Home > United Arab Emirates > Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman > GEMS Dubai American Academy
IB and American
Ages 4 to 18

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CurriculumsIB and American
Language of instructionEnglish
Age RangeAges 4 to 18
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Quick summary of key school information

Language of instruction English
Native English teachers
Extra languages (other than English)
Class sizes Average 25 students / class
Maximum 26 students / class
Extracurricular activities
School bus
School's webpage:
Yearly fees: from: Dirham 63,026
to: Dirham 88,848
Address: Hessa Street, Sheikh Zayed Road,Al Barsha - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Is this school a perfect match for you?

Tell us your preferences and we’ll calculate your compatibility.

  • Based on 10 different criteria including price and location
  • Fees personalised to your childrens’ ages

All the details about this school in their own words

We have organised the information available for this school into 10 sections and 41 questions. Click or tap on the name of each section to read more.
Number of students


Number of nationalities represented in the school


Most common nationality


Ratio of local students to international students

Approximately 1 local student per 44 international students.

Native English speaking teachers


Language support for students not fluent in English


Additional language classes offered by the school

Arabic, French, Spanish

Max. number of students per class


Average number of students per class


Does the school employ teaching assistants?


Use of technology in the classroom

DAA is a technology rich school, with a strong culture of embedding innovative practice.
Our Elementary school is an Apple Distinguished school. Each student is provided with an iPad, and every teacher is provided with an Apple MacBook and iPad. Each classroom is supplied with an Apple TV, Clevertouch screen, and Logitech camera (for blended teaching and learning, described below). The predominant LMS (Learning Management System) is Elementary school is Seesaw.
In Middle and High school, each teacher is provided with an Apple MacBook and iPad, and we have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy for students. The predominant LMS (Learning Management System) is Middle and High school is Google Classroom.
Across the entire school, the WiFi infrastructure is strong.

Is the school ready to use virtual classrooms when needed? (e.g. teaching lessons online if the school is closed, e.g. during COVID-19 closures)

Blended Learning:
In order to provide effective infrastructure for blended learning, each classroom is provided with a Clevertouch screen, a Logitech camera, and an iPad tripod, so that teachers can engage with students both online and those live in the classroom. Teachers have also been provided with Bluetooth microphones, so that when they move around the classroom, students are able to hear them at home.

Do students practice religion at the school? What religion?

The school offers Islamic Studies classes to our Muslim students.

How does the school accommodate non-religious students or students of a different religion?

Our non-Muslim students are not required to take Islamic Studies.

External examinations or assessments available

IB Diploma, Advanced Placement (AP), American High School Diploma, MAP, CAT4, SAT, PSAT, TIMMS, PISA, PIRLS

Results in these examinations

All of our external assessment results are consistently well above global averages and benchmarks.

Do teachers assign homework to their students?


Approximate hours of homework given

Depends on the subject and grade level.

Percentage of students who pursue further education post-graduation


Dedicated staff/programs for students with special learning needs

We employed 12 full-time specialist teachers who are qualified special educators. In addition, we employ 10 learning support assistants to provide direct, 1:1 intervention. As school, we utilize a variety of programs, such a Leveled Literacy Intervention programs, modified common core curriculum classes, social skills groups, and others.

Learning support offered

Learning support includes general education with differentiated instruction with some additional instructional time in the area of need by classroom teacher(s) with possible consult/support from the Learning Support teacher. Services include an identified case manager from the Student Support Department. The academic progress of students receiving services is monitored frequently. The classroom teacher, at times in consultation with the Learning Support teacher, may be responsible for identifying six week goals, providing targeted support, and monitoring/charting the growth rate of the student. The Learning Support teacher may also provide intervention within a co-teaching model or targeted intervention for a short duration of 4-6 weeks to determine the student’s response to intervention. If data do not show substantial increase, then more intensive support may be recommended through a referral process. It may include targeted small group instruction, learning and organizational skills support, co-teaching, one-to-one Learning Support Assistant if appropriate, social skills support, assistive technology, accommodations, curricular modifications, related services such as speech and language therapy or OT from outside providers.

The school supports gifted, able and talented students

We are currently in the process of building our Gifted and Talented program, and have established 2 learning leaders who serve as G&T coordinators. They currently screen for gifted students through a substantial testing, advise teachers, provide opportunities for enrichment, meet with parents, and hold regular meetings to review students being supported.

Student access to education psychologist

Several of our counselor are trained education psychologists, but have limited capacity for 1:1 assessment. Therefore, we have established a partnership with community based organizations such as Kidsfirst Medical Center, the Lighthouse Arabia, and others to provide comprehensive assessment when needed.

