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Top 8 Outstanding International Schools in Abu Dhabi 

Top 17 Outstanding International Schools in Abu Dhabi 

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is renowned for its commitment to excellence in education. With a diverse population and the demand for high-quality international schools, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has conducted rigorous inspections to evaluate schools based on integrating national identity programs into their curricula. Below are the list of top 8 outstanding international schools in Abu Dhabi, rated by ADEK!
Criteria for Selection

Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is responsible for developing education in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADEK does two inspections: National Identity Marks and Irtiqaa’s Inspection.

The National Identity Remarks was introduced in 2023. The inspection evaluates a school’s efforts to incorporate culture, values, and citizenship into its educational programs:

  • Culture: includes history, heritage, and Arabic language, which represents a key focus area within the framework
  • Values: includes respect, compassion, and global understanding
  • Citizenship includes belonging, volunteering, and conservation

In 2024, 8 private schools out of 153 were rated outstanding (meaning that quality of performance substantially exceeds the expectation of UAE), 33 were rated good, 79 were rated acceptable, and 33 were rated weak in the National Identity Mark inspection, while there are 60 more schools that will be evaluated later in the year.

More information on the framework is available here.

In addition to the National Identity Marks Inspection, Irtiqaa is another evaluation system that covers the performance standards of Abu Dhabi’s private schools and provides recommendations for improved performance. Selected investigators will spend 4 days at each school.

Now, let’s delve into the top international schools in Abu Dhabi that have been rated outstanding after evaluation from both the National Identity Remarks Inspection and Irtiqaa’s Inspection:

1. American Community School of Abu Dhabi

Curriculum: American standards-based curriculum with IB Diploma Programme and Advanced Placement courses

Grade: KG1 (Kindergarten 1) through Grade 12

Founded in 1972, the American Community School of Abu Dhabi serves 1,200 students from KG1 through Grade 12 from 80 countries. The school is dedicated to fostering a culture of academic excellence, cultural understanding, and global citizenship. Students receive coursework and training focusing on four pillars: Academics, the Arts, Athletics, and Service Learning. ACS offers a variety of extracurricular activities– including athletics, arts, and community service– aiming to develop well-rounded individuals. With a focus on academic excellence and cultural understanding, ACS prepares students to thrive in a globalized world.

https://www.acs.sch.ae/

2. Bloom Academy Al Ain

Curriculum: American, English, and International Baccalaureate

Grade: Nursery to Grade 12

Bloom World Academy in Al Ain offers a customized education for more than 14,000 students worldwide, emphasizing individuality and personalized learning journeys. There are seven unique Firsts in education:

  • Flexible School Day: The academy offers a 12-hour opening, allowing parents to drop off and pick up their children, with co-curricular programs available throughout the day.
  • Weekly Family Days: Bloom World Academy hosts weekly family days during lunchtime, aiming to integrate parents into school life, foster stronger parental relationships, and better represent parent opinion in school affairs.
  • Progressive Teaching Faculty: Faculty members are recruited based on their skills and commitment to progressive education, with a focus on personalized learning and student well-being.
  • Learning Achievement Passport (LAP): Each student is empowered to develop their personal curriculum, timetable, and targets through LAP, allowing them to follow their individual learning needs and ambitions.
  • Inspirational Architectural Design: The school is divided into “learning zones,” where each area of learning is brought to life in a unique and focused space, enhancing the learning experience and fostering a sense of excitement.
  • Integration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Innovation, entrepreneurship, and technical/vocational education are integrated into the curriculum, with programs such as Lumos Innovation Labs and junior apprenticeships providing students with real-world experience and opportunities.
  • Tier 1 School Facilities: As a Tier 1 school, Bloom World Academy invests significantly in school facilities and resources to meet every child’s individual and personalized academic needs, ensuring they have access to comprehensive resources and support for their educational journey.

Graduates from Bloom Academy Al Ain have attended world-renowned universities such as Oxbridge, Imperial, St Andrews, Warwick, Harvard, Yale, etc.

For more information, visit Bloom World Academy.

3. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School

Curriculum: Private British

Grade: Nursery to Sixth Form

With a strong emphasis on Emirati culture, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi School offers a dynamic curriculum that inspires intellectual curiosity and personal growth. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi prides itself on its Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) program. These activities aim to cultivate independent skills, explore new interests, foster creative development, and embrace challenges. The school offers various activities each term, covering recreational and competitive sports, performing arts, clubs, and youth service programs such as Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Sports Leadership qualifications, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

https://www.cranleigh.org/

4. Merryland British School

Curriculum: Cambridge International Curriculum

Grade: Grade 1 to 12

Merryland British School epitomizes educational excellence with a blend of tradition and innovation. Rooted in Emirati heritage, the school offers a diverse curriculum that fosters critical thinking, creativity, and cultural awareness. The school is accredited by the University of Cambridge, and offers Cambridge Primary, Cambridge IGCSE, and Cambridge AS & A level Courses. This International curriculum develops students’ skills in creative thinking, inquiry, and problem-solving, and gives them excellent preparation for the next stage in their education.

