American School of Dubai

The American School of Dubai (ASD), previously known as the Jumeirah American School, is ann independent, nonprofit school, which follows the American curriculum. The American School of Dubai – also known as ASD was founded in 1966 to serve the needs of North American families and other expatriate populations in Dubai. Today, ASD is often recognized as the most well known American school in the entire region.

The American School of Dubai has a strong reputation for excellence in its academic programs and extracurricular activities. It was reviewed by the Good Schools Guide International as “One of the best thought-of and long established schools in Dubai”.


ASD (as the American School of Dubai is popularly known) is located in the Al-Barsha community of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The sprawling campus is situated at the intersection of Al Mafraq Road (316) and Hessa Street (331) – opposite the Saudi German Hospital. ASD is about 5-minutes away from Shk Zayed Road.

Is this a non-profit school?

It was the first American curriculum school established in Dubai and is still the only nonprofit American school located in the emirate.

Curriculum & Academics

ASD follows an American curriculum and offers pre-K (K1) through grade 12 instruction. The school is accredited by the US Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Admission to the school is based on the approval of ASD’s Admissions Committee and a student successfully meeting the admission criteria, including assessments in varying forms depending on grade level.
Students attend classes five days a week, Sunday through Thursday. The school day for students in pre-K (K1) begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 1:45 p.m. Students grades K2-12 attend from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All students are required to wear ASD regulation school uniforms.

The school is organized into three divisions: elementary school (K1-grade 5); middle school (grades 6-8); and high school (grades 9-12). The elementary school curriculum includes math, science, language arts, social studies, Arabic language, computer, art, library, music, and physical education. The middle school years are viewed as a transition from the elementary school to the high school. Students take the basic core classes and, in grades 7-8, can also choose from a variety of electives, including, but not limited to, independent reading, journalism, or adventure education.

At the high school level, students must complete at least 24 course credits in order to graduate. Students are required to enroll in a minimum of four core academic courses each year (math, science, social studies, English, and/or world languages). Advanced Placement (AP) courses are available to juniors and seniors over a variety of subjects. AP courses are first year college level courses. Students enrolled in the courses sit for external exams. The results of these exams could earn students credit at the university level.

Top schools that ASD students have entered include Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Irvine, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Vanderbilt University, Carnegie Mellon University, Wake Forest University, Lehigh University, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The University of Miami, University of British Columbia, Queens University, The United States Coast Guard Academy, Arizona State University, McGill University, Babson College, The University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Toronto.

Atheletics & Extra Curricular

The American School Parents “Sports” Activities Program sponsors athletic and other activities for students in grades K1-3. At least twice a week, throughout most of the school year, sports activities such as flag football, rollerblading, soccer, and many other sports are available to the students. Additional activities include ballet and dance, scouting programs, chorus, drama, swimming, tennis, sailing, computer club, and an environmental club.

Social, service, and academic-related clubs and activities are organized for middle and high school students. Clubs include Kids For Wish Kids, Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), Habitat For Humanity, Global Awareness Inner Awakening, a Student Government Association, Thespian Society, the International Student Association, and Mettle.

ASD supports strong vocal, instrumental, and drama programs. High school students perform two major productions each year. The Middle School stages one-act plays as well as variety shows.

The school also offers intramural programs as well as varsity and junior varsity sports, including volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, track and field, badminton, performing arts, forensics, swimming, wrestling, cross-country, and tennis. ASD is a member of the Middle East South Asia Conference (MESAC) and ASD students in grades 7-12 travel to other countries in the region to participate in MESAC sports.

Students also travel regionally to take part in fine arts festivals, the Model United Nations, Habitat for Humanity, and forensics competitions. Students are able to tour most cities and historical sites when traveling to tournaments and festivals. These events also allow students to develop friendships with students in other international schools.

What facilities does it offer?

ASD probably has some of the best facilities in Dubai. The school’s official fact sheet says…

In September 2010, after more than 40 years in Jumeirah, the American School of Dubai moved to its new location in Al Barsha. The new campus is an integrated world-class facility that sets a benchmark for schools in the region. Covering an area almost twice the size of the Jumeirah campus, the new campus offers expanded academic programs; modern, energy efficient buildings; state-of-the art facilities for sports and the arts; and beautifully landscaped garden areas.

Campus Location

The new campus is located across from the Saudi German Hospital at the junction of Road 316 and Road 331. The campus is easily accessible from Sheikh Zayed Road, North and South Barsha, and the Meadows, Lakes, and Emirates Hills communities.

Design and Construction

Hillier, a premier architectural firm specializing in school design, was hired by ASD to design the new campus. The firm has designed schools throughout the US and Canada, as well as American International schools in Prague, Bucharest, Chennai, and Doha. The design was finalized over the 2004/05 school year with continual input from parents, students, teaching staff, and faculty. All members of the ASD Community had the opportunity to help plan an American School that will serve the needs of the community for years to come.

The new school campus is built to withstand all the elements of weather that the UAE has to offer. The quality and aesthetics have set new standards for ASD, including spacious classrooms fitted with state of the art equipment to support technology integration, projectors, and wireless access.

Size and Capacity

The Al Barsha campus site is over 92,900 square meters (1,000,000 square feet). The total gross internal floor area is 48,178 meters (518,583 square feet). In comparison, the Jumeirah campus site measured 31,424 square meters (338,240 square feet).

Approximately 973 students attended the American School of Dubai, Jumeirah. The new campus is designed to accommodate 1600 students and is now at full capacity. The campus is divided into four separate school sites of approximately 400 students each: early primary, upper primary, middle school, and high school.

New Features

The new American School of Dubai offers many more facilities than was available at the old campus. The school has a wireless environment, secondary school and elementary school libraries, its own auditorium, a black box theater, music rooms, meeting spaces, a field house, running tracks, a regulation soccer field, other large playing fields, separate elementary and secondary gyms, two swimming pools, elementary play areas, two cafeterias, and landscaped areas with water features.


The new campus is designed to meet US embassy-level security standards. Campus perimeter and access control security features were implemented in consultation with the US Consulate. ASD will continue to work regularly with security officers from the US Consulate and US Embassy to ensure the best possible security for the new school.