Nord Anglia
15 May, 2022

Education in Dubai

Dubai is known for its impressive quality of education, which typically includes kindergarten, primary, preparatory and secondary school stages. United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals can also go on to gain their tertiary education before stepping into the university level of study. Primary and secondary education is mandatory for all UAE residents, and the instruction language often differs between public or private schools.

Early Years/Kindergarten

Children from 4 to 5 years old attend kindergarten, where they learn the basics in subjects from music to mathematics. They will often learn through a combination of Arabic and English unless attending a specific English-language institution. 


Primary education in Dubai lasts for six years and is geared toward kids between 6 and 12 years old. As mandated by the UAE's Ministry of Education, children will continue covering fundamental topics with multi-lingual instruction. They may also begin learning other foreign languages, such as French or Russian.


As students graduate from primary school, they'll enter preparatory school between the ages of 12 and 15. During these years, students continue honing their classroom learning, expanding their knowledge to cover new topics of study and developing critical thinking skills. They will also work on their linguistic capabilities.   


From ages 15 to 18, students go to secondary school. Many students take internationally recognized standardized tests during these years, creating opportunities for potential university studies abroad. They'll often continue studying basic subjects while focusing on additional topics, such as computer studies, science or a specific foreign language. Students will receive a diploma upon completing their studies. 

Types of Schooling in Dubai

Education in Dubai consists of both public and private schooling. Families can pursue either path, depending on their budget, preferences and needs. The Ministry of Education holds both public and private schools in Dubai to a high standard. Most students will become fluent in multiple languages and have at least one international standardized test score under their belt when they graduate secondary school. This opens many avenues for their future studies and careers.

Public Schools

Primary and secondary public school is a popular choice among Dubai residents, as it is completely free for Emiratis. Students can go to a technical secondary school, where they will specialize in a specific area and earn their Technical Secondary Diploma. Public schools are typically taught in Arabic with an emphasis on learning English.

Private Schools

Private schools are on the rise in Dubai, with many institutions teaching an international curriculum in English. At private schools, non-Arabic students must take Arabic language classes.