Top 20 Best International Schools in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Top 20 Best International Schools in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi International Schools

There are over 60 international schools in Abu Dhabi, with 34 British schools, 20 American schools and 10 IB schools.

With so many schools to choose from in Abu Dhabi, finding the right one can be a lot of work. Another complicating factor is that many schools won't have places available immediately so it's worth starting your search early. Even if schools are currently full, people do come and go from the UAE regularly so the chances of places becoming available during the school year are higher than you might think. 

Education in the Abu Dhabi is overseen by the Abu Dhabi Education Council and you can find out more about individual schools and education in the UAE on the ADEK website.

About Abu Dhabi

The UAE has transformed itself over the last 30 years to become one of the most important countries for global business. Strategically located between the economic powerhouses of Europe and Asia, the UAE has invested heavily to make it a great place to do business with excellent infrastructure and super low tax rates.

Because of this you will find expats from all over the world so finding like-minded people should be easy!

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Where Abu Dhabi international schools are distributed (view our List of International Schools in Abu Dhabi to see a live map):

Best international schools in Abu Dhabi

Best International Schools in Abu Dhabi - Rankings

Note: our rankings are based on parent, pupil and teacher reviews. If you think your Abu Dhabi school should be in the top 20, get reviewing - we want to hear from real people with real experiences at schools so parents, teachers and pupils get the real story when they research their next school. You can find your school in the full List of International Schools in Abu Dhabi, or search by name here.


Shining Star International School 

5.0 from 9 reviews

Curriculum

Indian

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 18

Description

Shining Star International School (SSIS) is a high performing International School in Abu Dhabi, fully accredited with CBSE- the largest examination conducting entity in the world.

Apart from the 20,000+ accredited schools in India, there are another 200+ fully accredited CBSE schools across 28 countries and we are fully equipped to handle international students on our campus. Our students receive a sound and holistic education across a wide range of subjects and extra-curricular activities, which helps them to develop and hone a broad range of skills.

Our curriculum is research oriented and designed to challenge students with varied abilities. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and creative expression which helps our students excel both academically and socially. We ensure that our children evolve into responsible citizens with knowledgeable minds and benevolent hearts.

 Read Shining Star International School reviews

Ajyal International School - Al Falah 

5.0 from 7 reviews

Curriculum

American

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 18

Description

Ajyal International School - Al Falah promotes academic excellence through high-quality education and instruction and through an enriched and rigorous combined inter-disciplinary US Curriculum and UAE Ministry of Education Curriculum.

This is delivered in a student-centered focused environment with the emphases on health and safety, strong moral and Islamic values, cultural tradition and national identity, respect and collaboration.

We further foster values of courtesy, consideration, good behavior and individual responsibility and offer a prominent level of challenge accompanied by equally important levels of support in English, Arabic, French and German language proficiency.

 Read Ajyal International School - Al Falah reviews

Virginia International Private School 

5.0 from 7 reviews

Curriculum

American

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 16

Max Class Size

24

Description

Virginia International Private school (VIPS) is noted for its American based and emphasises Science, Maths, Engineering, Arts and Technology (STEAM) across its curriculum. VIPS teachers are recruited from America, UK, Ireland, Canada with a mix of junior to senior level staff in terms of experience.

Average class size in terms of student numbers is also 22, with the maximum classroom size currently 24. We are offering a premium learning environment supported by the latest in assistive technologies and world class teachers. Our IT environment is positioned to support a very high level of academic program delivery.

Promethean boards are available in every classroom, used to make lessons more meaningful and to increase learning.

 Read Virginia International Private School reviews

Brighton College Abu Dhabi 

5.0 from 6 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 18

Description

Brighton College Abu Dhabi (BCAD) offers its pupils a vibrant and challenging learning environment, and a distinctive British independent school ethos which reflects the values and dynamic culture of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. The College currently educates 1,800 children across the 3 to 18 age range in its Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior Schools. It is the sister school of Brighton College, the UK's top co-educational school, and a member of the Brighton College family of schools, which includes Brighton College Al Ain (2013), Brighton College Bangkok (2016) and Brighton College Dubai (2018).

