As the start of school approaches, you’ve probably done everything you could to ensure that your child transitions as smoothly as possible. Hopefully you’ve gotten a tour of our facilities, and had a look at our new videos with the new pick-up and drop-off procedures .
To ensure that you and your child’s back to school experience goes as smoothly as possible, here’s a rundown of everything that you need to know.
If you’d like to know more about SISD’s healthy offerings at the school canteen, you can visit the site of our caterer, Swiss Canonica. You can also sign up for our food offerings at our school, and provide us with any dietary needs and allergy information your child may have.
SISD also offers a school bus service through Maverick Passenger Transport LLC. You can learn more about our bus routes here, and read up on our regulations. If you want to sign your child up for the bus service, head to the Maverick parent portal to get started.
Our Parent Portal will provide you with updates and announcements meant for parents. It’s important that you be a part of this, so make sure that you’ve logged in before the start of the school year! Head to the Parent Portal now to log in.
We have a detailed protocol for dealing with potential COVID-19 cases. Please familiarize yourself with our protocols here.
In addition, if your child is in Primary or Secondary School, you will need to ensure that he is equipped with a minimum of 3 masks each day in a sealed plastic bag.
For security, only authorized people with Security Badges are allowed to collect students at SISD. Please submit the Security Badge Form to apply for a Security Badge. You can learn more about our security guidelines here.
Of course, it’s not just your child who has to prepare for the new school year – it’s you and the rest of your family as well! To help you get started in the City of Gold, we’ve prepared a quick checklist of things you can do to prepare yourself.
It should really go without saying, but make sure that your documentation is in order before preparing the big move. Get your visa ready, whichever visa you’re applicable for, along with your educational certificate, spousal visa if applicable, passports, medical records, previous school records, and everything else along with 3-5 photocopies of each. You may also want to check if the driver’s license from your home country is going to work in Dubai, otherwise you can have it converted easily.
Dubai itself is certainly very Westernized, but it’s also a cultural melting pot with a tremendously diverse population, and of course it’s situated in a country that may not share the same culture and laws as the one you’re coming from.
Read up on local laws, so that you don’t get blindsided by certain unique rules and regulations. For example, one positive thing you’ll find out is that all earnings are tax-free, which is great for your business! However, Dubai is strict in certain ways that you might not expect. For example, taking pictures, especially of strangers, is often heavily restricted, and can land you in jail or with a hefty fine. There are also strict laws against public displays of affection such as kissing and petting, and dress codes are enforced in public places. The more you know about these laws, the better!
In addition, some quirks may throw you off at first. For example, weekends aren’t Saturday and Sunday, but actually Friday and Saturday!
At SISD, we have a very active Parent Forum Committee (PFC). The PFC’s role is to foster a community culture through events and the facilitation of communication between parents and SISD administration regarding student life, social issues and general school operations; all in alignment with SISD’s mission, objectives and policies.
If you are interested in being involved whether as an official member or simply as a volunteer, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps one of the best ways to prepare for the move is to find expats who are already living in Dubai! Many have thousands of members that are all there to make connections, take advantage of the networking opportunities, and really just help each other out. Most of these host regular meetups as well so you’ll never feel left out.
Some groups have broad scopes of membership that are open to all interested expats. One big example is The Expats Club, with over 15,000 members.
Others are specific to particular nationalities. There are Dubai societies for Scots, Irish, Belgians, Australians, Germans, and Italians, among many others. Alliance Francaise de Dubai also offers French language classes and events for members.
You’ll also find groups that are specific to women, for example Expat Women, Swiss Ladies Dubai, British Mums, and Dubai Madame. These may be especially helpful for getting tips for handling your child’s education while you’re here, as well as learning about things to do in Dubai.
One thing that can’t be understated is that Dubai is a fun, safe, fascinating city that’ll definitely take care of you for however long you plan on being here. Learn as much as you can about it, visit the museums and bask in the nightlife, and revel in the international community that’s as diverse as it gets