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School Fees A – Z. Revealed! Most and least expensive UAE school fees. Cost of all Outstanding and Very Good rated Dubai schools and Abu Dhabi schools

How much should you be paying for UAE school fees? There’s no doubt that education costs are one of the most significant outlays for UAE families, with almost one third (29%) of UAE parents spending between 20 – 50% of their household income on school fees per year, according to data gathered from more than 8,000 UAE families by education-intelligence service

So how many dirhams does this equate to? EdStatica intelligence can exclusively reveal that the average cost of UAE school fees is Dh31,079 per year. But the average cost per emirate and the cost per school varies dramatically, ranging from Dh2,200 per year at the UAE’s most affordable school, all the way up to Dh106,000 at the country’s most premium school.

The cost of an education in the UAE is the second-highest in the world after Hong Kong, according to a 2018 report by HSBC, with the average family shelling out just under $100,000 (Dh365,000) per child to pay for their primary-to-university education.

But which is the most and least expensive emirate in which to send your child to school? Which are the most and least expensive schools in the UAE? And why do the costs vary so significantly? data reveals all below.

Average cost of UAE school fees by emirate

Education-intelligence service has gathered insights from schools across the UAE to reveal which is the cheapest emirate for educating your child in the UAE.

Emirate Average cost of School Fees (AED) per year Average number of students per school Total number of school students
UAE (all emirates) 31,079 1,368 614,017
Dubai 36,783 1,466 312,249
Abu Dhabi 31,827 1,346 158,859
Sharjah 20,164 1,224 77,112
Ras Al Khaimah 16,450 1,508 12,062
Fujairah 15,567 1,777 10,663
Ajman 13,878 987 9,870
Umm Al Quwain 21,500 N/A N/A

Why are some UAE school fees so much more expensive than others?

Some of the most common gripes we hear from parents is ‘why is education in the UAE so expensive? And why do the costs vary so much?” Indeed, it’s possible to find two good-quality schools offering the same curriculum in the UAE, one of which is double (or more) the cost of the other. Why is this?

There are many possible reasons. In a lot of cases it can be explained by the age of the school. Newer schools often cost significantly more – partly because they have the latest, top-of-the-range facilities and the rent on newly acquired real-estate to pay off, and partly because older schools that opened with a lower price point 20+ years ago (when the Dubai and UAE education landscape was very different) are restricted by the school regulators on how much they can raise their fees by per year.

But there are many other factors that can significantly affect the cost of education and it’s important to realise the compromises on quality that can come with lower fees in many cases. These trade-offs include the student-to-teacher ratios (class sizes can vary from around 15 students per class to 35 or more); the number of subject options that students are allowed to choose between (subject breadth is exceptionally important – and the more subjects offered the greater the investment in teachers required of a school); the extent of extra-curricular choices offered; and the experience and nationality of the school staff (some countries are more expensive to recruit from than others). You will also usually expect to pay more for a recognised brand, whether of an established local school group, or a globally recognised brand that has opened in the region. The rationale is that established brands and school groups give parents the security of working with a known and proven quantity and quality of delivery.

20 Most affordable schools in the UAE

Name Fees Curriculum Location
Indian Public High School Ras al Khaimah AED 2,200 Indian Al Seer, Ras al-Khaimah
Indian School Fujairah AED 3,100 Indian Al Faseel, Fujairah
Iranian Salman Farsi Boys School AED 3,100 Iranian Al Qusais, Dubai
Pakistan Community Welfare School AED 3,100 FBISE Mussafah, Abu Dhabi
Little Flower English School AED 3,600 Indian Hor Al Anz, Dubai
Crescent English High School AED 3,800 Indian Al Qusais, Dubai
Ideal English School AED 4,400 Indian Mamourah, Ras al-Khaimah
Iranian Khadije Kobra School for Girls AED 4,400 Iranian Al Karama, Dubai
Happy Home Private School AED 4,500 British Al Ghubaiba, Sharjah
Asian International School Madinat Zayed AED 4,500 Indian Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi
Progressive English School AED 4,600 Indian Al Yarmouk, Sharjah
Gulf Model School AED 4,700 Indian Al Muhaisnah, Dubai
The Central School Dubai AED 4,800 Indian Al Nahda, Dubai
International Indian School Ajman AED 4,800 Indian Al Jurf, Ajman
New Indian Model School Dubai AED 5,000 Indian Garhoud, Dubai
Far Eastern Private School Al Shahba AED 5,000 Philippines Al Shahba, Sharjah
Far Eastern Private School Halwan AED 5,000 Philippines Halwan, Sharjah
Al Ameer English School AED 5,100 Indian Jurf, Ajman
Grammar School Dubai AED 5,400 British Garhoud, Dubai
Indian High School Al Garhoud AED 5,400 Indian Garhoud, Dubai


