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Education and Schools

Dubai - Education and Schools

Education is compulsory in the UEA for all children aged five and above, and state education is provided for UAE nationals up to the age of 18. There are also a number of local private schools. There are a small number of universities in the UAE which offer accredited degree and diploma courses, including the American University of Dubai, but the higher education sector is still limited and the children of expatriates often return to their home countries for a university education.

Expatriate children living in Dubai mostly attend one of Dubai's many international schools, which are all private and fee-paying. There are schools following the British, American, French, Indian, Japanese and other national curricula, as well as the International Baccalaureate. To apply for entry to one of the international schools you will be required to show details of your child's academic record, and they may be required to sit an entrance test. Most of the international schools offer a very good standard of education. Some schools have day-boarding facilities.

There is extremely wide variation in the fees for an international school education in Dubai, from around Dhs 3,000 to Dhs 40,000 per year.

The most popular primary schools for British children are the Jumeirah English Speaking School, Dubai English Speaking School and Jumeirah Primary School. These schools are subject to annual OFSTED inspections. At secondary level Dubai College and Jumeirah College are popular with British expatriates. There are also many kindergartens in which English is spoken, especially in the main expatriate residential areas.

The American School of Dubai, located in Jumairah, offers an American-style academic education from kindergarten up to grade 12, with a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

Another school which is very popular among English-speaking expatriates in Dubai is St.Mary's Catholic High School.

The main educational restriction affecting expatriates in Dubai is that a child cannot be transferred from one school to another once the academic year has begun, unless special permission is obtained from the Ministry of Education.

Most English-speaking schools start their school year in September. If you plan to send your child to one of these schools they will not be allowed to start school between 1st May and the end of the school year in June, but will have to wait until the beginning of the new school year. All schools are closed in July and August.

Normal school hours are from 8 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., with some schools also providing afternoon sessions for boys only from 12 noon to 5.30 p.m.

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