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Top Schools in Abu Dhabi

October 3, 202332 min read

Al-Muna-Academy

Best Schools in Abu Dhabi: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

Choosing the right school for your child is a crucial decision that can shape their educational journey and future prospects. In this comprehensive guide, we aim to provide valuable insights and recommendations for parents seeking the best educational opportunities in Abu Dhabi. Whether you’re a resident or a newcomer, making an informed choice about your child’s education is paramount.

Purpose of This Article

This article serves as an indispensable resource for parents in Abu Dhabi who are navigating the educational landscape. Our goal is to empower parents with information about the top schools in the region, helping them make the best decision for their child’s academic and personal growth.

Importance of Choosing the Right School for Your Child

Selecting the right school is of utmost importance because it significantly influences your child’s overall development, academic achievements, and future opportunities. The ideal school should align with your child’s unique learning style, interests, and long-term goals.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a School

Several critical factors should be considered when choosing a school, including the curriculum offered, teaching methods, facilities, extracurricular activities, and the school’s ethos and values.

List of Best Schools in Abu Dhabi

Best Schools in Abu Dhabi

School NameDescriptionRatingAnnual FeesGradesCurriculumNearby Places
Al Muna AcademyAl Muna Academy offers primary school education with a focus on providing a safe and nurturing environment. It’s centrally situated near Abu Dhabi Corniche and offers a diverse and creative curriculum.OutstandingAED 43,500 – AED 45,260Nursery to Year 6BritishSaadiyat Island, Al Reem Island, Downtown Abu Dhabi
British International School, Abu DhabiBritish International School-Abu Dhabi follows British and international curricula, including the English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. It emphasizes personalized learning and unique opportunities for students.OutstandingAED 52,050 – AED 68,700FS1 to Year 13IB, IGCSE, BritishZayed City, Khalifa City, Al Raha Beach
Aldar Academies, Al Yasmina AcademyAl Yasmina Academy is a British curriculum school catering from nursery age to 18-year-olds. Known for academic achievements and fostering personal and social development, it’s conveniently located near Khalifa A.Outstanding*AED 42,900 – AED 61,150FS1 to Year 13BritishKhalifa City, Al Raha Beach
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi SchoolCranleigh Abu Dhabi offers a British curriculum with a blend of tradition and innovation. It provides IGCSEs, A-Levels, and BTEC qualifications. Located on Saadiyat Island, it offers proximity to various residential areas.OutstandingAED 65,000 – AED 96,333Nursery to Year 13BritishSaadiyat Island, Al Reem Island, Yas Island, Downtown Abu Dhabi
Raha International School, Abu DhabiRaha International School is an International Baccalaureate World School, nurturing global citizens. It’s known for its quality curriculum and care, located in Khalifa A.OutstandingAED 39,330 – AED 61,900KG1 – Grade 12IBKhalifa City, Al Raha Beach

Overview of the Education System in Abu Dhabi

The education system in Abu Dhabi is overseen by the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). ADEK is responsible for setting standards for schools and ensuring that they are meeting the needs of students.

Public vs. Private Schools

Public Schools

Public schools in Abu Dhabi are government-funded and primarily serve UAE nationals. They offer education at a minimal cost and are open to all students, regardless of nationality.

Private Schools

Private schools cater to a more international community and often provide various curricula, including British, American, and International Baccalaureate (IB). They charge tuition fees and may have selective admissions processes.

Curricula Offered

Abu Dhabi’s private schools typically offer a variety of curricula, such as British, American, IB, and more. The choice of curriculum should align with your child’s future educational and career aspirations.

Assessment and Grading Systems

Understanding the assessment and grading systems used by schools is essential. These systems can vary between schools and curricula, which may impact your child’s educational journey.

List of the Top 15 Best Schools in Abu Dhabi

Here is a list of the top 15 best schools in Abu Dhabi, considering factors like academic excellence, facilities, and extracurricular offerings. Each school includes a brief overview, including curriculum, facilities, and nearby areas.