20 Most Expensive Schools in the UAE

Name Fees Curricula Location
North London Collegiate School Dubai AED 106,000 IB Sobha Hartland, Dubai
Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai AED 98,000 British Tilal Al Ghaf, Dubai
GEMS World Academy Dubai AED 90,500 IB Al Barsha, Dubai
Dubai College AED 86,000 British Al Sufouh, Dubai
GEMS Dubai American Academy AED 82,500 American, IB Al Barsha, Dubai
Nord Anglia International School Dubai AED 81,500 British, IB Al Barsha, Dubai
Dwight School Dubai AED 81,500 IB Dubai Sports City, Dubai
Jumeirah College AED 81,000 British Al Safa, Dubai
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi AED 80,500 British Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
American School of Dubai AED 77,500 American Al Barsha, Dubai
Kent College Dubai AED 77,500 British, IB Nad al Sheba, Dubai
Swiss International Scientific School Dubai AED 77,500 IB Dubai Healthcare City Phase 2, Dubai
Dunecrest American School AED 77,000 American, IB Al Barari, Dubai
Kings’ School Al Barsha AED 74,000 British Al Barsha, Dubai
Repton School Al Barsha AED 73,500 British Al Barsha South, Dubai
Repton School Dubai AED 73,000 British, IB Nad al Sheba, Dubai
Brighton College Dubai AED 72,000 British Al Barsha South, Dubai
Dubai English Speaking College AED 71,500 British Dubai Academic City, Dubai
Arcadia School AED 71,000 British Jumeirah Village Triangle, Dubai
Australian International School Dubai AED 70,500 IB Al Barsha South, Dubai

How much does a good value, good quality education cost in the UAE?

How can you tell if a school offers good value for your money?

Although it’s true that you often get what you pay for, higher cost does not always equate to higher quality, and vice versa.

One quick way to get an indication of a school’s quality is to look at its inspection rating.

The private-education regulators in Dubai (the KHDA) and Abu Dhabi (ADEK) both arrange regular school inspections, during which they assess a school’s quality based on a variety of criteria, and then award an inspection rating as a result.

These ratings both range from Outstanding to Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Weak and Very Weak. Dubai schools’ inspection ratings are also known as the DSIB rating, because they are awarded by the Dubai School Inspection Bureau, which is part of the office of the Dubai education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Abu Dhabi schools’ inspection rating are known as the Irtiqaa Rating and are awarded by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).

Although the regulators’ rating is not the bottom line when it comes to a schools’ quality – you’ll need to read the SchoolsCompared or WhichSchooAdvisor review and ultimately visit the school for yourself to get that – it gives a useful, broad-brush indication of what sort of level you can expect.

Below is a table of schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that have been rated as either Outstanding or Very Good by their respective regulators, listed in order of their fees.


‘Outstanding’ rated Dubai schools listed in order of cost 

School Average Fees (AED) Curriculum
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School Oud Metha 38,000 French
GEMS Modern Academy 43,000 Indian, IB
Dubai English Speaking School (Primary only) 43,000 British
GEMS Royal Dubai School – Dubai Branch (Primary only) 47,000 British
Jumeirah English Speaking School (Primary only) 48,000 British
GEMS Jumeira Primary School – Dubai Branch (Primary only) 50,000 British
Horizon English School (Primary only) 52,500 British
Kings School Dubai L.L.C (Primary only) 55,000 British
Dubai British School 60,000 British
Jumeirah English Speaking School (Secondary) 65,500 British, IB
GEMS Wellington International School – Dubai Branch 68,000 British, IB
Dubai English Speaking College 71,500 British
Repton School 73,000 British, IB
Kings School Al Barsha 74,000 British
Jumeirah College 81,000 British
GEMS Dubai American Academy – Dubai Branch 82,500 American, IB
Dubai College 86,000 British

