Review of the Best British Schools in Dubai

Lifestyle Review of the Best British Schools in Dubai
~17 min


British schools in Dubai offer a world-class education rooted in the rich traditions of the UK curriculum. With a wide range of options to choose from, including British curriculum schools, primary and secondary schools, and affordable British schools, parents in Dubai have access to top-notch educational institutions. British schools are synonymous with quality education in the emirate, and they cater to students' academic knowledge as well as their holistic development, emphasizing essential life skills and a thriving sports program.

British schools in Dubai, guided by the UAE's Human Development Authority, have a teaching staff that caters to students' needs from the early years foundation stage through the IB curriculum in their later years.

With state-of-the-art facilities, including advanced science labs, creative arts studios, and extensive libraries, British schools in Dubai fulfill ambitious parents' wishlists for a high-quality education that prepares students for non-academic career paths and fosters critical and creative thinking. These schools consistently receive top-notch KHDA ratings, solidifying their reputation as leaders in education in the Emirates.

Importance of British Schools in Dubai

  1. High-Quality Education. British schools in Dubai are renowned for their commitment to delivering a high-quality education. They follow the British curriculum, which is known for its rigor and comprehensive approach to learning.

  2. International Perspective. Dubai is a global hub, attracting people from diverse backgrounds. British schools offer an international perspective while maintaining the core values and standards of the British education system.

  3. KHDA Ratings. Many British schools in Dubai consistently receive top ratings from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

  4. Holistic Development. British schools in Dubai prioritize holistic development, focusing not only on academic knowledge but also on essential life skills, critical thinking, and creativity.

  5. Preparation for the Future. The education provided by British schools in Dubai is highly regarded by universities and employers worldwide. Graduates from these schools are well-prepared to pursue further education at top universities and excel in their chosen careers, both in Dubai and beyond.

How to Enter a British School in Dubai

Entering a British School in Dubai involves several steps to ensure a smooth admissions process. Here's a concise guide:

  1. Research and Selection. Begin by researching British schools in Dubai. Consider factors like location, curriculum, facilities, and fees to shortlist schools that align with your preferences.

  2. Admission Criteria. Understand the school's admission criteria, which may include age requirements, academic records, and assessment tests.

  3. School Tour. Schedule a school tour to visit the campus, meet the staff, and get a feel for the school's environment.

  4. Assessment. Some schools may require entrance exams or interviews for students. Prepare your child accordingly.

  5. Documentation. Gather all necessary documents, including your child's passport, birth certificate, academic transcripts, and vaccination records.

  6. Application Form. Complete the school's application form, typically available online. Ensure that you provide accurate and complete information.

  7. Acceptance Letter. Upon acceptance, you'll receive an official acceptance letter detailing enrollment procedures and fee payment schedules.

  8. Registration Fee. Pay the registration fee, if applicable, to secure a spot in the school.

  9. Fee Payment. Pay the required tuition fees within the specified timeframe to confirm your child's enrollment.

  10. Orientation. Attend any orientation sessions or meetings organized by the school to familiarize yourself and your child with the school's policies and procedures.

Pros and Сons


  1. Global Networking. Attending a British school in Dubai can lead to valuable global connections. Students often come from diverse international backgrounds, and these connections can prove beneficial in their future careers and personal lives.

  2. Strong Parental Involvement. Many British schools encourage active parental involvement in their children's education. Parents have opportunities to engage in school activities, join parent-teacher associations, and stay informed about their child's progress.

  3. Highly Qualified Support Staff. In addition to well-qualified teachers, British schools often have dedicated support staff, including teaching assistants and counselors, to provide personalized attention to students' needs.

  4. Advanced Educational Technology. British schools in Dubai typically invest in the latest educational technology and resources, ensuring that students have access to modern tools for learning and research.

  5. English Proficiency. British schools emphasize English language proficiency, which is a valuable skill in the international job market and for further academic pursuits.


  1. Tuition Fees. The quality of education in British schools comes at a cost, and tuition fees can be relatively high. This may pose a financial challenge for some families.

  2. Competitive Admissions. Admissions to British schools in Dubai can be competitive, and securing a spot can be challenging, particularly in popular schools with limited vacancies.

  3. Cultural Adaptation. For expatriate families, the British education system may differ from what they are accustomed to. This adjustment can take time for both students and parents.

  4. Homework and Pressure. The British curriculum can be demanding, leading to a significant workload and pressure on students, especially as they progress to higher grades.

Average Prices for British Schools in Dubai

The average fees typically range from 40.000 AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham) to 80.000 AED per year. These fees can vary depending on the specific school, grade level, and other factors. It's important to note that these are average fees, and individual school fees may fall within or outside of this range. Parents should check with specific schools for accurate and up-to-date fee information.

How to Choose the Best British School in Dubai

  1. Define Your Priorities. Start by identifying your priorities. What are the most important factors for your child's education? Consider factors like location, curriculum, fees, extracurricular activities, and school reputation.

  2. Consider Your Child's Needs. Think about your child's unique needs and learning style. Some schools may be better suited to certain types of learners, such as those with special educational requirements.

