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New schools in Abu Dhabi

Thursday 21 March 2019 (UAE)   

List of new schools in Abu Dhabi


School name Open   Tel    Level  Curriculum Qualifications School fees Reviews
Abu Dhabi Police Nursery      planned   nursery  Arabic   
Al Bateen Primary School      planned   primary  UK  ABPS reviews 
Aliaa International School Abu Dhabi   2014   proposed       
British College Abu Dhabi   planned   planned   K-12  UK IB, NC  BCAD reviews 
Delhi Private School Abu Dhabi   proposed   proposed     Indian CBSE  DPSAD reviews 
Dulwich College Abu Dhabi   September 2012   planned   K-12  UK IB, A-level, IGCSE, GCSE*   
Early Childhood Development Center Abu Dhabi   2015   proposed   nursery  UAE, US 3 mths to 5 years   
Edison World School Abu Dhabi   planned   planned   K-12  US   
Emke Group School Abu Dhabi   proposed   planned     Indian CBSE   
GEMS Westminster School Abu Dhabi   planned   proposed       
Indian High School Abu Dhabi   planned   planned     Indian CBSE   
Kids Academy Mohammed Bin Zayed City   planned   planned   nursery  UK Early Years Foundation Stage   
Kings Nursery Abu Dhabi   April 2012   planned   nursery  UK EYFS   
Mayoor Private School Abu Dhabi   April 2014   planned   K-12  Indian CBSE   
New ADEC IB school Abu Dhabi   proposed   proposed   K-12  IB DP, MYP, PYP  NAISAD reviews 
Pan American Academy Abu Dhabi   planned   planned   K-12  Canadian BC HS Diploma  PAAAD reviews 
Redwood Saadiyat Nursery   September 2013   planned   nursery  Montessori   
Royal Academy Abu Dhabi   planned   planned   K-12    
United World College Abu Dhabi   proposed   proposed     International IB   
Universal Future Education School Abu Dhabi   September 2011   proposed   K-12  US  UFESAD reviews 
Notes about this directory and list of Abu Dhabi schools
  • To add a school in Abu Dhabi to this list, start a new topic in the Abu Dhabi schools forum. Or send details to education at dubaifaqs dot com.
  • Al Ain, Al Gharbia, and Ruwais schools are not included in this list.
  • School name does not always indicate curriculum or predominant student nationality e.g. some "English" schools follow an Indian or Arabic curriculum.
  • This list of new schools in Abu Dhabi includes private schools open from 2017 to 2019 and schools planned for Abu Dhabi.
ADEC new school model and strategic plan to 2020
  • 17 Apr 2013 (press release) - the ADEC private schools master plan up to 2020 expects to have 146,000 additional private school places in 97 new schools which need to be built between 2013 and 2020, an average of almost 14 new private schools each year. Another 100 public schools and kindergartens are expected to be built from 2009-2020.

New schools in Abu Dhabi to be added (2019 updates)

  • *Bin Omeir Education Foundation (BOEF), or Bin Omeir Educational LLC. Subsidiary of Bin Omeir Holding Group (BOHG). Not related to BinOmeir Group in Oman?
    • Ajyal International Schools in MBZ and Al Falah.
    • Little Ajyal Nursery in Al Nahyan Camp.
    • [Not confirmed] Ajyal British School in Dubai.
    • Domain at www.binomeiredu.com but no website when last checked Mar 2019.
  • Ajyal International School Al Falah. Website www.ajyalfalah.sch.ae. Sister school to Ajyal School MBZ City.
  • Aspen Heights British School, member of International Private Schools group (ISP). Open September 2017. Website www.ahbs.ae.
  • Bhavans Abu Dhabi: see Private International English School Abu Dhabi or Al Saad Indian School Al Ain.
  • Chouiefat International School Yas Island - see SABIS School Yas Island
  • GEMS international curriculum (IB) school on Reem Island, Sep 2018 planned.
    • Not open as of Q1 2019? Referred to as GEMS International Secondary School in some sources (but not GEMS), which would conflict with initial information from GEMS that it would start as a primary or elementary level school.
    • GEMS PR 20 Feb 2018 (school name not given): IB candidate school initially for KG to Year 5 students.
  • GEMS United Indian School (GEMS United Indian Academy), KG1 to Grade XII CBSE curriculum school. Not to be confused with the GEMS United School in Dubai (American curriculum). Open April 2016? Renamed from Our Own English School Abu Dhabi, and new campus. Website www.gemsunitedindianschool-abudhabi.com.
  • [Renamed, not new] Maplewood International School (Maple Wood School). Previously was the Abu Dhabi Grammar School MBZ City branch (PO Box and tel number unchanged). Curriculum followed still Alberta (Canada). Domain www.adgscanada.com forwards to new website at www.maplewood.school. The other ADGS in downtown Abu Dhabi has not changed its name.
  • Our Own English High School Abu Dhabi, renamed as GEMS United Indian School and opened in new campus April 2016? Website www.gemsoo-abudhabi.com not available.
  • SABIS International School Yas Island (Choueifat School). Website sisyasisland.sabis.net.

New schools in Abu Dhabi by year

Note that mismatch between number of new schools in these lists and number of new schools reported might be due to news reports sometimes omitting new schools, or including new schools in Al Ain, or including school relocations or new buildings as new schools, or old schools with new names.

