Dubai offers ample opportunities for children’s education: here you can find many prestigious schools with an International Baccalaureate program or one of the well-established national systems – British, French, American, etc. They teach in English, so the child you will need to know this language at a high level. However, this should not be considered an obstacle. Dubai is a city of expats, so here you can find high-quality language courses that will help the future student to improve their knowledge in this area to the desired level. If you have an adult child who has 1-2 years of education left, or you do not want to give him an additional study load, there is always an option with a Russian-language school that operates in the emirate. There, teaching is conducted in Russian,
In this article, we will look at different types of schools in Dubai and tell you how Russian-speaking children can enter them, what it will take, how much it will cost, and what features of the UAE education system you should know.
Secondary education in Dubai
There are public and private schools in the Emirates that specialize in different curricula. There is an Arabic program in public schools, private ones are more diverse – the number of programs in them reaches almost two dozen. Below we will talk about this in more detail.
School education in Dubai includes 3 levels: primary (Primary), preparatory (Preparatory) and secondary (Secondary). The last two stages may also exist within the Technical Secondary school. Many educational institutions, both public and private, operate under the K-12 system, covering education from kindergarten to 12th grade.
As a final exam, which can also be used for admission to a university, the EmSAT test, similar to the Russian Unified State Examination, acts. It is required for a number of subjects:
- English language;
- chemistry or biology.
Public schools in Dubai
Public schools are predominantly chosen by citizens of the Emirates, for whom they are free. In any case, foreigners will have to pay, although a smaller amount than in private educational institutions. However, it should be borne in mind that education in public schools is conducted in Arabic, and in addition, children will study the Koran and the history of Islam in depth. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of expats opt for private schools with more familiar and familiar programs.
Private Schools in Dubai
According to the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), as of 2022, there are 217 private schools in the emirate with 18 diverse programs, and their number is constantly growing. The most popular is the British system – it is chosen in 36% of cases. Indian and American programs follow with 26% and 15%, respectively, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which scored 7%.
“While the range of curriculums offered in Dubai speaks to the diversity of our community, all schools are committed to a quality-driven and future-oriented approach that will enable students to succeed,” said KHDA CEO Dr. Abdullah Al-Karam.
As already mentioned, the educational process in Dubai private schools is mainly conducted in English, and Arabic is also required to study. Another language can be chosen independently.
Thus, in total, children learn at least three languages, which for a Russian-speaking child will be a brilliant advantage when choosing a life path.
Prices for private schools in Dubai
The cost of education in private schools in the emirate varies extremely widely – depending on the program, the place of the educational institution in the KHDA ranking and many other factors. Prices start from a modest AED 2,500 ($680) per year for the Salman Farsi Iranian School for boys with an Iranian program and reach AED 130,000 ($35,500) per year for the prestigious North London Collegiate School with a British education system and a high rating.
On average, education in good schools will cost from 40,000 AED ($11,000) per year, but you can find quality options for 10,000-30,000 AED ($2,700-8,200).
Also, keep in mind that the amount you will pay depends on the class your child is attending. So, studying in the 1st grade of the prestigious Repton Dubai school will cost 60,000 AED ($16,500) per year, and in the 12th grade of the same school already at 95,000 AED ($26,000).
Dubai Private School Admission Rules
In order for a child to enter a Dubai school, several steps must be taken:
Submit the application and documents, in person or online. This can be done at any time, however, the more prestigious the school, the longer the wait can be, so it is better to take care of the application as early as possible. It is also worth taking into account that filing an application in many private schools in Dubai is paid – 525 AED ($ 140).
The child must pass certification – testing or interview. The format may vary depending on the school, but in addition to academic success, knowledge of the English language will be an important aspect.
After the assessment is completed and you receive an invitation letter, a deposit will be required, which will then be deducted from the first trimester/semester fees. As a rule, the deposit is 25% of the annual tuition fee. It is important to note that the deposit is non-refundable – if for some reason you change your mind, the entire amount will remain in the school account.
The required documents for admission to a school in Dubai include:
copies of the birth certificate, passport and visa of the child;
a copy of the child’s vaccination card;
a copy of the child’s Emirates ID card (both sides);
copies of passports, visas and Emirates ID of both parents;
a recent passport-size photograph of the child;
a copy of report cards with progress for the last 2 years;
a copy of the certificate of completion / transfer from the current school.
Russian-language documents will need to be translated into English and legalized.
Dubai schools with Russian-speaking teachers
There is the only school in Dubai that offers education according to the standards of the Russian Federation. This is the Russian International School. She has been working in the emirate for over 25 years and will be an excellent option for those who have moved to the emirate with older schoolchildren who have very little left to study and it will be difficult to switch to an unfamiliar program and a foreign language. There is a program for gifted children. At the end of school, children take the exam.
The cost of studying in a Russian-speaking environment familiar to a child will be 26,500–32,500 AED ($7,200–8,800) per year. The school also has a kindergarten, which will cost 18,000–19,000 AED ($4,900–$5,200) per year.
English speaking schools in Dubai
Finding a good English-speaking school will not be a problem for you, whether you have purchased a property in Dubai in a prestigious family community such as Emirates Hills or Arabian Ranches, or rent an apartment in an inexpensive and comfortable area of Jumeirah Village Circle.
If you are targeting only the most prestigious educational institutions, you should pay attention to the annual rating of private schools in Dubai from KHDA. It ranks schools on a five-point scale from “weak” and “satisfactory” to “good”, “very good” and “excellent”.
Below we will look at a few popular schools with an “excellent” rating.
Kings’ School Dubai
The only school to receive an “excellent” rating from the KHDA every year. This is a primary school that follows the British curriculum and pays great attention to the development of the personal qualities of students, such as the ability to cooperate, critical thinking, thirst for knowledge, emotional intelligence and leadership.
Tuition fee: 43,500–66,500 AED ($12,000–18,000).
GEMS Dubai American Academy (DAA)
Leading American school of GEMS, a major international operator of private education institutions, and the only American school in Dubai that has been rated “excellent” since 2011. The educational institution offers an American program and an international baccalaureate program and prepares its students for admission to the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world.
Tuition fee: 61,000–82,500 AED ($16,500–22,500).
A UK-based college with a stellar reputation for offering more than quality education, it seeks to maximize student potential. The four pillars of the educational institution are sports, creativity, charity and academic activities. It offers a broad holistic education in the tradition of British independent schools.
Tuition fee: 60,000–95,000 AED ($16,500–26,000) per year.
A renowned international school in the heart of Dubai. The school combines the rigor of the British curriculum with the facilities of the International Baccalaureate, maintains and strengthens a culture of inclusiveness and innovation, and delivers brilliant academic results.
Tuition fee: 60,000–95,000 AED ($16,500–26,000) per year.
Gems Wellington Academy
Another ‘excellent’ rated school with a British and international curriculum and an innovative learning environment providing exceptionally high standards of education for all students.
Tuition fees: AED 44,000–95,500 ($12,000–26,000) per year.
English courses in Dubai
If your child’s English level does not allow him to freely learn, express himself and understand the material, you can use special language courses for children.
Educational center “Aist”
This Dubai center is ideal for Russian speakers: specialists from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan work here who know the specifics of the region and will help children and teenagers aged 3-15 learn or improve English without stress and cramming.
Courses for teenagers aged 14 to 16 include work on pronunciation, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and listening comprehension. Training lasting up to 44 weeks will allow even students with very modest and limited knowledge of the language to reach the Advanced level.