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LOOK: The Best Back-To-School photos from the UAE’s top schools

It’s back-to-school week in the UAE, and schools all over the country have been pulling out all the stops to welcome their students at the school gates after the long summer break.

For those starting primary or secondary school for the first time, this can be a daunting occasion for both children and parents, with many a tear shed as mums and dads hug their little ones goodbye and watch them walk off to begin their new educational adventure.

But it’s also a joyous and exciting time for many, as friends are reunited, new classmates get to know each other, and students and teachers begin building that bond that will shape their academic journey for the new school year.

There are also some brand new schools opening their doors to new students for the very first time in the UAE this academic year, with top-tier British school Durham School Dubai and progressive IB school Bloom World Academy among the exciting new schools to be greeting an all-new influx of pupils and their families this week.

We’ve gathered together some of the best pictures from the Back-to-School week so far. Check them out below – or email yours to [email protected] to have yours featured.

Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai

RGSGD kicked off the week by welcoming new students and their parents into the school for a taster session, where families were inducted into the RGSGD way and got to meet their new friends and teachers in an intimate environment, ahead of the rest of the school returning the next day.


It was also a momentous day for Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai as it marks the very first day of the Senior School at RGSGD. The all-new secondary school staff welcomed an excited cohort of students, half of whom are existing students from last year’s Year 6, and half of whom are brand new to the school. Good luck Year 7s!

See our review of Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. 

Durham School Dubai

In one of the year’s most exciting school launches, Durham School Dubai opened its doors for the very first time this week. The top-tier British school in DIP is sister school to the prestigious and historic Durham School in the UK, and promotes traditional values of moral integrity and good manners, as well as a grounded approach that leans away from the over-use of technology in favour of real-world, back-to-basics skills such as good handwriting rather than tapping on a screen. The enthusiastic new staff faculty were  overjoyed to be able to welcome the brand-new cohort of founding students and their proud parents.


Read our review of Durham School Dubai here.

Bloom World Academy

There was excitement in the air as brand-new IB school Bloom World Academy welcomed its founding families and students into the school – not all at the same time, since one of the BWA’s unique selling points is that it has flexible starting times for families. The corridors and hallways, once empty, were now bustling with laughter as pupils made new friends and parents became a community.

Winner of the SchoolsCompared “Back to School Photograph of the Year 2022” (Main title picture detail and above) for capturing perfectly everything that is important in the return to school for a new academic year. Beautiful!

The littlest Bloom World Academy learners at Primo (Prek- Kg2) were delighted to find some cute little Bloom Bears waiting for them, neatly tucked inside their cubbies; a thoughtful surprise from the Senior Leadership Team. Here’s to a fabulous academic year at Bloom World Academy!

See our story on Bloom World Academy here.

Dove Green Private School

The first day of school is always exciting for kids, parents and also the teachers and Dove Green Private School Principal Patrick Affley was out giving a big, warm welcome to the returning and new students. The warm, community feel is very much alive in this friendly school, as you can see by the smiley faces on display as classmates caught up and new students embarked on their new educational journeys.

See our review of Dove Green Private School here. 

Al Bateen Academy

Check out the sheer joy on these children’s and parents’ faces on returning to Al Bateen Academy! This has got to be up there with some of the very happiest back-to-school pictures we’ve seen this year. We even spotted a picture of the school Principal helping one boy to tie his tie – how sweet!


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A post shared by Al Bateen Academy (@aabateenacademy)

See our review of Al Bateen Academy here. 

GEMS Wellington International School

Children and parents were picture perfect at GEMS Wellington International’s Back-to-school activity, which included a specially designed photo frame to encourage everyone to get posing and social! The GEMS Wellington International team said: “We saw so many smiles today from students, parents and teachers. Its so good to have you all back at school and ready for the coming academic year!”.

See our review of GEMS Wellington International here.

South View School

Lots of lovely smiles at South View School’s first day back after the summer. The school motto is “imagine greatness”, and we’re sure those students will be doing that and a lot more this new academic year.

Read our review of South View School here. 

The English College Dubai

It’s all about family and community at The English College Dubai – and big smiles all round of course, as students of all ages rejoined campus and caught up with teachers and classmates.

The little ones even celebrated their first days in FS2 with a letterboard picture – as well as lots of creativity, dressing, and imaginative play of course. How cute!

See our review of The English College here.

Horizon English School

Horizon English School pulled out all the stops this year, with a wonderful carnival-style welcome, filled with jugglers and stilt walkers. Read all about Horizon English School’s Back-to-school event here.

Wow! Where normal schools face tears and worries on Back to School Day, Horizon English School launches off with a giant circus to brings smiles and joy

See our review of Horizon English School here. 

Al Mamoura Academy

Big cuddly mascot friends greeted the new joiners at Al Mamoura Academy today. What a lovely, warm way to be welcomed back to school!

See our review of Al Mamoura Academy here.

Safa British School

It was thumbs-up all round for the returners and new starters at Safa British School. Principal Zara Harrington has told SchoolsCompared before about the meaning of the purple uniform and how it symbolises the kind and compassionate qualities of Safa British School students. We love seeing those #proudtobepurple smiles!


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A post shared by Safa British School (

See our review of Safa British School here. 

Victory Heights Primary School

The adorable little ones starting FS for the first time looked super happy at Victory Heights Primary School’s first day at school.

See our review of Victory Heights Primary School here.

© A WhichMedia Group publication. 2022. 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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