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Outstanding Rated UAE Schools

The very top-tier of UAE schools according to the country's inspection teams. Currently, only Dubai and Abu Dhabi have a formal inspection process, so while there will be "Outstanding" schools in Sharjah, or Fujairah, they will not be listed here.

Notes:
We would always advise you to read the detail as to why a school has achieved a specific rating. There may be criteria that the KHDA or ADEC feel are important that you may not.

For the 2015/16 inspection reports, Abu Dhabi and Dubai moved to a unified six point rating: Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Weak and Very Weak.

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Outstanding
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January 25, 2017

Lycée Francais International Georges Pompidou Nursery School, Oud Metha

The story of the Lycée Français International Georges Pompidou Ecole Maternelle [LFIGP-EM] is almost completely aligned with the appointment of the school’s current Principal (La Directrice) Saadia Hachid. Appointed in September 2013, in just one year she oversaw the transformation from KHDA “Good” to “Outstanding” school status, the creation of a dedicated Maternelle school focused exclusively on educating young children between 3 and 6 years of age (Petite Section de maternelle (PS), Moyenne Section (MS) de maternelle, Grande Section (GS) de maternelle) and the redevelopment and renewal of the old school to create a genuinely, child-focused, [...]

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June 27, 2016

Lycée Francais International Georges Pompidou, Dubai Academic City, Al Ruwayyah

KHDA Outstanding, with fees around half those of its competing equivalent Tier 1 English and IB peers, Lycée Francais International Georges Pompidou (LFIGP) is a school that is hard to find fault with. The parent school, based in Sharjah, and established in 1973, it should be noted, is equally as impressive.

In Dubai, LFIGP provision is split between what are, to all intents and purposes, two campuses. The Oud Metha school, offers an FS1-2 Maternelle education to children between the ages of 3 and 6 years, and acts as the slipstream to the main Primary and Secondary school in Dubai Academic City. The DAC campus/school completes each childs education, offering all-through [...]

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May 12, 2016

GEMS Royal Dubai School, Al Mizhar 1, Mirdif

GEMS Royal Dubai School (GRDS) is a KHDA rated “Outstanding” school, established in 2005, providing an FS to Year 6 British, English National Curriculum based education to children between the ages of 3 and 11.

Parents have a choice of slipstream to either IGCSE/International A Level based GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa or IGCSE/International Baccalaureate based alternatives at GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis, GEMS International School Al Khail and GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail.

We believe that parents should not underestimate the strength of the school, which in 2016-17 scored an exceptionally impressive “Outstanding” rating in 28 of a total possible [...]

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April 30, 2016

Raha International School, Al Raha Gardens, Khalifa City A

Updated January 2017

As of May 2016, Raha International School [RIS] is one of just three schools in Abu Dhabi to have achieved the “Band A. High Performing. Outstanding” school award from the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) under the education inspectorate’s Irtiqaa programme of independent school inspections. Prospective parents should note too that RIS is fully and impressively inclusive – the school does not discriminate  Fully inclusive. The school does not discriminate on grounds of disability, Special Educational Needs [SEN], nationality, additional language status or sex – and all applications are considered fairly on a “first come, first [...]

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February 22, 2016

GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail

Updated December 2016

Worth seeking out the “end of year” videos for on You Tube, GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail [WEK] is a (relatively) new school (2013), set to launch full provision to Sixth form through 2017-18. Al Khail itself is pretty much a GEMS-only school zone currently, and Wellington is bordered by GEMS New Millennium, GEMS International – and pretty much little else. This said, it’s reasonably accessible to prospective parents based in the New Dubai areas (Meadows, Greens etc.) or on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (Arabian Ranches, Dubai Sports City).

GEMS leverages the premium-plus Wellington brand for Tier 1 British English National Curriculum [...]

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January 26, 2016

GEMS Modern Academy, Nad Al Sheba 3

Updated February 2017

“The mark of a progressive society is that it is an inclusive one.” Nargish Khambatta, Principal, GEMS Modern Academy

GEMS Dubai Modern Academy is an outstanding school – and now a pioneering one. The school took the extremely bold step of applying for, and achieving, International Baccalaureate status (teaching of the IB Diploma began in 2014), a high risk, trailblazing strategy for an outstanding school already punching above its weight in an Indian, hitherto ICSCE-only curriculum school.

