The 9 best-ranked private schools in Abu Dhabi

Most leading schools in the capital follow the British curriculum

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Read more: Eight best private schools in Dubai with tuition fees under Dh35,000 per year

When it comes to finding top performing schools for your child in Abu Dhabi, you are spoilt for choice.

Abu Dhabi has some of the highest-ranked private schools in the country, with some named among the world's top 100.

Seven out of nine private schools ranked as outstanding by Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge follow the British curriculum.

Inspection ratings for private schools in Abu Dhabi were published in April this year, two years after the previous inspection.

The regulator also said that the top-performing schools will be eligible to raise tuition fees by up to 3.94 per cent for the coming 2023-2024 academic year.

Schools are judged in several categories, including pupils’ achievement, personal and social development, innovation skills, teaching and assessment, and leadership and management of the school. While a very good school is one which is exceeding expectations, an outstanding school substantially exceeds expectations.

Here, The National has everything you need to know about Abu Dhabi's top-ranked schools, in no particular order:

The British School Al Khubairat

Curriculum: British

Location: Al Mushrif

Fees: Dh43,160 in foundation stage one to Dh70,630 in year 13

The British School Al Khubairat has long been considered one of the best schools in Abu Dhabi and has been in the country for more than 50 years.

British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) started in 1968, after UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, donated a plot of land for its location.

It was previously called Al Khubairat Community School and later renamed the British School Al Khubairat in 1980. It is one of the oldest schools in Abu Dhabi.

The school has hosted many special visits over the years from dignitaries such as the late British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

The school places great emphasis on children's and staff’s wellbeing and has won global accolades for its mental health programmes.

Alumni at the school have been accepted at some of the most prestigious universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge.

Brighton College Abu Dhabi

Curriculum: British

Location: 175 Das Street, Abu Dhabi

Fees: Dh48,900 in nursery to Dh77,720 in year 13

Brighton College Abu Dhabi was named one of the world’s top 100 schools in Spear's Schools Index 2021.

The school works to ensure pupils develop a love of learning, and grow up to be well educated, respectful, intellectually curious and confident.

Pupils at the school have gone on to study at the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, St Andrews, and Warwick University.

While many of its pupils choose to pursue higher studies in the UK, an increasing number now pick the US or Europe.

Brighton College UK was founded in 1845, and the Abu Dhabi school is part of the Brighton family.

Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi

Curriculum: British

Location: Saadiyat Island

Fees: Dh65,000 in foundation stage one to Dh96,333 in year 13

In September 2020, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi was named among the best 100 private schools in the world in the inaugural Spear's Schools Index. The aim of the index is to help parents choose the best school for their children.

The school was also named New British International School of the Year in 2017. The award was given at the British International Schools Awards ceremony in London.

The school places great focus on pupils' wellbeing, sustainability and community.

Cranleigh has a more than 150-year history in England, and the vision of the school when it was launched in the Emirates was to create something unique for the region. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi celebrates the many cultures in the country.

Merryland International School

Curriculum: British

Location: Mussaffah

Fees: Dh23,850 in kindergarten to Dh42,500 in year 12

Merryland International School in Mussaffah earned the top rank of outstanding for the first time in 2018 and proved that schools do not have to charge a fortune to offer high quality education. Annual fees at the school start at Dh23,850.

The school aims to educate future astronauts and rocket scientists, and boasts a 3D laboratory, a robotics lab and a weather station.

The school is accredited by the University of Cambridge, and offers Cambridge Primary, Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge AS and A-level courses.

The school focuses on providing equal opportunities and preparing pupils to be future-ready.

Pearl British Academy

Curriculum: British

Location: Muroor Road

Fees: Dh41,700 in foundation stage one to Dh43,150 in year six

The primary school prides itself on its family feel and works to nurture adaptable, creative future leaders.

The inclusive British primary school is in central Abu Dhabi on Muroor Road.

Pupils at the school get priority placement at Aldar Education's secondary schools.

Muna British Academy

Curriculum: British

Location: Zayed the First Street

Fees: Dh43,500 in foundation stage one to Dh45,260 in year six

At Al Muna Academy children are encouraged to reach their potential and staff are asked to innovative in their teaching.

The school has a multi-purpose sports hall, a swimming pool and a netball court.

Raha International School

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Location: Khalifa City

Fees: Dh39,330 in early years to Dh61,900 in grade 12

Raha International School is one of two schools offering the International Baccalaureate programme on the list of the top ranked institutions in the emirate.

The school has more than 2,800 students representing more than 80 nationalities.

The school has teachers from countries including the UK, US, Canada, UAE, and Ireland.

The school is operated by Taaleem, one of UAE’s largest school developers, and it says it focuses on inspired, imaginative teaching centred on the learner as an individual.

Yasmina British Academy

Curriculum: British

Location: Khalifa City

Fees: Dh42,900 in foundation stage one to Dh61,150 in year 13.

Yasmina British School is part of the Aldar Academies family of schools.

According to its website, Aldar Academies has so far invested more than Dh450 million in Abu Dhabi’s education sector. This is part of its commitment to the UAE’s 2030 vision.

The British International School

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Location: Khalifa City

Fees: Dh50,300 in early years to Dh68,700 in grade 13

The British International School follows the UK curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

The school is one of two UAE campuses operated by the internationally renowned Nord Anglia Education.

The campus caters for 1,700 students with British and Emirati students forming the largest population groups, with 75 nationalities represented.

Updated: July 06, 2023, 6:33 AM