Al Muna Academy:

  • Overview: Al Muna Academy offers primary school education in Abu Dhabi, with a strong focus on providing a safe and nurturing environment for its students. The school is centrally situated near Abu Dhabi Corniche, offering a diverse and creative curriculum that fosters holistic development.
  • Rating: Al Muna Academy holds an “Outstanding” rating.
  • Annual Fees: The annual fees at Al Muna Academy range from AED 43,500 to AED 45,260.
  • Grades: Al Muna Academy provides education from Nursery to Year 6.
  • Curriculum: The school follows the British curriculum.
  • Nearby Places: Al Muna Academy is conveniently located near Saadiyat Island, Al Reem Island, and Downtown Abu Dhabi, making it accessible for families residing in these areas.

British International School, Abu Dhabi:

  • Overview: British International School-Abu Dhabi offers a comprehensive education that encompasses the English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The school places a strong emphasis on personalized learning and unique opportunities for students.
  • Rating: British International School, Abu Dhabi, is rated as “Outstanding.”
  • Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 52,050 to AED 68,700.
  • Grades: The school caters to students from FS1 to Year 13.
  • Curriculum: It follows the IB, IGCSE, and British curricula.
  • Nearby Places: The school’s location is convenient for families residing in Zayed City, Khalifa City, and Al Raha Beach.

Aldar Academies, Al Yasmina Academy

Overview: Al Yasmina Academy is a British curriculum school offering education from nursery age to 18-year-olds. It is known for its academic excellence and commitment to fostering personal and social development. The school’s location near Khalifa A provides easy access to residential areas like Khalifa City and Al Raha Beach.

Rating: Al Yasmina Academy holds an “Outstanding” rating.

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 42,900 to AED 61,150.

Grades: Al Yasmina Academy offers education from FS1 to Year 13.

Curriculum: The school follows the British curriculum.

Nearby Places: It is conveniently located near Khalifa City and Al Raha Beach.

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School:

Overview: Cranleigh Abu Dhabi offers a British curriculum that combines tradition and innovation. The school provides IGCSEs, A-Levels, and BTEC qualifications. Situated on Saadiyat Island, it offers easy access to various residential areas.

Rating: Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School has an “Outstanding” rating.

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 65,000 to AED 96,333.

Grades: The school serves students from Nursery to Year 13.

Curriculum: Cranleigh follows the British curriculum.

Nearby Places: Its location on Saadiyat Island is close to Al Reem Island, Yas Island, and Downtown Abu Dhabi.

Raha International School, Abu Dhabi:

Overview: Raha International School is an International Baccalaureate World School, dedicated to nurturing global citizens. Known for its high-quality curriculum and care, the school is located in Khalifa A, providing accessibility to various parts of Abu Dhabi.

Rating: Raha International School holds an “Outstanding” rating.

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 39,330 to AED 61,900.

Grades: The school caters to students from KG1 to Grade 12.

Curriculum: Raha International School follows the IB curriculum.

Nearby Places: It is conveniently situated near Khalifa City and Al Raha Beach.

Aldar Academies, The Pearl Academy:

Overview: The Pearl Academy is a British curriculum primary school located on Abu Dhabi Island. It is committed to delivering the highest standard of education and fostering creativity in its students. The school’s location offers proximity to many residential communities.

Rating: The Pearl Academy holds an “Outstanding” rating.

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 41,700 to AED 43,150.

Grades: The school provides education from Nursery to Year 6.

Curriculum: The curriculum followed is British.

Nearby Places: The school is located near Saadiyat Island, Al Reem Island, Yas Island, and Downtown Abu Dhabi.

Brighton College Abu Dhabi:

Overview: Brighton College offers a British curriculum from pre-prep to 6th form, aiming to turn out well-educated, confident, and respectful students. It’s a co-educational institution conveniently located near popular communities.

Rating: Brighton College Abu Dhabi is rated as “Outstanding.”

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 48,900 to AED 77,720.

Grades: The school caters to students from Nursery to Year 13.