Located on Abu Dhabi Island in a purpose-built campus next to Khalifa Park, Brighton College Abu Dhabi boasts state-of-the-art facilities and is committed to becoming the leading school in the Middle East. With over 140 inspirational academic staff and 100 support staff the school is able to provide an outstanding level of education as witnessed by our latest inspection reports.

Brighton College Abu Dhabi is the highest ranked 3-18 British Curriculum school in the city of Abu Dhabi.

 Read Brighton College Abu Dhabi reviews

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 

5.0 from 5 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 18

Description

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi opened its doors in September 2014 with similar aims of supporting the establishing Saadiyat Island community. From 2011 to 2014, teams from Abu Dhabi and Cranleigh UK worked closely to capture the essence of what Cranleigh is. The aim was to translate it into a community which combines the best of British education with a strong flavour of Abu Dhabi, Emirati culture and the cosmopolitan nature of the city.

Today the school is thriving. With more than 1300 pupils, a top rating from the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), and the title of Tes Independent School Awards 2019.

Cranleigh UK opened its doors in 1865 with the purpose of providing the local Surrey community with a first class, all-round education. The UK Prep School celebrated its centenary in 2013 and the Senior School celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015.

 Read Cranleigh Abu Dhabi reviews

Al Muna Academy 

5.0 from 4 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 11

Description

Al Muna Academy Abu Dhabi, part of the Aldar Academies group, is a happy, successful English National Curriculum primary school in the heart of Abu Dhabi.  Feedback from children and families show that the community feel of our comparatively small school is hugely valued.

This is a school where positive professional relationships are valued and everybody works hard to ensure that children are happy, well cared for and make as much progress as possible in all areas of learning. Children are encouraged to be independent, resilient and enquiring learners. Aldar Academies have a proven track record of producing exceptional results at our secondary schools.

The teaching, support and education our students receive from the Early Years Foundation Stage help prepare them to enter into their secondary years and achieve success in their examination results.

 Read Al Muna Academy reviews

Repton School Abu Dhabi 

5.0 from 4 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 18

Description

Repton School Abu Dhabi (RSAD) opened in 2013 and offers a modern, dynamic education to our students. We are building upon a rich, deep, and successful history spanning over 450 years of educational heritage at Repton Derbyshire, UK and more than 10 years of international education at Repton Dubai, UAE.

Repton’s renowned high standards are matched by an aspirational culture, and we have been rated Outstanding by ADEK for our “Students’ Personal Development”. We keep our focus on each student’s individuality and potential, and promise “The Best for Every Child”. Our school is characterised by students who have an appetite for challenge, a genuine love of learning, and an instinct for working and playing hard. Our curriculum combines the rigour of the British system with the dynamism of the UAE and is supported by an exciting and broad extra-curricular programme taking full advantage of first-rate facilities.

Recognised by Apple for Educational Excellence, and nominated as Best School for an Outstanding Application of Technology, innovation and technology are fully integrated into all lessons across the curriculum. Teachers’ imaginative and purposeful use of technology and students’ exceptional levels of digital literacy, accelerate the learning in all subjects. We feed a natural curiosity for learning that empowers and equips children to collaborate and innovate, ready to successfully engage in our ever more digital world and pursue their dreams.

 Read Repton School Abu Dhabi reviews

Al Bateen Academy 

5.0 from 3 reviews

Curriculum

English,IB

Primary Language

English

Ages

11 to 18

Description

Al Bateen Academy Abu Dhabi aims to provide an outstanding international, holistic education in a creative, safe, caring and inclusive learning environment.

Students are proud of their school, there is mutual respect amongst staff and students, and we strive to continuously develop and improve education provision, both inside and outside the classroom, for all students.

We want our students to achieve and develop the necessary skills and competences needed for study at university and their chosen career. Al Bateen is part of the Aldar Academies group of schools, the premier private school education provider in Abu Dhabi.

