Whilst boarding schools has long been seen as the preserve of the British, the opportunity to attend a boarding school is becoming available in many other parts of the world. Whilst there are many similarities with British boarding schools, there are some significant differences worth mentioning. In this blog, our Gabbitas boarding school experts look at schools in the Gulf region which offer a boarding alongside a full academic offering.
Repton Dubai is the sister school to Repton School in Derbyshire, which has a long history of boarding. Much of this DNA has been lifted and replicated in the boarding setup at the Dubai campus. Purpose built boarding houses are staffed with a full complement of House parents and pastoral tutors and house matrons who are there to care for the boarding children in the most holistic way, supporting them both academically and emotionally. The boys and girls live in two separate buildings on the schools campus but eat together in the communal dining room and share adventurous trips together at the weekends, skiing, skating, sailing as well as having the opportunity to go to the Mall and see a film.
The boarding community is very diverse as you would imagine in such a cultural melting pot. Children board from across the region, from Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Mozambique to name but a few and also more locally with some families from the Emirates keen to familiarise their child with boarding before returning to the UK or because it suits a family with both working parents to know that their child is being well looked after in a caring and supportive environment in the week whilst they are traveling or working.
With over 20 girls and 40 plus boys, the boarding at Repton is well established and well run with an understanding of what an important role in can play in the overall life of the school community.
- Location: Nad Al Sheba, Dubai
- Curriculum: British Curriculum and IB Diploma
- Boarding Year Groups: Year 6 – Year 13
- Fees: 42,500 – 66,000 AED
- School website
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Swiss Scientific International School, Dubai
This bilingual International Baccalaureate school now in its 4th year of operation recently added a boarding provision to its predominantly day population. The state of the art boarding houses reflect the high level of provision of facilities throughout this sustainably focused school. Their belief is that the boarders must be given the best possible accommodation to make sure they really feel they are in a home from home.
Whilst the overall cohort of boarders is still small, they are well integrated into the school and the academic programme. The school opened its IB diploma years in September 2018 and this will now enable boarders from across the region to board for the final two years of their school programme. This opportunity gives students a chance to develop some independent living skills and to create a new friendship group prior to moving onto the university years.
- Location: Healthcare City, Dubai
- Curriculum: IB School, PYP, MYP, IBDP
- Year Groups for boarders: Year 6 – Year 11
- Fees: 225,000 – 254,000 AED
- School website
This boarding school in Jordan, founded in 2007 by King Abdullah II of Jordan, was inspired by his experience of boarding school in the US. Set on a 144 acres campus located in olive groves and farmland a 30 minute drive from Amman, the school reflects its Levantine and Islamic cultural heritage. There is a multi-faith spiritual Centre and an auditorium which is used by the broader community outside the school.
The education programme brings the best of education from the West and the East with the cultures and language of the Arab world embedded into the Anglo American tradition of residential boarding school, fostering leadership and the values of respect and responsibility. The boarding community benefits from the fact that the boarding accommodation also provides homes for some of the faculty families, so there is a feeling of an integrated community on the campus.
There are over 36 nationalities represented giving students a chance to learn about other cultures and traditions and to form lifelong friendships with people from across the world. The school, which operates a nearly needs blind admissions (43% of students receive financial aid) prepares its young people for entry into top universities and also for the challenges of 21st century living. The school aims “to graduate young men and women who will shape the future of Jordan, the Middle East and the world”
- Location: Amman, Jordan
- Curriculum: American Curriculum
- Year Groups for boarders: Grades 9 – 12
- Fees: US $53,250
- School website