  3. Research British Schools. Compile a list of British schools in Dubai. You can do this by conducting online research, consulting with friends or fellow parents, and checking educational directories.

  4. Visit School Websites. Visit the websites of the shortlisted schools. Pay attention to their mission, values, curriculum, facilities, and extracurricular offerings.

  5. Check Accreditation. Ensure that the schools on your list are accredited by relevant educational authorities and associations. Accreditation is a sign of quality and adherence to educational standards.

  6. Assess Curriculum. Consider the curriculum offered by each school. British schools in Dubai may follow variations of the British curriculum.

  7. Read Reviews and Testimonials. Seek out reviews and testimonials from current and former students and parents. This can provide insights into the school's strengths and weaknesses.

  8. Talk to Parents of Students. Reach out to parents who currently have children enrolled in the schools you're interested in.

Best British Schools in Dubai

  1. Kings’ School Dubai

  2. Dubai College

  3. Horizon English School

  4. Jumeirah College

  5. Dubai British School Emirates Hills

  6. Dubai English Speaking School and College

  7. GEMS Royal Dubai School

  8. GEMS Wellington International School

  9. Repton School Dubai

  10. Hartland International School

Kings’ School Dubai

Kings’ School Al Barsha, a prominent institution in Dubai, has earned an Outstanding rating from the KHDA, solidifying its reputation for excellence. The school caters to a diverse student body ranging from FS1 to Year 13, with over 2,400 students representing more than 70 nationalities. At the heart of this esteemed institution are experienced and highly qualified teachers who are dedicated to meeting the educational needs of their students.

Kings’ School Al Barsha fosters a diverse and multicultural environment that enriches students' experiences and allows them to appreciate and interact with various cultures. For parents seeking an exceptional British education in Dubai, Kings’ School Al Barsha is a compelling choice.

  • Locations and contacts:
  • Fees: Al Barsha - AED 53,600 to AED 97,700; Umm Suqeim 3 - AED 43,600 to AED 66,400; Nad Al Sheba 3 AED 50,200 to AED 76,570
  • KHDA Rating: Outstanding

Dubai College

Dubai College, located in Al Sufouh 2, Dubai, is a venerable institution with a long-standing reputation for academic excellence. Established in the late 1970s, it stands as one of the oldest British schools in Dubai, catering to students from Year 7 to Year 13. Within the educational landscape of Dubai, Dubai College holds a unique status akin to that of an "Ivy League" school, making it a coveted choice for ambitious parents.

For music enthusiasts, the school's music department hosts large-scale concerts in its impressive auditorium, offering students a platform to showcase their talents. With a commitment to continuous improvement and a track record of excellence, Dubai College remains a top choice for families seeking an exceptional British education in Dubai.

  • Location: Al Sufouh 2, Dubai
  • Fees: AED 86,600 - AED 98,000
  • KHDA Rating: Outstanding
  • Contact: +971-4-399-9111

Horizon English School

Horizon English School, nestled in the vibrant city of Dubai, is recognized as one of the finest British educational institutions for primary and Kindergarten stages. What sets this school apart is its unwavering commitment to creating an enriching learning environment for your child, supported by a team of dedicated and professional teachers hailing from the United Kingdom.

Beyond academics, Horizon English School emphasizes nurturing your child's talents and skills. The school provides diverse activities, including art, dance, and music, allowing young scholars to explore and uncover their unique talents from an early age.

Jumeirah College

Jumeirah College, situated on Al Wasl Road in Dubai, stands as a beacon of educational excellence within the city. Over the past decade, it has consistently earned an Outstanding rating from the KHDA, a testament to its unwavering commitment to providing top-tier education. What sets this British school apart is not just its accolades but also the exceptional educators who form the backbone of its success.

Jumeirah College caters to students from Year 7 through Year 13, offering a comprehensive education that aligns with the UK National Curriculum. As part of the esteemed GEMS Education network, the school benefits from a highly skilled British staff, ensuring that students receive a world-class education. Jumeirah College's offerings include A Level, AS Level, and GCSE programs, empowering its secondary students to excel academically.

Dubai British School Emirates Hills

Dubai British School Emirates Hills, a proud member of the "Taaleem" group of schools, stands as a prominent English institution in Dubai. It has earned its reputation as one of the leading UK schools in the city, holding an "Outstanding" inspection rating, a testament to its commitment to excellence in education.

This esteemed institution not only excels in delivering fundamental educational programs but also places a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities. Students at Dubai British School Emirates Hills are provided with a wealth of opportunities to enrich their educational journey. The school offers access to swimming pools, racket sports courts, and a well-stocked library, which encourages creative thinking and problem-solving skills development. This holistic approach to education sets DBS Emirates Hills apart as a well-rounded educational option for families residing in The Meadows, The Springs, and The Lakes.

DESC - Dubai English Speaking School & College

Dubai English Speaking School and College, established 56 years ago, stands as one of the distinguished British curriculum institutions in Dubai. Comprising two campuses, this educational institution caters to a wide age range of students.