  • 14 Mar 2016 (The National): 17 new schools to open in Abu Dhabi emirate by 2018, places for 24,000 students. ADEC expects 283,798 students by 2020, assuming a 5% annual increase in student population. In 2015-2016 there are 236,800 students in 186 private schools. Schools name in report include (see also below for details from 08 Mar 2016 report in Gulf News):
    • Aldar Academies (Al Mamoura School?) all-girls secondary school in Abu Dhabi, opening date September 2016 (?), extension of Al Mamoura Primary School for girls and boys up to Year 6? Girls only from Year 7. English National Curriculum school with A-levels and IB diploma in Years 12 and 13.
    • [Al Ain] Liwa International School girls school in Al Ain, see list of Al Ain schools. Opening date not given.
    • West Yas School, opening September 2016 (?), location Yas Island, mixed, US curriculum.
New schools opening in Abu Dhabi in 2018

School names


  • 2018 Dec 07, Khaleej Times: "10 new affordable schools to be opened in Abu Dhabi in 3 years". Information from ADEK (Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge) but no information about location, curriculum, school names, etc provided. Only that the fees would be AED 20k-30k per year.
  • 2018 Aug 28, Gulf News "At least 20 new schools opening in Dubai, Abu Dhabi", said 7 new schools in Abu Dhabi but did not give any school names.
Abu Dhabi new schools opening in 2017
  • CMI Group Indian School Abu Dhabi (actual school name not known). CMI Group opened the Amled Indian School in Dubai April 2015 and said they plan to open more schools in 2017 in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.
  • Nord Anglia Education, a third school in the UAE, second in Abu Dhabi, expected to open in September 2017, 2,250 places from KG to Year 13 or Grade 12. Location given as "Abu Dhabi's new central business district", but not specified if that means Maryah Island CBD, previously called Sowwah Island, or the new Abu Dhabi Capital District (where the first Nord Anglia Abu Dhabi school is), or downtown Abu Dhabi, or somewhere else. Curriculum information not given except for headline saying it will be an "international school". Which probably means British, IB, or both, given that NAE focuses on those two curriculums. Announced in press release 04 Feb 2016.
New schools opening in Abu Dhabi in 2016

20 new schools expected or possibly opening in Abu Dhabi during 2015-2016 academic year (ADEC 2013-2014 report, see below).

  1. [?] Abu Dhabi Indian School 2nd branch.
  2. Al Mamoura area school (name not confirmed), Aldar Academies, sort of a new school, or a relocation and expansion of Al Mushrif School in Abu Dhabi.
  3. [Update, also villa schools] GEMS United Indian School Abu Dhabi, open April 2016? Press release 08 Dec 2015 (?) KT (13 Dec), AB (08 Dec).
    • Annual tuition fee range AED 9,000 to AED 15,300.
    • Not a new school, is old (villa?) school rebranded (see GEMS Education information): GEMS United Indian School began as the well known Our Own English School, which opened in September, 1990. Following a restructure and the building of a new, state-of-the-art campus, we began enrolments in November 2015, for our school, re-named as GEMS United Indian School.
    • Same as Our Own English High School Abu Dhabi?
    • Location 42nd St, Baniyas West. Curriculum CBSE, English language instruction. Principal George Mathew.
    • Initially for students from KG1 to Grade or Year (?) 10, Grades 11-12 later.
    • Campus with 3 floor building, facilities for technology, performing arts, sports, capacity 1,500 places to be expanded to 3,900 (possibly).
    • Website www.gemsunitedindianschool-abudhabi.com. Email registrar_uis@gemsedu.com.
    • FB page spam at facebook.com/pages/Our-Own-English-School-Abu-Dhabi/367753329994217.
  4. [?] Shining Star International School 2nd branch, Indian school, capacity 2,000 students initially, possibly up to 4,000 later.
  5. West Yas School, Aldar Academies, opening September 2016, see reports below.


  • 14 Mar 2016 (The National): "Seventeen schools to open in Abu Dhabi by 2018".
    • ADEC figures say student population increasing about 5% per year, expected to increase from 236,800 students in 186 private schools to 283,798 students by 2020.
    • Over 56 new schools built in the past five years, with capacity of 70,000 seats, value more than AED 3 billion.
    • Liwa International School girls school opening in Al Ain, KG to Grade 10, expanding to Grade 12 later. US curriculum, capacity 1,000 places.
    • Al Mamoura School, an Aldar Academies school, boys and girls in primary, girls only in secondary from Year 7. English NC and A-levels, also IB in Years 12-13.
    • West Yas School, also Aldar Academies school, US curriculum, boys and girls, location Yas Island, expected to open Sep 2016?
  • 08 Mar 2016 (Gulf News): Two new all girls schools opening in Abu Dhabi emirate.
    • Al Mamoura School [unofficial name?], operated by Aldar Academies, location Al Nahyan Camp area of Abu Dhabi city. Mixed boys and girls up to Grade 6, girls only for secondary school. Fees expected to be more than AED 40,000. Opening date September 2016.
    • [Al Ain] Liwa International School for Girls in Al Ain city, run by Liwa schools group, American curriculum, opening from KG to Grade 8 for 2016-2017 academic year.
  • 09 Nov 2015 (Aldar press release, GN, TN): Two new Aldar Academies schools in Abu Dhabi city (and plans for more).
    • Al Mamoura area near Sea Palace, mixed boys and girls primary school, girls only secondary school (school name not given), opening September 2016, fees expected to be around AED 40,000 or more, capacity 1,800 students. English National Curriculum, and IB Diploma Program for Years 12 and 13.
    • Yas Island Yas West area, American school offering Massachusetts State curriculum, school name not given, KG to Grade 12, co-ed, opening September 2016, fees expected to be around AED 40,000 or more, capacity 1,800 students.
    • Al Falah area school but no further information provided.
    • New schools expected to follow nationality proportions of 30% Eimirati and 70% expatriate students (as with other Aldar schools).
    • Aldar Academies also considering plans to open a boarding school in Abu Dhabi. One school rather than some according to the quote from Mohammad Al Mubarak, chairman of Aldar Academies, in the GN: "We are also looking to see if there is any demand within the UAE and the Gulf for a boarding school located in Abu Dhabi."
    • Al Mushrif School (Aldar Academies) plans to send 500 students to the new Al Mamoora area school, releasing space for Al Bateen Secondary School to expand to 1,300 students. Not clear from the report if that means Al Mushrif School is closing, shrinking, or relocating.
    • Other Aldar plans include Al Ain International School expansion, possibly opening nurseries, possibly opening schools with fees of AED 20,000-40,000 aimed at middle-income earners.
New schools opening in Abu Dhabi in 2015
  1. [Check] Aldar Academies primary school - co-ed, opening planned for Sep 2015. Further details not provided. Might be combined with Aldar Academies girls school, or a separate school.
  2. [Check] Aldar Academies secondary school for girls - opening planned for Sep 2015, capacity 1,800 students, high school only. School name, location, contact details, not provided. Not clear if part of the Aldar Academies primary school planned or a different school.
  3. Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi (GIIS) - Indian curriculum, location Baniyas City? Same organisation that operated GIIS in Dubai before it was renamed with new operator or franchise holder. AUH GIIS first proposed in March 2010 without a timeline, later an opening date of April 2014 was speculated [by who?]. Revised opening date given as April 2015.
  4. The Philippine Global School - sort of a new school, open September 2015. New owners and management for the 21st Centry Academy which closed in Aug 2015 as a result of losing its operating licence from ADEC. Same location and building, mostly the same students and teachers.