Entry evaluation for students

Entrance assessment

Brief description of entry evaluation required

Primary and Elementary School

All students must meet the age level requirements, meet academic grade level requirements, listen to and follow directions, and display classroom readiness. They must also conduct themselves in a respectful manner throughout the assessment. For applicants applying to KG1 the children are assessed and observed in groups of four to eight children. Five main criteria are considered for successful entrance into the program. Children must be age appropriate for requested grade level; be able to separate from their caregiver and demonstrate a readiness to participate in the classroom; be bathroom independent; be able to engage in an activity following direction; and be able to demonstrate fine and gross motor skill development at age appropriate level.
The MAPS assessment is administered to all students seeking placement in third through fifth grades who do not require an English Language Learning Assessment. MAPS is a computer-based testing system built on 30 years of research and refinement. Basic skills of Math, Reading, and Language are assessed. MAPS is a test that self-adapts to the child in realtime, as the test progresses for a pinpoint picture of learning, achievement, and readiness.

Middle and High School

Dubai American Academy employs a holistic approach to the process of evaluating students for entrance into the middle and high school. The evaluation process includes a review of the student's application, past school records and Dubai American Academy entrance assessments.
At the time of application, students are evaluated to determine their level of mathematics ability. Along with past grades, this test is used to determine correct placement in the appropriate mathematics class. Students applying for entrance into grades 9 or 10, take the High School Math Placement Test, and students applying for grades 11 and 12, take the International Baccalaureate Maths Test. Students are encouraged to show all of their work in addition to providing a solution. Results are reviewed by the Mathematics Head of Department to ensure an understanding of the student's mathematics concept development.
Another integral part of the evaluation process is an assessment of the student's overall language skills. There are two parts to this assessment: an essay written by the students, and administration of the Stanford Test of Basic Skills. Although these measures all contribute to a better understanding of the student's skill development, the essay is considered to be of paramount importance in determining the student's level of ability in language arts and in English language skills.
The MAPS assessment is administered to all students seeking placement in sixth through twelfth grade.

Waiting list

Depends on the grade level.

Deadline for registration (new academic year)

Students new to Dubai can join at any time. Students within Dubai can join as long as it is before the cut-off date outlined by KHDA.

Students can join after academic year begins

Yes, as long as it is before the cut-off date outlined by KHDA.

School start time

7:45 am

School finish time

2:45 pm

Supervised care before/after school

Students participate in After School Activities and sports clubs.

School bus service available


School provided lunches


Food alternatives for special dietary needs (ie. vegan, kosher, halal etc)

Slices, our school catering company, provides vegan, vegetarian, kosher, and halal options.

Uniform required


Extracurricular activities or clubs offered

Soccer, golf, reading club, rugby, choir, basketball, volleyball, swimming, drama, gymnastics, art club, dance, computer club, fitness, forensics, ballet, chess, tennis, model UN, Spanish, math, track and field, baseball, softball, and many others.

Sports activities included

Football, golf, rugby, swimming, tennis, softball, basketball, badminton, track and field, baseball

Sports teams or sport competitions available for students


Sports facilities at the school

- Main sports hall accommodates 3 full basketball courts-with retractable seating
- Elementary sports hall large enough for full-sized basketball court
- Indoor running track / fitness trail
- Fully equipped fitness suite
- Sports science classrooms / performance analysis
- 400m running track
- Tennis courts, basketball courts and soccer field
- Shaded play grounds
- Roof play areas
- 2 soccer pitches
- 8 hard-surface tennis courts (6 on the ground and 2 on the roof)
- 50m Olympic pool with moveable bottom to create 2 x 25m pools
- Learner pool

Qualities and characteristics best defining the school

Established in 1997, the Dubai Academy is GEMS’ flagship American school, offering both the American curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma to students from kindergarten all the way through to grade 12.
The American curriculum is based on US national standards and is taught in line with best practice in the English language. High achieving students may choose to follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which prepares them for entrance to some of the most prestigious universities in America, Britain and beyond.

Teaching approach of the school

The school's unique educational approach is guided by respect for children's individual differences, by recognizing their inherent capacity for growth, and by a commitment to plan activities and environments, which shape learning and provide opportunities for student success.

DAA provides a wide range of learning opportunities for its students and encourages them to be active participants in their educational plan.

Technology is not simply taught as a "stand alone" class; rather every effort is made to incorporate technology as an information gathering tool into the specific subject area.

Students have the opportunity to excel as individuals and work as members of a team. In their studies and daily lives, the students are encouraged to explore their interests and strengths and to develop their own distinct, individual personalities.

DAA challenges its students and inspire them to expand their way of thinking. As DAA students begin to truly believe in themselves and their abilities, they develop the skills to succeed in school and life.

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Contact the admissions team at GEMS Dubai American Academy

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