Dubai English Speaking School
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Why choose DESS?

DESS is very proud to be the oldest British school in the United Arab Emirates, established in 1963 by the British Embassy on a site gifted by Sheikh Rashid, former Ruler of Dubai. DESS has won multiple awards including Schools Compared Top School Awards, Best Primary School in the UAE and Best School in the UAE alongside our Secondary School and Sixth Form, Dubai English Speaking College. As an outstanding British School in Dubai, please take the time to read our ‘outstanding’ KHDA inspection report and ‘outstanding’ BSO inspection report.
Our school is one of only a few not-for profit schools in Dubai and, as such, is administered by a Board of Trustees who guarantee there is generous reinvestment in the school, on both a long term and short-term basis. This has ensured that the facilities in the school are excellent and we continue to make improvements. With an extremely low turn over of staff, our staff are well looked after and continuously strive to improve what is recognised already as an outstanding practice. We also pride ourselves at always being at the forefront of educational development in Dubai and on our innovative new learning spaces.
As a fully inclusive school, we believe in success for all, not just academically but in the many other areas of a child’s development. We provide a wide range of extra curricular provision, which includes a variety of cross curricular opportunities, sports and performing arts. Our excellent standards in teaching and learning, are evidence of the commitment of all our highly dedicated staff in achieving the best standards across all areas of school life.

In the interest of our students, families, staff, alumni and the community, DESS is currently operating remote learning. While classes are not being held at the primary, the Admissions Department remains open remotely at this time and we continue to accept applications. Please click here for our FAQs.

Due to the COVID-19 closures, all in person tours have been cancelled until further notice. Whilst we are unable to replicate the vibrancy of DESS in any other form, we invite you to view our videos in order to give you a virtual taste of life at DESS. We highly recommend you watch the experiences of our students, parents and alumni, as their stories capture the essence of our DESS community.


If you have any Admissions queries or would like to request a call back, please email

Foundation Stage at DESS

Foundation Stage at DESS consists of FS1 (age 3-4) and FS2 (age 4-5). We pride ourselves on providing solid foundations for each child’s learning journey through a play-based, fun and exciting learning approach, whilst following the UK EYFS curriculum.

Key Stage 1 (Year 1-2) at DESS

KS1 at DESS consists of both Year 1 and Year 2. As a phase, we work together to ensure consistency and progression across the key stage. Our creative and child led curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for England. The curriculum comes alive through thoughtful planning that engages our learners.

Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) at DESS

Key Stage 2 (KS2) is the final stages of a child’s time at primary school and includes Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (ages 7-11). The four year groups gradually take every child on a carefully planned, ‘irresistible’ learning journey to being ready for a smooth transition to DESC.


We currently offer in excess of 100 ECAs per week, which run before School, during the lunch break and after School.  ECAs range from Samba Drumming to Philosophy along with a wealth of Sporting ECAs to support every child’s enjoyment, happiness, health and wellbeing.

PE & Sport at DESS

As a department we set goals for children to develop lifetime habits in keeping fit and healthy. The department is focused on improving every child’s potential in physical activity. All areas of PE are covered including swimming, games, athletics, gymnastics, striking & fielding and dance.

Performing Arts at DESS

We strive to be a vibrant, exciting, innovative and modern department that is inclusive of all children and all abilities. Children have so many opportunities to take part in musical activities during the year, from performing in front of their classmates to taking part in large scale events.

Parents in Partnership (PIPs)

We pride ourselves on the family and community that has been built here at DESS. Our children, parents and staff sit at the heart of it all.

Ex-DESS Students at DESC

We like to check-in on our previous Year 6’s at DESC. We are extremely proud of how quickly they are adapting to college life and delighted with their attitude.

DESSC Alumni – Saarah Karim

From FS2 at DESS to Head Girl at DESC, Saarah Karim spent 14 years in the DESSC family before ultimately moving on to study Medicine at the University of Oxford.

What does it mean to be a DESS child?

What does it mean to be a DESS Teacher?

What does it mean to be a DESS parent?

Speak with our Admissions Team

If you have any Admissions queries, our Admissions Department can be emailed at or alternatively you can call 04 360 4866 Ext. 203/345