Search for the best international schools in the United Arab Emirates; you can find a list of selected UAE schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
The UAE’s economy has grown exponentially since independence in 1974 and it has invested heavily in education. Numerous reforms of the public education system have been enacted and four education hub initiatives have been launched to attract foreign universities.
The small, oil-rich state on the Persian Gulf has one of the highest net migration rates in the world, and Emiratis make up around 13 per cent of its estimated 8.26 million residents, with expatriates, including large South Asian and Arab communities, accounting for the rest.
More than 200 international schools centred on Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Ras Al-Khaimah provide the expatriate population with a wide variety of educational options. Most are English-medium, coeducational day schools and a few take girls only. Annual fees range from around AED10,000 to AED125,000.
There are 48 IB World Schools, of which 42 offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
There are also schools following German, French, Swiss, Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Indian, Pakistani, American and British curriculums, which some offer alongside the IB.
Several private school chains operate in the UAE, including the Kings’ Schools Group, which runs two primary schools and one through-train school in Dubai that follow the English national curriculum.
GEMS Education, an international private education group set up by a family of Indian teachers in Dubai, now has 24 GEMS schools across the UAE, while the International School of Chouiefat, a group offering coeducational, non-selective education that originated in The Lebanon in 1886, has eight campuses.
Education is compulsory from age five to 18 and free to Emiratis. State schools, which teach in Arabic and are segregated by gender, are open to expatriates, who have to pay fees and pass an admission test conducted in Arabic. Primary and secondary education each last six years, with the latter equally divided into upper and lower stages.
If you are looking specifically for International Baccalaureate World Schools in the UAE, you can find selected schools on our sister website: www.ibyb.org.