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Top 16 Affordable US Curriculum Schools in the UAE by Ratings and Fees

Top 16 Affordable US Curriculum Schools in the UAE by Ratings and Fees

by Lis ONealMarch 22, 2018
Updated April 2018 – the pick of the top US curriculum schools in the UAE
Whilst the desire for a US curriculum education for their children seems to remain strong among parents in the UAE, finding a school that has the right accreditation to ensure good quality at fees that are affordable has been something of a challenge in the past. 
Although the Regulators are now increasingly insisting that all international schools are fully accredited and their Diplomas and Certificates recognised by Colleges and Universities in the US and elsewhere, US curriculum schools have tended to be among the last to engage fully, in part because of the substantial investment in staff training required and the accreditation process.

US curriculum schools offering a good quality education have a tendency also, to be among the more costly options. has researched and identified the Top 16 affordable US curriculum schools that we believe provide proven quality at fees that are affordable (no more than AED 50,000 for the final grade). Our list of the Top 16 affordable US curriculum schools in the UAE by ratings and fees is based on ADEK/KHDA ratings of Good or above, since this is the minimum rating the regulators expect schools to achieve, in addition to fees within the affordable range.

Where schools are located in emirates that have not yet rolled out the Unified Inspection process, we have based their inclusion in our top US curriculum schools listings on the reputation of the owners and the accreditation of the schools by recognised US Accreditation Boards or the personal knowledge of the or teams. Although we could only identify a Top 16 affordable US curriculum schools in the UAE by ratings and fees, for families who feel that the US curriculum is the right route for them, we believe these schools offer proven quality at an affordable price.


