Australia’s first international school in Dubai has officially opened with a pioneering educational setting, a cohort of experienced educators and a spacious, state-of-the-art campus, meeting a long-standing demand from the Australian community and beyond. for an exceptional and engaging learning experience.
The advent of Australia’s curriculum framework will add immense value to the education community in Dubai, according to educators and senior officials who attended the opening ceremony last week.
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chief Executive of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), highlighted the Dubai education regulator’s unwavering support for the opening of Australia’s first and only international school in the emirate, and highlighted how AIS addresses the need for not only expanded educational choice but also quality education for residents of Dubai.
Delivered by exceptional teachers, subject matter experts and qualified support staff, the curriculum at AIS Dubai is designed to ensure that each child is carefully nurtured in a supportive, future-oriented environment and develops a deeper understanding of the world around him and his place in it – thus developing a love of lifelong learning.
The opening ceremony took place in the presence of, among others, Dr. Al Karam; Cameron Dick, Treasurer and Minister for Commerce of Queensland, Australia; Ian Halliday, Consul General of Australia in Dubai and Managing Director, Middle East Africa, Austrade; Donna Massie, Trade and Investment Commissioner Queensland – Middle East; and Othman Al Sharif, Owner of AIS Dubai and Vice Chairman of Al Sharif Investment Trading Group – reflecting the overwhelming confidence in the school from across the UAE and the Australian government in particular.
“Based on the four pillars of University, Culture, Sports and Community, the curriculum and learning experience at AIS Dubai underpins everything we seek to help our students reach for the stars “said Karen McCord, Executive Director at AIS Dubai.
“The partnership between our staff and families provides the best possible holistic education for our students in a safe, secure and happy environment. AIS Dubai continues the relationship that Al Sharif Investment Trading Group began over 15 years ago with the Queensland Government to provide the framework for the Australian curriculum,” said McCord.
According to Cameron Dick, the opening of the school presents a huge opportunity to strengthen the thriving partnership between the UAE and Australia. “I feel so privileged to be here today to help open the Australian International School (AIS) in Dubai. It is a great recognition of the importance of multicultural education for students here, who come around the world,” he said.
Complimenting the school’s spacious, sunny campus, Dick said: “I feel like I’m back in Queensland. It has beautiful open teaching areas and open play areas for students to learn while playing. We worked with the school, helped design and supported the teaching of these young students. All of these facilities will support the education of children who will become the leaders of tomorrow.
The school is also critically important in bridging the cultures of Australia and the UAE, according to Ian Halliday, Australian Consul General in Dubai and Managing Director, Middle East Africa, Austrade. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to better understand the respective cultures of both countries. It also helps from a school development perspective, providing the wonderful Queensland curriculum,” Halliday said.
The school, which currently has 140 students, has received an overwhelming response from families in Dubai since launching operations last year. During the opening ceremony, the delighted parents insisted on explaining why.
“What we see happening around us in the world is change – everything is changing rapidly. AIS Dubai provides students with an environment that fosters change and works through change,” said Micah Walker, CEO of the identity solutions company Grabba, whose three children study at school.
“AIS in Dubai has given parents like us the chance to explore this program. It offers flexibility, maps each student’s learning needs and is not a ready-made program. We are from Australia, but even if you come from another place, AIS Dubai will still feel like home,” he said.
According to Othman Al Sharif, owner of the school and vice president of Al Sharif Investment Trading Group, making the widest range of students feel at home through dynamic learning and a scalable curriculum was exactly what what AIS Dubai was created for.
“While most teaching programs remain limited to printed textbooks that are only updated periodically, our curriculum relies more on new resources and lessons developed daily,” Al Sharif said.
The pillars of learning at AIS Dubai enable each student to access opportunities across the development spectrum, refining their strengths and interests, developing their passion and opportunity to succeed in an academic, cultural, sports or community.
“For our students, this translates directly into effective learning outcomes and a sense of intrinsic achievement and confidence,” McCord said.
“Our school in Sharjah has been successful for over 15 years, thanks to our future-oriented curriculum and the good results of our graduates. Over the years, many families in Dubai have expressed their wish to have access to the same opportunities that families in Sharjah have had for many years. Today that wish has come true,” she said.
Adopting futuristic ways of teaching and learning in a smart classroom, Australian International School (AIS) Dubai is currently open for admissions from Pre-KG to Grade 6 and will extend to Grade 12 year in the years to come. ■
Cameron Dick, Treasurer and Minister for Commerce of Queensland, Australia
“It is a huge opportunity to strengthen the partnership between the UAE and Australia, and I feel so privileged to be here today to help open the Australian International School (AIS) Dubai. t is a great recognition of the importance of multicultural education for students here, who come from all over the world.
“We have a very strong and productive relationship with the UAE… We remember with fondness the generous gift of $30 million that the UAE provided to Queensland more than 10 years ago to build disaster shelters. cyclones. We are delighted to have this strong partnership and to offer our government support. We see this school not just as an investment, but as a way to build relationships with people, especially the young people who will study here. This school will help strengthen that relationship over time.
Ian Halliday, Consul General of Australia in Dubai and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Austrade
“This school is critically important for several reasons. First, it brings cultures together like a beautiful bridge between Australia and the UAE… It also brings a different perspective into education – marrying what is available in the UAE and bringing something new. Having an Australian school in Dubai enhances cultural literacy and provides a world-class education for students.
“The way we have worked with the Queensland State Government in Australia to promote the school is amazing. The area where the school is located is relatively new. At the same time, the school population is growing and I can only say that an exciting period awaits the school community and the local population.
Othman Al Sharif, Owner, Australian International School Dubai, and Vice Chairman, Al Sharif Investment Trading Group
“The Australian International School Dubai is the latest addition to the city’s growing education landscape, and we aim to make a difference through our unique approach to learning and engaging children. It offers a modern, dynamic and constantly evolving curriculum. While most teaching programs remain limited to printed textbooks that are only updated periodically, our curriculum relies more on new resources and lessons developed daily.
“In addition to earning a degree in education, our students are constantly learning new things from the best study programs in the world. We also pride ourselves on offering a real insight into Emirati and Arab culture and society through our classroom courses. With an abundance of sports facilities and extracurricular activities, our goal is to nurture dynamic young adults who are also resourceful global citizens.
“Building on the success and legacy of the Australian International School Sharjah, we are confident that AIS Dubai will reach new heights and enhance the educational space in the UAE.”
Donna Massie, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Middle East
“AIS Dubai offers many opportunities for young people – like early learning, play school – in addition to the possibility of good quality higher education. The school has a wonderful vibe and great energy, and we can already see so many happy children in the smart classrooms. I see the beautiful energy that reflects the culture of the school. AIS Sharjah has already built an excellent reputation over the years, and we will now replicate the model in Dubai.
Karen McCord, Executive Director, AIS Dubai
“The KHDA and Dubai have tried to take the emirate’s education sector to the next level, and the curriculum offered at the Australian International School is all about that. Our program is not just focused on academic achievement, but on the education and development of the whole child – the emphasis is on holistic development. With its diverse culture and backgrounds, Australia is just as multicultural as Dubai, and our program gives the opportunity to focus not just on Australia, but on the whole world.
“Unfortunately, most education systems in the world are university-oriented. Our job is to ensure that all of our children are headed in the direction where they realize who they are as a person, what their strengths are, and find out what they want to be when they leave school.