 Read Al Bateen Academy reviews

Liwa International School Al Mushrif 

4.9 from 6 reviews

Curriculum

American

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 13

Description

Liwa International School – Al Mushrif (LISM) offers a vibrant and holistic international education where the modern day needs of young people are understood and utilized to engage our students in learning, encourage intellectual risk taking and pursue a healthy, rounded lifestyle.

The vision of the Liwa family of schools is to provide an outstanding international education that inspires students to be self-disciplined, globally aware, independent lifelong learners, who are innovative leaders and critical thinkers. Liwa international school works through Partnerships & Awards with parents, teachers and the community, and educates students to high academic international standards by applying a learning centered approach, which prepares self-confident and socially responsible, young adults for our evolving and changing world.

 Read Liwa International School Al Mushrif reviews

Aspen Heights British School 

4.8 from 4 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 13

Description

Aspen Heights British School is a wonderful school in Abu Dhabi providing a personalised, high quality British education with a unique focus on the local community and environment. A member of the International Schools Partnership, Aspen Heights British School was founded in September 2017 and offers the National Curriculum of England for children from Nursery to Year 8 (age 3 to 13), with Year 9 opening September 2020, and growing one year per academic year. Aspen Heights British School is privileged to have a wealth of world-class, brand new facilities, and our spacious campus has been built keeping nature in mind.

Our environmental focus provides children with unique hands-on opportunities to appreciate and interact with their local environment. Aspen Heights British School is very much like a village school – our close relationships with our families and the community is what sets us apart from many other schools in Abu Dhabi, and our Amazing Learning results mean we’re fast becoming one of the best schools in Abu Dhabi.

 Read Aspen Heights British School reviews

Bright Riders School 

4.8 from 6 reviews

Curriculum

Indian

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 18

Description

Bright Riders Abu Dhabi is an Indian CBSE based Kindergarten 1 to Grade 12 (Science & Commerce) school located in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi. The school is built on international standards for education and safety and will educate children from 3-18 years.

In partnership with parents and the greater community, Bright Riders School intends to provide a quality education so that all students are able to reach their full potential within a caring, secure, and stimulating environment.

 Read Bright Riders School reviews

The Pearl Academy 

4.8 from 6 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 11

Description

The Pearl Academy Abu Dhabi is proud to be the first Aldar Academies School. Being an Aldar Academies school ensures our staff and students have the unique benefit of sharing best practice across seven schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Our Staff have the opportunity to attend high quality weekly professional development and pupils take part in many additional interschool events.

Everything we do is guided by our values: Excellence, Creativity, Passion, Respect and Collaboration. We deliver the Aldar Academies purpose of empowering the next generation to shape our future through our promise of delivering the highest standards of education and inspiring a love of learning. 

 Read The Pearl Academy reviews

Canadian International School 

4.8 from 5 reviews

Curriculum

Canadian

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 18

Description

The Canadian International School (CIS) Abu Dhabi is a school that responds to the needs of 21st century expatriate students. We are living in an international community, so our school must provide a learning environment that cultivates the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to compete in an increasingly global society.

Right from the embracing arch at the entrance of CIS, students, parents, teachers and staff know that they are walking into a facility that has been purposely designed for a community of learners to meet the demands of our international world. At CIS, the Alberta Program of Study provides the internationally renowned standards and curriculum framework to support Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL), a student-centered educational philosophy that has proven to increase students’ abilities to problem-solve.

Students are presented a guiding question, and then must use their prior knowledge and skills to build direct and meaningful correlations to solve the problem.

 Read Canadian International School reviews

The British International School Abu Dhabi 

4.8 from 5 reviews

Curriculum

English,IB

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 18

Max Class Size

24

Description

At The British International School Abu Dhabi, your child will grow as a confident, caring individual, whilst developing the skills and attitudes required to be successful in our constantly evolving international world. Since the British International School Abu Dhabi opened in 2009, we have made steady progress towards establishing ourselves as the school of choice for over 1800 students in Abu Dhabi.

Those that already know our school, will be aware that this success has been achieved through the persistence and hard work of all our teachers, students and parents. The attitude and environment of this school is one which always strives to achieve excellence and never settles for anything less. It is exactly this attitude that we aim to instil in all our students with everything that they do.

