When does the new UAE school year start?

Pupils are enjoying a summer break from the classroom

Thousands of pupils will be returning to school next week after a long summer break. Satish Kumar / The National
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Thousands of pupils are gearing up to return to classrooms across the Emirates next week.

Monday, August 28 will mark the first day back at school after a long summer break.

Whether it heralds the start of a new academic year or the end of mid-term holiday depends on the curriculum taught.

For many schools in the country, such as British and American establishments, the end of August brings about the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.

However, the school year starts in April for Indian curriculum schools, with the summer holiday acting as an interlude in their calendar.

The UAE academic year for public and private schools is divided into three trimesters, which feature winter, spring and summer breaks.

The academic year must be made up of at least 182 days, the government states.

Back to school: August 28

Pupils, parents and teachers alike will have Monday, August 28 marked down in their calendars as the first day back at school after a break of about seven weeks.

This term will last for more than three months, with a winter holiday scheduled for December and a spring break in March.

Further breaks will be granted during the course of the year for key public holidays such as Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.

Term dates

For those schools starting the academic year next month:

The first term will run from Monday, August 28 until Friday, December 8.

The winter break will be held from Monday, December 11 to Monday, January 1, 2024, which is a public holiday.

The second term of the year will be in operation from Tuesday, January 2 until Friday, March 22.

The spring break is in place from Monday, March 25 until April 14.

The final term of the year begins on Monday, April 15, with the academic year not to end before June 28.

Final end of term dates may vary slightly by school, but the school year cannot consist of fewer than the 182 days set out by authorities.

The academic year is similar for Indian schools, which started the first 2023-24 term in April.

They will have the same August 28 return date from the summer holiday and will have the same winter holiday in December.

The school year will end in March, 2024.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority – Dubai's private school regulator – said April-starting schools can break up at any point in March, as long as they have completed at least 182 school days.

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Updated: September 11, 2023, 1:22 PM