Curriculum: Brighton College follows the British curriculum, GCSE, and UK EYFS.

Nearby Places: Its location is convenient for families residing in Downtown Abu Dhabi, Al Reem Island, Al Raha Beach, and Khalifa City.

Merryland International School:

Overview: Merryland International School is a co-educational British curriculum school known for its high-quality learning resources and innovative opportunities for students. It is located in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, offering a suburban lifestyle with proximity to Abu Dhabi’s hotspots.

Rating: Merryland International School holds an “Outstanding” rating.

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 23,850 to AED 42,500.

Grades: The school caters to students from KG to Grade 12.

Curriculum: It follows the IGCSE and British curricula.

Nearby Places: The school’s location is near Mussafah, Khalifa City, and Al Raha Beach.

British School Al Khubairat (BSAK):

Overview: British School Al Khubairat emphasizes its supportive, community spirit, offering a co-educational British curriculum. It’s located in Mushrif on Abu Dhabi Island and is known for its academic excellence.

Rating: British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) holds an “Outstanding” rating.

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 43,152 to AED 70,632.

Grades: BSAK provides education from FS1 to Year 13.

Curriculum: The school follows the British curriculum.

Nearby Places: It is situated near Downtown Abu Dhabi and Al Reem Island.

Horizon Private School – Khalifa City:

Overview: Horizon Private School (HPS-Br), located in Khalifa City A, is a co-educational school following the Common Core Standards. It offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses for academically gifted students and a variety of activities and clubs.

Rating: Horizon Private School holds a “Very Good” rating.

Annual Fees: The annual fees range from AED 23,490 to AED 44,080.

Grades: The school serves students from KG1 to Grade 12.

Curriculum: It follows the American curriculum.

Nearby Places: The school is situated near Khalifa City and Al Raha Beach.

Extracurricular Activities

Exploring extracurricular offerings can enhance your child’s overall educational experience and personal development. Encouraging your child to participate in extracurricular activities can help them develop new skills, pursue their passions, and make friends.

Extracurricular Activities at Top Schools in Abu Dhabi

SchoolArtMusicDramaDanceSportsClubs
Al Muna AcademyArt, Music, Drama, Dance, Sports, Clubs (e.g., robotics, coding, debating)
British International School Abu DhabiArt, Music, Drama, Dance, Sports, Clubs (e.g., chess, photography, TEDx)
Cranleigh Abu DhabiArt, Music, Drama, Dance, Sports, Clubs (e.g., debating, public speaking, Model United Nations)
Raha International SchoolArt, Music, Drama, Dance, Sports, Clubs (e.g., robotics, coding, creative writing)

How to Choose the Right School for Your Child

Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. There are many factors to consider, such as the school’s curriculum, facilities, extracurricular activities, and location.

Tips for Choosing the Right School

  • Consider your child’s individual needs and learning style. Some children thrive in large, traditional schools, while others prefer smaller, more intimate schools. Some children learn best in a structured environment, while others need more flexibility.
  • Think about your educational philosophy. What kind of education do you want your child to have? Do you want them to focus on academics, or do you also want them to have a strong foundation in the arts and extracurricular activities?
  • Visit the schools you are interested in. This will give you a chance to see the school’s facilities, meet the staff, and talk to other parents.
  • Read reviews from other parents. This can give you a good sense of the school’s culture and academic reputation.
  • Ask about the school’s curriculum and teaching methods. Make sure the school’s approach to education is aligned with your own educational philosophy.
  • Find out about the school’s extracurricular activities. Does the school offer the activities that your child is interested in?
  • Consider the school’s location. How far are you willing to travel to school each day?
  • Talk to your child. Get their input on the schools you are considering. They will be spending a lot of time at school, so it is important that they are happy and comfortable there.

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Tips for Applying to Schools in Abu Dhabi

Start the application process early. Many schools in Abu Dhabi have limited spaces, so it is important to start the application process early. This will give you more time to gather all of the required documents and complete the application.

