One of the main questions expat moms in the UAE ask: Which is the best school?! This question always brings a lot of answers and sometimes heated debates among mothers! So, what exactly makes a school great? And how can an expat mom choose the best schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for her children?
Things to consider when choosing a school for your children
1- Proximity to home
A great school is a school where you don’t have to spend half of your day commuting to get to it or to leave it. Especially with younger children, being close to home is very important. Imagine receiving a call from the school nurse that your little one scratched his knee while playing and now he is crying saying I want mommy, don’t you want to get to him fast, rather than driving across town?
If you need to take a small loan or must cut back on living expenses to enroll your child in a school, this school is not a good choice for you. You will end up resenting the school because of the financial burden it will represent. Choose a school that is within your budget and leave some money to supplement your children’s lives with extracurricular activities, travel, and other benefits.
3- Family values
Choose the school that is in harmony with your values and life philosophy. For example, if you are a strong believer in learning through play, look for a school with such a fun curriculum. If you believe in more traditional educational approaches, search for a school that is in tune with your beliefs.
Best schools for expats in the UAE
The UAE is home for many schools offering a myriad of curricula to meet every family’s needs. Parents usually rely on other parents’ experiences when choosing a school. They also consult the websites of the KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority), which is the governmental body regulating private schools in Dubai. As well as ADEK (Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge) The government entity in charge of the private schools in the capital.
Best schools in Dubai
We surfed the KHDA website and extracted the latest school ratings to help you find a school for your child.
– King’s School Dubai
A British school located in Umm Suqueim. This amazing school has been receiving “Outstanding” by the KHDA for the past 12 years in a row! It is one of the top choices for expat mums in Dubai.
– Gems Dubai American Academy
A member of the large Gems schools’ family, this American curriculum school has been rated Outstanding by the KHDA for 10 years in a row. If you are looking for a school in Barsha South, this school must be on your Radar.
– Repton School
A prestigious school offering both UK and IB curricula, has been receiving an Outstanding inspection report by the KHDA for a few years now.
– Gems Modern Academy
Another member in the Gems family. This Outstanding school offers Indian and IB curricula and has been rated Outstanding by the KHDA for the past 10 years in a row
Best schools in Abu Dhabi
– The British School Al Khubairat
The oldest private school in Abu Dhabi, it is almost as old as the UAE itself. The school has an excellent reputation among expats. The school that teaches the British curriculum has received ADEK’s hard to get Outstanding rating many times in the past few years.
– Merryland International School
This Cambridge Ambassador school has been receiving the outstanding rating for quite a few years in a row now. Every year the students at this British curriculum school receive top grades in the Cambridge IGCSEs and A levels. It has a very rigorous academic approach and an excellent reputation among expat mumz.
– Brighton College Abu Dhabi
If you are looking to send your kids to a school that caters to your Child’s academic needs, and offers a full array of activities, you might want to add this school to your list. Not only it has been receiving Outstanding rating by ADEK for several years now, it’s also perfectly situated in the middle of Abu Dhabi city so perfect for residents of the island are as well as the ones who live off island.
– Raha International School
Parents who chose an IB education cannot stop raving about this Outstanding school. The school teaches the IB curriculum in all its levels and has kept both the parents and ADEK happy for years.
– Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi
One of the most recent additions to the private schools’ family in the capital yet managed to receive an outstanding rating from ADEK. Parents and students love this school that offers the British curriculum in a modern and special way.
Click here to see the full list of the ADEK Irtiqaa inspection reports.
About the Author
Nauras is the Editor in Chief of the Mumzworld Blog. Nauras is a mother of three, she holds a master’s degree in French language and literature from the USA. She studied French following her passion for languages, she speaks 6 languages, 4 of them fluently. Her professional experience varies from secondary education, higher education, translation, editing, writing, and managing web content. She has a great interest in topics concerning motherhood and raising children, with a special passion for education. Her interest and expertise are focused on the international schools’ curricula, choosing schools, international examinations, as well as university application process and preparation.