Admissions FAQs

Below are Frequently Asked Questions about the ASD admissions process, academic program, and community. For additional questions on admissions, please contact

ASD Community

What are the demographics of the students?
Current enrollment is approximately 2000 students from more than 80 countries. More than 70% of students hold North American passports.

Does ASD help with a new student's transition?
There are programs in Elementary, Middle, and High School to help ease a new family and student's transition to school. ASD conducts a new student and parent orientation, parent workshops, and transition programs from the Counseling Offices.

How long is the school day?
Classrooms open at 8:10 a.m. and learning begins at 8:20 a.m. On Monday to Thursday—PreK students finish their day at 1:00 p.m., K1 students at 2:00 pm, and K2-Grade 12 students at 3:20 p.m. On Fridays—all students finish at 12:00 p.m. School holidays for the current academic year are listed on the internal ASD School Calendar.

Where do ASD families live?
ASD families live in various residential areas in Dubai ranging from Jebel Ali, Jumeirah to Arabian Ranches, and even Sharjah. Many families live in Al Barsha, Umm Suqeim, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Arabian Ranches, Motor City, and the Meadows.

Does ASD provide a bus service?
ASD's bus transportation provider is School Transport Services. ASD encourages the use of bus services to support the reduction of traffic congestion and as a means to better our environment. 

Are students required to wear uniforms?
Yes. Students wear a school uniform that can be purchased from an official local vendor. Students also wear PE uniforms starting in Grade 1, that are available for purchase at the ASD School Store.

What is the governing structure of ASD?
ASD is a not-for-profit independent school governed by a Board of Trustees. There is no owner of ASD.

Is ASD affiliated with any other schools?
ASD has no “sister schools" but is a part of the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA). ASD collaborates with other NESA schools in a variety of areas.

Application & Admissions Process Information

What are ASD's age requirements for PreK-Grade 2 admission?

ASD’s PreK-Grade 2 curriculum is designed for children who have turned the age listed below by December 31 of the academic year for which they are applying. Applicants must be the age listed below by September 1 per the KHDA age policy. 

  • 3 years of age – PreK
  • 4 years of age – K1
  • 5 years of age – K2
  • 6 years of age – Grade 1
  • 7 years of age – Grade 2

After a student is admitted and offered a seat, additional enrollment documents are required to register students with the UAE Ministry of Education.

Does ASD only admit students at the beginning of the school year?
High school students are typically only admitted at the beginning of each semester but the final decision is subject to credit and course selection analysis. In middle and elementary school, students can enter when a space is available. The last intake of students is at spring break (mid-April).

Is there a deadline for applications?
K1 admissions applications are accepted beginning in September for the upcoming school year. The priority deadline for PreK-Grade12 is November 1.  

How are PreK/K1 places allocated?
Spaces are not offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All applications are given the same consideration regardless of the date of application.

Is there a fee to apply?
No, there is no fee with the application.

Is there a corporate seat policy?
The Board of Trustees has authorized the sale of 64 additional corporate seats. The conditions are as follows:

  1. Corporate seats are sold for a 20-year term.
  2. The one-time Capital Fee of AED 22,000 is waived for each Corporate Seat purchase.
  3. The annual Facility Fee, currently set at AED 12,120 is waived for the 20-year tenure of the Corporate Seat.
  4. Corporate Seat holders are expected to internally maintain the following allocation as the minimum standard dedicated to serving the North American community; 60% (North American) and 40% (Non-North American).

What happens after my child's application is submitted?
After a completed application is submitted, the Admissions team processes and reviews the application. An email is sent acknowledging receipt of the application and will contain information about the next steps.

Will my child be assessed for admission?
All potential candidates will be assessed during the admissions process and this may include taking an entrance and/or placement test. Assessment and selection criteria include a review of report cards, grades, transcripts, recommendations, and standardized test results from the current and recent academic years.

Does ASD have a waitpool?
Yes. If a student meets ASD admissions requirements but is applying for enrollment in a grade level that is full, the student will be placed in our waitpool (waitlist).  Movement from the waitpool is not determined by the date of application.

How is my child's grade-level placement determined?

Grade-level placement depends on the child's current curriculum and grade level, academic ability, and overall developmental readiness. See Admissions Policy page.

How can I schedule a tour?
Campus tours are available by registering online. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office at +971 4 395-0005; ext. 1570 or email

Are there additional expenses aside from tuition and fees?
Yes, beyond expenses associated with uniforms, school supplies, and personal laptops for Grades 6-12, ASD offers a number of required and/or optional learning experiences that families should plan for. Examples include 

  • Week Without Walls trips for Middle School students
  • INSPIRE trips for High School students
  • School trips for arts, athletics, and additional activities for students.

Academic Program & School Year

What curriculum does ASD offer?
ASD is an independent not-for-profit U.S. curriculum that offers what is the best about American education to provide learning experiences designed to promote the maximum potential of its students.

ASD designs PreK-12 curriculum based on established US curriculum standards. These standards describe what students should know, understand and be able to do. ASD uses Standards-Based Grading and Reporting (SBGR) to provide students with feedback on academic achievement in relation to the standards. SBGR also provides feedback on how a student's learning habits (learner development) support achievement.

Graduates earn an American high school diploma. Advanced Placement courses are offered in Grades 10-12. ASD does not offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

My child has specific learning needs. What services does ASD offer?
ASD accepts students with specific learning needs on an individual basis. If a child has specific learning needs, please contact the Admissions Office.

What is the background and credentials of ASD teachers?
ASD faculty are certified to teach a North American curriculum and have many years of international teaching experience and 71 percent hold a masters degree.

What is the average class size?
ASD enjoys the benefit of personalized classroom instruction through small classroom sizes. Grades PreK – 2 have a homeroom teacher plus an instructional assistant for each class. Grades 3-5 share instructional assistants. Middle and High School classes enjoy additional science and art instructional assistants.

The Elementary School maintains a classroom size between 16-22, with six sections for each grade. The Middle School maintains a maximum of 24 students per class and High School a maximum of 24 students per class.

Does ASD have an Arabic program?
Arabic is offered as part of the World Language Program at ASD in the Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.

What is the general schedule for the ASD School Year?
The ASD school year typically runs from August to June in two semesters (made up two quarters), with a winter holiday that starts in December and a spring break, which is usually in March/April. Details of our calendar are available to those in the ASD Community.