Merryland British School emphasizes student leadership and entrepreneurship through initiatives such as student councils and business incubator programs. The school also prioritizes environmental sustainability and community engagement, organizing regular clean-up drives and conservation projects.

https://www.merrylandinternational.net/

5. Muna British Academy, Aldar Academies

Curriculum: English National Curriculum

Grade: Nursery (FS1) through Year 6

Muna British Academy, part of the esteemed Aldar Academies, stands out as a beacon of educational excellence in Abu Dhabi. It was the first school in Abu Dhabi to receive an A1 rating (Outstanding) from the emirate’s inspection team for the 2015-16 academic year. Committed to nurturing well-rounded global citizens, the school offers a comprehensive curriculum enriched with Emirati culture and values.

Muna British Academy provides a supportive learning environment with personalized attention to students’ academic and personal development. The school offers specialized programs in STEM education and creative arts, nurturing students’ talents and interests.

https://www.munabritishacademy.ae/

6. Repton Foundation School

Curriculum: National Curriculum of the United Kingdom.

Grade: Foundation Stage 1 (FS1) to Year 13

Repton Foundation School in Abu Dhabi combines the rich heritage of Repton Derbyshire with the dynamic culture of the UAE. The school emphasizes academic excellence, individualism, and character development by offering the National Curriculum of the United Kingdom. Students benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and a supportive learning environment, achieving outstanding progress in English, Mathematics, and Science. Repton Abu Dhabi fosters curiosity and resilience, preparing students to create positive impacts in their communities and the world.

Repton Foundation School promotes a culture of innovation and critical thinking through interdisciplinary projects and research opportunities. The school has strong ties to the local community and regularly collaborates with businesses and organizations to provide real-world learning experiences for students.

For more information, visit Repton Foundation School.

7. British International School Abu Dhabi

Curriculum: English National Curriculum, offering Cambridge IGCSE, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), and BTEC Extended Diploma.

Grade: Early Years (ages 3-5) through Primary (ages 5-11), Secondary (ages 11-16), and Senior School (ages 16-18)

British International School Abu Dhabi is renowned for its unwavering commitment to academic excellence and cultural diversity. Embracing Emirati values and traditions, the school offers a holistic education that prepares students for success in a rapidly changing world. With a focus on personalized learning and global citizenship, British International School Abu Dhabi empowers students to become compassionate leaders and lifelong learners.

BIS Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of international exchange programs and global initiatives, allowing students to engage with peers worldwide and develop a global perspective. The school also emphasizes digital literacy and offers specialized courses in coding, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

8. British School AI Khubairat

Curriculum: British curriculum

Grade: Foundation Stage, Primary, Secondary, and Sixth Form

The British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) is a well-established British curriculum school in Abu Dhabi, catering to students ages 3 to 18. With a history of over 50 years, BSAK is known for academic excellence, offering a wide range of subjects and outstanding co-curricular activities. The school features state-of-the-art facilities and experienced British teachers, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes student success and well-rounded development.

BSAK boasts a thriving arts and music program, with opportunities for students to participate in orchestras, choirs, and theatrical productions. The school’s alumni network is extensive, providing students with mentorship opportunities and connections to industry professionals.

For more information, visit The British School Al Khubairat.

9. Yasmina British Academy, Aldar Academies

Curriculum: English National Curriculum with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics)

Grade: Nursery (FS1) through Year 13

Yasmina British Academy, a proud member of Aldar Academies, is synonymous with academic rigor and holistic development. Embracing Emirati traditions and values, the school provides a dynamic learning journey that empowers students to thrive in an ever-changing world. Through innovative teaching methods and a focus on character building, Yasmina British Academy prepares students to become compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Yasmina British Academy offers comprehensive career counseling and guidance services, assisting students in exploring their interests and setting ambitious career goals. The school also prioritizes social-emotional learning and mental health awareness, providing resources and support for student well-being.

For more information, visit Yasmina British Academy, Aldar Academies

1. Al Ittihad National Private School Abu Dhabi - Branch 2

Curriculum: American and UAE national curricula

Grade: Kindergarten through Grade 12

Al Ittihad National Private School Abu Dhabi – Branch 2 is committed to providing a high-quality education emphasizing Emirati heritage and global citizenship. This emphasis on Emirati heritage is complemented by the school’s commitment to promoting global awareness and understanding through international exchange programs, multicultural events, and collaborative projects with schools worldwide. With state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated faculty, the school aims to inspire and empower students to become active, responsible global citizens.

