Dubai's government will open two new affordable schools to be run by a private sector operator under a new model for the city.
The initiative, called Dubai Schools, was announced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, on Monday.
The schools will be located in Mirdif and Al Barsha, and the first cohort of pupils is expected to arrive on August 29.
Both schools will follow the American curriculum but will focus on Arabic literacy, science and technology, the UAE’s culture and Islamic studies.
The schools will be operated by Taaleem, one of the country's top education providers, and will be regulated by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai's private education regulator.
Pupils of all abilities and nationalities can apply. So far, more than 400 families have expressed interest in seeking admission for their children.
The schools will be able to accommodate 800 children, but will initially be open to those in preschool to Grade 4.
Fees will vary from Dh29,900 ($8,140) for kindergarten pupils to Dh36,155 for fourth-graders.
Emirati children will be given priority and can apply for a 100 per cent scholarship based on merit.
Alan Williamson, chief executive officer of Taaleem, said the aim was to raise regional educational standards.
“The US curriculum and school’s ethos will promote global citizenship and, while recognising the international profile of the school, will embed a strong focus upon the local Emirati culture and heritage to uphold the traditions of the Emirates and preserve Arabic and Islamic culture," he said.
Each school will have an admission test.
Pupils would be taught in English, but focus will also be on Arabic proficiency.
Khalid Al Tayer, chairman of Taaleem, said preserving culture would be at the heart of the Dubai schools.
"We will continuously evaluate and improve these schools to ensure that they are recognised as the cornerstones of the communities that they serve," Mr Al Tayer said.
"They will be examples and blueprints for future public-private partnerships and vehicles for achieving National Agenda objectives."