Find the Right School For You

Dubai has 194 private schools following 16 curriculums and Abu Dhabi has 185. But places at the most sought-after educational institutions fill up fast.

If you are moving to the UAE with children, the system of administration can be confusing. So, here is everything you need to know about school admissions in UAE:

How do I find the right school for my child?

First, make a list of schools that suit your child’s educational needs. Parents should choose a curriculum and make an appointment to visit the schools that offer it. Ask about exam rate success, extra-curricular activities, class sizes, staff turnover and any specific needs.

 

Clive Pierrepont, director of communications at education provider Taaleem, says research on schools is crucial. He encourages parents to consult school inspection reports from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi, the Department of Education and Knowledge.

How do I choose the right curriculum?

Judith Finnemore, an education expert at Focal Point Management, believes parents should choose a curriculum based on what their child would best fit back into should they decide to return to their home country before they have graduated. Parents should also look into what each curriculum entails.

 

The International Baccalaureate is often considered the “universal donor” of education and is highly transportable for those who are likely to move around to different countries.

How do I find a school that fits my budget?

Education institutions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can vary widely when it comes to fees. While the top schools can be pricey, in the last year, fees at schools in Dubai have fallen. Twenty-two schools froze their fees and they will remain frozen for the coming academic year.

A grade 12 pupil in Bright Riders School in Abu Dhabi pays around Dh19,100 a year in tuition fees, whereas a grade 12 pupil at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will pay Dh96,333.

Repton School in Dubai charges Dh95,000 for year 12 and 13 pupils, while at Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School pupils pay Dh6,259.

Visit the KHDA or ADEK websites to find details of school ratings and fees. School websites also list the fees for each grade.

I've found an appropriate school. How do we apply?

Mr Pierrepont says:

1. Complete the online application form.

2. Provide the required documents as requested by the school, make an appointment for assessment and pay any application fees. Mr Pierrepont tells parents to be wary of a school that offers a place on the spot. It can be a sign that they are desperate to boost numbers.

3. After assessment and if you receive an acceptance letter, a deposit is required to reserve your seat. A place usually cannot be held until the payment has been received.

Where do I find a school's admission criteria?

Parents can ask schools directly, or find the information on the regulators’ websites. Some schools will be at capacity and the most popular schools will have waiting lists.

What should my child expect from the admission test?

Tests depend on the grade and curriculum. They typically cover key subjects such as science, maths and English. In Abu Dhabi, children are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis and the tests are used to help determine the child’s grade level. In Dubai, assessments are often prerequisites for elite schools and some carry a non-refundable fee of up to Dh1,000.

What is the timetable for admissions?

Parents who want their child admitted to schools now will probably find the best ones are already full. But those that have places available will keep taking children until September. In British and American curriculum schools, admissions for the following academic year open about March 1.

The earlier you apply the better. Unfortunately for those who arrive late in the year, there is no quick route to finding out which schools still have places. Parents will need to speak to each school that matches their criteria.

What documents do I need?

A school application form, copies of the passports of pupil and parents and their UAE visa pages, Emirates ID, eight passport-size photographs, a copy of the child's birth certificate, their school records for the last two years, immunisation records and a school transfer certificate. Incoming pupils whose documents are incomplete cannot be registered, but most schools allow a few weeks to acquire these.

How does this process differ in other emirates?

The process is generally the same across the UAE, although there may be some minor differences.

School Admission process is one of the entry point for the child. Admission Process is quite tedious and technology should help to solve most of the things related to simplification of admission steps. Following are some of the key steps to make school admission process online and tech savy. It would help students, parents as well as administrators of the school.

Emirates New Agency

Enrolling in a School

Compulsory education in the UAE begins from Grade 1 and the academic year runs from September to June, except for Indian, Pakistani and Japanese curriculum schools which runs from April to March.

A parental guide for school admissions
File size: 569 KB
Last updated: May 2019

To help you choose from the many private schools in Dubai, you can click here to visit our online directory. One can browse all the schools from there using the available filters. You can look for schools by curriculum, fee range, location and performance. You can also download the KHDA app on your smart phone and do the same.

Four new schools to open in Dubai – Arabianbusiness

 

Mohammed Darwish, CEO of Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority’s (KHDA) permits and compliance sector. Four new schools are set to open in Dubai for the 2020-21 academic year. The schools, which will be opening in Abu Hail, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jebel Ali and Al Rashidiya, will create over 4,100 new places.Jun 17, 2020

KHDA News

Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced today that four new schools are set to open in Dubai in the 2020-21 academic year providing parents with more education choices. Creating over 4,100 new seats, the schools will open in different areas of Dubai.

Mohammed Darwish, CEO of KHDA’s Permits and Compliance Sector, said: “Dubai is a key player in the global economy and our continued growth in education is driven by innovation. New schools will bring new educational models that are in line with changing expectations of families. We are positive that our new schools will continue to build on Dubai’s commitment to continue delivering high-quality education.”

