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Best 10 International Schools in Abu Dhabi

International Education in Abu Dhabi

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that international education in the United Arab Emirates isn’t cheap. As a global economic powerhouse, its capital Abu Dhabi offers excellent job opportunities and sky high salaries to expats. But it comes at a cost - eye-watering yearly school fees for your child!

It’s not all bad news though. The standard of education on offer in Abu Dhabi is among the best on the planet. And while the city’s international schools may not be budget friendly, they are somewhat less expensive than neighbouring Dubai. Any of the international schools in Abu Dhabi will set your child up to become a highly skilled professional in adult life. They emphasise maths and science subjects, and languages are taught to a world class standard, too.

The British curriculum dominates in Abu Dhabi’s international schools. To a lesser extent, so do other English-speaking countries’ curricula - American, Canadian, and Australian in particular. Some European and Asian curricula can also be found however, so there is a wide variety to choose from. English is the language of instruction in most international schools, with Arabic offered as a compulsory second language.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is the government organisation responsible for regulating international schools in Abu Dhabi. Every two years they assess and rate schools all over the capital and publish detailed results. These reports are freely available from the ADEK website, and can be a useful resource for your school search.

Remember not to take any school’s rankings as the ‘be all and end all’. There are many other factors to consider; the school where your child will be happiest may not necessarily be at the one that tops the ADEK rankings.

The majority of Abu Dhabi’s international schools begin lessons for children as young as 3 or 4 years of age. If you don’t want to start your child in school so young, you don’t have to - the majority will accept children of all ages and stages of education. It is somewhat easier, however, to get a spot in the more sought-after schools if your child is enrolled at the earliest possible stage.

There is one aspect of education in Abu Dhabi that you will have no choice in. If you are not an Emirati citizen, you will be required to pay fees whether your child is attending a public or private school. Education in the United Arab Emirates is only free for Emirati citizens. In almost all schools, students are also required to wear uniforms.

Gender segregation is still common in public schools in the UAE, but is much less common in international schools. The school day will start at around 7am or 8am and finish up at 2 or 3pm, depending on the age of the students. Most schools are centrally located in downtown Abu Dhabi.

Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Abu Dhabi. However, there are another 54 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Abu Dhabi based on your requirements.

Best 10 International Schools in Abu Dhabi

Out of a total of 64 International Schools in Abu Dhabi.

Based on the aggregated preferences of our users in the last 30 days.

Recommended Schools

The British International School Abu Dhabi

The British International School Abu Dhabi offers a welcoming family community with the highest quality learning opportunities as part of its Global Campus.
Curriculum
IB, British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2020/2021
from: Dirham 50,300
to: Dirham 68,700
Reviews
(4 reviews)
Your score

Other Top Schools

American International School in Abu Dhabi

The American International School in Abu Dhabi is celebrating its 25th anniversary, having been established in 1995 to provide local and expatriate residents of Abu Dhabi with high quality American education, based on American standards and an international curriculum. AISA received its first accreditation in October 1997 from the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA), and in January 2010 was accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). AISA offers education from Kindergarten to Grade 12. It was the first school to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma in the UAE and later became the first school in Abu Dhabi to be authorized to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). In keeping with local regulations, the Secondary School is gender segregated.
Curriculum
IB, American
Language of instruction
English
Ages
4 to 18
Yearly fees - 2020/2021
from: Dirham 31,870
to: Dirham 57,940
Reviews
(1 review)
Your score

Abu Dhabi International School

Abu Dhabi International School is a truly international school that educates students from over 70 nationalities in a familial, friendly, fun yet disciplined environment. The international flavor our school provides is also reflected in the diversity of its academic programs. AIS provides the opportunity for its students to graduate with an American program, the British (IGCSE and A-Levels) program or the International Baccalaureate Programme and join top tier institutions worldwide, such as Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and the Sorbonne of France as well as regional universities in Lebanon, Egypt and the UAE.
Curriculum
IB, American, British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
4 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: Dirham 31,300
to: Dirham 48,800
Your score

Brighton College Abu Dhabi

Brighton College Abu Dhabi offers its pupils a vibrant and challenging learning environment, and a distinctive British independent school ethos which reflects the values and dynamic culture of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.
Located on Abu Dhabi Island in a purpose-built campus next to Khalifa Park, Brighton College Abu Dhabi boasts state-of-the-art facilities and is committed to becoming the leading school in the Middle East. With 144 highly experienced and talented Academic staff and over 100 support staff the school is able to provide an outstanding level of education as witnessed by our latest Inspection reports.
Curriculum
British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2020/2021
from: Dirham 48,900
to: Dirham 77,720
Your score

