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Exclusive and updated. Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi set to open in Abu Dhabi in 2023. What will it look like? Who will it cater to? What we know so far…

Premium international schools group Nord Anglia Education has announced the launch of its third school in the UAE, Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi (NAS Abu Dhabi). The new Nord Anglia flagship school school is set to open in August 2023.

Located on Al Reem Island, NAS Abu Dhabi will be Nord Anglia’s 83rd school globally, and will join its two other UAE-based sister establishments, The British International School Abu Dhabi and Nord Anglia International School Dubai.

Bu what will it look like and who will it cater to? Here’s what we know so far…

What will it offer?

NAS Abu Dhabi will be an all-through British curriculum school, offering the English National Curriculum to students from Early Years until Year 13. Extensive breadth of subject choice will be a key USP of the school, with the school telling that it “aims to offer up to 25 A-levels for Years 12 and 13″ and “give students real depth of study within their subjects”.

NAS Abu Dhabi says that educational technology will be at the forefront of its experience, as “the key to building the leaders of tomorrow”, as well as a personalised approach to learning to empower students to “map out their own academic journey from early years.”

Staying on-brand for Nord Anglia Education, the NAS Abu Dhabi school will have a tight focus on recruiting outstanding teachers and be ambitious in targeting high-achieving academic performance from students:

“Guided by outstanding British and international teachers, your child will get exceptional academic results that open doors to higher education across the globe.

“Your child will also enjoy an extraordinary range of global learning experiences, which cultivate their creativity and resilience, and nurture their passions.”


A major second USP will be a focus on exclusive collaborations with global blue chip partners, these set to include Apple, Juilliard, UNICEF, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

What will it look like?

The Abu Dhabi school’s purpose-built campus will have capacity for 2,600 students, with an Early Years building, specialist classrooms, sports hall, competition swimming pool, and auditorium. There will be more than 100 classrooms, 12 science labs, art studios, music rooms, and a large design technology and maker space. The only released artist’s impression of the new school (pictured) was first released in December 2017 at the time the idea of the Abu Dhabi launch was first mooted. It may well be that the Architect’s original designs for the school will be considerably changed – watch this space.

The school is situated on Al Reem island, a fastest-developing neighbourhood on a natural island situated 600 metres off the north-eastern coast of Abu Dhabi and connected to Abu Dhabi city by bridges.  Located 20 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi airport, Al Reem island features a growing number of  restaurants, cafes, shops and beaches, in addition to the new Nord Anglia school.

Exclusive first Photo gallery

Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi opening 2023 Interior Design Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi opening 2023 Interior Design Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi opening 2023 Interior Design Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi opening 2023 Interior Design Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi opening 2023 Interior Design

Who will be leading it?

Jonathan Cuff NAS Abu Dhabi principal Nord Anglia

Jonathan Cuff is the founding principal of NAS Abu Dhabi

NAS Abu Dhabi’s founding Principal is Jonathan Cuff, who was formerly Managing Director of Nord Anglia’s three schools in the UK: Oxford International College, d’Overbroeck’s Oxford, and Oxford Sixth Form College. Jonathan was also previously Principal of d’Overbroeck’s. He has been an independent school inspector since 2015.

Jonathan Cuff, Principal, NAS Abu Dhabi, told

“NAS Abu Dhabi represents a fantastic choice for families in Al Reem Island and across the city.

With our architects, we’re creating a learning environment like no other and are looking forward to welcoming our founding families when we open our doors next year.”

Who will it cater to? 

Nord Anglia is well-known for its academic rigour, and schools like NAS Dubai are said to be strongly academically selective with their intake. NAS Abu Dhabi Principal Mr Cuff says that:

“NAS Abu Dhabi will be a school for everyone.”

“A NAS Abu Dhabi student will have access to the highest level of opportunity in any area they’re passionate about, regardless of their experience or ability.

It is unclear at this stage the degree to which NAS Abu Dhabi will continue the current Nord Anglia approach elsewhere to be academically selective, but Mr Cuff is keen to emphasise for all those children joining his school a passion for identifying a child’s interests and offering a method of learning that inspires excitement and sparks curiosity:

“When students are supported to follow what excites them, they naturally build ambition, and feel empowered to become independent with their studies, which in turn helps them as they move through their school experience.”

Read our full first review of Nord Anglia International School Abu Dhabi. 

See the NAS Abu Dhabi website here.

See our review of NAS Dubai here.

See our review of The British School Abu Dhabi here.

© A WhichMedia Group publication. 2023-2024. 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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