School Location ADEK/KHDA rating Minimum/ maximum fees Our View
Al Dhafra Private School Abu Dhabi MBZ, Abu Dhabi Good AED 25,000 – 44,900 Life in the school is friendly and culturally diverse with a positive and inclusive ethos in which all staff and students support and respect each other”. The school has students from Kindergarten (KG) to Grade 12. KG to Grade 4 is mixed gender, in Grades 5 to 12 boys and girls are taught in single gender classes, with the exception of a few electives and some International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) classes. The school follows an American curriculum from KG to Grade 8; from Grade 9 to 12, students were previously able to choose to follow the American or British curriculum. Only 40 of its 1,630 students were following the UK curriculum in grades 9 to 12 when last inspected by ADEK in 2016 and which is now being phased out.
Al Dhafra Private School Al Ain Al Ain Good AED 11,700 The school has students from Kindergarten (KG) to Grade 12. KG to Grade 4 is mixed gender, in Grades 5 to 12 boys and girls are taught in single gender classes, with the exception of a few electives and some International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) classes. The school follows an American curriculum from KG to Grade 8; from Grade 9 to 12, students were previously able to choose to follow the American or British curriculum.  The UK curriculum is now being phased out.
Al Ittihad Private School Jumeirah Al Safa, Dubai Good AED 20,126 – 39,196 Al Ittihad is a mixed school, but from high school, there is a Girls High School and a Boys High School and classes are separate. The school teaches in English, and follows a US curriculum, aligned with the  Common Core curriculum in English and mathematics. Science is based on the US national science standards. The school follows the Ministry of Education curricula in Islamic Education and Arabic. Students take examinations for a High School Diploma, SAT university entry tests and International Benchmark Tests (IBT). The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and with the Council of International Schools (CIS). Attainment and progress at Al Ittihad Jumeirah are best in KG and High School, where they are rated Good across the board.
Al Mawakeb School Al Barsha Al Barsha 1, Dubai Good AED 14,425 – 23,092 Kindergarten students are taught through the medium of French with English and Arabic as additional lessons. From Elementary onwards, the curriculum is delivered in English with French and Arabic as separate subjects. Students study a modified US curriculum combined with the Ministry of Education Islamic Education and Arabic curricula. From Grade 5 boys and girls are separated. The 2015-2016 KHDA inspection rated the school as Good, an improved ranking from the Acceptable that the school had received since inspections commenced six years ago.  The report notes that the school had succeeded in meeting all of the MoE’s requirements including; improving self-evaluation; improvement planning; as well as improving the quality of support across all phases, leading to a Good rating.
Al Mawakeb School Al Garhoud Garhoud, Dubai Good AED 14,245 – 23,092 The school currently has an Good level of teaching and performance according to its KHDA report, for the second year in a row. Areas of strength include Islamic Education in the elementary school and Arabic as a first language in the elementary and middle schools. Overall, English attainment and progress are good in the Kindergarten, middle and high school. Students also demonstrate good attainment and progress in mathematics in the middle and high school. In the good lessons, students were actively engaged.  Behaviour at the school is said to be Good. Parents are said to be largely pleased with the school, and satisfied with attainment, especially in Arabic, culture and Islamic studies.
Al Yasat Private School Khalifa A, Abu Dhabi Good AED 31,500 – 48,300 Al Yasat Private School follows the US Common Core curriculum for English and Maths, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Science and the Virginia Curriculum for all other subjects. Inevitably, with its base in a very heavily Emirati occupied area, the majority of students at Al Yasat are local children with just under 15% of the students being other Arab nationalities; Yemenis, Jordanians and Egyptians each represent about 2%.The school seeks to ensure a creative, safe and nurturing educational environment enables students to learn effectively, an engaging curriculum which provides each student with the opportunity to think independently, explore, question and investigate encourages students to become lifelong learners. Al Yasat Private School’s strengths were the achievement of students in social studies, English, mathematics, science and learning skills, and the proficiency with which most students communicate in English, in all sections of the school. Students also demonstrate very positive attitudes to their studies.
Abu Dhabi International School MBZ MBZ, Abu Dhabi Good AED 30,800 – 46,400 The school delivers genuinely impressive external examination results in UK streams for students in Grades 10 to 12, students’ English and Arabic language skills are very well developed across all phases of provision and excellent SEN provision is matched by a whole-school commitment to matching educational provision for individual students according to their abilities and needs.  Extensive choice of curriculum routes – UK, US and IB – to better match examinations to ability enabling students to find success at a long list of top-ranked universities both in the US and elsewhere.
American School of Creative Science Al Barsha Al Barsha South, Dubai n/a AED 26,250 – 46,875 ASCS is a relatively new school in Dubai (currently open to Grade 5), building on the model first established by its owners, Bukhatir Education Advancement & Management (Beam), in its two established Sharjah Schools – American School of Creative Science (ASCS) and International School of Creative Science (ISCS). All the Creative Science schools are targeted to Muslim families seeking an education for their children that balances the requirements of Arabic and Western educational approaches. The aim is that students should graduate as well-rounded young men and women with the Western qualifications necessary to continue to university study, whilst also being steeped-in, and appreciative of the richness of the broader Arabic and Muslim cultural and religious contexts integral to their heritage.
