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Top 9 Affordable IB Curriculum Schools by Fees and Ratings

Top 9 Affordable IB Curriculum Schools by Fees and Ratings

by Lis ONealApril 13, 2018

With the increasing interest in, and growing popularity of, the IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum, we, at, have done our best to identify the Top Affordable IB curriculum schools in the UAE. We have to admit that this has been something of a challenge. The IB curriculum is split into several stages, with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for KG and Primary children, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for Secondary/Middle School and the IB Diploma or Career-related Programme (IBDP/IBCP) offered at post -16.

Some of our listed schools currently offer only the Primary Years Programme in combination with either the UK or US curriculum, but we believe that they are worthy of consideration for parents who want their children to be exposed to the IB programme, perhaps at a more moderate fee level, in advance of considering an IB Secondary education where fees tend to climb steeply.

The UAE’s international population would seem to offer an ideal clientele for the IB programme which is recognised globally now after its beginnings in Switzerland for the education of the children of diplomats in the 1950’s.  The IB Diploma programme (IBDP) is regarded by many top Western universities as the Gold Standard for university entry. Find out more about the IBDP programme and what makes it so interesting by reading our Guide here.

At its heart, within the PYP, the IB curriculum focuses on the way in which children learn and adopts a cross-curricular, topic-based approach, so that children learn how different subjects and experiences may interact with each-other.  Students are encouraged to be enquirers, to question and to participate actively in their own learning – and to become life-long learners; vital in this fast-moving world.  The MYP and IBDP programmes are more subject-specific, but build on the skills learnt within the PYP framework.

The delivery of an IB curriculum, in terms of the skilled teachers required to teach it, means that IB schools are often considerably more costly than other curricula.  We have found the Top 9 IB curriculum schools based on their moderate (by comparison) fee structure and their effectiveness, based on their ADEK or KHDA inspection ratings, which are Good or above.  Where the schools have not been inspected by the UAE regulators, we have based their inclusion on their accreditation by the International Baccalaureate Organisation, which conducts a rigorous three year training and inspection process during the school’s candidacy, prior to their approval as an IB World School.


School Location Rating Fees – lowest to highest Our View
Ajman Academy Muwaihatal (BSME) AED24,000 – AED66,350 Now established IB curriculum school offering PYP and UK curriculum to Grade 12 with plans to expand to full IB curriculum.
Dar Al Marefa, Dubai Mirdif Good AED32,670 – AED74,118 Among the longest established IB curriculum schools in Dubai, rated Good by the KHDA in the last inspection round.
Emirates National School Al Ain Towaya Good AED22,100 – AED53,770 The first of the ENS schools to be approved as an IB school, offering its unique combination of US Common Core content taught within the IB curriculum framework.
Emirates National School Al Nahyan Al Nayhan Good AED23,330 – AED55,920 Based on Abu Dhabi Island, this through school also offers a combined US/IB curriculum with options for students to choose which qualification they complete in Grade 12. A separate KG and Primary school at Al Manaseer also feeds to this school.
Emirates National School MBZ Mussafah Good AED23,330 – AED55,920 The first Abu Dhabi-based ENS school offering the US curriculum content within an IB curriculum framework and qualification options for grades 11 and 12.
Emirates National School RAK Al Daith n/a AED16,300 – AED31,800 One of the two ENS schools in the Northern Emirates offering the IB PYP curriculum leading to a US curriculum in Secondary School.
Emirates National School Sharjah Al Rahmaniyah n/a AED16,300 – AED31,800 Also a relatively new school (opened in 2015) and offering an IB PYP framework with US curriculum content.
Emirates International School Meadows The Meadows Good AED 26,802 – AED74,538 One of the longest established IB curriculum schools in Dubai offering the full IB curriculum to Year 13.
RAK Academy Dafan Al Khor (CIS/BSO) AED 20,350 – AED38,000 Formerly RAK English Speaking School, now offering a full IB curriculum through its IB campus with plans for expansion in 2018.




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Lis ONeal

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