Reports of new schools in Abu Dhabi

  • 04 May 2015 (GN) - story about a business forum organised by ADEC said that "A report by the ADEC projects that 20 more facilities, with 44,000 additional seats, are due to open during the ongoing 2015-2016 academic year ..." The report referred to is the 2013-2014 ADEC annual report, and the figure for 2015-2016 appears to be an estimate ("*Expected number of schools and seats might change based on schools buildings construction status and site circumstances."). Specific details such as school names, locations, curriculums, etc, not provided.
  • 02 Sep 2014 (TN) - An anonymous person from Aldar Academies was quoted as saying "We have plans to open a primary and girls-only secondary school for 1,800 students in Abu Dhabi by September 2015." No further information given about location, fees, curriculum, contact details. Not clear if one school with primary levels co-ed secondary level only for girls, or two schools.
  • 02 Sep 2014 (ADEC) - Hamad Al Dhaheri, the ADEC PSQA Executive Director, said in a press release that more new schools were coming, but didn't give details of names, curriculums, locations, fees ... "We are in the process of introducing 18 new private schools, some of which are currently being designed or under construction. These schools will help accommodate 20,000 students ..."
  • 18 Aug 2013 - ADEC announced the allocation of plots of land in Khalifa City A, Al Wathba, and Al Fallah (Al Falah) to be made available to private school developers with new school campus opening dates for the 2015-2016 academic year. Schools should offer American, British, Indian, or UAE Ministry of Education (MOE) curriculums. Number of plots not mentioned but would provide an additional 11,000 places for students. The Requests for Proposals (RfP) will be issued by the Private Schools and Quality Assurance (PSQA) section of ADEC.
New schools in Abu Dhabi 2014
  1. Abu Dhabi Grammar School (Canada) Branch 1 - second branch of ADGS open Sep 2014 in Mussafah Community, MBZ City.
  2. Abu Dhabi Indian High School new branch - second campus of ADIS in Abu Dhabi, location Baniyas City or Al Wathba? Indian curriculum. Opening date April 2014 (maybe ... don't hold your breath).
  3. Ajyal International Private School - UK curriculum, open Sep 2014 in MBZ City. Not in Al Falah area.
  4. Al Basma British School - new location and name for Al Basma English Private School (was also called Giggles School). New building under construction in 2013-2014 in Old Al Bahia ("Al Bahya Old"), Shahama. Open Sep 2014. Listed in ADEC directory as "The Giggles English School".
  5. Al Yasat Private School - relocated to Al Shamkha and expanded from primary to K-12 school for Sep 2014. Originally established in 1993.
  6. Cranleigh School of Abu Dhabi - opening date September 2014.
  7. Creative British Academy or School (CBA, CBS) - open September 2014 in Mussafah Community. Operated by Pace Group. Is an Indian school, not a British school?
  8. Mayoor Indian School Abu Dhabi (Mayoor Private School) - Indian curriculum, location Bani Yas City (Baniyas City) or Al Wathba South? The "Eton of India" ... allegedly. Opening April 2014?
  9. [Location] Reach British School - Arab-UK curriculum, opening in Bani Yas East September 2014. Or MBZ City?
  10. Ryan International School Mussafah, MBZ City - opening April 2014, Indian CBSE curriculum school. Same as or renamed as the Indian Modern Science School?
  11. Shining Star International School - Indian CBSE school which will take students from Little Flower Private School and Indian Islahi Islamic School (both closed Mar 2014). Located in Shabiyah 9, Mussafah, MBZ City. Previous ADEC information said it would open by mid-April 2014 in an unused government school building in MBZ City. Actual opening date not provided. Plans to construct a new campus in Al Wathba to move to.
  12. The Philippines School Abu Dhabi (TNS-AUH) - branch of TNS-Dubai open Sep 2014 to replace the Philippine National School (PNS) which closed Jul 2014.

Existing schools relocating to new premises in Abu Dhabi, school expansions, schools renamed, schools not opening after all, anything else important during 2014.

