Now Reading
Best IB Schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi 2022 revealed. But what’s the story behind the numbers?

Best IB Schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi 2022 revealed. But what’s the story behind the numbers?

by Tabitha BardaDecember 8, 2022

Looking for the best IB schools in Dubai? A new table reveals which UAE schools achieved the highest average scores in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) in 2022, compiled by UAE education sector data insights platform EDSTATICATM.

However, what is the truth behind the numbers? The first point to consider is that this table is not an official one produced by the IB, which does not believe in ranking schools in this way. Why? Because exam results are only one element of the whole-child education that schools offer, and ranking schools by results alone can obscure this fact.

It’s also vital to look at the cohort size of each school; a high average figure in a cohort of 100+ students is far more challenging to achieve than the same result in a cohort of 20, for example.

The following table also does not take into account the impact of academic selection on those who sit for the Diploma; the numbers of students who sit for the IB Career-related Programme (one we rate very highly and that is equivalent to the Diploma); nor those schools which offer multiple other academic pathway options for students beyond the Diploma.

On top of this, there are several considerations to bear in mind when it comes to how schools assess and release their own results – including the possibility of some schools supposedly “finessing” their results in order to ensure higher marks. Read about how to uncover a school’s ‘True’ ID BP results here.

While purely academic rankings like these do provide some objective data by which parents can compare schools, they do not give any real picture of the quality of an education provided by a school beyond exam results. It’s why league tables like this must always be taken with a pinch of salt. They are only a part, if a relatively important part, of what makes a truly outstanding school.

This is why we always say, when asked “which is the best school in the UAE?”, that there is no such thing as a best school for all children. It depends on numerous factors – and these include some factors that can only be decided on visiting a school and seeing whether your child feels at home there. Make sure you dig down into our reviews of each school to get the full picture of what it could be like for your child to be a student there – but no review can replace a school visit, or experience over time. There are many examples of where even the very brightest children will do far worse at an academic pressure-cooker of a school, for example, than an academically inclusive one, depending on their individual personality and preferences.

But, these many caveats aside, here are the UAE’s top achieving IB schools…


The UAE’s top-achieving IB DP schools

Below is a list of the UAE’s top-achieving IB DP schools, based on information collated by EDSTATICATM, ranked in order of their average ID BP scores in 2022.

Not all of the UAE’s IB schools are included as not all publish their results and/ or not all of them provided the required information when requested. Not all of the schools are fully dedicated IB schools either; some will offer the IB DP as an option for Post-16 alongside other curricula, which is why cohort size can be an important factor to consider.

It’s also worth noting that the UAE schools listed in the table below are in the upper echelons of academic achievement when compared with the global average. There are 2,932 IB DP schools across 150 countries in the world, and the mean total points for each school globally is 32: a score that almost every single UAE IB DP school in our table has either met or exceeded.

School IB DP Average score Cohort size
 North London Collegiate School Dubai 38.1 21
JESS Dubai Arabian Ranches 38 88
 Nord Anglia International School Dubai 37.5 43
Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills  37.1 139
 GEMS Modern Academy 36.1 77
Repton Dubai School 36 44
GEMS Wellington International School 35.9 111
Sunmarke School 35.8 n/a
Greenfield International School 35.7 44
 Deira International School 35.4 78
 GEMS Dubai American Academy 35.4 154
Universal American School 35 33
Uptown International School 34.4 41
 GEMS Wellington Academy DSO 34.3 50
 GEMS World Academy 34.2 66
Raha International School 33.8 127
 British International School Abu Dhabi 33.71 61
GEMS International School Al Khail 33.7 32
Dubai International Academy Al Barsha 33.2 26
Jumeira Baccalaureate School 33 19
Swiss International Scientific School 33 n/a
 Al Bateen Academy 32.3 43
Raffles World Academy 32 69
RAK Academy 32 n/a
Dar Al Marefa School 30.6 n/a

Editors’ note:  this is a modified article, first published by SchoolsCompared on 16 November 2022. In that article we referred to a third party article produced outside the region. That article included a global ranking of IB schools based on UAE school data we have now determined inaccurate. As a result the third party ranking table as a whole is unreliable. The above article, now revised, includes official EDSTATICATM data produced in association with WhichMedia and SchoolsCompared. Scoring above represents data prior to any subsequent regrading to ensure comparative fairness at a single point in time before regrading. In practice, later regrading means that some school data may differ today to that recorded above. 

Notes for parents

Read an interesting discussion of the IB by Matthew Farthing, Principal of Nord Anglia International School Dubai.

For more details on the the success of JESS at the Top Schools Awards, including winning our top Award in 2017-18, click here.

For more on the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, read our article by Mariona Coderch Lopéz, IB Career-related Programme Lead, GEMS International School – Al Khail.

For why we think that IB schools need to look beyond the Diploma, click here.

© 2022. All rights reserved.


About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and's The School's Report - the global weekly round up of what matters in education for parents which is published every Friday, reviewing schools across the UAE - and features on issues that really matter. You can often find Tabitha on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

Leave a Reply