The United Arab Emirates has a thriving expat population, much of it centered in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Lucrative employment, investment opportunities, tax-free income and a high standard of living are factors that make the UAE a highly popular destination among expats.
The education system in the UAE has undergone considerable reform since the 1960s and currently there are a number of international schools that cater to expats. These schools follow a special curriculum and provide an international environment for their students. They also have their own degree and do not adhere to the local educational system in the UAE. Here’s a list of some of the top international schools in the UAE.American International School
Founded in 1995, the American International School is located in the Educational Zone, about 20km outside Abu Dhabi’s city center. The school enrolls about 1200 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. It caters to both locals and expats who want their children to follow American and International Baccalaureate curricula.
American Community School of Abu Dhabi
A co-ed day school, the American Community School of Abu Dhabi is located in Khalidiyah in Abu Dhabi. It is an affiliate with the Office of Overseas Schools of the United States department of State. The school caters to the American community in Abu Dhabi, but also enrolls students of various other nationalities. The school has expansive outdoor facilities and hosts many athletic tournaments.
American School of Dubai
Formerly called Jumeirah American School, the American School of Dubai is located in Al-Barsha in Dubai. It was the first school in Dubai to follow the American curriculum. Admission is based on certain criteria set by the admissions committee and various assessments depending on the grade level.
British International School
Located in Abu Dhabi, the British International School has about 1250 students from various nationalities. The school is part of the Nord Anglia Education Group and offers a British curriculum for children aged 2 to 18. The Group also has a school in Dubai called the Nord Anglia International School, which enrolls students aged 3 to 18 years.
Cambridge International School
Cambridge International School is located in Garhoud, Dubai and follows a British curriculum. It consists of the primary school section from kindergarten to year 6, and the secondary school section from year 7 to year 13. Boys and girls are segregated from grade 5 to 8, following which most classes are taught together.
Founded in 1978, Dubai College is located in Al-Sufouh in Dubai. It follows a British system and is considered to be among the top British schools in the city. Dubai College has a secondary school for students aged 11 to 16 and a sixth form for students aged 16 to 18.
Dubai English Speaking College
This is a British school in Dubai Academic City and is the sister school of Dubai English Speaking School, the oldest British school in the region. Students follow the National Curriculum for England and there are more than 900 students enrolled in years 7 to 13.
Dubai International Academy
Run by Innoventure Education, the Dubai International Academy has students from more than 76 nationalities. Here students follow the International Baccalaureate, consisting of the primary years programme, middle years programme and diploma programme.
English College Dubai
Located in the Jumeirah 3 residential area, the English College Dubai enrolls about 300 students in its primary school and 700 students in its secondary school. The school offers first preference in admissions to those who hold passports of the United Kingdom.
Ras Al Khaimah Academy
Established in 1975, the Ras Al Khaimah Academy was originally called the Ras Al Khaimah English Speaking School. The student body consists of about 104 nationalities and the teaching and support staff represents about 30 nationalities. It has above 3000 students enrolled currently. The school consists of three campuses called the Primary Years Campus, the British curriculum Campus and the Secondary Campus.
The Westminster School
The Westminster School belongs to the GEMS international schools and is located in Ghusais, Dubai. It enrolls students from kindergarten to grade 13 and subscribes to the National Curriculum of England. In adherence to UAE culture and law, the school segregates boys and girls from grades 5 to 11.