So radically broadening the choice of post 16 options to include the International Baccalaureate option is a risk; the Geneva imported IB [...]

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January 20, 2016

Al Muna Primary School, Al Markaziyah

“Wherever they move on to, these children will have been fortunate to have attended a school that has such a warm, friendly and clearly inclusive environment. This is a really happy place.” WhichSchoolAdvisor.com independent school inspection 2016-17

Finalist in the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com “Happiest School Competition in the UAE 2015,” in 2016 Al Muna Primary School also became the very first published school in Abu Dhabi to receive the ADEC inspectorate’s Outstanding A1 award in its “Highest Performing Schools” category, a benchmark achievement that places it today in an elite group of schools to follow.

These now also include Al Bateen (Secondary) and Al Mushrif [...]

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January 19, 2016

Dubai English Speaking College (DESC), Dubai Academic City, Al Ruwwayah

“My role is to be an advocate for every parent’s interests from the age of 3 to 18.”

Andrew Gibbs. Joint Principle. Dubai English Speaking School and College

Established in 2005 with just 35 Year 7 students, the Dubai English Speaking College [DESC] takes its name from the much loved Dubai English Speaking School [DESS], of which it is a part; the oldest British school in the Emirate established in 1963. The College was built separately to its feeder school in Academic City, and takes DESS children who leave the school at age 11, as well as those joining the school for a secondary education for the first time.

Today DESS is a rapidly growing school, [...]

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January 19, 2016

GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, Al Safa 1

Updated December 2016

Opened in 1996 GEMS Jumeirah School, known within the school as “JPS”, provides an exceptionally high standard of primary education, based on the English National Curriculum, for 1442 students from FS1 to Grade 6. One of the most sought after primary schools in the Emirate, the school is over-subscribed and operates a waiting list. Across all school types, GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, operates within Tier 1 of school provision within the Emirate.

Over 70 nationalities are represented within the school although British children predominate. Notwithstanding the size of the school, large by any British “competitor” standards, in operation the school [...]

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January 17, 2016

Dubai College, Al Sufouh

Updated October 2016

“One day in May 1978, after a short two month wait in a certain Creek side office, I was handed a plan of Plot B141 signed by His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Said Al Maktoum. The instructions were quite simple, “Build us a school, here.” Tim Charlton, Founder, Dubai College. 

The founding of Dubai College, still one of the Emirates most prestigious schools, has become intricately woven into the history of Dubai. The story is replete with pioneering spirit, adventure, resilience and ambition, and is very much an “if you build it, they will come” kind of tale. But then that too is pretty much the story of Dubai itself.

Today, in a sector replete [...]

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January 17, 2016

JESS, Jumeirah English Speaking School (Primary), Al Safa 1, Jumeirah

Updated: October 2016

Established in 1976, Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) is a genuinely outstanding, hugely impressive, not for profit co-educational primary school and, arguably, the best of its kind not only in Dubai, but the UAE. It is one of an elite number of schools to have secured whichschooladvisor coveted Good School status and is rated with the Dubai Inspectorate of Schools highest “Outstanding” award, an evaluation it has achieved consistently for seven of the eight years since KHDA inspections were started.

Although the school offers a route for children seeking education to 18 through its RANCH namesake, JESS Jumeirah operates very [...]

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January 16, 2016

Repton School Dubai, Nad Al Sheba 3

Updated February 2017

Repton School Dubai polarises views. Positively, for the second year, it has now, justifiably in our view, secured the KHDA’s second award of Outstanding (2015, 2016) after 6 years of consistent and impressive improvement as a “Good” school. However, Repton is also within a whisker of being the most expensive school in Dubai, measured in comparable day fees, this placing significant pressures on the school to also provide an education that is no less than exceptional, and one that should arguably be available to all children that meet its qualifying criteria for acceptance. Only GEMS World Academy (GWA), reviewed here, two of the Kings [...]

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December 18, 2015

Al Bateen Secondary School, Al Manseer

“What really makes this school wonderful? Our students. ADEC “Outstanding” rating notwithstanding, it is our students that are the heartbeat of the school – academic, confident, independent, caring, open minded, tolerant, balanced, creative and high achieving. Al Bateen students are locally educated; internationally competitive.”

David Hutson, Principal, Al Bateen Secondary School [quoted in whichschooladvisor, 2016]

Opened on its (fabulous) purpose built site in September 2011, Al Bateen Secondary School is hugely innovative, combining the best of a British (English National) curriculum to (I)GCSE with the choice for students, post-16, of [...]

