Best international schools for expats in Dubai, UAE – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
The United Arab Emirates is a modern state in the Middle East, consisting of seven regions, emirates, which until 1971 were separate independent principalities. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, and Umm al-Qaiwain are part of a single state, but each of the emirates has its own government and its own characteristics.
Now the UAE is considered one of the richest and most stable countries in the world with excellent conditions for life and work. The country is distinguished by a high level of security, high salaries, absence of corruption, and taxes. All this attracts many foreigners to the Emirates who stay here to live and work – 85% of the UAE’s population are expats.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the ten most popular countries for relocation in the world. The country’s government has a positive attitude towards the influx of new population, so it is relatively easy to move to the UAE. And since representatives of a wide variety of peoples and cultures live here, foreigners who settled in the Emirates for a long time do not have any particular difficulties in adapting to local life.
When moving to the UAE, it is important to take into account that the laws and procedures in different emirates are slightly different from each other, so they should be carefully studied. Housing prices and rental prices also differ. The most expensive emirates are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, more accessible – Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Ajman.
People travel to the United Arab Emirates for a variety of reasons. Someone goes to open their own business, which, by the way, is very profitable. Someone to get a job there or get a good education. There are those who are going to study, and those who are going to those who are already living and working in the UAE.
However, to stay in the country for more than 90 days, you will need a long-stay visa. Such a visa is called a UAE resident visa, it is issued for a period of 2 to 10 years and is renewed after the expiration date, and the visa can be renewed as many times as required.
There are several types of resident visa. For example, there is an entrepreneur visa, which is issued to those who opened their company in the UAE. There is a student visa, which students of Emirati universities have the right to obtain. A resident visa is issued to investors who have bought housing in the United Arab Emirates worth more than $ 272,000.
In addition, a resident visa can be obtained by applying for a freelance license in one of the UAE free zones or by getting a job in a local organization. Moreover, if you have already been offered employment, then most likely, the whole process of obtaining a visa, including costs, will be taken over by the company. In some emirates, the employer is also required to take out health insurance for the employee and his family members.
In general, the health care and health insurance system in the UAE meets the highest standards. Free medical care is available only to UAE citizens. Expats can also turn to government clinics for help, but for a fee, you can also always use the services of private clinics.
Of course, it makes sense to think about getting health insurance, and although it is very expensive, it is worth it, because the level of medicine in the UAE is famous throughout the world. Recently, the Emirates have become a popular destination for the so-called medical tourism – this is when residents of other countries combine rest and treatment in prestigious clinics abroad.
By the way, for immigration to the UAE, no special vaccinations are required. As in all countries, there is a list of recommended vaccinations, which, as a rule, all local residents have. Perhaps, just in case, it is worth getting vaccinated against hepatitis A, B, and rabies, especially if you are going to travel to neighboring countries of the UAE.
One of the biggest expenses those moving to the UAE will have to face is housing. There will be no difficulties with the search for housing: many apartments, villas, townhouses are rented and sold in the Emirates.
The largest selection of housing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the highest prices are also there. More budget options can be found in other emirates. For example, now the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah is gaining popularity, where the quality of housing is not worse than in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but it costs much less.
If you are planning to rent a house in the UAE, you need to be prepared for the fact that at least half of your earnings will be spent on this. Despite the fact that in recent years the cost of renting has decreased slightly, on average, renting an apartment, for example, in Dubai, costs from 8,100 to 27,220 dollars per year. Utilities in the Emirates are also quite expensive, as in this hot country the air conditioner has to be used all year round.
The government of the United Arab Emirates understands how difficult it is for labor immigrants and entrepreneurs who own a company in the UAE to stay in their country for a long time away from their families.
Therefore, expatriate men with a resident visa have received the right to bring their wife and underage babies to Dubai, acting as a sponsor for them. Residents’ wives do not even have to worry about a separate visa for themselves, as they can be content with the spouse’s residence document.
They are free to get a job (having worried only about a labor card), open their own bank account, rent a license, drive a car, own property, etc. families. Unfortunately, the luxury of living in Dubai with a wife and children is not available for all expats, but only for entrepreneurs or those who receive at least 10,000 dirhams per month under an employment contract. Minimum wage migrants still have to endure family separation.