Whenever a student comes to The British International School Abu Dhabi, we make a commitment to provide them with the opportunities and support to achieve not only excellent academic progress, but also fundamental life skills such as effective listening, creativity and problem solving. We aim not only to have students going to the top 30 universities in the world, but also to develop a lifelong passion for learning and a genuine interest in the world. 

 Read The British International School Abu Dhabi reviews

The International School of Choueifat - Abu Dhabi 

4.8 from 4 reviews

Curriculum

International

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 18

Description

The International School of Choueifat in Abu Dhabi (ISC-Abu Dhabi), a member of the global SABIS® Network, opened its doors in November 1978 in a temporary site before moving to its current site in Khalifa Bin Muhammad Street, Al-Mushref, in November 1979. ISC-Abu Dhabi is built on an area of 35,000 m2 and caters for over 3,600 students from the age of 3 to 18.

During its 35-year history in Abu Dhabi, ISC-Abu Dhabi has graduated thousands of students from about 100 nationalities that went on to join top universities including Oxford, Cambridge, London, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, McGill, Toronto, American Universities of Beirut and Cairo, and many other universities across the world.

Many have returned to work in Abu Dhabi while many UAE nationals have taken up very prominent positions in the United Arab Emirates.

 Read The International School of Choueifat - Abu Dhabi reviews

Al Dhafra Private School 

4.8 from 4 reviews

Curriculum

English,American

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 18

Description

Al Dhafra Private School is well-respected and established with approximately 1400 students, meeting the needs of the local Emirati and diverse international community. Al Dhafra is on a very exciting journey and has recently received a very positive Inspection Reports, from the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and also from our accreditation body, AdvancEd. At Al Dhafra we believe in developing the whole child, with a focus on academic excellence and personal development and wellbeing. We offer our students opportunities which provide them with a significant advantage when seeking places at university, and for the past few year 100% of our graduating students have been successful in being accepted by universities, both locally and internationally. The school empowers its teachers to fulfill their roles successfully as well as providing outstanding professional development. Al Dhafra enjoys the benefits of dynamic, experienced leadership, excellent modern facilities, a vibrant learning community, dedicated teachers and supportive governance.

 Read Al Dhafra Private School reviews

American Community School of Abu Dhabi 

4.7 from 6 reviews

Curriculum

American,IB

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 18

Description

American Community School of Abu Dhabi (ACS) is a non-profit, U.S. accredited college preparatory school serving a culturally diverse student body. Our American, standards-based curriculum provides excellence in the four pillars of academics, the arts, athletics, and service. 

Service learning is a unique and emphasized pillar at ACS to the extent that as a graduation requirement all students must participate in a service learning project within the school, local community or internationally each year. ACS serves approximately 1,200 students between the ages of 4 to 18 to earn a high-school diploma. In grades 11 and 12 students can choose to enroll in the IB Diploma Programme (IB), Advanced Placement (AP) courses and challenging ACS coursework.

The language of instruction at the school is English while second languages of Arabic, French, and Spanish are offered in Middle and High School.

 Read American Community School of Abu Dhabi reviews

GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi 

4.6 from 5 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 14

Description

GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi is a modern, spacious and forward thinking international school in the heart of Abu Dhabi, which teaches the British curriculum to children from foundation stage to year 9. The school, located in Al Danah, Abu Dhabi, has been based on the highly successful Winchester School in Dubai.

By combining a highly personalised approach to education with traditional values and innovative ideas, we place special emphasis on the overall development of every student. We welcome students from around the world, working to develop strong and lasting relationships with parents to deliver the highest possible standard of education.

This commitment to both academic and personal excellence is the cornerstone of the GEMS Winchester School.

 Read GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi reviews

Amity International School Abu Dhabi 

4.5 from 9 reviews

Curriculum

English

Primary Language

English

Ages

3 to 15

Description

At Amity International School Abu Dhabi our education model is based on the National Curriculum of England and is aimed at developing inquisitive, knowledgeable young people. We provide a challenging and engaging environment that encourages students to excel intellectually, academically and socially, giving them everything they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Great schools are the product of not only their facilities, but the quality of the relationships that exist within them.