  • Al Shohub School - relocating to Khalifa City A for September 2014 or 2013? Originally opened in 1999.
  • Aliaa International School (Alia International School?) - US/UK curriculum? Opening date September 2014 or 2013? In Al Ain (Alia International Private School opened in 2012?) or Abu Dhabi (no information found or supplied)? Not Al Alia International Indian School in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, or Aliaa Private School in Egypt, or Alia Primary School in Bahrain though. Is in Al Ain as the Aliaa International School according to ADEC information, presumably a reference to the Alia International Private School.
  • Bhavan's Private International Indian School new branch - in Al Ain city, not Abu Dhabi city. Opened as Al Saad Indian School in Apr 2014.
  • Bright Riders Indian School - Phase 2 expansion for Grade 7 and higher reported as a new school opening Apr 2014. BR already opened Apr 2013 for KG-G6.
  • Diyafa School - UK/US curriculum? Same as Diyafah International School? Opened September 2013 if it is.
  • Giggles English School - new campus or relocation to Mussafah, MBZ City, Shahama, Baniyas, Al Wathba ... Al Bahia. And renamed as Al Basma British School.
  • Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi (GIIS) - opening date speculated as April 2014. Delayed until April 2015 - see new schools in 2015 heading.
  • Indian International School 2 (2nd branch, or new branch campus)? Same as the International Indian School? Located in Baniyas City area? Indian curriculum. Opening April 2014 for classes KG to Grade VI initially?
  • Indian Modern Science School - relocating to new building (under construction) in Mohamed Bin Zayed City (MBZ City), opening some time in 2014?
  • International Community School Branch 1 - opening September 2014. Delayed from Sep 2013. British curriculum, capacity 720 students. Opening in the Ajnadeen public girls school building in downtown Abu Dhabi (Egnadeen School). Reported as a new school but sounds like a relocation of the UK section of the existing ICS. Or not, possibly a third branch of ICS - there is already an existing "ICS Branch 1" ... will there be a main campus, Branch 1, and Branch 2?
  • International Indian School in Abu Dhabi - proposal for a new school to be operated by the management of the Al Islahi Indian Islamic Private School (IIIS) (closed by ADEC in March 2014), according to a letter sent to parents 03 July 2013, which said they had a plot of land allocated in East Bani Yas, and that initial construction approval had been granted. However, a statement by ADEC reported 19 September 2013 by Gulf News seemed to indicate there weren't any plans, or the plans had been cancelled - ADEC apparently said "The owners have failed to submit the required documents to enable ADEC to proceed with their new licence", referring to IIIS. Update: A different school, Shining Star Indian School, is opening in MBZ City April 2014 for IIIS students.
  • Repton School Abu Dhabi - second campus and additional facilities open September 2014 for Year 2 and up. First campus opened in September 2013.

New school reports

  • 03 Sep 2014 (press release) - ADEC announced the opening of 14 new private schools in Abu Dhabi emirate in 2014 (includes Al Saad Indian School in Al Ain city) - "... about 18,000 new private school seats across 14 new schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain ..."
    • Error: ADEC said one school is MOE curriculum but none of the schools listed in reports were MOE curriculum - Reach British School is MOE curriculum according to ADEC school directory but RBS say they are British and Arabic curriculum.
    • Omissions - Repton School Abu Dhabi expansion, Ryan International School (or Indian Modern Science School)? The Philippine School Abu Dhabi not listed in ADEC directory.
    • Inconsistent report - listed Bright Riders expansion but not Repton School expansion.
    • Not completely new schools: Al Basma British School relocated, Al Yasat Private School relocated and expanded, Bright Riders School expanded.
    1. Abu Dhabi Grammer [sic] School - Canadian curriculum. Refers to ADGS Branch 1 in MBZ City, open Sep 2014?
    2. Abu Dhabi Indian School - Indian curriculum. Refers to ADIS Al Wathba branch, open Apr 2014?
    3. Ajyal International School - English curriculum (report), British (ADEC). Open Sep 2014 in MBZ City.
    4. Al Basma British School - English curriculum. Al Basma English School (Giggles School) relocated and renamed for Sep 2014.
    5. Al Saad Indian School - Indian curriculum. Bhavan's School, in Al Ain, open Apr 2014.
    6. Al Yasat Private School - American curriculum. Not entirely a new school, relocated from Al Dhafra to Al Shamkha, and expanded from KG-G5 to KG-G12.
    7. Bright Riders Phase 2 - Indian curriculum. Open Apr 2013 for KG-G6, open Apr 2014 for G7 and above?
    8. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi - English curriculum. Open Sep 2014, Saadiyat Island.
    9. Creative British School - English curriculum. Or Indian curriculum? Confusing information given. Open Sep 2014 in Mussafah. Has places reserved for students from Al Fajr School which closed in Jul 2014?
