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Top of the Class: Educational Institutions in Dubai

Dubai seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days. The Middle Eastern hub has become a global hotspot, welcoming millions of holidaymakers as well as business executives to its sandy shores every year. The “City of Gold” isn’t just for tourists, however. Many British, American, Australian and other expatriates settle in Dubai and elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates every year. What’s the big draw? There are huge employment, investment and lifestyle opportunities. As an added bonus, the weather’s unbelievable.


That being said, a move to Dubai must be about more than just untaxed salaries and sunny shores. It’s also a great place to get a quality education. Due in part to the presence of so many expatriates in Dubai, there are a wide range of schools offering different things. So, whether you’re sending your six-year-old to primary school or looking to study something complex such as Master of Science in Mathematics online, consider Dubai for where to do it. Here’s why:


Every male and female citizen of Dubai is entitled to a free public education, all the way up to university level. Expatriates can attend government schools if they wish, for free, or they can find a private school structured to their liking. The American School of Dubai, for example, is an independent not for profit community school that follows US curriculum. Since there’s such a diverse population in Dubai, you’ll find French, Iranian, Russian, Japanese and German, amongst others, schools available. Some will require entrance exams and others will not.


Students in Dubai spend three years in secondary education. Again, because of the range of backgrounds of local residents, you’ll find schools that follow various school systems from around the globe. There are British secondary schools, for students studying for their A-levels; others that teach according to the International Baccalaureate program, such as private school The Emirates International School in Umm Suqeim, and others that follow the Indian curriculum. As a result, students can study towards a range of standardized tests, including Advanced Placement, SAT and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education.

Higher education

Finally, with the number of prestigious accounts flying around the boardrooms of Dubai’s executive offices, it’s no surprise there are some top universities feeding into that. The American University of Sharjah, which offers both undergraduate and master’s degrees, has been ranked as one of the world’s top universities by the Quacquarelli Symonds in recent years. There are also a number of U.S. based universities that have opened campuses in Abu Dhabi, including the New York Institute of Technology and New York University.

The Dubai Knowledge Village is the place to be for education and professional development. This free trade zone gives its institutions 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions and exemption from customs duties. It’s no surprise, then, that this massive campus is home to over 400 institutions.

So, from the time you’re six to sixteen to sixty-six, you can find a school for you in Dubai. Time to sharpen those pencils!


Image by pedrosimoes7,

Alan Justin is a student who has lived in Dubai for 10 years. When he leaves university, he wants to pursue a career in finance.

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