For more details, you can visit their official website.

2. ADNOC Schools - Sas Al Nakhl

Curriculum: American 

Grade: Kindergarten through Grade 12

ADNOC Schools – Sas Al Nakhl is dedicated to providing a world-class education that prepares students for success in the 21st century. Following a rigorous curriculum and offering a wide range of extracurricular activities, the school fosters holistic development with a focus on academic excellence, innovation, and leadership, aiming to empower students to become lifelong learners and responsible global citizens. Unique features of ADNOC Schools include a strong emphasis on STEM education, offering hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The school also promotes environmental sustainability through eco-clubs, recycling programs, and conservation projects. Additionally, ADNOC Schools collaborates with industry partners and organizations to provide students with real-world learning experiences, internships, and mentorship opportunities in engineering, energy, and technology fields.

https://www.adnoc.sch.ae/english/Pages/home.aspx

 

3. The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys

Curriculum: American 

Grade: Kindergarten through Grade 12

The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys in Abu Dhabi stands out as a distinguished educational institution committed to providing an exceptional learning experience that seamlessly integrates Emirati values with international education standards. Central to its mission is the integration of Emirati heritage, traditions, and values, ensuring students develop a strong sense of pride and identity through Arabic language and Islamic studies integrated into the curriculum. Simultaneously, the academy offers a rigorous international curriculum designed to foster critical thinking, creativity, and innovation, equipping students to excel academically and thrive in diverse global settings. Complementing its academic rigor, the academy emphasizes holistic education. It nurtures students’ physical, social, and emotional well-being through a robust offering of sports, arts, and extracurricular activities that promote a balanced lifestyle and overall well-rounded development.

https://www.adnoc.sch.ae/english/Pages/home.aspx

4. Emirates National Schools - Manhal

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum

Grade: Kindergarten through Grade 12

Emirates National Schools (ENS) – Manhal is a prestigious educational institution in Abu Dhabi dedicated to providing a comprehensive education that seamlessly blends Emirati culture with global perspectives. With a steadfast commitment to academic excellence, innovation, and leadership development, the school prepares students to excel in a rapidly evolving world. ENS – Manhal stands out by implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum from Kindergarten through Grade 12, emphasizing inquiry-based learning, critical thinking, and intercultural understanding. This holistic approach ensures students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for higher education and global citizenship.

https://www.ens.sch.ae/

5. The British International School

Curriculum: British curriculum

Grade: Early Years, Primary through Secondary

The British International School Abu Dhabi (BIS Abu Dhabi) is part of the Nord Anglia Education family. It provides a British curriculum from the early years to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and BTEC Extended Diploma. The school offers a personalized learning experience with a strong emphasis on academic excellence, supported by collaborations with MIT, UNICEF, and The Juilliard School. BIS Abu Dhabi features state-of-the-art facilities and a diverse community, ensuring a holistic education that prepares students for global opportunities.

https://www.nordangliaeducation.com/bis-abu-dhabi

6. The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy

Curriculum: Emirati identity with an international framework

Grade: Pre-KG to Grade 12

The Sheikh Zayed Private Academies (SZPA) in Abu Dhabi include the Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys and the Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls. These schools blend Emirati identity with an international framework, providing education from Pre-KG to Grade 12. They emphasize Emirati heritage, Arabic literacy, and global citizenship, aiming to develop confident, responsible, and well-rounded leaders. The schools are co-educational up to Grade 3, then single-gender from Grade 4 onwards.

For more information, visit The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy.

7. Emirates National Schools - MBZ

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate (IB)

Grade: Kindergarten through Grade 12

Emirates National Schools (ENS) offers a comprehensive education that blends Emirati culture with global perspectives. ENS provides an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum from Kindergarten through Grade 12, emphasizing academic excellence, critical thinking, and leadership. The schools are committed to nurturing well-rounded individuals with the skills needed for the 21st century. ENS campuses feature state-of-the-art facilities and a diverse, inclusive community, fostering an environment where students thrive academically and personally.

For more information, visit Emirates National Schools.

8. Al Ittihad National Private School - Khalifa

Curriculum: American and UAE national curricula

Grade: Kindergarten through Grade 12

Al Ittihad National Private School Abu Dhabi – Branch 2 is committed to providing a high-quality education emphasizing Emirati heritage and global citizenship. This emphasis on Emirati heritage is complemented by the school’s commitment to promoting global awareness and understanding through international exchange programs, multicultural events, and collaborative projects with schools worldwide. With state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated faculty, the school aims to inspire and empower students to become active, responsible global citizens.

For more details, you can visit their official website.

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