The schools opening this year are located in Abu Hail, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jebel Ali and Al Rashidiya.

Darwish further said: “The private education sector in Dubai continues to see growth and demonstrate its resilience. We have grown year-on-year and Dubai is today home to around 300,000 students. The availability of high-quality education choices has been instrumental in helping Dubai achieve its strategic goals.”

Building on strong demand from parents for innovative education offerings, the four new schools will offer a choice of UK, US and Indian curriculum schools.

Dubai witnessed a 2.1 per cent overall growth in enrollment, according to its latest landscape report. The emirate has a total of 209 private schools. A total of 30 new schools have been added in the last three years, signifying the growth dynamism of the emirate’s education sector.

Mohammed bin Rashid launches ‘Madrasa’, largest free Arabic e-learning platform

 

Our Message

Creating hope and building a better future for societies represent the core message that shapes the vision, goals and objectives of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).
To achieve its mission, the Foundation supports entities and empowers people who drive positive change in their societies, improve quality of life, and address challenges that impede human development, particularly in the Arab world.
 
The MBRGI’s humanitarian aid, development assistance and relief operations follow purely humanitarian objectives that are not confined to geography, religion, color or race. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum says, “Our aid has humanitarian objectives only; it is never governed by politics or limited by geography, race or religion of the beneficiary.”
Emirates New Agency

DUBAI, 16th October, 2018 (WAM) — His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, today launched ‘Madrasa’, the largest free e-learning platform in the Arab world, a revolutionary new project under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, MBRGI.

The platform offers 5,000 Arabic educational videos on subjects including science and mathematics and targets all levels of school students from kindergarten to grade 12.

The project provides educational materials in Arabic online at no charge to over 50 million Arab students around the world.

Announcing the initiative, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, “Building a better future for our region starts in the classroom and e-learning can bridge the knowledge gap in the Arab world. Technology can offer millions of Arab students the opportunity to develop their scientific capabilities. We aspire to provide a world-class education to every Arab child.”

“The project contributes to improving the quality of education in the Arab world, and I call on all those who have the ability to do so to launch similar initiatives,” he added.

Inviting all Arab students to use the Madrasa platform, Sheikh Mohammed noted, “My message to Arab students is: Education is your future and your weapon to navigate life.”

The Madrasa e-learning platform is the first outcome of the Translation Challenge initiative, launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in 2017, with the aim of providing tens of millions of students in the Arab world with easy access to advanced, engaging and accurate audiovisual educational materials in Arabic.

Madrasa is a culmination of hundreds of thousands of hours of hard work put in by translators, proofreaders, designers, technicians, and voice-over artists who volunteered for the Translation Challenge.

The challenge aims to provide free education to students, complementing the existing school system, enhancing educational content available in the Arab world, and empowering future generations to utilise their knowledge to contribute to an enlightened society.

The project stems from the vision of Dubai’s Ruler to foster education in the Arab world, ultimately bridging the gap in the quality of education provided across Arab nations and enhancing the overall levels of knowledge among their populations.

In addition, the e-learning platform develops the educational system by establishing the ‘School of the Future’ concept. Viewing education as a flexible system that constantly evolves to keep pace with the latest trends and scientific developments, the platform also promotes the decentralisation of education – the cornerstone of building a sustainable economy based on knowledge and innovation that empowers a new generation of Arab scientists, innovators, and engineers.

In the future, Madrasa will further enrich its content with new educational courses on subjects including Arabic language, computer science, engineering, programming, artificial intelligence, and space science. The platform will also build synergies with relevant leading institutions to advance education on a regional and global level.

Madrasa’s minimal technical requirements and compatibility with the most common operating systems, enable users to access its free content across various electronic devices. The platform also features a variety of data storage solutions and search filters, allowing students to select information relevant to their level of knowledge.

Madrasa seeks to motivate Arab students to study scientific materials outside their regular school lessons by providing engaging and challenging content that encourages continuous self-learning, sourced and localised in line with the highest standards and international curricula. It also develops the learning capabilities of users, enhances their competitiveness and creativity, and sparks their scientific curiosity.

Continue reading…

E-Learning, M-Learning and distance learning

Madrasa (the eLearning platform)

In October 2018, the UAE launched Madrasa, a free eLearning platform that provides 5,000 free Arabised videos in general science, math, biology, chemistry and physics. It also provides 11 million words of educational content to students from kindergarten to grade 12.

The platform is accessible online to over 50 million Arab students around the world. Students can access the platform on their personal computers or mobile phones through Madrasa app which is available on iTunes.

The eLearning platform presents the daily 1000×1000 competition that poses one question a day for 1,000 days. Students will get the chance to answer one question daily and enter a raffle draw to win USD 1,000.

Madrasa is the first outcome of the Translation challenge that was announced in 2017 by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).

Our Message

Creating hope and building a better future for societies represent the core message that shapes the vision, goals and objectives of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).

To achieve its mission, the Foundation supports entities and empowers people who drive positive change in their societies, improve quality of life, and address challenges that impede human development, particularly in the Arab world.