    10. International Community School - American curriculum according to reports, but UK and US for main campus and UK for branch according to ADEC directory. ICS main branch relocating to Al Mushrif, and new branch opening in Al Najda.
    11. Mayoor Private School - Indian curriculum. Baniyas City, Apr 2014 [check]?
    12. Reach British School - English curriculum (report), MOE (ADEC). Baniyas East, Sep 2014.
    13. Shining Star International School - Indian curriculum. MBZ City, open Apr 2014 for students from Indian Islahi School and Little Flower School which closed in March 2014.
    14. The Philippine School Abu Dhabi - Philippines curriculum. Open Sep 2014 to take students from the closed Philippines National School. Different from the Philippine Emirates Private School, Baniyas East which opened Sep 2013. TPS Abu Dhabi not listed in ADEC directory.
  • 14 Apr 2014 - ADEC press release said 11 new private schools with 14,553 places would open in the next two years, but did not give names, locations, curriculum information, fee schedules, contact details, etc.
  • 01 Oct 2013 - Gulf News story about 6 new Indian schools opening in Abu Dhabi from 2014-2015 but names not mentioned except for Bright Riders School (already open) and ADIS new branch (opening date unknown). Similar report on the same day in The National (see above), and the next day in Emirates 24-7.
  • 22 May 2013 - Gulf News Xpress story of ADEC information about 8 or 9 new schools (original ADEC press release not found or supplied) opening in 2014 according to the headline "Eight new schools to open in Abu Dhabi next year", however the report referred to schools opening in both 2013 and 2014. Schools named were:
    • 4 Indian curriculum schools in Baniyas City area: Abu Dhabi Indian High School-branch, Global Indian International School, Indian International School 2, Mayoor School. Report said all 4 are opening in April 2014 according to ADEC.
    • 4 UK or US curriculum schools opening Sep 2013 and one school relocating: see 2013 heading.
  • 17 Mar 2013 - The National reported that ADEC said new schools due to open in 2014 included:
    • Bright Riders School (BRS) in MBZ City with capacity of 617 students, Indian curriculum. New school. But in Aug 2012 it was reported that BRS would open in April 2013. Update: BRS opened in April 2013.
    • The Modern Indian Scientific School (MISS) in MBZ City with capacity 621 students, Indian curriculum. Relocation.
    • Al Shohub School in Khalifa City A with capacity 1,200 students, British curriculum. Relocation?
    • Al Rawafid Private School (Al Rawafed School, Rowafed Private School?) in Khalifa City A with capacity 1,553 students, US curriculum. Relocation?
  • 12 Jan 2013 (KT) - Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, a boarding school (first in Abu Dhabi?), located on Saadiyat Island in the Saadiyat Cultural District. Expected to open in September 2014. Campus area 7 hectares, capacity 1,600 students, ages 3-18 years old. School is a partnership between the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) and Cranleigh School in the UK. Facilities planned include specialist art, dance, drama, IT, music, science, technology studios, rooms, and laboratories. Also a 650-seat auditorium, sports center (2,900 sq meters), outdoor fields and recreation areas (19,300 sq meters) including two grass pitches, AstroTurf pitch, four tennis courts, two swimming pools, indoor hall and gymnasium with two full-sized courts for basketball, badminton, football, gymnastics.
New schools in Abu Dhabi 2013
  1. Brightriders Indian School (Bright Riders School, Indian or International Community Kindergarten ICK relocated and renamed) in Mohammad Bin Zayed City (MBZ City) (Mussafah) - 900 places for KG 1, KG 2, Grade 1 students. Capacity 4,000 students from KG to Grade 6? Initially open for classes KG to Grade 4? CBSE curriculum offered. Chairman and/or owner is Dr B. R. Shetty (he is also Chairman of Abu Dhabi Indian School board, CEO of NMC Group, owner of another school in Madinat Zayed - Western Region, owner of the Indian Community Kindergarten). Project value AED 100 million ... or was amount invested by Dr Shetty in the school? Opening date in April 2013.
  2. Diyafah International School - opened September 2013 in Mohammad Bin Zayed City.
  3. GEMS Cambridge International School in Baniyas City - open September 2013. UK/US curriculum?
  4. GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi - British curriculum school for classes FS1 to Year 9, opening date September 2013.
  5. Najmat Al Reem Arabic Academy
  6. Najmat Al Reem International Academy - opening on Reem Island Sep 2013 or Sep 2014 (not clear from report 01 Apr 2013).
  7. *Philippine Emirates Private School (PEPS)? Unknown, unconfirmed, might be PISCO Private School renamed? School logo says founded September 2013? Located in Baniyas City East?
  8. Repton School in Abu Dhabi - UK curriculum, open 29 September 2013 for FS1, FS2, and Year 1 classes. Located in Shams Abu Dhabi on Reem Island.
  9. Summit International School - opening September 2013?

