Education & School System in Dubai " List of Schools & Kitas

Here you can find out everything about the education and school system in Dubai.

The Education & School System in Dubai: Inclusive List of German Schools

30 July 2023
Nina Noel
Nina Noel

Table of contents

‍Dubai, the vibrant metropolis of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), attracts many people with its impressive infrastructure, cultural attractions and economic opportunities. For families looking to immerse themselves in a new culture, Dubai offers an attractive option with its top-notch schools, recreational activities and safe environment. In this article, we will take a closer look at the school system in Dubai and cover everything you need to know to plan a successful emigration with children.

The most important facts in a nutshell:

  • 🏫 The education system in Dubai is compulsory for children between the ages of 4 and 18 and has made significant progress in recent years to ensure quality education. 

  • 👶 Children can attend a crèche from the age of 6 weeks and kindergarten from the age of 3 years, which mostly follow an international curriculum and offer bilingual programmes.

  • 👧👦 Primary school lasts 6 years and lays the foundation for the students' further development. Secondary school lasts another 6 years and offers both academic and technical schools.

  • 🎓 Dubai offers a wide range of colleges and universities with different curricula to meet the educational needs of the international community and students.

  • 🏫 Popular schools in Dubai include Dubai College, Dubai English Speaking Private College and Gems Group.

  • 📝 In order to enrol a child in a school in Dubai, certain documents must be presented and it is advisable to start the enrolment process early.

  • 💻 Dubai is investing heavily in the integration of technology into the education system, providing modern learning environments with interactive whiteboards, e-learning platforms and learning apps.

  • 💰 The cost of schools in Dubai varies greatly. Public schools are usually free, while public schools can cost between AED 5,000 and AED 100,000 per year, depending on the institution and educational programme. 💵💶💷

The education system in Dubai

Dubai's education system has made significant progress in recent years to ensure that all children have access to quality education. The school system in Dubai is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 18, regardless of their nationality or origin. It is common practice to enrol children in pre-school at the age of 4. The introduction of compulsory education aims to ensure that all children can fully develop their abilities and talents.


In Dubai, children can attend a crèche from the age of 6 weeks and kindergarten from the age of 3 years, but this is compulsory and must be paid for privately. The cost for this is around 1500 - 4500 AED per month. Most kindergartens in Dubai follow an international curriculum and offer programmes tailored to the needs and ages of the children. Some kindergartens also offer bilingual programmes that include both English and Arabic.

Primary school

The Primary education usually starts at the age of 6 and lasts for 6 years in Dubai. English is the main language of instruction in most primary schools, but there are also schools that teach in other languages such as Arabic, French, German and Spanish. Primary education lays the foundation for students' further learning and development.

Secondary school

After completing primary school, students in Dubai move on to secondary school, which lasts another 6 years. The secondary school system in Dubai comprises two types of schools: regular schools, which focus on academic subjects, and technical schools, which teach students specific skills. Students have the opportunity to explore their interests and talents and prepare for their future careers.

Higher education

Dubai offers a wide range of colleges and universities to meet the educational needs of the growing international community and students. These educational institutions offer various curricula including the Indian CBSE, International Baccalaureate (IB) and British programmes such as GCSE and A-Levels. Dubai has become a major education hub offering internationally recognised degrees and quality education.

Popular schools in Dubai

In Dubai there is a Variety of schoolsoffering different curricula and educational approaches to meet the diverse needs of students. Here are some of the most popular schools in Dubai:

  • Dubai College

  • Dubai English Speaking Private College

  • Dubai International Academy

  • Gems Dubai American Academy

  • Gems Jumeirah Primary School

  • Gems Modern Academy

  • Gems Royal Dubai School

  • Gems Wellington International School

  • Jumeirah College

  • Jumeirah English Speaking School

These schools are known for their high quality education and dedicated teaching staff. They offer a wide range of academic and extracurricular activities to develop students and provide them with a holistic education.

English Language Kindergartens in Dubai

  • British Orchard Nursery

  • Kangaroo Kids Nursery (Al Safa 2)

  • Ladybird Early Learning Centre (Jumeirah Village Circle)

  • Little Land Nursery & Montessori Centre (Umm Suqeim)

  • Home Grown Eco Nursery (Al Safa 2 & Umm Suqeim)

  • British Rose Nursery

  • Creative Nest Nursery (Al Mizhar)

  • Maple Bear Early Learning Centre (Business Bay)

  • Step by Step Nursery (Dubailand & Mirdif)

German or German-speaking schools in Dubai

  • German International School Dubai 

  • Swiss International Scientific School

  • Dunecrest American School

  • DIA

  • North Anglia International School

  • Safa Community School 

  • Arbor School

  • Bloom World Academy 

  • GEMs world academy And other GEMs sites, but not all of them

  • Hartland

The application process for school places in Dubai

To enrol your child in a school in Dubai, you will need to provide certain documents and go through the enrolment process. Here are some of the documents that are often required:

  • Application forms from the school

  • Copies of the child's and parents' passports and Dubai visa pages

  • Passport photos of the child

  • Birth certificate of the child

  • School records for the last two years

  • Health card or health insurance certificate

  • Vaccination records and medical history of the child

  • Letter of referral or recommendation from the child's previous school

It is important to take care of your child's registration early, as some schools have waiting lists and places may be limited. Most schools offer the option of online registration to make the process easier.

