Best Dubai schools for expats

According to the World Population Review, 85% of Dubai’s population are expats. As a result, there are now over 200 private schools to cater for the demand in international education. If you are planning to move to Dubai or are currently living there as an expat, The Knowledge and Human Development Authority of Dubai (KHDA) is a useful source of information as it includes a guideline on expected fees, the school’s achievements and reviews.  What makes a school the best for expats will depend on many factors and each family’s individual needs. Below is a list of key factors expats should consider when finding the best school in Dubai for their child’s education.

Types of schools available in Dubai for expats

Due to the number of private schools available in Dubai, there is plenty of choice in the types of school for your child. Some parents opt for a school that follows the curriculum of their homeland, with British, American, Indian and Swiss schools just some of the specialist schools available in Dubai. As Dubai is a very multi-cultural destination, many parents opt for an international school where their child can not only learn other languages but become more culturally aware of other nationalities.


The most popular curriculum for expats is International Baccalaureate. At SISD we offer an International Baccalaureate with the option to do a second language in French or German. Arabic is also taught as part of the curriculum. Our core values are based on BEST- Bilingualism, Excellence, Sustainability and Togetherness.

Boarding school options

You may want to consider boarding your child, whether it’s weekly or for the full term. SISD also offers the option of flexi-boarding where your child can be accommodated if you are travelling, there is a family emergency or if you want your child to benefit from a structured setting during exam times.

Continuous education

If you are schooling children of different ages, you may want to source a school that offers continuous education from Pre-KG through to Grade 12. This provides a clear structure for your child’s development.


Many schools in Dubai offer state-of-the-art facilities, but it’s important that you check that the school has the amenities your child needs to fulfil their interests, particularly for after-school activities. If your child is a water babe, does it have a swimming pool? If they are a budding ballerina, does it have a dance studio?

Child welfare and support

If you have only recently moved to Dubai, getting your child settled into the right school is important. When considering the best school for your child it’s important to understand what pastoral care there will be. Do they provide counselling? Do they have an online security policy? What are the medical facilities of the school?

Location of school

As Dubai continues to develop, traffic is becoming more congested. You may have narrowed down the list in choosing the best school, but if your child isn’t boarding, is the location convenient for easy drop offs and pick-ups? If you can, it’s worth arranging a tour of the school so that you can not only see the facilities but also the location and travel times from your home.

Admission process

When speaking to the schools, it’s worth checking the admissions process. What is the deadline for applying? Is there a waiting list for admission? The earlier you can start the selection process, the more chance you will have of securing the school of your choice.

Parent feedback

With a thriving expat community, there is plenty of information available when it comes to finding the best school for your child’s development. We would recommend speaking to other parents and reviewing parent testimonials to ensure the school will meet your requirements. If the school has a parent community, this may be a way of meeting new people if you have recently moved to Dubai.

As an expat choosing the best school for your child in Dubai can be overwhelming, but our admissions team are available to answer any concerns you may have so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding our school, the curriculum, our boarding options or our facilities.




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