Other school information in 2013 - expanding, relocating, name change, etc

  • Al Diyafah Private School in MBZ City, opening Sep 2013 or Sep 2014? Presumably references to Diyafah International School, open Sep 2013.
  • [Check] Al Shohub School relocating to KCA for Sep 2013?
  • *Aliaa International School? Unknown, possibly a reference to the Alia International Private School in Al Ain.
  • GEMS Cambridge International School Abu Dhabi - see GCIS Baniyas City in list of new schools.
  • Indian Community Kindergaten (ICK) Mussafah - relocation from downtown Abu Dhabi, and renamed as Bright Riders Indian School.
  • Indian Modern Science School - villa school in Madinat Zayed downtown Dubai Dhabi relocating to MBZ City or Mussafah Community for April 2014? Or taken over by the new Ryan International School in Mussafah?
  • International Community School (Branch 1) - opening September 2013? Or International Community School 2? Opening delayed until September 2014?

Reports of new schools in Abu Dhabi

  • 24 Sep 2013 - GEMS Cambridge International School - Abu Dhabi at the Bawabat Al Sharq (BAS) project in Baniyas City opening announced (or reported). GCIS-AUH has 1,200 students from Foundation Stage 1 (FS1) to Year 8, and will expand to Year 13 in future years with capacity for 3,400 students. School operated by GEMS Education in partnership with the Baniyas Investment and Development Company (BIDC), the investment subsidiary of Baniyas Sports Club. Construction started Jun or Jul 2012 and finished Aug or Sep 2013? Principal of GCIS-AbuDhabi is Rebecca Plaskitt.
  • 24 Jul 2013 (Emirates 24-7) - new schools mentioned in a report about school places:
    • GEMS Cambridge International School in Abu Dhabi - British curriculum school open from KG to Year 8 initially, later expansion to Year 13 planned, open September 2013.
  • 02 Jul 2013 (ADEC press release) - 5 new schools in Abu Dhabi mentioned in a press release about villa school closures in Abu Dhabi, opening September 2013: Al Diyafah Private School in MBZ City, GEMS Cambridge International School in Bani Yas (Baniyas) area, GEMS Winchester School, International Community School (Branch 1), Summit International School.
  • 22 May 2013 - GN Xpress story referring to an ADEC press release (original not found or supplied) about new schools opening in 2014 according to the headline "Eight new schools to open in Abu Dhabi next year", but then described US and UK curriculum schools which were opening September 2013. Schools named included:
    • 4 Indian curriculum schools opening April 2014: see 2014 heading.
    • 4 UK or US curriculum schools (opening Sep 2013 according to the report "... will begin operations this September when the new academic year starts." : Aliaa International School, Diyafa School, GEMS Cambridge International School, Repton School. Update: Diyafah, Cambridge, Repton, opened Sep 2013. Aliaa School is possibly a reference to the Alia Private School in Al Ain which is already open.
    • 1 school relocating - Al Shohub School moving to Khalifa City A (also not clear when from the story - sounded like Sep 2013).
  • 01 Apr 2013 (TN) - two schools on Al Reem Island, opening date not clear (report said "next year" which might mean 2014, or Sep 2013 for the 2013-2014 academic year. Najmat Al Reem Arabic Academy and Najmat Al Reem International Academy, capacity 2,000 students.
  • 12 Jan 2013 (KT) - three schools opening in September 2013:
    • GEMS Cambridge International School Baniyas City - part of the Bawabat Al Sharq (BAS) project by Baniyas Investment and Development Company (BIDC), agreement signed with GEMS Education. Capacity 3,400 pupils, UK curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 13. Was first announced 25 Nov 2012.
    • Repton School Abu Dhabi - located on Reem Island in Shams Abu Dhabi development, British curriculum, based on Repton School in the UK, partnership between Evolvence Knowledge Investments Limited (EKI) and Sorouh Real Estate. Two campuses. First campus opening in September 2013 for nursery to Year 2 students, capacity 520 pupils, area 7,000 sq meters. Second campus opening September 2014 for Year 2 and up, facilities include multi-purpose halls and swimming pool.
    • Brighton College Al Ain - see new schools in Al Ain.
  • 12 Jan 2013 (KT): Bright Riders School in MBZ City, opening March 2013 for KG to Grade 4, International CBSE (CBSEi) Indian curriculum. All places full already. Area 36,000 sq meters, capacity 4,000 students, facilities include multi-purpose auditorium, indoor swimming pool, athletic track.
  • 13 Jan 2013 (ADEC press release after a Private Education Investment Forum held at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel on 08 Jan 2015, reported 12 Jan 2013): several new schools opening in Abu Dhabi, total 14+ but opening dates, names (except for two), and locations not given:
    • ADEC reportedly said 13 schools opening between Sep 2013 and Aug 2014, 8 in Abu Dhabi and 5 in Al Ain.
    • 7 GEMS schools: Dino Varkey from GEMS Education said "We plan to open seven new K-12 schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which can accommodate up to 30,000 students. ... in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain"
    • "several" Royal Group schools: Peter Abraam from Royal Group and Learn Educational Investments referred to
      • Al Rabeeh Primary school would be extended to a high school with additional 1300 places from G5-G12.
      • Royal Academy, a new K-12 school with 2,000 places in Mohammad Bin Zayed City (MBZ City).
    • Dr B R Shetty, the Abu Dhabi Indian School (ADIS) chairman is opening a new Indian school in MBZ City for 4,000 students from KG to Grade 4. He said "All the 4,000 school seats are already full," and is apparently looking for plots of land to build more schools on.
    • Global Schools Foundation in Singapore: Atul Temurnikar (GSF chairman) said "We have requested to build a total of five British and Indian K-12 schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and expect to provide over 10,000 seats among both British and Indian curriculum schools. They [ADEC] have not hesitated to provide us with land plots."
New schools in Abu Dhabi 2012
  1. Yas Academy - new school opening in an old building to take students from some of the closed villa schools in Abu Dhabi.
  2. United School of Baniyas, Bani Yas, Abu Dhabi region - open September 2011 ... or delayed until September 2012, conflicting information provided.
New schools in Abu Dhabi opening in 2011
  1. Al Bateen School, Abu Dhabi
  2. Al Ain International Private School, Al Ain
  3. American School of Bani Yas, Western Region
  4. Emirates National School, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi
  5. Glenelg School Madinat Zayed branch, Western Region
  6. International School of Al Ain, Al Ain
  7. UFE American School, Abu Dhabi - job advertised for principal "of a new school being established in the Abu Dhabi area". September 2011 opening date assumed. No further information provided. Might be related to one of the existing UFE schools but they started in September 2010.
  8. United School of Baniyas, Abu Dhabi - see new schools in 2012, not clear if school open September 2011 or 2012.

New school reports

  • 14 Oct 2011 (Gulf News report or ADEC press release ... but press release not found or supplied) - 12 new schools with a total of 12,000 places opened in the emirate of Abu Dhabi for the 2011-2012 academic year, bringing the total number of private schools in the emirate to 55. Another 10-12 schools are expected to open for the 2012-2013 academic year. Six schools were named in the article: Al Bateen School, Emirates National School Al Bateen, International School of Al Ain, Al Ain International Private School, American School of Bani Yas (Western Region), Glenelg Madinat Zayed branch (Western Region).
New schools in Abu Dhabi 2010
  1. 21st Century Private Academy (Twenty First Private Academy) - open September 2010 for Filipino students from closed villa schools. Run by UFE.
  2. Al Sorouh American School, Khalifa City B, primary school for Emirati and Arab families who want a US curriculum school.
  3. Bhavans Indian School Abu Dhabi (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan School) - renamed as Private International English School (or Indian School) in Mussafah, CBSE curriculum, open September 2010. Location between Sunrise English Private School and Safeer Mall, Sector 9? Website www.bhavansabudhabi.com? Bhavans schools proposed in Dubai and Sharjah also (maybe)?
  4. Indian school in Madinat Zayed, Western Region (Al Gharbiyah) - opening date 11 April 2010? Owned by Dr B. R. Shetty, who has involvement with other Indian schools in the UAE, and is CEO of NMC Group.
  5. Middle East Private School or Academy (MEPS, MEPA) - new Arabic (?) curriculum school open September 2010 to cater to students from several closed villa schools, run by UFE. Is UFE Academy renamed, on site of Saad Bin Obaidah School (or not, check ADEC information - different locations unless SBOS moved?).

Other school information for 2010 - relocated, renamed, expanded

  • Abu Dhabi Philippines School - renamed as the 21st Century Private School or Academy.
  • Indian School in Mussafah area, capacity 1,000 students? Opening September 2010? Reports referring to Bhavans School or a different one?
  • Private International English School in Mussafah - see Bhavans Indian School.
  • Universal Future Education Academy (UFE Academy) - renamed, see Middle East Private School.