Gather all of the required documents. The required documents will vary depending on the school, but may include:

  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Your child’s passport
  • Your child’s school transcripts
  • Immunization records
  • Copies of your child’s passport-sized photos
  • A completed application form

Prepare your child for the interview. Some schools in Abu Dhabi interview applicants before making an admissions decision. Be sure to prepare your child for the interview by talking to them about their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their academic and extracurricular interests.

Submit your application on time. It is important to submit your application on time in order to avoid missing out on a spot. Be sure to check with the school to confirm the application deadline.

School Fees and Financial Aid

Understanding school fees and available financial aid options is essential for parents. Here is a breakdown of the average school fees for private schools in Abu Dhabi, according to the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK):

  • Kindergarten: AED 20,000 – AED 30,000
  • Primary school: AED 30,000 – AED 40,000
  • Secondary school: AED 40,000 – AED 50,000

Financial aid is available to students who qualify. To apply for financial aid, students and their families will need to submit documentation of their income and expenses. Financial aid is typically awarded on a basis of need.

Tips for Applying for Financial Aid

  • Start early. The financial aid application process can take several weeks, so it is important to start early.
  • Gather all of the required documents. The required documents will vary depending on the school, but may include:
    • Copies of your tax returns
    • Copies of your bank statements
    • Copies of your investment statements
    • A completed financial aid application form
  • Be honest and complete in your application. The financial aid committee will need accurate information about your financial situation to make a decision about your application.
  • Follow up with the financial aid office. If you have any questions about your application, be sure to follow up with the financial aid office.

Special Education Needs

Abu Dhabi schools are required to provide support for students with special education needs. If your child has special education needs, be sure to contact the schools you are interested in to learn more about their support services.

Types of Support for Students with Special Education Needs

  • Individualized education plans (IEPs): IEPs are tailored to the individual needs of each student. They outline the student’s academic goals, as well as the services and support that they need to achieve those goals.
  • Accommodations and modifications: Accommodations and modifications are changes that can be made to the classroom environment or curriculum to help students with special education needs succeed. For example, a student with a learning disability may be given extra time on tests or allowed to use a calculator.
  • Special education services: Special education services may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

Tips for Parents of Children with Special Education Needs

  • Be an advocate for your child. You know your child better than anyone else. Be prepared to speak up on their behalf and advocate for their needs.
  • Work with the school. The school is there to help your child succeed. Work with the teachers and other staff to develop an education plan that is right for your child.
  • Get involved in the community. There are a number of resources available to parents of children with special education needs in Abu Dhabi. Get involved in the community so that you can learn more about these resources and connect with other parents.

Transportation

Transportation can be a significant consideration when choosing a school for your child. While some schools in Abu Dhabi offer transportation services, others do not. Here are some transportation options available in Abu Dhabi:

  • School buses: Some schools offer school bus transportation to students. This is typically the most affordable option.
  • Public buses: Abu Dhabi has a public bus system that can be used to get to and from school. However, public buses can be crowded and may not be the most convenient option for students.
  • Taxis: Taxis are also available in Abu Dhabi. Taxis can be more expensive than other transportation options, but they are also more convenient.
  • Private transportation: If you have a car, you can also drive your child to and from school. This is the most convenient option, but it can also be the most expensive.

School Hours and Holidays

Understanding school hours and holidays is important for planning your child’s education. Here are the typical school hours and holidays in Abu Dhabi:

Extracurricular Activities

Exploring extracurricular offerings can enhance your child’s overall educational experience and personal development. Encouraging your child to participate in extracurricular activities can help them develop new skills, pursue their passions, and make friends.

School Hours

Sunday to Thursday: 7:30 am to 2:00 pm

School Holidays

  • Summer vacation: Mid-June to early September
  • Winter vacation: Mid-December to early January
  • Eid holidays: Two Eid holidays per year, typically lasting for 3-4 days each

Is Arabic compulsory in Abu Dhabi schools?

