The UAE is positioning itself as the GCC’s knowledge economy. Great efforts have gone into bringing museums and universities to the country, most notably The Louvre and Guggenheim museums on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island which is also where branches of New York University and Cranleigh School have recently been established. The UAE places great emphasis on the future of its residents.
When you move to the UAE you’ll stop paying income tax and will lose the convenience of the UK’s free education system. Education for expat children in the UAE is a largely private industry with many well-known education companies operating. Of course, the government does supply free education to Emirati children, but the large majority of expats tend to make their own arrangements in the private system.
Choosing the right school is not easy and you should research fully before you arrive. There is plenty of choice but spaces fill fast and reserving (and paying) in advance is something you should consider.
School hours are usually 7:30 am to 2:30-3 pm with some exceptions. Term dates are similar to the UK with Spring, Summer, and Winter holidays. All schools in Dubai are regulated by the KHDA, which controls fee increases by implementing an inspection program. The better the school, the higher it can raise its fees.
There are a number of lists online named ‘Dubai School List’ and Wikipedia has a somewhat incomplete page. These sites will serve a starting point however and phone numbers and websites are easy to find.
BCB clients have access to a number of selected ‘Destination Support Providers’ who can help you with school searches as part of your wider introduction & orientation in Dubai.