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Best Schools for Sport in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE
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Best Schools for Sport in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE

by Lis ONealApril 20, 2017

Top UK curriculum Sport schools in Dubai

Our criteria for determining the top schools is based on the range of competitive sports on offer, the involvement of the schools in competitive leagues or competitions and their success in those competitions. We have tried to establish not only what sports are played, but how focused on sports these schools are.  Where we have been able to ascertain the number of teams competing for specific sports, these are mentioned in the tables below.

There are clearly schools with particular strengths – notably in Cricket – that we have not included, but for students seeking to play specific sports, the range on offer and the schools who participate can be identified through the DASSA league.


UK curriculum

This was a challenging list to compile with so many schools participating from around Dubai, but here are our top 5. Highlighted teams are the number involved in competitive sports through a league.

Dubai College Dubai English Speaking College Jumeirah English Speaking School Jumeirah College Repton
Aquathlon 6 9
Athletics Y Y Y Y Y
Basketball 17 13 15 8 9
Cricket 5 3 4 5 7
Cross Country 6 16
Football 14 18 25 14 12
Hockey     1
Netball 22 17 21 8 10
Rounders 10 11 11 2 7
Rugby 7’s 6 11 8 6 6
Rugby 10’s 7 8 7 4 4
Rugby Union 8 10 15 4 3
Softball 1
Swimming 2 8 14 2 Y
Tennis 4 4 7 Y
Touch 2 3 2 1
Volleyball 1 2
Water Polo 6 6 5 Y
Total teams 117 112 153 60 62


In Dubai, based on the range of sports on offer and their consistency in winning the DASSA leagues and Rugby competitions, we are placing Dubai College and Dubai English Speaking College (DESC), in equal first place. At DESC, a remarkable 75% of students take part in after-school team competitive training and competitions.



We also rate JESS, Jumeirah English Speaking School, Arabian Ranches, which is  becoming more competitive each season, with a reinvigorated focus on sports taking place in the school and the introduction of a BTEC qualification in Sport in September 2017 (more details here).

Jumeirah College, Al Safa, in terms of commitment to the provision of sports can not be praised more highly.  With its central Jumeirah location, outdoor sports facilities on site are limited.  Students and staff travel to Dubai Sports City (a 30 minute drive) to practice and compete.

Repton School Dubai, Nad Al Sheba 3, with its expansive sports facilities is perhaps not as successful as might be expected, but still compares well with the other top schools. It also offers a Sports Exercise and Health Science course within its IB Diploma programme.

We also see several of the newer schools making an impact in the coming years – notably Kent College Dubai which has ambitious plans to expand its sports with a particular focus on developing Hockey as a competitive sport and Nord Anglia International School (NAS) which aims to compete across the DASSA leagues and already has 76 teams competing across 11 sports across both the Primary and Lower Secondary School. Lastly, Kings School Al Barsha will be offering sports scholarships from 2017 where successful applicants may receive a reduction in fees of up to 50% and specialist coaching.

Is it a coincidence that the 5 schools we rate most highly for competitive sports are also among the KHDA’s Outstanding Schools? We think not.  The best schools seek to educate students across all areas of personal development and competitive sports are a key element.


Next: Top US and IB Curriculum Sport Schools in Dubai

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Lis ONeal

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