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Educational Sector in the UAE

Educational sector in the UAE

The educational sector in the UAE includes both public and private schooling sectors. Private schools dominate the landscape, accounting for approximately 90% of educational institutions. These private schools offer diverse curricula designed to meet the needs of the diverse population residing in Dubai. Among the popular curricula are the American, British, and French systems.

Foundational Education (Personal and Academic Development)

The United Arab Emirates ensures that every child has access to foundational education. All children between the ages of five and fifteen must attend school. These years set them on a path of academic and personal development. The Dubai government strongly emphasizes providing equitable educational opportunities to its citizens.

Public primary and secondary education is offered free of charge to Emirati nationals.

What should you look for while choosing a school?




When choosing a nursery, consider whether it aligns with your child’s future educational path. Opting for a nursery that follows your national curriculum may be beneficial if you plan to return home and integrate seamlessly into the educational system there. However, if your relocation to Dubai is long-term, this consideration may carry less weight.


Verify if the nursery offers instruction in your preferred language(s). Many nurseries cater to multilingual families by providing instruction in multiple languages. Ensuring language compatibility can facilitate smoother communication and integration for your child.

School Affiliations

Some nurseries have affiliations with specific schools or school groups. Choosing a nursery affiliated with your preferred school may offer priority admission or smoother transition processes for your child when they progresses to formal education.


Consider the nursery’s proximity to your home or workplace. Selecting a nursery located conveniently can save commuting time and make drop-off and pick-up routines more manageable for you and your family.


Determine whether you prefer your child to attend nursery only during term time or throughout the year. Some nurseries offer options for both term-time and year-round attendance, allowing you to select the schedule that best suits your family’s needs and preferences.

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Schooling in UAE (National Educational Sector Public, Private Schooling)

Public Schooling in UAE

Public schools in Dubai strive to maintain high standards of education. It delivers high-quality instruction by following national educational sector guidelines. These institutions serve as pillars of the community. They develop a sense of national identity and unity among Emirati students. They often integrate cultural and national values into their curriculum. They reflect the rich heritage and traditions of the United Arab Emirates.

Private Schooling in UAE

The private educational sector on the other hand has a diverse student population. It comprises students from various countries and backgrounds. These schools offer a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities. It provides students with opportunities for excellent skills development. Many private schools in Dubai encourage innovative teaching methods. These methods prepare students for success in a globalized world.

Nursery in Dubai

In Dubai, the nursery sector plays a crucial role in laying the foundation for early childhood education and development. Dubai’s nurseries serve as the first stepping stone in a child’s educational journey, providing a nurturing and stimulating environment where young minds can grow.

Nurseries in Dubai offer a variety of early childhood education programs for children aged 0-4 years, including daycare, preschool, and kindergarten programs. Many nurseries follow internationally recognized curricula and teaching methodologies. Some Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curricula from the UK, the Montessori Method, or the Reggio Emilia approach.

Things to look for when choosing a nursery, Guideline

Annual Fee of Nursery with Grade
  • FS1AED33,658 / $9,163 / £7,073
  • KG1AED27,640 / $7,525 / £5,808
  • KG2AED29,872 / $8,133 / £6,277
Primary Education in Dubai

Primary education in Dubai is the first step in school for kids aged around 5 to 11. It’s where they start learning basic things like reading, writing, math, and science. In primary school, kids study different subjects like Arabic, English, math, science, and social studies. Some schools also teach Islamic Studies or moral education.

In some schools, kids learn in both Arabic and English to help them become good at both languages. They focus on reading, writing, and speaking. Primary schools in Dubai also have fun activities like art, music, sports, and group projects. These help kids learn to think creatively, solve problems, and work with others.

Teachers regularly check how well kids are doing in school. Kids move on to the next grade based on their progress in class and on tests. Schools in Dubai also help kids who need extra support with their learning. They make sure every child gets the help they need to succeed.

Schools make sure kids are safe and happy while they learn. They have rules to protect kids and activities to help them feel good about themselves.

Age/ Grade for Primary Education
  • 11-13– Grade 6/Year 6
  • 12-14– Grade 7/Year 7
  • 13-15– Grade 8/Year 8
  • 14-17– Grade 9/Year 9
  • 15-18– Grade 10/Year 10

 Students got A over 90 to 100 % marks, B to 80-89% marks C from 70 to 79 % marks, A D from 60 to 69, and F on below 59.

Secondary Education in Dubai

In secondary school, students in Dubai learn more advanced subjects compared to when they were younger. They dive deeper into topics like math, science, history, and literature. Teachers often use different methods to help students understand these subjects, like group projects, experiments, and discussions.

Secondary schools in Dubai also focus on preparing students for their future careers or higher education. They offer guidance and support to help students explore their interests and talents. Some schools even provide internships or job-shadowing opportunities so students can get real-world experience

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Developing Essential Skills

Additionally, secondary education in Dubai emphasizes the importance of developing essential life skills such as problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. Students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities like sports, arts, and community service to help them build these skills and discover their passions outside of the classroom.

Secondary Education Two Main stream (Ministry of Education Curriculum & International Curriculum)

 In Dubai, secondary education is divided into two main streams; the Ministry of Education curriculum and the international curriculum offered by private and international schools.

Ministry of Education Curriculum

 Emirati students primarily follow the curriculum set by the UAE Ministry of Education in public secondary schools. This curriculum typically leads to the UAE General Secondary School Certificate (Tawjihi) upon completion of grade 12. The curriculum covers a range of subjects, including Arabic, Islamic Studies, English, mathematics, science, social studies, and vocational subjects. Students may choose between scientific or literary tracks based on their interests and career aspirations.

International Curriculum

Private and international schools in Dubai offer a variety of international curricula such as the British, American, International Baccalaureate (IB), and others. These curricula are often renowned for their academic rigor, global perspective, and emphasis on critical thinking and independent learning. Students have the opportunity to pursue qualifications such as the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Advanced Placement (AP) exams, or the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP).

Higher Education in Dubai, Universities in Dubai

Dubai’s universities offer various programs. They have modern facilities and respected teachers. Students find a lively learning environment. Research and personal growth opportunities are available. Global connections enhance internships and networking. Dubai’s universities prepare students for success worldwide.

Regardless of the curriculum followed, education in Dubai aims to prepare students for higher education or the workforce by providing a well-rounded education that fosters academic excellence, critical thinking, creativity, and essential life skills. Schools in Dubai often offer a range of extracurricular activities, sports, and community service opportunities to students’ educational experiences and personal development.

Dynamic and Responsive Education System

Overall, Dubai’s education system is dynamic and responsive to the needs of its diverse population. By offering a mix of public and private schooling options, the city ensures that every child has access to quality education, regardless of their socio-economic background or nationality. Through continuous investment in education and a commitment to excellence, Dubai strives to maintain its position as a center of learning and innovation in the region.

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Is there free education in Dubai?

Primary and secondary education is provided free of cost to Emirati citizens. However, non-citizens are required to pay fees for both public and private schooling in Dubai.

Is education in Dubai good?

The education system in Dubai comprises both public and private sectors. Private and international schools generally offer high-quality education, while public schools have faced challenges in maintaining consistent standards. Efforts are underway by the government to improve the quality of public education.

How much does school cost in Dubai?

The cost of schooling in Dubai varies depending on whether it is public or private. Emirati citizens can access public schooling for free, while expatriates must pay tuition fees for private or international schools, which can range widely.

Are there boarding schools in Dubai?

Yes, Dubai has boarding schools that provide accommodation and education for students, offering a residential option for families seeking an immersive educational experience.

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