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Educational Options

The UAE - Educational Options

Educational options for your family in the United Arab Emirates

As an expat, you have a couple of schooling options when moving to the UAE. 

International (private) schools

Expatriates are not permitted to attend the country’s public schools, so your children would need to be enrolled in an international school. These schools tend to follow the British or American curriculum, with lessons taught in English. The terms in these schools are the same as those in the UK, so children have a fortnight off at Christmas/New Year, and again at Easter, ahead of a longer summer break.   

A major issue in the UAE is that demand for a place at one of these schools far outstrips the supply – especially in Abu Dhabi. Parents are advised to begin the admissions process as soon as possible. 

The fees for these schools can sometimes be met – or partially funded – by your employer. If you have to cover the cost yourself, expect to pay an average of about £3000 per year for younger children, rising to nearer £11000 for children taking GCSEs or equivalent. 

Alternative options

Some parents choose to home school their children, whether for financial reasons or because they are still waiting for a space to become available. 

If neither of these options appeals to you, your other choice is to send your children to a boarding school in your current location. This cost is unlikely to be met by your employer. If you’re prepared to be separated from your children during term times then this could be an option for you, but this is entirely your choice. 

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