American School of Creative Science Layyah Layyah, Sharjah n/a AED 19,500 – 28,600 The American School of Creative Science, Layyah (ASCS) is a Sharjah based K1 – G4 school that will progressively add grades to offer the American High School Diploma for students completing their High School education in future years. Part of the BEAM group of schools, all offer a unique combination of international curriculum within a UAE context, with a specific focus on traditional values and strong emphasis on Islamic teaching, including Koran recitation. ASCS Layyah follows the California standards US Common Core curriculum (for English Language Arts, Math, and History/Geography, and Next Generation Science Standards for Science) integrated with the UAE Arabic, Islamic Studies and Social studies curriculum. The school aims to develop competent learners with a unique blend of values and moral-based education.
American School of Creative Science Maliha Maliha, Sharjah n/a AED 21,500 – 46,000  ASCS describes itself as family friendly with excellence rooted in its values. Its strengths, it says, lie in the Islamic environment in combination with a true American education; the interculturalism and internationalism of its students, and the rich delivery of a dual-curriculum (around 44 nationalities are represented in the student body). Islamic values are clearly in the school’s DNA with students expected to uphold [its] moral and behavioral standards. The school states that its aim is to offer the very best of academic instruction combining US Curriculum with UAE National Curriculum. This is delivered in an environment emphasizing on strong moral values, ethos, and cultural traditions.
Dubai National School Al Barsha Al Barsha 1, Dubai Good AED 21,896 – 35,298 The school follows a US curriculum and students take the SATs and TOEFL tests. Students also take the IBT (ACER) tests in Grades 3 through 10. Students are organised into four phases: Kindergarten, elementary (Grades 1-5), middle (Grades 6-8) and high (Grades 9-12).Boys are separated from girls once they complete Grade 3 and start Grade 4. The school itself consistently makes the grade: As of 2015-2016 the school received the KHDA inspection rating of Good – the seventh year in a row it has achieved the Dubai education regulators second highest rating. Strong features notes the KHDA include the promotion of Islamic values; the quality of students’ personal and social education and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. Academically, the school is rated good, across core subjects, for both attainment and progress, across all phases of the school. The majority of parents and students see the school, its leadership and sense of inclusion in positive terms.
Dubai National School Al Twar Al Twar, Dubai Good AED 21,458 – 35,177 Both Dubai National Schools in Al Barsha and (the newer) school in Al Twar follow an American, English speaking curriculum, and are owned by the Dubai National Group of Schools. The curriculum is described as “broadly based” on a US framework by the KHDA. The school has now won accreditation with the New England Accreditation Board. The school is newer than its Al Barsha cousin, having been established in 2000. Highlights of the school include good attainment and progress in Islamic Education and in Arabic as an additional language; the attention paid by staff members to promoting healthy lifestyles and keeping students safe; the identification of the needs of students in the Easy Learning Section; and the positive attitudes to learning across the school for girls. Dubai National School, A Twar is clearly a well resourced school and making strong academic progress under new leadership.
iCademy Middle East Knowledge Village, Dubai n/a AED 18,332 – 25,672 Offering both on-line, home-schooling and tuition at their premises in Knowledge Village, iCademy offers an exceptionally targeted curriculum designed around individual children, high value fees that could deliver a world class, balancing enrichment programme, a solution for many students in a vast number of circumstances including where mainstream education simply does not fit, or is not available for a limited period, proven delivery with around a decade’s experience in the Middle East and full support of a heavyweight US on-line education provider. KHDA accreditation – unique for this type of schooling. Children can simply, and seamlessly, transfer in and out of the curriculum to mainstream alternatives.
Greenwood International School Muhaisnah 1, Dubai Good AED 18,229 – 27,952 The school follows an American curriculum aligned with Florida and US Common Core standards with subjects taught in English. Students are prepared to sit the SAT exam and core subjects from grade 9 include English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Humanities (Including Islamic Studies, Civics, Geography and History), Science (Physics, Chemistry or Biology), Arabic and PE. Graduate students receive the US equivalent High School Diploma. All students are required to take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. As of 2016-17 the school received the KHDA inspection rating of Good,for the seventh year in a row.
Liwa International School Al Ain Good AED 16,200 – 29,300 The school’s motto, ‘Together for a Better Future for Our Children’ defines its vision and underlines its goal of inspiring the youth to become critical thinkers and world leaders of the future. The school aims to go beyond ‘traditional education’. It nurtures individuals, allows them to polish their skills, educates them and hopes to bring their ambitions to the fore.  Liwa International School aims to cultivate a parent-child relationship with all members and to ensure that learning is more experiential than factual. Academic programs are in line with international standards, but the school’s educational approach is inspired by the UAE culture and the UAE national identity.  The school follows the American Common Core curriculum, together with the Ministry of Education curriculum for Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies. The school was rated Good in its last ADEK inspection during the 2015-16 academic year.
Liwa International School for Girls Al Ain Good AED 32,500 – 41,850 Liwa International School, located in Al Ain, is a relatively new school, having opened in 2016. It is the sister school to Liwa International School (a mixed-gender school) that opened in 1992.The school aims to provide a high quality, creative and challenging international education, based on the American Curriculum Philosophy.The school works within an American curriculum framework, aiming to prepare its students for the SAT, the AP, and the TOEFL exam. It currently offers KG1 to Grade 8 and will expand annually until fully open to Grade 12.

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Lis ONeal

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