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The best schools in Abu Dhabi
19th October 2020

Education is one of the essential elements in developing your children, so choosing the right school becomes one of the most challenging decisions parents have to make. When you select a school, you will start building your life around this area, so it’s important to choose wisely. So, what are the best schools in Abu Dhabi?

It will always be difficult to define the “best schools”. Because the needs of parents and their children will inevitably vary based on their personal views, experiences, and requirements, any evaluation is bound to be subjective. The most obvious is the rating assigned to each school, based on the biennial inspection process conducted on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Schools’ Regulator, ADEK – the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge. Schools are rated on six key performance standards, using a standardized process that is increasingly being used across the UAE.

But what do the ratings mean?

In order to standardise school inspections across the UAE, ADEK introduced a new unified inspection framework in 2015. The biggest alteration was the switch from the “traditional” alpha/numeric inspection ratings of A1-C7 to a new, “simplified,” ranking of Outstanding through Very Weak. This modification also provided additional information.

  • Outstanding: Quality of performance substantially exceeds the expectation of the UAE
  • Very Good: Quality of performance exceeds the expectation of the UAE
  • Good: Quality of performance meets the expectation of the UAE (This is the expected level for every school in the UAE)
  • Acceptable: Quality of performance meets the minimum level of quality required in the UAE (This is the minimum level for every school in the UAE)
  • Weak: Quality of performance is below the expectation of the UAE
  • Very Weak: Quality of performance is significantly below the expectation of the UAE

Here are the best school in Abu Dhabi as per ADEK rating:

1. Aldar Academies, Al Muna Academy

Al Muna Academy offers primary school education and aims to provide its students with a safe, nurturing Al Muna Academy offers primary school education and aims to provide its students with a safe, nurturing environment where diversity is celebrated. The school endeavour to provide a rich and varied curriculum, in a creative and inspiring way. Al Muna Academy is centrally situated, very near to Abu Dhabi Corniche, which is home to several beautiful sea-front apartments whilst still being close to the bustling heart of Abu Dhabi.

Annual Fees43,500 – 45,260
GradesNursery to Year 6
Nearby PlacesSaadiyat Island, Al Reem Island, Downtown Abu Dhabi

2. British International School, Abu Dhabi

The students of British International School-Abu Dhabi follow the best in British and international curricula, including the English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Personalised learning experiences nurture students’ growth, while unique opportunities – including collaborations with MIT, UNICEF, and The Juilliard School – cultivate creativity and critical thinking.

Annual Fees52,050 – 68,700
GradesFS1 to Year 13
CurriculumIB, IGCSE, British
Nearby PlacesZayed City, Khalifa City, Al Raha Beach

3. Aldar Academies, Al Yasmina Academy

Al Yasmeena Academy is a British curriculum school that caters from nursery to 18-year-olds. The school is proud of the academic achievements of its students, with some of them achieving the best IGCSE and A-Level results in the country. The school has also been praised for its ability to foster the students’ personal and social development, with much effort being placed on relationship building. The school is conveniently located next to Khalifa A, as such, is just a short distance away from the residential areas of Al Raha, Khalifa City, and Al Reem. 

Annual Fees42,900 – 61,150
GradesFS1 to Year 13
Nearby PlacesKhalifa City, Al Raha Beach

4. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is a British curriculum school that is steeped in history and draws from 150 years of teaching practices from its school in the United Kingdom. They aim to provide a blend of tradition and innovation. The school offers IGCSE’s and A-Levels, as well as BTEC qualifications. This school is located in the cultural hotspot of Saadiyat Island, which has a range of beautiful, luxury villas as well as apartments. Al Reem is also just a 15-minute drive away and offers families gorgeous yet affordable sea-front apartments.

