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One of Britain’s oldest independent schools, the Royal Grammar School Guildford, set to open in Dubai in 2021. The Big Story.
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One of Britain’s oldest independent schools, the Royal Grammar School Guildford, set to open in Dubai in 2021

Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai [RGS Guildford in Dubai] set to bring 500 years of heritage and innovation to Dubai’s education sector


The Big News: Premium, Tier 1, New British School Confirmed to Launch in Dubai

“RGS Guildford in Dubai is about to become one of the finest international schools in the world for boys and girls.”

RGS Guildford. United Kingdom.

One of the most prestigious independent British Curriculum schools in the UK, the Royal Grammar School Guildford (RGS Guildford), has announced it is bringing its 500-year heritage and academic excellence to Dubai. The flagship British curriculum school will open its new campus in September 2021.


The History

Established in 1509, RGS Guildford is renowned for its track record of academic excellence and innovative approach to teaching that prepares young people for life, whilst retaining its historic roots. By combining a foundation of heritage with a forward-thinking approach to teaching and learning, RGS Guildford is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the UK at both A Level and GCSE.


Each year, all RGS Guildford’s pupils routinely secure places on the most competitive courses at leading world universities, with some 325 graduates over the last 10 years attending Oxford or Cambridge Universities. RGS Guildford’s alumni have gone on to have successful careers in all areas from business to sports, the creative arts and politics.

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai will share the same ethos and academic rigour of its parent school in the UK and its expansion to the UAE marks a key milestone in the school’s 500-year history.

Dr. Jon Cox, Headmaster of RGS Guildford in the UK, commented:

“Investing in the very best teachers, consistently and across the entire school, is a top priority for RGS Guildford Dubai, to ensure that our students achieve top-level results, and to build a culture and community that holds our children at its heart.

Dubai is a global city which is renowned for its diversity and dynamic mindset – qualities which have inspired RGS Guildford for hundreds of years.

To prepare our pupils for the challenges of the twenty first century, we must lead by example: staying true to our values, collaborating with others, innovating and striving always to be the very best we can be.

RGS Guildford Dubai is a central part of allowing us to realise this vision.”

More on RGS Guildford Dubai’s outstanding parent school in the United Kingdom can be found here.

The parent school will lead the educational philosophy, school ethos and curriculum of The Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai. Governance of the school will be conducted by a joint board.


School Leadership at The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai

Photograph of Craig Lamshed, Founding Principal RGS Guildford Dubai. Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai.

The school will be led by Founding Principal Mr. Craig Lamshed, who brings over 25 years of education and senior leadership experience to the UAE, including as a Principal in Dubai and also covering the British, UAE, International Baccalaureate, Australian and American curricula.

Mr. Lamshed has been a brand leader for Cambridge Schools in Dubai, a member of the Global Education Review and is accredited as a British Schools Overseas reviewer. He brings to RGS Guildford Dubai proven experience of founding a secondary school in the UAE, profound and wide-ranging educational leadership, including in Dubai, and a passion for excellence.

“I cannot wait to welcome pupils and parents through RGS Guildford Dubai doors in 2021 to what will be a fantastic school and an amazing educational experience for our community.

We have a genuine interest in our pupil relationships as we believe this is what promotes happiness and well-being in school.

RGS Guildford Dubai’s stellar curriculum is entwined with the school’s core values and will provide a platform for students to reach their full potential, irrespective of their passion.

Mr. Craig Lamshed. Founding Principal. The Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai. 

Mr Lamshed will be joined by Founding Head of Prep, Mrs Clare Turnbull, who will transfer directly from the UK parent school.

Photograph of Clare Turnbull, Founding Head of Prep at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai RGS Guildford Dubai

Mrs Turnbull told

“Having served as the Head of Prep of RGS Guildford, the parent school in the UK for 13 years, I am truly delighted to be bringing the RGS values and ethos to Dubai. We will inspire every pupil’s interests and passions and support them to become individuals who are confident, courageous and caring – intellectually curious and kind.”

Clare Turnbull. Founding Head of Prep. Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai.


Premium Facilities

RGS Guildford Dubai will provide a co-education for boys and girls aged between three and eighteen years.

Photograph render of Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai RGS Guildford Dubai Ground Floor Classrooms

The light and dynamic building will include a 25-metre competition standard swimming pool.

World class Sport facilities at The Royal Grammar School Dubai - the new British Curriculum Tier 1 Premium School opening in Dubai UAE in September 2021

State-of-the-art classrooms and labs will support science, art, languages, music and more.



Directions to and map of Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai

The ‘Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai’ [RGS Guildford in Dubai] is the hub school for Majid Al Futtaim’s flagship Dubai community, Tilal Al Ghaf, adjacent to Hessa Street, between Dubai Motor City and Sports City.

The Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai is the hub school of the Tilal Al Ghaf community in Dubai

On completion, the school will sit on an impressive 10 acre site, and will be able to accommodate 2,100 students.

Mr. Hawazen Esber, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Communities, said:

Tilal Al Ghaf is located in one of Dubai’s fastest growing freehold residential areas, popular with international families and designed around the integrated principles of placemaking and people.

The decision by the Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai to be part of Tilal Al Ghaf is a significant endorsement for this exciting community and we are working closely with the educational team as construction of the flagship international school progresses.

We are proud to welcome the school to Dubai, establishing new benchmarks in quality education.


The Interview

Listen here to the first interview with the Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai. Clare Turnbull, Head of Prep at RGS Guildford in Dubai, speaks to Tom Urquhart of Dubai Eye 1038FM:


Admissions and Further information

It is now confirmed that the Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai will be hosting a dedicated showcase exhibition stand at The Which School Show 2020 on November 7th 2020.

This will give parents in the UAE the very first opportunity to speak directly with the school on availability of places and registration. Parents can register to speak with the RGS Guildford Dubai team at the Which School Show here.

Our First Look Exclusive review of the new school will be published shortly here.

In the interim, if you are you looking to secure a place for your child, and would like help from our school consultants,  click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers from in association with our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.

Request School Information




About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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