Dubai: UK curriculum top choice for students as number of private schools increases


The number of private schools in Dubai has increased to 216 in the 2022-23 academic year, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Dubai continues to offer a wide diversity of school syllabuses, with private schools offering 17 different curricula. Four new private schools opened in Dubai in the new academic year.

UK curriculum schools remain the top choice for students, with 36 per cent of students opting for it. The Indian curriculum is the second most popular (26 per cent), followed by the American curriculum (15 per cent). The International Baccalaureate (7 per cent) and UK/IB hybrid curriculum (4 per cent) round up the top five curriculum choices.

The American curriculum remains popular for Emirati students enrolled in private schools, with the majority (60 per cent) attending a US curriculum school, followed by 24 per cent enrolled in UK curriculum schools.


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This release of the latest data follows KHDA’s recent announcement, in which it revealed a student enrolment growth of 4.5 per cent from the end of the 2021-22 academic year in June, to the start of the current academic year in September. More than 326,000 students now attend Dubai’s private schools, representing a total of 187 nationalities.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director-General of KHDA, said: “These student 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 grounded in wellbeing that can meet the demands of the future.

“While the range of curricula offered in Dubai speaks about the diversity of our community; all schools are committed to a quality-driven, future-focused approach that will enable students to thrive. We’re grateful to school leaders, teachers, students and parents for their contribution to world-class education in Dubai.”

Key data on private schools in Dubai:

· 216 schools, 17 curricula

· Four new schools opened in 2022/23

· 326,001 students in Dubai private schools

· 32,327 Emirati students

· 4.5% increase in student enrolment since June 2022

· 187 student nationalities