07 Oct 2022

Homeschooling in the United Arab Emirates: Key Questions Answered!

The United Arab Emirates is becoming an increasingly popular destination for people to travel to, with tourism increasing year on year (excluding the coronavirus-affected 2020), particularly in Dubai, and the overall population continuing to grow, which is overwhelmingly made up of expatriates compared to Emirati nationals. With the increase in population comes additional demand for infrastructure, such as schools. However, many expats and medium-term visitors wish to homeschool their children. But with that comes a number of questions about homeschooling in the United Arab Emirates, which we aim to answer in this article.

Is it legal in each Emirate?

Yes, homeschooling is legal in each of the UAE states.

Who is eligible for homeschooling in the UAE?

The home-schooling system applies to students whose age exceeds the maximum age limit for admission in public schools, as per the age timetable issued by the Ministry at the start of each academic year.

Official homeschooling only accepts students from Grades 7 to 12. For Grade 7, admission is accepted from the age of 14.

The home-schooling stream is open to all students, males and females, nationals and residents of the UAE who fulfil the criteria and meet certain other requirements set by the Ministry of Education. These requirements include:

A passing certificate of the student’s last academic year. Certificates for students from outside the country must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country of origin, and the Ministry of Education in the UAE.

  • A copy of the student’s passport.
  • A copy of the family book (for UAE nationals).
  • A copy of the residence visa (for expatriates).
  • A copy of the Emirates ID.
  • A photo.
  • Certificate of equivalency for certificates issued outside the UAE.
  • Proof of payment of applicable registration fees.

What happens once registered?

Once your child has been registered, the educational zone in the relevant Emirate will provide them with all of the required learning materials, including books.

At the end of each semester, or the end of the academic year, the student will sit exams as they would usually. These exams are set by the Assessment and Examinations Department and the Continuous Learning Department in the Ministry of Education. As with most countries, the successful completion of a home-school education in the UAE is equivalent to graduation from any regular public school in the UAE.

Is school mandatory for children in the UAE?

Yes, all children in the United Arab Emirates between the ages of 6 and 18 must be in education, which includes the children of expats as well as Emirati nationals.

Do you have to pay for school in the UAE?

For Emirati children, school is free. When they are older, colleges and universities are also free. For foreign nationals being publicly educated in the UAE, there will be a fee to pay, which is typically around 6,000 AED per grade, which is just over $1500.

What are the benefits of having a private tutor in the UAE?

Having a private tutor to deliver a homeschooling programme has many benefits, ranging from having a qualified, experienced education professional deliver a tailored education direct to your child’s requirements, through to the flexibility of potentially having a tutor who is prepared to travel, which could be vital if you are in the United Arab Emirates for work purposes on a short to medium term basis. Of course, we have previously written about the many benefits to private tuition, and they all still apply, even to homeschooling in the UAE.

Here at Beacon, we regularly work with both clients and private tutors in the United Arab Emirates. In fact, we recently hired a private tutor in Dubai, the details of which can be found here.

If you would like any more information on our services, whether in relation to private tutors and homeschooling in the United Arab Emirates or anywhere else in the world, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

A boy in traditional united arab emirates dress.