If you do not have material problems, and your monthly income allows you to move to Dubai with your spouse and underage children, then, of course, you will face a number of difficulties that will have to be quickly resolved so that your family can lead the most familiar way of life for it: housing, transportation, medical care, education for children, etc. If your children are of school age, then finding a good school for them should be a task that needs to be solved one of the first.
International school education in Dubai, UAE
The government of the United Arab Emirates managed to form a fairly good education system in the country and overcome the terrible illiteracy of the population, which was observed in the country in the twentieth century, especially among women. Secondary education is compulsory for all local citizens and expats.
You can get it at a public school, a private educational institution, and through a home education system. Moreover, these rules are the same, with some exceptions, for children, both local citizens, and immigrants. Until 2006, children of foreigners could not attend public schools in Dubai, but after they received such a right, however, unlike locals, their parents must pay for this. If you decide to send your child to a private school, then keep in mind that:
- from the 7th grade, students of different genders study separately (some private schools adhere to the same tradition);
- the training will most likely be in Arabic;
- studying Islam is a compulsory subject.
Few expats send their children to public schools, and the Emiratis themselves (especially the well-to-do) prefer to pay for better education in private schools rather than be content with free ones in public ones. International schools teach according to the educational program of the state they represent. Education in them can take place in any language, but the most common is still Arabic and English.
If you are looking for a school for your child, then consider the main factors:
- How close it is to the house. Many international educational institutions offer free school buses that pick up students from home and bring them back, but you don’t want your child to spend several hours a day on the bus.
- The reputation of the school and its rating with the parents. To find out these data, you can ask friends with children, where their children receive their education, in order to choose the best possible option.
- The program by which children are taught. The most popular educational programs in Dubai today are curricula from the USA, UK and Australia.
- Payment amount. The better and more popular the school, the more you will have to pay for your child’s education. Annual prices are very different: from several thousand to several tens of thousands of dollars per year. Many parents complain that secondary education in Dubai is more expensive than tertiary education in the UK or the US, and that prices rise every year. The Dubai authorities were even forced in 2013-2-14, despite the dissatisfaction of the heads of private schools, to freeze prices.
- Seat availability. Despite the fact that there are many private and public schools in Dubai, it can be difficult to place a child in the most popular American or British educational institution, because there is too much competition.
- The presence of bureaucratic delays. A standard package of documents for registering a child for school looks like this: a statement from the parents (in English or Arabic) drawn up, according to the requirements of a particular educational institution, copies of a personal file, a birth certificate and passport of the future student, the passport of the parent that sponsors child. The documents must be translated into English or Arabic and legally certified, as well as legalized. If an extended package of documents is required of you, then it may be better to look for a school where there will be less paperwork.
- The presence of special requirements. Sometimes, in order for a child to be taken to school, their level of knowledge is tested or some other requirements are made.
Top 10 International Schools in Dubai
It is quite difficult to find really bad schools in the UAE. Most international educational institutions work well, because the number of students and the cost of annual tuition, and therefore income, depending on their popularity and reputation. In addition, the UAE Ministry of Education regularly checks educational institutions and compiles a rating of the best schools in Dubai.
And yet, there are schools that are particularly popular with expats. It is on the basis of their preferences, as well as the recommendations of the UAE Ministry of Education, that the rating of the best international schools in Dubai is compiled.
Dubai English Speaking School
Dubai English Speaking School This school was opened in Dubai by British citizens back in 1963. Almost a thousand students of this school are taught in English according to the program of the UK Department of Education. It is chosen not only by expats who came from European countries but also by locals to teach their children, because it really gives children a good education, allows them to master English impeccably and easily enter one of the Western universities.
Dubai English Speaking College
Despite the fact that this high school was opened in Dubai only in September 2005, in just a few years it managed to become one of the best in the region. The skill level of teachers and the level of knowledge acquired by students is extremely high, which allows the school to pass the tests of the UAE Ministry of Education without any problems and occupy the first lines in the ranking. Already from the name, it is clear that training here is carried out in English according to the British educational program. The school is quite expensive: in a year you will have to pay at least 60 thousand dirhams for the education of your child.