Amity students benefit from a rich collaboration of parents, staff and peers from all around the world. By embracing the opportunity to foster an environment of tolerance and empathy, our school is home to a diverse community that inspires teachers and students alike, to strive for excellence. This excellence is apparent in all areas.

Our dedicated and talented team of teachers and tutors, ensure our students are active, curious and that they strive for academic, creative and physical distinction, taking advantage of the vast range of opportunities available. Inspired by our bayside location, and the infectious optimism within the school, our students are encouraged to consider their future prospects as borderless.

 Read Amity International School Abu Dhabi reviews

Al Nahda National School - Boys 

4.5 from 4 reviews

Curriculum

International,English,American

Primary Language

English

Ages

4 to 18

Description

Al Nahda National School, located in Abu Dhabi, imparts quality education meeting international standards and accommodates over 6500 students. The academic courses are designed to expose all students to a wide range of creative, social, scientific and athletic experiences. Al Nahda School was established in the year 1983 and is internationally accredited by educational authorities (CIS, ECIS, NEASC, Edexcel, SAT, TOEFL, ASPNET, Cambridge International Examinations Syndicate) and at home enjoys national recognition with local and international educational institutions. The school curriculum lays emphasis on academic achievements and believes in fostering the intellectual, creative, physical, personal and social development of students in a multicultural learning environment.

 Read Al Nahda National School - Boys reviews

Other International Schools in Abu Dhabi

There are 43 other international schools in Abu Dhabi that didn't make it into our Top 20, either because they didn't have enough reviews or its review rating was too low. If your school is one of those and you think it should make the Top 20, make sure you add your review and tell your story via the school links below.

School Curriculum Rating
Al Rabeeh School English,UAE 4.4 / 5
Wales International School English 4.4 / 5
The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys American, UAE 4.3 / 5
Good Will Children Private School English 4.3 / 5
Al Nahda National School - Girls International,English,American 4.2 / 5
International Community School - Mushrif Campus American,International 4.2 / 5
International Community School - City Centre Campus English 4.1 / 5
American International School in Abu Dhabi American,IB 4.0 / 5
Raha International School IB 4.0 / 5
Al Najah Private School English,IB 4.0 / 5
International Community School - Khalidiya Campus English 4.0 / 5
The Cambridge High School, Abu Dhabi English 3.8 / 5
West Yas Academy American 3.8 / 5
Al Basma British School English 3.8 / 5
The British School Al Khubairat English 3.6 / 5
Diyafah International School English 3.6 / 5
German International School Abu Dhabi German 3.6 / 5
GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi IB 3.6 / 5
Belvedere British School English 3.4 / 5
The Australian School of Abu Dhabi Australian,IB 3.4 / 5
Maplewood International School Canadian 3.3 / 5
GEMS Cambridge International School Abu Dhabi English 3.2 / 5
Al Mamoura Academy English 3.2 / 5
International Jubilee Private School American 3.1 / 5
GEMS American Academy Abu Dhabi American,IB 3.0 / 5
Lycée Français Théodore Monod French 3.0 / 5
Rawafed Private School American 3.0 / 5
Al Yasat Private School American 3.0 / 5
Al Yasmina Academy English 2.9 / 5
Lycée Louis Massignon Ecole Francaise Abu Dhabi French 2.8 / 5
Creative British School English 2.7 / 5
GEMS United Indian School Abu Dhabi Indian 2.6 / 5
Al Shohub Private School English 2.6 / 5
The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls American,UAE 2.4 / 5
Abu Dhabi International Private School English,American,IB 2.4 / 5
International Academic School American 2.3 / 5
ABC Private School English 2.2 / 5
Emirates National School American,IB 2.2 / 5
Reach British School English 2.1 / 5
Abu Dhabi Grammar School (Canada) Canadian 2.0 / 5
Merryland International School English 2.0 / 5
Ajyal International School English 1.8 / 5
Nord Anglia American International School American n/a

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Ian Ryder

Ian has lived in three different countries with his family of five. He currently teaches ICT in an international school near Barcelona.


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