Lifestyle

In Dubai's suburbs, these student-friendly areas are popular with families

In Dubai's suburbs, these student-friendly areas are popular with families

Sports City and Motor City offer a highly conducive atmosphere for learning with schools offering mostly American and British curriculums, along with several learning centres. “Certain areas of Dubai are becoming competition hotspots, which is great news for parents, and Motor City and Sports City fall into this category,” says Shaun Robison, CEO of Dubai-based education management company and consultancy BBD Education and governor of IDEA Early Learning Centre in Sports City. “These areas have seen a high number of schools open in the past three years with a similar offering at a similar price point and curriculum.”

Reputable schools

Residents of Motor City and Sports City can choose to enrol their children in Gems United (American curriculum), Renaissance School (American) and Gems Metropole (British).

Michael Bartlett, an independent Dubai-based education consultant, whose son attends Gems United, says one of the school’s advantages is that it’s smaller than other US curriculum schools. “My son has two classes in grade nine (9A and 9B) so there are only about 50 students in grade nine. So you get that small-school atmosphere. Everybody’s friends and they all study together, which is what he needed. We looked at another American school and their grade nine class was 490 students.”

The school also has great facilities for sports, music and arts. “They have an auditorium with a wonderful stage, lighting and sound system, as well as music classes for guitar, piano and singing. The science facilities are great too and the labs are conducive for a class size of around 25 students, which gives you hands-on practical skills,” says Bartlett, who has worked as an executive principal and school improvement consultant.

For younger children, nurseries such as Victory Heights Primary School, Idea Early Learning Centre and Wonder Years Nursery in Sports City, and Emirates British Nursery, Jebel Ali Village Nursery and Building Blocks Nursery in Motor City, provide an ideal environment for young children to explore, grow and learn.

Additionally, children who need help with mathematics can attend classes at Mathnasium in Motor City, a specialised learning centre where teachers certified by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) help them leap ahead in this subject. They can also join The Homework Club and The Mental Maths Club at Leaps and Bounds Education Centre, or Heguru Centre, a KHDA-approved centre dedicated to teaching the philosophy of right brain education to children below the age of six.

Nearby options

Further towards Al Barsha, about a short 10-minute drive from Sports City, there are more British-curriculum schools, including Gems Founders, Nord Anglia International, and Safa Community International.

“The travel distance from The Villa in Dubailand to Al Barsha South is around 25km and it will take between 20 and 25 minutes to travel between the two. In between those two locations are The Falcon City, Arabian Ranches, Motor City, Sports City, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Al Barari and Al Barsha South. A total of 29 schools can be found within this area, serving a population of 81,000 residents as of 2016,” Robison says.