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Record growth in numbers and quality at Dubai private schools

by Bryony

Growth in the size and quality of Dubai’s private school sector has more than doubled since the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was established in 2007. The announcement follows the recent release of annual student enrolment figures, which grew by a record 12 per cent since the previous academic year.

The total number of students attending Dubai’s private schools now stands at 365,572 – more than double the 156,504 students enrolled in the 2007/08 academic year. Similarly, Dubai now has more than twice the number of schools, increasing from 136 in 2007/08 to 220 in 2022/23. Five new schools opened in Dubai in the 2023/24 academic year.

The quality of education offered by Dubai schools has also improved since KHDA’s establishment. More than three quarters (77 per cent) of students were enrolled in schools rated Good or better during the last academic year, compared to 30 per cent during the first inspection cycle during the 2008/09 academic year.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA said: “Dubai is increasingly recognised for the diversity and excellence of its private schools. The latest data show the progress that schools have made since 2007 and is a strong indication of the improvement they will continue to make in future. We’re grateful to school leaders and teachers for their invaluable role in elevating the standard of schooling in Dubai, and for their contribution in making our city a truly global destination for education.”


Number of students, schools and students receiving high-quality education doubles since 2007


Dubai’s private schools offer 17 different curricula. The UK curriculum remains the top choice for families, with more than one-third of students (36 per cent) enrolled in British curriculum schools, followed by the Indian curriculum (26 per cent) and the American curriculum (15 per cent). The International Baccalaureate (seven per cent) and Ministry of Education curriculum (four per cent) round up the top five curriculum choices.

Key data: private schools in Dubai

  • 220 schools, 17 curricula
  • 5 new schools opened in 2023-24
  • 365,572 students in Dubai private schools
  • 17,257 students of determination
  • 186 student nationalities

The latest landscape data for Dubai private schools can be found at the link below