Dubai: 4 new schools open in 2022-23 academic year; add 7,000 seats

Private school students represent 187 nationalities


By Khaleej Times

Four new private schools opened in the 2022-2023 academic year, offering 7,000 additional seats across three curricula: British, American and International Baccalaureate.

In April this year, enrollment in Dubai’s private schools crossed 300,000, “the highest ever in its history”. Private school students in Dubai represent 187 nationalities.

Dubai has seen a marked rise in the number of schools catering to specific communities in recent years. In just the past three years, 21 new private schools opened, taking the total number of schools in the sector to 215 and international curriculum choices to 18.

UK curriculum schools are the top choice (35 per cent), followed by Indian curriculum (26 per cent), US (16 per cent) and International Baccalaureate (6 per cent).

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai, said: “Dubai’s private education sector is characterised by the diversity of its students, its curricula and the choices it offers parents from different communities. This diversity drives further growth by attracting experienced and passionate teachers, and new families who come to Dubai for the world-class education their children will receive.”

World’s best in Dubai

Last year, the Chinese School Dubai became the first ever institution to offer the Chinese national curriculum for K-12 education outside the country. The school’s campus located in Mirdif brings the teaching model of China’s highly rated Hangzhou No. 2 High School to Dubai.

Although it has mainly focused on serving the Chinese community in the emirate, the not-for-profit school is also opening its doors to students from other nationalities.

In another recent school launch, Britain’s prestigious 500-year-old Royal Grammar School Guildford opened in the city. The school is ranked as one of the top schools in the UK at both A Level and GCSE. In its first academic year in 2021-22, Royal Grammar School Guildford, located in the Tilal Al Ghaf development, had enrolled 250 students.

One of Britain’s oldest schools, Durham School, a celebrated institution with a 600-year history of academic excellence, is also the latest among a host of new elite international learning institutions that have chosen Dubai to establish an overseas branch. Founded in 1414 and refounded in 1541 by King Henry VIII, the highly respected school has only two other international branches elsewhere in the world. Located in Dubai Investments Park, the school has a capacity to cater to 1,700 pupils.

Dubai also recently saw the establishment of its first-ever Australian curriculum school. Located in Al Barsha South, the Australian International School opened its Dubai campus at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

Long-established institutions

Dubai is home to a wide range of schools established for specific communities. The Japanese School offers a traditional curriculum and a unique cultural experience. Established in 1980, the school seeks to enable students to adapt to the education system once they return to Japan.

Another long-standing institution is the German School Dubai (Deutsche Internationale Schule Dubai – DISD), which was established in 2008 in response to the demand from the emirate’s sizeable German community.

The Russian International School located in Muhaisnah was first set up in 1996. The school teaches the Russian curriculum to 174 students.


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