The first campus specializes in providing the British curriculum for primary school students, laying a strong foundation for their educational journey. Meanwhile, the second campus welcomes students from the age of 11 and above, ensuring a seamless transition to secondary education.

GEMS Royal Dubai School

GEMS Royal Dubai School, established in 2005, has established itself as a renowned educational institution in Dubai. With consistent "Outstanding" ratings from KHDA year after year, it stands out as an exceptional choice for parents seeking quality education for their children.

Located in Mirdif, Dubai, this mixed-gender school caters to children aged 3 to 11 years old, providing a strong foundation in education. GEMS Royal Dubai School follows the National Curriculum for England, with a particular focus on the Foundation Stage and Primary School, ensuring a well-rounded education that aligns with international standards.

  • Location: Al Mizhar 1, Dubai
  • Fees: AED 38,300 - AED 48,300
  • KHDA Rating: Outstanding
  • Contact: +971-4-288-6499

GEMS Wellington International School

GEMS Wellington International School, located in Al Sufouh, Dubai, is renowned for its excellence in providing an English curriculum education. This institution has consistently held a prestigious position in Dubai's educational landscape for an impressive nine years, as attested by its KHDA ranking, a feat that many schools find challenging to maintain.

What sets GEMS Wellington International School apart is its comprehensive range of educational offerings. Not only does it excel as one of the top UK curriculum schools in Dubai, but it also provides diverse academic pathways, including GCSE, IB, IGCSE, BTEC, and IB DP. This diverse range of programs ensures that students receive a well-rounded education and are well-prepared to enroll in some of the world's most prestigious international universities.

  • Location: Al Sufouh, Dubai
  • Fees: AED 43,900 - AED 95,500
  • KHDA Rating: Outstanding
  • Contact: +971 4 348 4999

Repton School Dubai

Repton School Dubai is undeniably one of the premier British schools in the city. It offers a comprehensive education pathway, with students in secondary school appearing for their IGCSE exams in Years 10 and 11, followed by the challenging IB Diploma Program in the Sixth Form. This educational approach aligns with high academic standards and prepares students for future academic and career success.

Established in 2007, Repton School Dubai maintains an exclusive international partnership with Repton School in England, ensuring a globally recognized standard of education. The school has a range of standard facilities and stands out as one of the few schools in Dubai that provides boarding facilities, catering to a diverse range of students.

  • Location: Nad Al Sheba 3, Dubai
  • Fees: AED 52,800 - AED 95,000
  • KHDA Rating: Outstanding
  • Contact: +971 800 737866

Hartland International School

Hartland International School, nestled near Nad Al Sheba within the developing Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum City, Dubai, is a distinguished educational institution created by Sobha Developments. Originally intended to cater to residents, it has now garnered attention from families across the city.

The school envisions establishing a nurturing community of learners within a safe and joyful environment. Their commitment to education is characterized by inspiration, challenge, and unwavering support for all students. Hartland International School seeks to ignite a passion for learning and teaching, inspiring the minds and hearts of its students. In addition to academic excellence, the school values warmth, humanity, and transparency in its interactions.

Editorial Opinion

British schools in Dubai have undeniably carved a niche for themselves in the education landscape. With a commitment to high-quality education, these institutions follow the esteemed British curriculum, offering a rigorous and comprehensive learning experience. Notably, they provide an international perspective within the multicultural tapestry of Dubai, fostering global mindsets in students.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) consistently bestows top ratings on many British schools. Beyond academics, these schools prioritize holistic development, nurturing life skills, critical thinking, and creativity. The rich array of extracurricular activities further enriches the educational journey. In sum, British schools in Dubai continue to empower students with the knowledge and skills to excel, both locally and on the global stage, making them a pivotal part of the city's educational landscape.



  • 1.

    What is the British curriculum in UAE?

    The British curriculum in the UAE, including Dubai, is a framework for education that is based on the educational standards and practices of the United Kingdom. It is designed to provide a structured and comprehensive education to students and is recognized worldwide for its academic rigor. British curriculum schools in the UAE follow this framework, offering subjects and examinations that are in line with UK educational standards. Students typically study subjects like English, mathematics, science, and humanities, and they may also have the option to take standardized British examinations like GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A-levels (Advanced Level).

  • 2.

    Are English schools free in Dubai?

    Most English-medium private schools in Dubai, including those following the British curriculum, charge tuition fees. These fees can vary significantly depending on the school's reputation, facilities, and grade level. Dubai does have some public schools that offer education in Arabic, but these may not be English-medium schools and may have different levels of education.

  • 3.

    How can I check the quality of a British school in Dubai?

    The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) provides ratings for schools in Dubai, including British schools. You can also review school websites, visit campuses, and seek feedback from parents of current students.

  • 4.

    Are British schools in Dubai only for British expatriates?

    No, British schools in Dubai welcome students from diverse backgrounds. While they follow the British curriculum, they offer an international perspective, making them suitable for students of various nationalities.

  • 5.

    Are there scholarships or financial aid options available at British schools in Dubai?

    Some schools may offer scholarships or financial aid programs. It's advisable to inquire directly with the school's admissions department for information on any available assistance.

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Update date: 05/22/2024