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Post 16 Education – Dubai’s Best Sixth Forms, High Schools

Post 16 Education – Dubai’s Best Sixth Forms, High Schools

by Jon WestleyMay 17, 2017

Part 1:

Best British Sixth Forms in Dubai for A Levels 2017

The following school recommendations should be read in conjunction with our Guide to A Levels, here, our Guide to getting into top universities, here, our 16 – 18 Education Guide, here and our Guide to the Best British Schools in Dubai, here.

For many in the UAE, a traditional British sixth form education for their children is an absolute must. A’ Levels are. Not without justification, seen as the gold standard for education and British schools the natural gateway to securing places at UK universities.

In the UAE the overarching popularity of traditional British schools is reflected in the fact that there are more schools following the England and Wales based curriculum than that of any other country.

Our top British Sixth Forms for A Level study in Dubai for 2017-18 are:

  • Dubai College
  • Dubai English Speak College
  • Jumeirah College
  • The Winchester School
  • Dubai British School
  • The School of Research Science


Dubai College

Our View:

“Extremely impressive academics fuel the Oxbridge and significant Ivy League and Russell Group placements. However, arguably as telling, is its securing a placement for a gifted child in performing arts at the prestigious Elmhurst, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, for one student in 2015-16. GCSE results put it in line with the 12th best co-educational independent school and the 3rd best co-educational state school in the UK.”

KHDA 2017 Rating:  Outstanding


Dubai English Speaking College

Our View: “Established in 2005 with just 35 Year 7 students, the Dubai English Speaking College [DESC] takes its name from the much loved Dubai English Speaking School [DESS], of which it is a part; the oldest British school in the Emirate established in 1963. Today DESC is a rapidly growing school, educating more than 1253 children between 11 and 18, parents inspired by the increasing value of its fee structure against a background of expensive new “elite” schools in the Emirate and DESC’s consistent achievement, since 2012-13, of an “Outstanding School” rating by the Dubai Schools Inspectorate.”

KHDA 2017 Rating: Outstanding


Jumeirah College

Our View: “Despite scoring academically above UK benchmarks and within the top tier of UAE exam attainment, Jumeirah College is resolutely not a hot house school, and refuses to be one. Nor is it academically selective. A graduating class of well-adjusted, happy men and women, armed with a network of peers and friendships that will stand the test of time, with the examination grades to attend their University (or performing arts college) of choice, is the College’s bigger picture focus.”

KHDA 2017 Rating: Outstanding


The Winchester School – Jebel Ali Gardens

Our View: “… wonderful, extraordinary school. It is a rare thing to be able to be so positive about a school that many parents will simply not have heard of, this partly because it (confusingly) shares a name with another very different GEMS school, GEMS Winchester- Dubai (the poorest performing of all GEMS schools). The two schools could not be further apart. For parents seeking a high quality English National Curriculum based whole child education for their children, operating on a tight budget, that can forego the bells and whistles of the Tier 1s, it is hard to think of a better school. Yes, the teacher: student ratio is high (1:30) – but, with the drive and quality of teaching on offer here – in combination with the blending effect that comes from a school that genuinely nurtures the talents of its 90-strong nationality mix, it just works.”

KHDA 2017 Rating: Very Good


Dubai British School

Our View: “In our March 2017 visit, what struck us above all was the quite extraordinary ways in which the school engages with its children. A really good example of this we were particularly impressed with is the involvement of children in “Lesson Observations” – , the school empowers children to view lessons, and teaching, independently and not come across this before and it is indicative of the trust and strength of relationships that underpin school life. There are a number of schools in Dubai that, notwithstanding inspection data, offer a very high level of education for children across all phases and which present very little difficulty in securing our recommendation. Dubai British School in Emirates Hills (DBS) falls squarely in this category.”

KHDA 2017 Rating: Very Good


The School of Research Science 

Our view: “The school is academic, providing the full-phase English National Curriculum from EYFS to GCE A’ Level. The school invests heavily in teaching staff, the majority recruited from the UK. The ethos off the school is resolutely Arabic and Salat, as the second Pillar of Islam, is central to school life. The bottom line is an overall fabulous, in many ways unique English National Curriculum based Arabic school, offering a rare combination of outstanding facilities, significant investment in teachers; beautiful school buildings and grounds; breadth and quality of academic subject choices at both (I)GCSE and GCE A’ Level; flourishing, inspiring Islamic cultural underpinnings; committed and investing governors (including the founder) – all combined with some of the best added value schooling available anywhere across the Emirates’ schools.The School of Research Science is a school operating on the borders of Outstanding” school status – and one with the significant remaining capacity to meet its aim to be the best school in its particular sector as it continues to evolve and develop. Highly recommended.”

KHDA 2017 Rating: Very Good

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]
  • Natalie
    February 28, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    The School of Research Science is, in my opinion, nothing like as good a school as you suggest. Its student population lacks manners and obedience. I would not recommend this school despite its outward appearance. It looks extravagant on the outside due all the money they spend on it; however that actual educational system and atmosphere is poor.

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