Dubai College, UAE

United Arab Emirates

Location: United Arab Emirates
Type: Mainstream School
Phase: Secondary
Funding status: Independent
Age range: 11 - 18 years

About Dubai College, UAE

 The College

Dubai College is an independent, coeducational, not-for-profit, selective school following an adapted English National Curriculum. The College was established forty years ago and has a national and international reputation for the quality of its educational environment. The British Schools Overseas inspection of the College (conducted in January 2016) classified the school as ‘Outstanding’ stating ‘It represents the very best of British education whilst, at the same time, respecting and celebrating the local culture in Dubai’. The key strengths of the school were identified as the progress and attainment of the students; the teaching, learning and assessment; the curriculum; relationships across the school and sense of community; personal development of the students and leadership across the school. The number of students on roll is currently 920 and comprises students in the 11 to 18 year age range with more than 250 in the Sixth Form. The College operates an eight form intake of 160 students in Year 7. Approximately 55% of the students are British, but over forty additional nationalities are represented. 

The GCSE and A Level courses followed are those of one of four examination boards (Edexcel, AQA, WJEC and OCR). Examination results at both GCSE and A Level are consistently outstanding and place the College in the very highest echelons of English-curriculum schools worldwide. In 2017 Dubai College’s GCSE performance was comparable to the 9th best UK co-educational independent school according to The Times UK Independent Schools League Tables 2017. Our consistently good A Level results mean that up to 28% of Dubai College leavers now go on to study at the top 1% of universities worldwide (according to The Times Global Reputation Rankings). We are yet again the top performing school in the United Arab Emirates achieving 85% A*/A grades at GCSE and 60% A*/A grades at A Level in 2017. 

Classes are small and the facilities, resources and teaching environment are of a high quality. We place an emphasis on academic rigour and innovative learning approaches as well as stressing the importance of the flourishing extra-curricular programme. The College has developed a very strong regional and international reputation for Drama, Music and Sport. The College is also a member of HMC, COBIS (Council of British International Schools) and BSME (British Schools of the Middle East). There are also good opportunities for professional development. 

The College occupies a very pleasant site (located very near to the iconic Burj Al Arab and Palm Island developments) and attracts students from the whole city. Over the years excellent facilities have been developed. Nearly all rooms have interactive whiteboards and there are extensive computer facilities throughout the school. The College is fortunate in having its grass playing fields and other sports facilities located on site. We have a state-of-the art auditorium which is capable of seating over 900, the Sixth Form centre underwent significant expansion and redevelopment in 2014 and this year we have opened a new extension to the science block reasserting its position at the heart of the school. A new sports pavilion was completed in 2015 and we are about to embark upon the systematic overhaul of every classroom in the school. 


As a College we are aiming to engineer balance in the lives of students who are academically very gifted. There is no blueprint for a Dubai College student rather we are aiming for students to discover for themselves who they are and who they want to be. By creating a wealth of opportunities for students to participate in as broad a range of experiences as possible whether they are sporting, creative, philanthropic or academic, we are enabling them to discover their own place within the school community and in time within the world outside. We never lose sight of the fact that our academically gifted students aspire to perform as well as possible in public examinations and we continuously champion the academic. However, the ability to work as a member of a team, to manage set-backs and failure and to recognise personal strengths and weaknesses will be as important in enabling them to live their life with integrity and is consequently a core focus of what we do here. As a result our students leave us as confident individuals with the knowledge, skill set and outlook to succeed at the very best universities and eventually in their chosen, often very challenging, career paths. 

When asked what standards we expect of one another as professionals DC staff demonstrate a real sense of vocation, that working at Dubai College is not a job but a lifestyle choice. Teachers believe strongly that they should be able to fulfil their academic responsibilities to their students and must be accountable for the outcomes of every one of their students. The next most important expectation of staff at Dubai College is that they should embrace whole school life and contribute fully to the extra-curricular programme both during and after school hours. Working at Dubai College is intense; it is not a 9-5 job and for it to continue to feel like a real community staff must be willing to give freely of their time in exchange for working with exceptionally gifted students. Staff believe they should also display excellent professional courtesy to one another and their students: every subject is on the timetable for a reason and no-one should speak out of turn about somebody else’s academic discipline; we work in an Islamic country and staff should dress professionally in line with cultural sensitivities and staff should treat one another and their students as they would hope to be treated themselves. Staff also feel that they each have a responsibility to go beyond the baseline: the national curriculum is a jumping off point not an end goal, an exam syllabus is a dot to be joined up to a bigger picture, the working day is the start but not the end of a day’s work, an ALIS prediction is a minimum for a student to achieve. As practitioners staff feel they should be looking to develop, to enthuse, to inspire, they should be craftsmen with a passion for their subject and whatever their position in the school they feel they all ought to feel equally responsible for the outcomes of the College. As members of a school which feels more like an extended family than an institution we hope to educate well-mannered citizens who are empowered to fulfil their aspirations. The “not-for-profit” structure of our organisation perfectly embodies our ethos: everything is invested in the school and the students with nothing left over. 

While this all sounds ideal it is important to understand, however, that Dubai College is not perfect. The post itself is an extremely challenging one and the College is tremendously busy. If you dislike hard work – sacrificing many weekends and evenings for the sake of the students – and are concerned by teaching highly able, intellectually demanding students, this post is simply not for you. Equally it must be clearly understood that the College is passing through a significant period of change and we are in a new phase of the College’s development cycle. We are updating our learning approaches, facilities, policies, curriculum and IT capability. The successful applicant must both embrace and play their significant part in contributing to this change but without damaging, in any way, the core essential ethos of the school. It should be noted that, although we certainly embrace change, we do not run with every innovation emanating from the UK – we cherry-pick initiatives that suit our selective and highly able student body. 

The College really does have a great feel about it. It already has an exceptionally strong local and regional reputation and now is the time for us to be recognised as a centre of excellence on the global stage. If you feel you have the potential to contribute to this aim then we would very much like to hear from you. 

Life in Dubai

Dubai is regarded as one of the most cosmopolitan and dynamic of the emirates and an exciting place in which to live and work. The emirate is undergoing rapid social and economic change with huge investments in the development of the city’s infrastructure as it aims to secure its status as a world city and the economic, commercial and tourist hub of the Middle East. It is now challenging Singapore and Hong Kong as a favoured and major expatriate location.

The UAE is rapidly becoming a centre of quality British and international education practice. There are now at least 10 large successful British senior schools located within the country catering for the substantial British and wider community and between these schools a real dynamism with regard to educational developments is created.

Michael Lambert

Dubai College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and operates child protection screening which includes checks with previous employers and Disclosure & Barring checks

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Address: PO Box 837, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 3999111