British curriculum most popular in Dubai, but American schools top choice for Emiratis

Regulator's report shows one in three teachers is Indian, while Ahmed is the most common name among pupils

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The British curriculum remains the most popular choice in Dubai, but Emirati families prefer to send their children to American schools, a report reveals.

The findings released by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the emirate's private education regulator, show 36 per cent of pupils in Dubai study in British schools.

The Indian curriculum is the second most popular, attended by 26 per cent of pupils, followed by the American curriculum, attracting 15 per cent of pupils.

Only 7 per cent of children go to International Baccalaureate schools and 4 per cent choose the UK/IB hybrid curriculum.

The remaining 12 per cent attend other curriculum schools.

The majority of Emirati pupils enrolled in private schools — 60 per cent — go to American schools, followed by 24 per cent at British schools.

The report also found that four out of every five teachers are women. Indians make up 31 per cent of teachers, while 17 per cent are British and 10 per cent Egyptian.

The most common name for pupils is Ahmed.

There has been a sharp rise in private school enrolment. It increased to more than 326,000 this month, up from 303,262 pupils in April.

The number of private schools in Dubai increased to 216 in the 2022-23 academic year with the opening of four new schools. Together, they offer 17 curriculums.

The emirate is home to 216 private schools, of which 80 follow the British curriculum, 40 are American, 32 follow the Indian boards and 17 are IB schools.

Many of the top-rated schools in the city follow the UK curriculum.

“These enrolment figures represent healthy, sustainable growth, and show the trust that parents have in the ability of Dubai private schools to give their children an education that can meet the demands of the future,” said Dr Abdulla Al Karam, KHDA's director general.

KHDA releases such surveys every few months. Its last report was in April.

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Updated: November 15, 2022, 10:33 AM