Expert Tip:  The mere reservation does not guarantee you a place! You always need a confirmation of the "conditional admission" by e-mail.

The placement test for grades 2-10 in Dubai

The school registration process is clearly structured to ensure a smooth admission for students and parents. First, a payment is made to the school. Once this has been confirmed, other necessary documents, such as the completed pupil form from the school previously attended, must be submitted. Subsequently, the

Parents receive a confirmation of "conditional admission" by e-mail as well as an invitation to the placement test, which is intended for students in grades 2 to 10.

It is important to note that the school often conducts the placement tests in larger groups and on fixed days. Individual scheduling is not always possible, especially at the end of a school year when preparations for the following school year are underway. No tests are conducted during school holidays. You can see the holiday calendar on the school's homepage.

As a rule, no entrance test is required for admission to the kindergarten. However, for children from the age of four, a language test may be required, to which the parents are invited by the kindergarten management. Admission to Grade 1 also requires a placement test, which is conducted on site at the school.

What is the daily routine like in schools in Dubai?

For example, regular class times at the German International School primary school are from 07:50 to 14:10, with the exception of Fridays when classes run from 07:50 to 12.

In the secondary school, classes run from 07:50 to 14:10 and from 14:40 to 16:10, depending on the timetable. On Fridays, classes also end at 12 noon. On weekends, as in most schools in Dubai, there are no classes at the German International School.

Students are well catered for as many schools have their own canteens that serve nutritious meals. In terms of getting to school, it doesn't matter where you live. Whether it's Jumeirah Lake Towers or Dubai Creek Harbour, the school buses cover all areas. Each school has its own buses, and fees vary by zone. You can expect to pay around AED 2000 per child per month for the school bus. 

The childcare ratio in Dubai is usually very high. Often there are up to three teachers in a class at the same time looking after the children.

Holidays in Dubai? When do the children have holiday time?

Holiday periods are similar to those in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, with summer being the main holiday season. July and August are the central holiday months. In addition, there are autumn, winter and spring holidays.

Can my child do A-levels in Dubai?

It is possible to take the Abitur or Matura at German schools in Dubai. It is advisable to obtain information directly from the school concerned. The German International School, for example, offers a special degree developed for German evening schools, which is comparable to the Abitur or Matura worldwide and corresponds to the German Abitur in terms of content.

Other degrees such as the Mittlere Reife or international degrees are usually also available at other German schools in the United Arab Emirates. After graduating from a German international school, graduates have all the options open to them for an international career.

Technologies used in the education system

Dubai recognises that technology plays an important role in education today and has therefore made significant investments in integrating technology into the education system. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme (MBRSLP) was introduced to promote the use of smart learning strategies and make learning more efficient and interactive. This programme has received international recognition and clearly demonstrates Dubai's commitment to modern and progressive education.

Dubai schools are equipped with the latest technology, including interactive whiteboards, computer labs, e-learning platforms and learning apps. Through the use of technology, students can access a wide range of resources and personalise their learning. This encourages students' creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.

The role of educational advisors in Dubai

When choosing the right school for your child, it can be helpful to consult education consultants in Dubai. Education consultants are experts who have in-depth knowledge of the school system and the different educational institutions in Dubai. They can help you choose a school that best suits your child's needs and interests. They can also assist you with the application and enrolment process and provide you with valuable information.

How much does school cost in Dubai? (School fees)

The cost of schools in Dubai varies greatly. Public schools are usually free, while public schools can cost between AED 5,000 and AED 100,000 per year, depending on the institution and the educational programme.

Example: At a German school in Dubai, the fees for one school year are as follows: 

  • Pre-kindergarten (from 3 years) 38,600 AED = 9,650 € 

  • Pre-school 42,000 AED = 10,500 € 

  • Primary school (grades 1-4) AED 46,000 = € 11,500

  • Lower Secondary (Grade 5) AED 57,000 = €14,250

  • Lower Secondary (Grades 6-10) AED 61,000 = €15,250

  • Upper Secondary (Grades 11-12) AED 72,000 = €18,000


The school system in Dubai has evolved significantly in recent years to provide quality education for all children. With a variety of schools offering different curricula and educational approaches, parents have the opportunity to choose a school that suits their children's needs and interests. With the integration of technology into the education system and the support of education consultants, Dubai offers a modern and progressive learning environment for children. If you are planning to emigrate to Dubai, it is important to find out about the school system early and start the enrolment process on time to ensure that your child receives the best education possible. If you need more information on emigration, contact us and benefit from a free initial consultation to discuss your individual situation.

Frequently asked questions about the education system in Dubai

Now we answer some frequently asked questions that may arise when opening an account in Dubai.

Nina Noel
Nina Noel
Nina Noel, founder of Dubai Emigrate, has developed an impressive expertise in emigration counselling through personal experience and persistent work. After going through the challenges of moving to the UAE herself, she decided to use her knowledge and experience to make the process easier for others. Since then, she has accompanied and supported hundreds of people in their transition to Dubai
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