Living, Schooling

How to apply for a school place in Dubai


Once you’ve used the KHDA website, sought recommendations, fixed your budget and location, decided on the after-school activities you’d like, you’ll need to start the application process find the right school for your child.

Places for children aged 4-6 are the most competitive with the least spaces per school, so get organised well in advance (up to 2 years in some cases) and fill out the application form. Each school differs, so make sure you know the process and application fee structure up front.

 Here’s what you’ll need to supply:

  • A completed application form
  • Sponsor’s passport and visa
  • A transfer certificate stamped by the governing bodies
  • The child’s birth certificate
  • The child’s immunisation record
  • Passport photos
  • AED 500 application fee (which is usually non-refundable)
  • Some schools may also ask for previous report cards and conduct reports, as well as an entrance assessment.

You may be able to get priority entrance if a sibling already attends the school, or if you enroll your child through the feeder nursery (if they have one).

As Dubai is a highly transient city, don’t be too disappointed if a position is not immediately available. Ask to be added to the waiting list, and you’ll be notified as soon as a place becomes available. School terms run from September each year, with the admission process generally starting the January before. As a general rule, the more successful a school is, the more it’s in-demand, and waiting lists can be up to several years long, so applying early is the key to finding the right school for your child.


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