Being a multi-cultural community hosting people from around 200 nationalities, the UAE has a large network of private schools, which follow different curricula.
Private schools in Abu Dhabi
In Abu Dhabi, Department of Education and Knowledge, earlier known as Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), oversees and licenses private schools. It develops and maintains a quality private education system, which is a crucial to achieve Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030.
From September 2008, all private schools have been required to register with Department of Education and Knowledge and to be inspected annually as per the Irtiqa'a programme.
Private schools in Dubai
Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth, direction, inspection and quality of private education and learning. Ministry of Education (MoE) issues licenses to these schools.
Dubai’s private schools offer 17 different curricula. You can search our KHDA schools directory by curriculum to find a suitable school for you.
Private schools comprise mainly British, American and Indian curricula that meet the educational needs of different nationalities residing in the emirate.
Dubai's student population stands at 265,299, with about two-thirds of them being Emiratis.
Ensuring quality of private schools in Dubai
Since the academic year 2008-2009, KHDA started school inspections through Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB), which comprises a group of inspectors who visits schools annually. DSIB provides comprehensive information on the standard of private school education in Dubai, which helps to inform improvement planning at school and policy level.
KHDA releases School Inspection Reports annually and publishes them on its website. These reports provide a comprehensive review of the performance and standards of private schools in Dubai in general and of every private school in Dubai, in particular. Ratings of schools vary between outstanding, good, acceptable and unsatisfactory. Based on these ratings, schools will be allowed to increase fees according to stipulated percentage.
The reports include a new 'Parent Report' section which gives parents detailed information about the quality of education provided by their child's school, helping them to make informed decisions. During the academic year 2015-2016, 149 schools were inspected. These schools were responsible for educating 253,319 students, from kindergarten to Grade 12.
In addition, KHDA introduced the Parent-School contract to ensure that both schools and parents are aware of their duties and responsibilities towards each other and towards their children.
Private schools in Sharjah
Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) regulates private education in the Emirate of Sharjah. SPEA mandate includes:
- developing general policies and strategic plans for private education
- proposing the necessary legislation to regulate and develop private education in Sharjah
- granting licenses for private education facilities
- evaluating the performance of the private educational institutions and issuing reports on the results.
Private schools in the Northern Emirates
Accreditation and licensing of all schools in the Northern Emirates including the private schools is done by Ministry of Education (MoE).
Updated on 11 Mar 2021