherished school that closed in 2014. Its sense of small school intimacy – and caring – is a rarity in the Emirates.”

Arcadia School

“The Arcadia Preparatory School could be one of the finest preparatory schools in Dubai, should it deliver on its very ambitious goals, each personally underwritten by the school’s widely respected founder, Mohan Valrani. Significant, genuine and impressive commitment to inclusion and bursaries – and the professional development and care of its teachings staff.”

Safa British School

“Safa British School is a genuinely inspiring, and lovely, school. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the ultra-premiums. But what we learned, above all else, on our inspection is that beauty can be skin deep, and a school with heart and soul does not need them to flourish for its children.”

Regent International School

“Regent International has the opportunity to build within the existing Regent framework and campus a new dedicated FS-Primary, the school in many ways started by its founding owners the Mankani family, but with all the benefits of almost a quarter of a century’s experience behind it – and a new, seamless slipstream for children to move to the new landmark campus of Sunmarke from Year 7.”

Ranches Primary School

“What we can say, comfortably and without hesitation, is that everything, absolutely everything, is in place at the Ranches for all children to have a terrific, inspirational, happy and meaningful whole child, enriched, early years’ education that should set them up for their own individual journeys ahead.  This is a school that works, seamlessly, for children.”

Oaktree Primary School

“Fabulous school at the beginning of its journey. The leadership of the school, its village-school feel and warmth – and its focus to provide parents with a dedicated, separate, British FS-primary-only school environment […] gives Oaktree a special sense of purpose and charm.”

Kings School Dubai

“The only school in Dubai to have achieved an “Outstanding” ranking from the KHDA for the eight consecutive years since Dubai’s regulator inspections were introduced. Genuine scholarship commitment. At its best, Kings’ sets the benchmark for primary and FS English National Curriculum based education in Dubai. We think reverting to a clear focus on preparatory stage education has allowed the school to re-focus on its core strengths.”

Dubai British Foundation

“Dubai Foundation, and its slipstream school, Dubai British School Jumeirah, are positioning themselves at the top of the educational market for a British education in Dubai. Ambitions are very high. The result is a very focused British education, set in a beautiful, genuinely inspiring environment, under the care of well-qualified – and as importantly committed and passionate teachers. Its stand-out Arabic language programme deserves praise. It will no doubt make the shortlist of many parents, but equally, for at least as many, the fees will, regrettably, place it out of reach.”


Next: All through and Secondary only British Curriculum Schools

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]
  • Kashish
    February 23, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Hi i wnt to knw whch is best school horizon international or raffels international school

    • March 5, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Hi Kashish, this is a really tough question to answer. To some extent it will depend on the age of your child(ren) and what type of environment you are seeking. Raffles International is a very well established school consistently rated Good by the KHDA. It is a very international school in nature with students and staff from a diverse range of countries (with the highest proportion of students being from Europe) and around 1,700 students in total – so a large school, with a staff to student ration of 1:11. Horizon International is a much smaller school with under 1,000 students, the majority of whom are UK passport holders. Staff turnover at both schools has historically been relatively low, although there were significant changes at Horizon International at the end of the 2016 academic year. The staff to student ratio is 1:11, so lower than Raffles International. The new Principal (who joined from GEMS) appears to be popular with parents and has a clear focus on areas of development and improvement. Neither school has had students graduate from year 13 as yet, so it is too soon to comment on Sixth Form outcomes. Fees at Raffles International School range from AED 30,000 to AED 65,000, whilst at Horizon International, they are between AED 33,000 and AED 93,000 (though there is currently a large discount for children in years 10, 11 and 12 with fees being similar to Raffles). As you can see, there are many similarities between the schools and our advice would always be that you visit the schools and see for yourself which you feel is likely to suit your child(ren) better.

  • Kashish
    March 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Thanks for your comment and help.

  • Kashish
    March 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Thnank you, can you give me information on Regent International too?

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