For a good school, you can expect to pay over Dhs.25,0000 during the primary years, Dhs.30,000 or more during the middle primary years and as much as Dhs.60,000 for secondary school. Try to negotiate fees in your expat package with your employer.
Get your child’s name on several school waiting lists as soon as possible. The demand for spaces at the more popular schools is high, and you can never apply too early. Find out if your company has a corporate debenture with a particular place, as that could move you up the waiting list.
Most private schools insist on students wearing the official uniform. Each school will use a particular uniform supply shop and this will be the only place where you can buy official school items. Before heading out and spending a fortune, check with the school and with other parents which items are compulsory and which are not.
Many private schools do not offer school meals, so children have to bring a packed lunch. This is worth bearing in mind if you know you won’t have time to prepare packed lunches every morning.
Be prepared: the summer holidays stretch for 10 long weeks over the hottest months of July and August, when many kids return to their home countries for extended holidays, or attend summer camps. There are also holidays in April and December. Schools close for at least a week twice a year for Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha, and will most likely also open for reduced hours during the month of Ramadan.
For the past nine years the UK Boarding School Exhibition Dubai has also been held in the city, with over 30 UK schools represented at the last event. Repton School Dubai was the first boarding school to open in Dubai, and has boarding facilities for up to 100 boys and 20 girls.
Some parents send their children abroad – usually back to their home country – for a boarding school education. There are various boarding school agents in the UAE who provide impartial advice and guidance on selecting a school, such as Sue Anderson Consultants.
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