New school reports

  • 12 Aug 2010 - ADEC announced two new schools.
    1. a new American and Filipino curriculum school to be opened in the old 6 August School (public school) site on Muroor Road with capacity for 1,300 students, to be operated by Universal Future Education (UFE), levels KG to Grade 10, possibly to Grades 11 and 12 in Sep 2010 or Sep 2011. Will cater to students from the Pioneer International Private villa school which closed in June 2010.
    2. a new Arab UAE MOE curriculum school in the Bani Yas area on the site of Saad Bin Obaidah School with capacity for 1,000 or 1,200 students (both figures reported, unknown which is correct). Places to be filled by pupils from several villa schools which closed in June 2010 - Al Mashreq Private School, Al Sahaba Private School and Kindergarten, Azhar Palestine School, Cultural Private School. Principal of new school is Ms Amna al Shamsi, school to be operated by UFE also, school name not provided. School will open initially for classes from KG to Grade 9, expanding one grade per year up to Grade 12. Boys and girls classes segregated.
  • Aug 2010 - new Indian school in Mussafah area announced, capacity 1,000 students. Opening September 2010?
  • 13 Jul 2010 (WAM) - Musanada announced an AED 1.5 billion project to replace old schools, school sites and school facilities with 15 new schools as part of a longer term project to develop 100 new schools in Abu Dhabi emirate by 2020. Musanada is working with ADEC and UPC towards the goals of the Abu Dhabi Government's 2030 Vision. The new schools are presumably government public schools, not private schools, although that was not specifically stated in the report.
New schools in Abu Dhabi opening date unknown
  • Abu Dhabi Indian School new campus - a second branch, not a relocation of ADIS. Might be open by April 2014? Or in 2015? Or one day? Or back to April 2014 according to the Indian Ambassador to Abu Dhabi in comments made in Oct 2013.
  • Abu Dhabi National Academy (ADNA) - probably a fake school and job scam based on offer letters and information given so far. Job ads first seen in late 2014.
  • Al Nasser Holdings school - Indian curriculum, maybe, a vague report in The National 01 Oct 2013.
  • Al Rabeeh School - either a new primary campus or a high school extension to the currently existing Al Rabeeh Primary School in Muroor. Announced 12 Jan 2015 by Royal Academy or Learn Education Group, no further information provided or found. As of Jan 2015 plans appear to be on hold or cancelled.
  • Al Rawafed Private School - see Rawafed Private School.
  • Asian Arab Community School - vague information in April 2010 Gulf News report. Might refer to one of the schools which have opened since then, or none of them. Or perhaps connected to the Asian International Private School (Asian International Nursery and Kindergarten) in Al Dhafrah - Madinat Zayed district in Abu Dhabi city?
  • Delhi Public School Abu Dhabi (DPS) - proposed in 2003, opening in 2012 ... 2013 ... who knows when ...
  • Emke Group Indian School Abu Dhabi - vague proposal of school to be developed by Yousef Ali M.A. (Emke Group MD) reported in Apr 2010 Gulf News story. And again in The National 01 Oct 2013.
  • Emirates Unity School (EUS) - similar to ADNA job scam operation. Doesn't exist in Abu Dhabi and no information about a planned school with that name found or provided.
  • GEMS Indian school - vague information in a 22 May 2013 GN report. Nothing further supplied.
  • GEMS British school - vague information in a 22 May 2013 GN report. Nothing further supplied. But apparently a different project from the GEMS Winchester School of Abu Dhabi opening in September 2013.
  • GEMS Westminster School Abu Dhabi - vague comment in a 22 May 2013 GN report. No further information found or supplied.
  • Indian Community Kindergarten (ICK) new campus or branch - mentioned in an Apr 2010 Gulf News report. Also called the International Community Kindergarten. Update - see Bright Riders School in Mussafah (new location and name for ICK).
  • Indian High School Dubai - Abu Dhabi branch campus - the IHS-Dubai Chairman expressed interest in establishing a school in Abu Dhabi in an April 2010 news report. No further information supplied so perhaps interest has waned.
  • International Baccalaureate K-12 school in Abu Dhabi (new) - announced in 29 Aug 2010 press release, program design by Hollinger International or Daniel Hollinger. Name, location, opening date not supplied.
  • NMC Group school or Dr B R Shetty school - Indian curriculum, maybe, a vague report in The National 01 Oct 2013. Dr B R Shetty already involved with several other Indian schools in Abu Dhabi (he owns Bright Riders School in MBZ City, and is Chairman of Abu Dhabi Indian School which has plans for an additional new campus in Bani Yas City), so not clear if the report referred to another school or one already proposed or existing.
  • Raha International School branch or new campus, but plans delayed due to government not giving permission to build apparently. Report 01 Sep 2014 in TN quoted Jules Murray, director of development and admissions, as saying "We’ve had planning permission in for the past two years to build another school and we can’t get the planning permission through".
  • Rawafed Private School (Al Rowafed, Al Ruwafed, Al Rowafid, Al Rawafid, School, Pvt Sch) - relocating or relocated to Khalifa City A, 2013 or 2014?
  • Royal Academy, a new K-12 school with 2,000 places in MBZ City, announced 12 Jan 2013 by Royal Group or Learn Education Investments.
  • Shining Star International School new campus. New Indian school opened Apr 2014 in old school building in MBZ City. New campus planned in Al Wathba but no construction timeline or opening date provided.
  • United World College (UWC) in Abu Dhabi - IB school, proposed?

