One of the biggest concerns for any parent when relocating is finding suitable education for their children. This guide will offer an overview of the Education options available within the UAE.
Have you arrived in Dubai and now you need to find the school best suited to your children? Or maybe you’re planning on relocating to Dubai and you want to see what type of schooling is available? We have put together a comprehensive guide providing vital information about each of the schools in Dubai.
Once you’ve decided which school is best for your children, you can run a search of all the properties for sale or rent within your chosen kilometer radius of that school! Searching for property has never been easier!
Education on Offer
The population of the UAE is made up of almost 90% expats, thus having to cater for many different Educational needs from Nursery to University including all age’s in-between. In 2006 the Ministry of Education in Dubai introduced the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to stabilize and increase the standard of Education. In 2008, the KHDA, along with the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau launched their first School Inspections of Primary and Secondary Schools with the results being posted on the KHDA website for parents to see.
There are 2 main types of schools within the UAE:
- State Schools
- Private Schools
State Schools are run by the Government. Primary and Secondary Education is free to all UAE citizens and is compulsory from the age of 5 to 18, it is unlikely that a State School will be appropriate for Expats because all lessons are taught in Arabic. English is only taught as a foreign language. All State Schools are same-sex, so parents may want to consider the cultural and religious differences when enrolling their child into a State School. Once a child is enrolled into a State School, it will not be possible to change school during the academic year unless you get approval from the Ministry of Education, this also applies to Private Schools. Local Arab children are given preference in the admissions process.
Private Schools are run and managed on a profit basis, therefore Private Education can be expensive. Some companies may partially or wholly cover the cost of your child’s education so it may be worth taking this into consideration when negotiating your employment contract.
Private School fees vary greatly from Nursery to Nursery/School to School and on a sliding scale depending onthe age of the child. On average here is a breakdown of annual Private School Fees:
- Nursery: AED 19,000 – 60,000
- Kindergarten: AED 15,000 – 66,000
- Primary School: AED 30,000 – 70,000
- Secondary School: AED 40,000 – 90,000
Private School Fees are generally paid on a yearly or termly basis in advance. Tuition fees may be increased on a yearly basis, the increases are monitored by the KHDA and may only be increased by a maximum percentage according to the previous School Inspection report.
When enrolling in a Private School it is important to start the process as soon as possible, in most cases it is advisable to secure a place before you move to Dubai as there are a limited number of places available. Parents may want to register with a few Schools to increase their chances of securing a place for their child. Most Private Schools will ask a child to sit an entrance exam or interview before a place is offered. Most Schools have online registration forms which can be completed and returned by email or fax. When registering with a Private School, it is important to take note that a non refundable registration fee is payable (usually AED 500-1000). Some companies have purchased debentures at Private Schools which give priority for children with parents who work at these companies. Ask with your employer if there are debenture places available. For parents moving to Dubai after May 1st in any year should note that their child will not be able to start School until the following academic year (usually beginning of September).