Annual Fees65,000 – 96,333
GradesNursery to Year 13
Nearby PlacesSaadiyat Island, Al Reem Island, Yas Island, Downtown Abu Dhabi

5. Raha International School, Abu Dhabi

Raha International School is an International Baccalaureate World School and aims to nurture its students into becoming global citizens. The school has been noted for the outstanding quality of its curriculum as well as the quality of care, guidance, and support it provides for its students.
The school is located in Khalifa A, a quiet, suburban residential community that, whilst being outside of Abu Dhabi’s main hub, is still conveniently situated so that all of Abu Dhabi’s hot spots are just a short drive away.

Annual Fees39,330 – 61,900
GradesKG1 – Grade 12
Nearby PlacesKhalifa City, Al Raha Beach

6. Aldar Academies, The Pearl Academy

The Pearl Academy is a British curriculum primary school that prides itself on delivering the highest standard of education and inspiring a love of learning. The school has made an effort to develop an innovative, thematic curriculum that inspires creativity within its students. Located in the centre of Abu Dhabi Island, the school is just a short drive away from many of the residential communities on the island. The nearest of these is Manhal, which offers affordable apartments in the heart of the city. 

Annual Fees41,700 – 43,150
GradesNursery to Year 6
Nearby PlacesSaadiyat Island, Al Reem Island, Yas Island, Downtown Abu Dhabi

7. Brighton College Abu Dhabi

This prestigious school offers its students a British curriculum from pre-prep (age 3) to 6th form (age 18).  In line with their school’s ethos and vision, the school aims to turn out well-educated, confident, and respectful students who are intellectually curious and willing to learn. The high expectations the school sets for themselves are evident from their alumni going to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. The school is co-educational throughout all years. The school is nearby to several of Abu Dhabi’s most popular communities, including Khalifa City, Al Raha and Al Reem, all of which are between 15 and 20 minutes drive away. Al Raha allows residents to enjoy the best of seaside living. The area offers a mix of luxury seafront apartments, as well as larger, ‘townhouse’ style villas, which are perfect for families.

Annual Fees48,900 – 77,720
GradesNursery to Year 13
CurriculumBritish, GCSE. UK EYFS
Nearby PlacesDowntown Abu Dhabi, Al Reem Island, Al Raha Beach, Khalifa City

8. Merryland International School

Merryland International School is a co-educational British curriculum school. The school has been praised for having a wide range of high-quality learning resources as well as for providing innovative opportunities for students to research and to enrich their understanding of the world.  It is located in the residential community of Mohammed Bin Zayed City. This area is home to many villas in a range of sizes and offers a slice of quiet suburban life, whilst still being in close proximity to the thriving hot spots that Abu Dhabi has to offer.

Annual Fees23,850 – 42,500
GradesKG – Grade 12
CurriculumIGCSE, British
Nearby PlacesMussafah, Khalifa City, Al Raha Beach

9. British School Al Khubairat (BSAK)

American International School

This British, not-for-profit school emphasises its supportive, community spirit, with its core values being; empathy and care, respect and inclusion, honesty and integrity; and endeavour and resilience. To further community spirit, the school has implemented the ‘Friends of BSAK’, which organises events for parents and children to meet with each other, as well as allows parents to have a higher level of involvement with the school. The school offers a co-educational British curriculum, with the secondary students taking IGCSE’s and A Levels.
The school is located in the residential area of Mushrif on Abu Dhabi Island. The area has many big villas, perfect for families.

Annual Fees43,152 – 70,632
GradesFS1 to Year 13
Nearby PlacesDowntown Abu Dhabi, Al Reem Island

10. Horizon Private School – Khalifa City

Horizon Private School (HPS-Br), another notable school in Khalifa City A, is a co-educational school that adheres to the Common Core Standards. The school, which opened in 2008, currently serves approximately 1,900 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Horizon Private Schools also caters to academically gifted students through Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which allow students to study college-level education while still in high school. Horizon Private School also provides a variety of activities and clubs once a week to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education.

RatingVery Good
Annual Fees23,490 – 44,080
GradesKG1 to Grade 12
Nearby PlacesKhalifa City, Al Raha Beach

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