The MBRGI’s humanitarian aid, development assistance and relief operations follow purely humanitarian objectives that are not confined to geography, religion, color or race. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum says, “Our aid has humanitarian objectives only; it is never governed by politics or limited by geography, race or religion of the beneficiary.”

John G. Koss
 

Forms and Guidelines

Many of the documents your school issues must be attested or authorized by KHDA. As well as those for school administration, there are also documents which students require from schools to present to government bodies or other entities. Below are some of the forms to use, along with a brief explanation of their uses.

Click on the form to download, fill in the form on your computer and then print. Forms must bear the school stamp and signature before being submitted to KHDA.

General Guidelines

PDF
Curriculum Requirements for mandatory subjects
File Size:  430 KB
 
PDF
Executive Council Resolution No. (2) of 2017 Regulating Private schools in the Emirate of Dubai.
File Size:  484 KB
 
PDF
General FAQ about the Executive Council Resolution No (2) of 2017 for the Legal Framework for Private Schools in Dubai
 
PDF
Educating Hearts & Minds : How to open a private school in Dubai
File Size:  14 MB
 
PDF
Dubai Municipality Building regulations
File Size:  1.4 MB
 
PDF
Dubai Universal Design Code
File Size:  19.1 MB
 
PDF
Schools Fee Framework
File Size:  764 KB
 
PDF
Exceptional Fee Increase Guidelines for Private Schools
 
 
PDF
Schools registration and refund policy
File Size: 848 KB
 
PDF
Guidelines for Advertising and Marketing
File Size: 151 KB
 
PDF
Guidelines for School Trips and Events.  
File Size: 124 KB
 
PDF
Higher Education Guidelines For Using KHDA Tagline
File Size: 129 KB
 

School-related forms

 

 

Forms to use with students

 
 
PDF
Application for Grade Demotion
To register a student into a repeated grade, with the consent of both the school and the parents. 
File Size: 110 KB
 
PDF
Certificate of Good Conduct
To certify a student’s good conduct, as requested by some higher education institutions and organisations in the UAE.
File Size: 119 KB
 
PDF
Education Continuation Certificate
To certify that a student is still studying in a school for the current academic year where this is required for official purposes such as residence application, etc. 
File Size: 90 KB
 
PDF
Replacement of Educational Certificate
For students who have lost their end-of-year certificate and require a replacement.
File Size:   97 KB
 
 
PDF
Statement of a Student’s Special Case
To apply for a student to be considered for treatment as a special case.
File Size: 119 KB
 

Forms to use with staff

 
 
PDF
School Job Candidate Application
To attest the appointment of a school employee in order to process the visa application with the Ministry of Labour.
File Size:  107 KB
 
PDF
Certificate of Employment
To certify that an employee has worked and is still working in a private school in Dubai up to the date of submission of the certificate request form.
File Size:  87 KB
 
PDF
Job Resignation - No Objection Certificate
To register an employee’s resignation, that the school has no objection, and that he/she has received all financial rights in line with KHDA and MoL laws. (Can also be used by the employee as evidence of experience in a particular job over a particular period.)
File Size: 95 KB
 
PDF
Job Termination - No Objection Certificate
To register an employee’s dismissal and that he/she has received all financial rights in line with KHDA and MoL laws. (Can also be used by the employee as evidence of experience in a particular job over a particular period.)
File Size: 97 KB

Enrolling in a School

Compulsory education in the UAE begins from Grade 1 and the academic year runs from September to June, except for Indian, Pakistani and Japanese curriculum schools which runs from April to March.

A parental guide for school admissions
File size: 569 KB
Last updated: May 2019

To help you choose from the many private schools in Dubai, you can click here to visit our online directory. One can browse all the schools from there using the available filters. You can look for schools by curriculum, fee range, location and performance. You can also download the KHDA app on your smart phone and do the same.

When to enrol in primary school

To start primary school your child will need to turn five years old by 30 April in the year that they start school.

Your child must be at school in the year that they turn six years of age. This is the compulsory school starting age.

You can enrol your child in a Victorian government primary school at any time during the year. It’s good to plan ahead: many Victorian government primary schools start taking enrolments as early as May the year before your child is due to start school.

When to enrol in secondary school

Read more about the steps in moving from primary to secondary school.

If you need to enrol at a different time, contact the secondary school.

It's the law that your child is enrolled in school between the ages of six and 17. Or they can be home schooled.

Edgar D. Wang

How to choose a school and enrol

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How far do you want to travel and is the school reasonably close to home or work?
  • Will the school be able to cater for your child’s needs and interests?
  • What facilities do they offer and are you comfortable with the ‘feel’ of the school?
  • Will the teachers and the school curriculum support your child’s development, including social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs?
  • Does the school’s policy on homework and discipline reflect your own values and expectations?
  • Does the school work in partnership with families?
  • If your child has a disability, do you live in an area where you can get support with transport?