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Outstanding British School Jumeirah College announces major expansion plans
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GEMS Education has announced plans to upgrade and expand its Tier 1 premium Jumeirah College secondary school in Dubai, with the first phase completed in time for the start of the 2023-24 academic year at the end of August this year.

The planned new investment in  Jumeirah College (JC) is significant. The Outstanding-rated British Curriculum school, which was founded in 1999 and has a track record of excellent academic performance, will now embark on a transformational building programme. New facilities and programmes will match the future-ready demands of education and industry.

The planned modernisation – along with the recent promotion of well-regarded Jumeirah Primary School (JPS) Principal Rachel Higgins as Head of Jumeirah Schools, overseeing both the Primary (JPS) and the Secondary (JC) – represents arguably the single biggest programme of change and investment in children in the school’s history. Feedback to SchoolsCompared from parents has been hugely positive.

How will Jumeirah College expand?

GEMS Education has announced that investment will focus on redeveloping an extensive site directly adjacent to the current campus to house a new Sixth Form Centre and specialist sports facilities for the Outstanding-rated secondary school, while at the same time enhancing and modernising the existing school building.

Phase 1 comprises the construction of the school’s new sixth form building, which will include a new café and common room, a research library, upgraded administration spaces and facilities, as well as bespoke teaching spaces. Phase 2 will see specialist sports facilities added to the site.

GEMS Education has assured parents that works will be managed in phases to avoid any impact on learning and ensure there is no ongoing building work while students are on campus.

Rob Kesterton, Acting Principal of Jumeirah College, told SchoolsCompared:

“We are able to add enhanced facilities and staffing to our already world-leading outcomes. The expansion of Jumeirah College allows us to further future-proof our students for 21st-century skills. It will enable us to send our students on to university and the workplace with belief that they have a competitive advantage over their peers, due to their tangible experience and adaptability, their creative and innovative solutions-focus, and their confidence and competence.”


Jumeirah College is located in Dubai’s Al Safa 1 neighbourhood, sharing the same street as its sister school, Jumeirah Primary School, also rated Outstanding. Together, they make up what GEMS Education dubs ‘the Jumeirah Schools’, and together offer a British education for children from Foundation Stage to Year 13.

Rachel Higgins, Principal/CEO of Jumeirah Primary School, and Head of Jumeirah Schools said:

“The Jumeirah Schools offer a unique opportunity in Dubai for families to experience dedicated primary and secondary sites within walking distance of each other. For over 10 years both schools have offered an Outstanding-rated provision to their students, and with Jumeirah College’s expansion we can look forward to an incredible future for all learners. The development of the College site allows for more students to experience that outstanding education. The new facilities enable additional subjects to join the wide offering already available and we look forward to including these courses.”

New VR, AI and Robotics qualifications and smaller class sizes planned

Completion of Phases 1 and 2 will free up capacity within the current campus, which in turn will allow for a redesign of the existing Jumeirah College space by September 2024. The main focus of this will be on enhancing existing facilities, including the creation of an auditorium with retractable seating and black box drama classrooms, new music suites, a larger canteen space, a food technology lab, a new multi-purpose sports hall, enhancement of the swimming pool and surrounds, an upgraded administration and reception area, and additional classrooms.

By September 2024, the school aims to add Robotics, AI, VR and Food Technology to its Key Stage 3 curriculum, with a view to adding qualifications in these subjects in the future. Additional teaching and administrative staff will also be recruited to augment curriculum provision, including specialist sports coaches, a full-time US admissions counsellor, and a research librarian for the new sixth form library.

In a rare move, in a sector generally seeing a move in the other direction, GEMS Education has announced that it aims to move towards smaller class sizes. The expectation is that these increased facilities will combine with teacher recruitment to allow the school to reduce class sizes, in turn enabling Jumeirah College to enhance its strong commitment to individual child centred learning.

See our review of Jumeirah College here.

See the Jumeirah College official website 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's The School's Report - the global weekly round up of what matters in education for parents which is published every Friday, reviewing schools across the UAE - and features on issues that really matter. You can often find Tabitha 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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