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December 7, 2015

Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills

The first school in the UAE to offer the Geneva based International Baccalaureate (IB), and in full across its Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP), the Dubai International Academy is innovative, well-established and academic. Of its many successes, the achievement in 2013 of one of its students, Xanita Saayman (now at the University of Toronto), of being the first DIA student, and one of only 108 worldwide, to attain the perfect score of 45/45 in the IB Diploma Programme, is particularly notable.

Opening in 2005 with more than 500 students from 55 countries, and an equally diverse faculty of more than 50 members of 18 [...]

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November 28, 2015

The Indian High School (Senior Campus), Oud Metha

The Indian High School Dubai (Senior Campus) is a private K-12 school with a 2015 KHDA inspection rating of Outstanding, an accolade it has achieved for four consecutive years. Established in 1961, it was the first private school founded in Dubai and has grown rapidly. Today the Senior Campus employs 427 teachers to educate 5928 children, by any standards a very large school. Despite concerns of overcrowding at middle levels, however, the school’s overall advertised average of 1:15 teacher-pupil ratio is excellent and this is reflected in its achieving outstanding performance from its pupils in English, Mathematics and Science.

Economies of scale partly explain the low [...]

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November 23, 2015

GEMS Dubai American Academy, Al Barsha

GEMS Dubai American Academy is the only school in Dubai following an American curriculum to have been awarded an “Outstanding” rating by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau. The accolade has been awarded in each of the four consecutive years since 2011 and in 2015 the school was described by inspectors as having “Outstanding teaching leading to outstanding learning outcomes in English, Mathematics and Science.”

The school has 2,348 students aged between 3 and 18 years of age providing education at every level between Kindergarten and Grade 12. 99 nationalities are represented within the student body, with the largest number, 22.07%, drawn from the United States. The school has [...]

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November 21, 2015

GEMS Wellington International School, Al Sufouh

Updated February 2017

A mixed private school owned and run by the GEMS group, Wellington International ranks in the premier league of Dubai schooling with a KHDA ranking of “Outstanding” awarded for the past six years. It is a hybrid English National Curriculum-International Baccalaureate Diploma school – but what really stands out, for us, is the exceptional thoughtfulness of its Key Stage 4 option provision. Stand-out is the school’s choice to offer all students both GCSE, IGCSE and, critically BTEC options. BTEC subjects are, we believe, very important in providing students with vocationally focused qualifications, and also a qualification not [...]

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November 16, 2015

Jumeirah College, Al Safa

Our students’ success cannot be defined by qualifications alone. Simon O’Connor, Principal and CEO – Jumeirah College

GEMS Jumeirah College, founded in 1999, sets itself apart with an holistic, whole-child focussed approach to the English National Curriculum. The school, under its current principal, Simon O’Connor, has forged a reputation for the outstanding personal development of its students, this recognised in class-best KHDA scoring for the Colleges whole child provision.

College Principal since July 2015, Mr O’Connor, completed his professional PCGE training at Cambridge and forged a reputation within the UK education system for skills in student [...]

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November 13, 2015

JESS, Jumeirah English Speaking School, Arabian Ranches

Updated February 2017

“The best Mathematics teachers, for instance, are often those who didn’t get first class honours but who got thirds, struggled all the way but can empathise strongly with the struggle of children who take time to understand key concepts.”

Mark Steed. Director of Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS),  as quoted in “The Education Interview,” WhichSchoolAdvisor.com

With maximum class sizes of 22, and an Outstanding rating almost from birth, JESS Arabian Ranches’ (Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches) biggest difficulty has always been turning parents away – especially those that have chosen [...]

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November 10, 2015

Kings’ Dubai, Umm Suqeim

Prospective parents should read the following with reviews of Kings School Nad Al Sheba, here, and Kings’ School Al Barsha, here.

Kings’ School Dubai (known as Kings’ Dubai) is the only school in Dubai to have achieved an “Outstanding” ranking from the KHDA for the eight consecutive years since Dubai’s regulator inspections were introduced. Kings’ also achieved “Outstanding” in every single category of the BSO (British Schools Overseas) inspection in October 2014.

Kings’ follows the English National Curriculum and aims to “replicate the high standards of achievement at the best Preparatory and State (Primary) Schools in England.”

The primary school, which follows [...]

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