Delhi Private School Dubai
This secondary educational institution was founded by representatives of India in 2003, education is conducted here according to the ministerial educational plan of this country. The school can accept no more than 3 thousand children, so it can be difficult to get here. Of course, most of the students here are from India, but the school’s management does not prevent representatives of other nationalities from studying at Delhi Private School Dubai. Despite the high place in the ranking, the cost of training here is quite acceptable: about 20 thousand dirhams per year.
American Academy for Girls Dubai
American Academy for Girls Dubai: Recent studies have shown that girls, especially teenage girls, do better when only their gender is in the classroom. If you, having a daughter, want to be convinced of this, then you will definitely like this school. Founded in September 2005, American Academy for Girls Dubai educates children in English based on the American curriculum. Classes are formed so that there are no more than 18 students, so teachers can pay attention to each child. The average cost of an annual education at this school is 35,000-60,000 dirhams.
American School of Dubai
This is a fairly old school, founded in 1966, in which lessons are conducted in English, taking into account the requirements of the US Department of Education. About one and a half thousand students receive a good education, which will allow them, after receiving a diploma, to enter the best universities in the world. American School of Dubai has many advantages, so getting here is sometimes difficult because all the seats are occupied. And even the high cost of education (at least 55 thousand dirhams per year) does not stop parents who want their child to receive an education here.
Al Ameen School in Dubai
This private school was founded in 1985, but only since 2010, it began to fall into the ratings of the best educational institutions in Dubai and pass ministerial checks “excellently”. Children whose parents are Muslims study here and want their child to receive a religious education in addition to the secular one. Only 500 children study here. Starting from the 7th grade, boys study separately from girls. In addition to the Arabic curriculum, the school also uses the British curriculum. Children of all ages are accepted. Upon admission, you must know English and mathematics. The cost of training is approximately 5,000 dirhams (1,350 USD) per year.
School website address: http://www.msbdubai.com/
Repton School Dubai
Repton School Dubai In September 2007, a private school was opened by representatives of the UK, which immediately proved to be good. Your child will be able to get an excellent education here and flawlessly master not only English, but also other foreign languages. Since Repton School Dubai has not even celebrated its tenth anniversary yet, it boasts relatively new infrastructure facilities and good technical equipment. From the day of its foundation, this school could not be called cheap, since parents had to pay at least 45 thousand dirhams per year of study, and now the prices have become even higher.
Royal Dubai School
Another school that is under the British Crown protectorate and teaches expat children in English. It was founded in 2005. Only 500 students study here, and to get into the Royal Dubai School, you will have to pass a competition. But if your child enters this educational institution, you can be sure that he will receive excellent knowledge and will be surrounded by attention. The cost of a year’s education is above average: from 30 to 45 thousand dirhams.
Universal American School in Dubai
The curriculum for this school was written by the US Department of Education, the language of instruction, of course, is English. The school is small, with a maximum capacity of 900 students. The first years after its opening, it showed average results, but over the past few years it has become very popular with parents, and ministerial checks confirm the high level of knowledge that the students of this school receive. If you want your child to study at the Universal American School in Dubai, then you will have to fork out, since the maximum cost of payment sometimes reaches up to 80 thousand dirhams per year.
Regent International School in Dubai
Another British school that opened in Dubai in 1993. Now about one and a half thousand students study here. Regent International School in Dubai has gained popularity only in the last 5 years and continues to gain momentum, so problems may arise with registering your child for this particular school. Most of the teachers working here have teaching experience in schools in England and Ireland. Tuition fees are high: from 35,000 to 80,000 dirhams.
To sum up
Studying in the UAE is not only an opportunity to get an education that meets high international standards, but also a chance to get acquainted with an amazing eastern country. The United Arab Emirates attracts students from all over the world for a variety of factors. This is a year-round warm climate, and a high level of urban development, and a unique international environment: more than 80% of the UAE’s population are expats from more than 120 countries.
As a result, all communication takes place in English, which makes this eastern country so similar to Europe. Thanks to this, in the Emirates, a Muslim country, a tolerant culture has been formed in relation to representatives of other nationalities and religions.
However, the residents of the UAE also expect understanding from newcomers: religious laws here are equivalent to state ones, which leaves a certain imprint on the norms of appearance, communication and behavior. However, this also has its advantages: the country has an extremely low crime rate, and alcohol and drugs are prohibited, so parents who send their children to study in the UAE have nothing to worry about.