‘Very Good’ rated Dubai schools listed in order of cost

School Average fees per year (AED) Curriculum
The Indian High School 7,911 Indian
GEMS Our Own English High School 10,500 Indian
M S B Private School 10,500 British
Delhi Private School 12,000 Indian
JSS Private School L.L.C 15,500 Indian
The Winchester School – DUBAI BRANCH 20,000 British
The Millennium School 21,500 Indian
JSS International School  23,000 Indian
GEMS New Millennium School 26,000 British, Indian
Ambassador School 28,000 Indian
Lycee Francais International, Oud Metha 38,000 French
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School (Dubai Branch) 41,500 French
Victory Heights Primary School L.L.C (Primary only) 44,500 British
Emirates International Private School  Meadows 51,500 IB
Regent International Private School L.L.C 52,000 British
Ranches Primary School (Primary only) 52,500 British
Safa British School 53,500 British
Raffles International School L.L.C (Umm Suqeim South Br) 55,500 British
Raffles World Academy 57,000 IB
Universal American School – Branch 57,500 American, IB
Deira International School 58,000 British, IB
Jebel Ali School 58,000 British
Kings School Nad Al Sheba  58,000 British
Dubai International Academy  58,500 IB
GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis 59,500 British, IB
Uptown International School 59,500 IB
Hartland International School 61,500 British
Sunmarke School L.L.C 62,000 British, IB
Safa Community School 63,000 British
Jumeira Baccalaureate School 63,500 IB
GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail  67,000 British
Dubai British School Jumeirah Park 68,000 British
Repton Al Barsha 73,500 British
Nord Anglia International School 81,500 British, IB
GEMS World Academy 90,500 IB


‘Outstanding’ rated Abu Dhabi schools listed in order of cost

School Average annual fees (AED) Curriculum
Merryland International School 31,000 British
Pearl Primary School (Primary only) 43,000 British
Al Muna Primary School – Ad (Primary only) 45,000 British
Al Yasmina School 51,000 British
Raha International School 55,500 IB
The British School – Khubairat 59,500 British
Brighton College Abu Dhabi  65,000 British
Brighton College Al Ain 66,000 British
Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi 80,500 British

‘Very Good’ rated schools listed in order of cost

School Average annual fees Curriculum
Private International English 15,000 Indian
Al Bashair Private School 19,311 MOE
Abu Dhabi International Pvt 20,500 British, American
Al Ain American Private School 20,500 American
Liwa International Private, Al Ain, Falaj Hazzaa 22,000 American
Al Ittihad National Private School 24,000 American
Emirates National School Al Ain 32,000 American, IB
Horizon Private School -Branch 32,500 Amercian
Japanese Private 34,500 Japanese
Emirates National, MBZ 35,000 American, IB
Lycee Louis Massignon 36,000 French
Abu Dhabi International- Mbz 39,500 American, IB
German International School 40,500 German
The American International Ad 44,000 American
Al Ain International School 48,000 British
Sheikh Zayed Academy For Girls 52,000 American
Repton Foundation School L.L.C 59,000 British
The British International Ad 59,500 British
Al Bateen School-Al Mushrif 60,500 British, IB
Sheikh Zayed Academy For Boys 61,500 American
American Community School 67,000 American, IB
Repton School 67,500 British, IB
Gems American Academy LlC 70,500 American, IB


All fees quoted are either published KHDA fees, or updated standard fees notified to us by schools directly, before any discounts that may be offered by schools to families individually.

© and EDSTATICATM A WhichMedia Group publication. 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 Parents United's WHICHPlaydates - a regular meeting place for UAE parents to discuss the issues that matter to them, make friends and network with others. You can often find Tabitha too on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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