Al Najah Private School

Al Najah Private School was founded in 1987 as a private international school from K-12 with the aim of providing the most comprehensive British curriculum as a college preparatory education to students of all nationalities.
Curriculum
IB, British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
4 to 18
Yearly fees - 2020/2021
from: Dirham 14,700
to: Dirham 32,560
Your score

Al Basma British School

Al Basma British School students receive a robust, creative, vibrant, academic challenging and inspiring 21st Century education, making the schooling years an enjoyable time filled with rich and memorable experiences, preparing them for life. Each student’s unique skills and talents are released and enhanced in an environment of care and mutual respect; one that promotes resilience, confidence, self-esteem and self-management skills.
Al Basma British School is a healthy, safe environment within which students can enjoy learning, make progress and achieve high standards. They will be encouraged to participate fully in school life and make a positive contribution to the school and wider community, ultimately becoming successful, motivated, well-adjusted adults who achieve economic well-being. We will measure our success against these outcomes.
Curriculum
British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
4 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: Dirham 20,000
to: Dirham 40,560
Reviews
(9 reviews)
Your score

Virginia International Private School

We aim to produce life-long learners who are innovative and creative, highly competitive in the modern economy and who are champions of UAE culture and heritage. We are a lead school in the United Arab Emirates, developing all learners for successful participation in Society and in the global economy.
Curriculum
American
Language of instruction
English
Ages
4 to 16
Yearly fees - 2020/2021
from: Dirham 25,170
to: Dirham 38,780
Your score

Ajyal International School

Ajyal International School commits to:
- Offering students an education that is meaningful and relevant to their personal, academic, and social life using the Significant Learning Model;
- Providing active learning experiences, avoiding rote learning;
- Using means of assessment that are educative in nature (assessment for learning), qualitative and quantitative, standardised, frequent, performance–based (criterion and standards) and involving self-assessment;
- Aligning its teaching and assessment activities to Significant Learning Outcomes by a process referred to as backward design;
- Collecting wide-ranging performance data to continuously improve learning and teaching, curriculum provision, and institutional efficacy;
- Using technology to enhance learning, and not just to facilitate teaching;
- Providing continuous professional development to all our staff; and
- Adhering to the highest standards of student physical safety, health and personal well-being.
Curriculum
British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: Dirham 23,900
to: Dirham 42,950
Reviews
(1 review)
Your score

Ajyal International School - Al Falah

Ajyal International school Al Falah is a thriving and selective entry school with an American Curriculum established in 2016 and caters for students in Kindergarten to Grade 11. Since opening the doors in 2016, Ajyal Al Falah has established itself as one of the leading American Curriculum schools in the U.A.E., offering a broad and balanced education to children from across the U.A.E. and Gulf region.
The school has a unique ambiance with an enormous heart for children where children’s wellbeing is placed at the heart of the organization. The UAE culture, heritage, strong Islamic values, and tradition play an important role at Ajyal Al Falah. The school’s excellent A Level inspection results rank the school as one of the best schools in Abu Dhabi.
The school prepares students for global citizenship that include critical thinking and problems solving skills, and World mindedness, that refers to understanding the world as one unified system and encourages a responsibility towards caring for the overall needs of the planet. The school is registered with the Green Schools Alliance community, which is a worldwide initiative that addresses climate change and conservation challenges by creating a peer-to-peer network of member schools committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the implementation of sustainable solutions.
Ajyal Al Falah is registered with the US College Board and prepares students for the SAT standardized examinations and offers the Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, where students can demonstrate mastery of rigorous college-level material and can earn college credits at most colleges and universities in the US.
The school is in the process of obtaining the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC accreditation which is an internationally respected US quality seal distinguishing that a school has met high expectations of educational quality and curriculum content.
Curriculum
American
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: Dirham 22,880
to: Dirham 46,110
Reviews
(50 reviews)
Your score

German International School Abu Dhabi

German International School Abu Dhabi is a German international school in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates certified as an excellent German abroad school by the German government.
Curriculum
German
Language of instruction
German
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: Dirham 32,010
to: Dirham 48,110
Your score

Find the Best International School in Abu Dhabi FOR YOU!

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