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Education in Dubai: a comprehensive guide

From nurseries to postgraduate programmes, Dubai offers world-class education through renowned institutions.


Nurseries and daycares are available around the city, with more than 263 registered early learning centres, dedicated to the care of children aged 45 days to three years old. Kindergartens in Dubai accept children aged four to six years old.

Expected fees

Nursery fees can range from AED3,000 to AED5,000 per month, while some also calculate fees per term or annum.

Popular nurseries in Dubai

Primary and secondary education

There are many affordable schools in Dubai catering to different preferences. In general, schooling is considered mandatory until the completion of Grade 12 or 13 (depending on the curriculum). Primary and secondary schools in Dubai are known for their exceptional educational standards and variety of curricula. A noteworthy educational network in the region is Global Education Management Systems (GEMS), which operates several schools in Dubai.

High-achieving students can avail of perks like scholarships and financial incentives. Exceptional high-school students are also eligible to qualify for a five-year Golden Visa, which allows them to sponsor their family members.

Expected fees

Annual costs for schooling vary based on factors like curricula and educational levels, with lower grades typically costing less. Fees can range from AED12,700 to AED64,000 per year, or higher. These estimates do not cover additional charges for transportation, uniforms, books and other facilities, which differ across schools.

The official KHDA website carries a guide for educational institutions, with information on fees and fact sheets covering various details.

Well-known Dubai schools

Special needs and extracurriculars

Higher education

Dubai has many leading universities that offer world-class education. Most universities are in Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) or Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) – both of which are special educational zones dedicated to supporting the growth of the city’s higher education ecosystem.

Many higher education establishments here have student transfer and exchange programmes, enabling qualifying students to pursue courses of their choice at reputed partner universities around the world.

Expected fees

University costs in Dubai can range anywhere from AED40,000 to AED100,000 per annum, depending on the university, programme, scholarships and other factors. Housing fees vary across institutions and range from AED5,000 to over AED15,000 per semester. Most students, especially international students, choose to stay in university dorms or in dedicated student accommodations like Uninest or The Myriad.

Most universities in Dubai offer scholarships to outstanding students, as well as financial aid on a need basis. Many institutions also make available scholarships for sports, special talents and students with special needs.

Renowned universities in Dubai

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