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Applying for school place in Dubai - any difference if UK based or there already?

(13 Posts)
JoandMax Mon 14-Jan-13 17:30:24


We are due to move to Dubai at Easter and so far don't have a school place for reception DS1.

Is there any difference or preference, legally or not, if you apply from UK or are already resident there?

I would HE until a place came up - again is there any issues around this over there?

Thank you!

kelly14 Mon 14-Jan-13 17:47:14

No idea, but get an application in asap!!
My brother and sil (and parents) live in dubai ans his daughter is 3 and is in nursery but has had her name down for school since she was 2 as its that bad in dubai to get into a good school!

What schools are you looking at?

JoandMax Mon 14-Jan-13 17:49:16

It is turning out to be tricky!!

We've done applications for Jebel Ali and Jumeirah Primary so far but think they're popular ones so its looking unlikely we'll get a place there.

Going to find and apply to every British school I can find!

mateysmum Mon 14-Jan-13 18:05:01

No it doesn't make any difference. For the registrars it is completely normal to deal with applications from abroad. However, remember that there will be a registration fee for each school and these can mount up quickly.

Any idea where you will be living? Where will DH be working? Beggars can't be choosers, but a short school run will make your life much easier as the youngest children often finish school at around 1.30 - 2pm. They start at about 8am.

Jebel ALi and JPS are quite a way apart although both close to the Sheik Zayed Rd.

I would say little point in applying for either JESS school as they have waiting lists for years ahead, but they give details on their website - JESS is an excellent school.
Unfortunately reception is one of the hardest years to get into.

I suggest you try Wellington - another good school.

If you are prepared to consider an international curriculum IB primary years , consider GEMS Dubai World school

Kings is likewise excellent. Repton pretty good too.

Just be careful of applying to every British school. Some are nominally British but will have a more Indian bias. DESS is a good school, but is much nearer the old town and away from the most popular expat areas.

Best advice is to speak to the registrars and they are normally very helpful.

Also become a disciple of THe ladies on there will have up to date info and experiences and the site has a list of schools and their fees - a mine of information.

Schools is just about the worst bit of moving to Dubai. Once there I'm sure you will enjoy it. We did for 8 years.

Any specific questions, I'll try and help.

JoandMax Mon 14-Jan-13 18:40:57

Thanks so much Matey.

I'm not too worried about registering at loads as the company is paying!!

Living we're looking at Arabian Ranches/Springs/Motor City but it depends on school really as don't want to be too far away so ideally we would get a school place first then decide. My in-laws are in Motor City so we'd like to be nearish to them

I will check out Wellington, Kings and Repton tonight. JESS wouldn't even let me register DS2 for 2014 let alone DS1 so we've discounted them entirely!!

mateysmum Mon 14-Jan-13 20:38:01

We lived in The Ranches and DH still lives in Motor City!! (till he returns here next year). Small world.

If the company will pay, there is an educational consultancy in Dubai that will help with school places.A search on Expatwoman should throw up the details.

GEMS world would be a very easy run from the Ranches. Oh just remembered there's the Dubai British School at the back of the Springs next to Spinneys - again easy run now they've finished the roadworks on Emirates and Al Khail Rd.

Regent School at the back of Tecom is also easy from Springs, but son't know so much about the standard of these last 2 schools.

Don't despair as everyone registers for several schools and the places come up at the last minute. Be prepared to accept a place at your less preferred school and keep on the waiting list for your top choice. When we first went to Dubai in 2003 DS was 5 and there were only 4 BC schools - it was a nightmare.

mateysmum Mon 14-Jan-13 20:39:55

Repton is also very easy from the Ranches - possible from the Springs. but a longish way.

JoandMax Mon 14-Jan-13 21:07:25

You've been so much help, I'm really grateful! As much as you can find on the Internet it's so much better from a real life source

I have a good idea now of schools and areas so the search continues

swisscottage Tue 22-Jan-13 09:54:36

We lived in Dubai, AR, and my DS went to JPS, we were very happy with it. We applied from abroad and there were no places but I kept in touch with the registrar and there was a place quite quickly - families come and go very frequently in Dubai so places can come available. The drive was not too bad from AR at all. Kings is also good, Repton, British school in the Springs, Wellington etc. I personally didn't like the GEMS world school but it might have changed now. You will love Dubai, we did, great life, children love it as lots to do and fun. JPS was a great school. JESS is always full as reserved for employees of certain companies so forget applying there.

retrocutie Tue 22-Jan-13 10:00:09

It is far easier if you go to the school in person and speak to them. We were told that there was a waiting list of >40 for the two schools we wanted. I chose one, went along to speak to them, they agreed to DS sitting the entrance exam, he passed and was offered a place.

Incidentally, the school is Regent International School and we are very, very happy with our choice. It's a great school - high standards and a very caring environment. We live in The Springs and it's a 10 minute drive.

Labootin Wed 23-Jan-13 10:01:33

JPS and Jebel Ali, both good schools (Jebel Ali is a bit under resourced in IT in my opinion and JPS is missing a proper football/cricket pitch... The astro turf is appalling.) Lots of disgruntled JPS parents at the moment due to Jumeriah College relocation cock up and demands for fees to secure next years places so could be a few more children leaving than normal).

However reception and early years in JPS is always very heavily oversubscribed.I have lots of friends whose children didn't get in.

IRRC the registrar is leaving after the summer term. It's worth phoning and being politely persistent (ie very annoying) emails don't really register.

Schools will need your residency visa' s but are fine waiting for a while (mine had been at school 2 months by the the time we got it)

Buddhastic Sun 27-Jan-13 16:46:10

There's a new school opening in Victory Heights at some point which might be an option. VH is a neighboring community to both Motor City and Arabian Ranches. Here's the website VHS Primary

GS2014 Tue 22-Apr-14 14:23:47

Hello JoandMax,

We are moving to Dubai in June and in the same state as yours. my daughter will be going to reception this year and I am tired of looking for a school space. Did you manage to find a place for your child? Please share your experience in finding a school in Dubai? will speaking to the registrar in person would help in getting a seat in the school?

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