New school reports

  • 03 Sep 2014 - several reports mostly repeating the ADEC press release about 14 new schools open in 2014 (see under 2014 new schools heading). Some reports mentioned other schools planned with opening dates in 2015-2016 but did not give names.
  • 02 Nov 2013 (Khaleej Times) - Beaconhouse Group plan to open new schools in the UAE, maybe in 2014 - see new schools in Dubai for more information.
  • 18 Oct 2013 - The Gulf News reported conflicting opening dates for the new Abu Dhabi Indian School branch, but that might have been a reporting error. However according to the Indian Ambassador in Abu Dhabi, Lokesh told Gulf News on Monday that he expected that the new school would be opened for next academic year, referring to April 2014.
  • 01 Oct 2013 - The National reported that the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, M K Lokesh, was talking to three businessmen or business groups in the UAE about setting up new Indian community schools with fees ranging from about AED 10,000-13,000 per annum: Dr B R Shetty, chairman of the New Medical Centre Group (NMC Group); M A Yousuf Ali, chairman of Emke LuLu Group; Ganpath Singhvi, Director at Al Nasser Holdings. No further information supplied about any definite proposals. Similar report in the Gulf News on the same day (see below) and the next day in Emirates 24-7 (same names of potential investors mentioned). Other schools mentioned in the story in The National were:
    • Mayoor School, under construction in Al Wathba South, expected to open in April 2014
    • The Indian Modern Science School, under construction in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, expected to open in 2014 (April?)
    • Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi, municipality building approval application underway, opening date not specified.
    • International Indian School, to be located in Baniyas, awaiting building approval also, opening date not specified.
    • Abu Dhabi Indian School new branch in Al Wathba South, capacity 3,450 KG to Standard 12 pupils, opening date expected in 2015, reportedly awaiting ADEC approval for concept and design, might be given in 2-3 weeks.
    • Bright Riders School in MBZ City, already open (opened in April 2013).
  • 18 Aug 2013 (GN) - new schools to be built in Al Falah (Al Fallah), Al Wathba (Al Wathbah), and Khalifa City A areas to cater to a forecasted increase in demand for places of about 11,000 students by 2015-2015 according to Gulf News report of an ADEC announcement. Curriculums to be followed include American, British, Indian, and UAE MOE. School operators and investors will be invited to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) in September 2013. Details of plot locations not provided.
  • 22 May 2013 - Gulf News Xpress said a new GEMS Indian school and a GEMS British curriculum school had received approval from ADEC to be developed. The report seemed to indicate these were not the GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi and the GEMS Westminster School Abu Dhabi which also have applications pending with ADEC. Or something. The report was a bit muddled, quoting an anonymous GEMS spokesperson as saying "We have submitted applications and are in discussions with ADEC about the submissions" and based on that vague anonymous comment, the report came to the conclusion that GEMS has aspirations to open more Indian curriculum schools in the emirate and has seven to 10 applications pending with ADEC across various curricula. GEMS said in Oct 2012 that they had plans to open 10 new schools, but not just in Abu Dhabi. GN also seems to think they have secret information not available to anyone else, saying in the same report that XPRESS can reveal that at least one GEMS Indian school and one British curriculum school have received approval from ADEC. The education provider also has pending applications to open Winchester and Westminster brand schools in Abu Dhabi.
  • 22 Oct 2012 - GEMS said in a news release that they would open 10 new schools in the UAE in the next two years, but did not give details of which emirates, location, curriculums (except a general comment), fee ranges, etc. The Gulf News story on the same day said some of the new schools would be in Abu Dhabi (other emirates would be Dubai and RAK), but didn't say how they got this information (it wasn't in original version from GEMS).
  • 29 Aug 2010 - press release announced a new K-12 International Baccalaureate school in Abu Dhabi, approved by ADEC. Name and location not supplied but curriculum program was designed by Hollinger International Educational Consultants.
  • 08 Apr 2010 (Gulf News report) - several proposed new Indian curriculum schools listed: Abu Dhabi Indian School branch, Indian High School Dubai branch, new school to be set up by Yousuf Ali M.A. (MD of Emke Group), new ICK school owned by B.R. Shetty, school for the Asian Arab community. Report was vague on details. For example, the chairman of the Indian High School in Dubai had apparently said he was interested in establishing a school in Abu Dhabi according to ADEC information. GN quoted a statement from someone (it wasn't clear who, original not found or supplied) as saying "We recognise the need to move things as quickly as possible and aim to start building new schools in the next 12 months, so that schools can be fully functional and operate in 18 months-two years time."
Schools and education in Abu Dhabi - ADEC figures


  • 2020: 280,000+ student enrolment in private schools expected, requiring an additional 60,000 places from enrolment figure of 224,000 for 2013-2014 (04 May 2015 GN report of comments from Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Director-General at ADEC).

Current or historical

  • 04 May 2015 (GN report of ADEC supplied information) figures for for 2013-2014 academic year:
    • 188 private schools
    • 224,000+ pupils enrolled
    • 14 new schools opened during 2013-2014 with an additional 20,064 places (number of places lost due to school closures not provided).
  • 22 Sep 2013 (ADEC) - figures for 2013-2014 academic year:
    • 184 private schools in Abu Dhabi emirate: 114 schools in Abu Dhabi municipality area, 59 schools in Al Ain, 11 schools in the Western Region (Al Gharbiyah)
    • 202,215 students studying 14 different curriculums including British, American, French, German, Canadian, International Baccalaureate, UAE Ministry of Education (MOE, Arabic), SABIS, Indian, Bangladesh, Iranian, Japanese, Pakistan, Philippines.
  • 12 Jan 2013 (KT) - Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) information for Abu Dhabi emirate (includes Al Ain and Al Gharbia) according to Engineer Hamad Al Dhaheri at ADEC:
    • number of students in private education annual growth rate 7% since 2007.
    • as of end 2012 total private student enrolment figure is 198,000 students in 185 private schools with 15 different curriculums offered.
    • student population forecast to reach 280,000 by 2020 with using annual growth rate of 5%.
    • additional capacity required is 146,000 places and 100 new private schools.
    • private school sector caters to 60% of total student population in Abu Dhabi. About 25% of private sector students are Emiratis.
    • curriculum breakdown is approximately 50% following American, British, Canadian, and IB; 26% following Arabic language curriculums (UAE Ministry of Education curriculum), and 22% following Asian curriculums (Indian, Pakistani, Philippines).

Send updates, corrections, details of new schools, closed or relocated schools, etc to education at dubaifaqs dot com.

Last update Sunday 17-Mar-2019
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