Yes, Arabic is a compulsory subject in all Abu Dhabi schools, both public and private. This is because Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates. However, the level of Arabic instruction varies depending on the school’s curriculum.

What is the best school in Abu Dhabi?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best school for your child will depend on their individual needs and preferences. However, some of the most highly rated schools in Abu Dhabi include:

  • Al Muna Academy
  • British International School, Abu Dhabi
  • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School
  • Raha International School, Abu Dhabi
  • The American School Abu Dhabi
  • The British School Abu Dhabi
  • Aldar Academies, Al Yasmina Academy
  • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
  • Merryland International School
  • British School Al Khubairat (BSAK)
  • Horizon Private School – Khalifa City

How many schools are there in Abu Dhabi?

There are over 200 schools in Abu Dhabi, including public and private schools. The majority of schools in Abu Dhabi offer a British curriculum, although there are also a number of schools that offer American, IB, and other international curricula.

Is there school tomorrow in Abu Dhabi?

Schools in Abu Dhabi are typically open from Sunday to Thursday. However, there are a few school holidays throughout the year, including summer vacation, winter vacation, and Eid holidays. To check the school calendar for a specific school, you can visit the school’s website or contact the school directly.

Are schools closed today in Abu Dhabi?

You can also check the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) website for a list of all school holidays in the UAE.

Are schools in Abu Dhabi closed tomorrow?

You can check the school calendar for a specific school to find out if it is closed tomorrow. You can also check the ADEK website for a list of all school holidays in the UAE.

How to get admission in Abu Dhabi Indian School?

To get admission in Abu Dhabi Indian School, you will need to visit the school’s website and complete the online application form. You will also need to submit the following documents:

  • Copy of your child’s passport
  • Copy of your child’s birth certificate
  • Copy of your child’s latest school report card
  • Copy of your child’s immunization records
  • Two recent passport-size photographs of your child

When are schools reopening in Abu Dhabi?

Schools in Abu Dhabi typically reopen in early September. However, the exact date of reopening varies depending on the school. To check the reopening date for a specific school, you can visit the school’s website or contact the school directly.

When does school start in Abu Dhabi?

Schools in Abu Dhabi typically start at around 7:30 AM and end at around 2:00 PM. However, the exact school hours vary depending on the school. To check the school hours for a specific school, you can visit the school’s website or contact the school directly.

Which is the best school in Abu Dhabi?

As mentioned above, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best school for your child will depend on their individual needs and preferences. However, some of the most highly rated schools in Abu Dhabi include:

  • Al Muna Academy
  • British International School, Abu Dhabi
  • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School
  • Raha International School, Abu Dhabi
  • The American School Abu Dhabi
  • The British School Abu Dhabi
  • Aldar Academies, Al Yasmina Academy
  • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
  • Merryland International School
  • British School Al Khubairat (BSAK)
  • Horizon Private School – Khalifa City

Your child’s education is a journey, and choosing the right school is a significant step on that path. We hope this guide has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision for your child’s future.

Can a school deny transport to students in Abu Dhabi?

School transport policies can vary between schools and regions. Generally, schools in Abu Dhabi offer transportation services to students. However, schools may have specific guidelines and eligibility criteria for using school transportation. It’s advisable to contact the school directly for detailed information on their transportation policies.

Do Abu Dhabi high school students need to write Arabic?

In the United Arab Emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Arabic is a compulsory subject in the curriculum for all students, including high school students. Students are generally required to study Arabic as part of their education, even in international schools.

Do Sharjah schools come under Abu Dhabi?

Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are separate emirates within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Each emirate has its education system and authority responsible for schools. Schools in Sharjah are typically under the jurisdiction of the Sharjah Education Council, while schools in Abu Dhabi are under the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) or the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).

Does PIES School Abu Dhabi open to all races?

The admission policies of private schools in Abu Dhabi can vary. It’s advisable to check with PIES School Abu Dhabi directly or visit their official website to obtain information about their admission policies and whether they are open to students of all races. Private schools in the UAE typically follow non-discriminatory admission policies.

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