dbg - We are in the process of moving to Dubai as well. I have 2 daughters, 7th and 4th Grade. I also wanted US/IB curriculum.
It looks like we will have a spot at the Dubai American Academy - I chose this over the American School of Dubai because of the IB diploma option because that was very important to me. If you are not concerned about the IB program, I believe ASD has a great reputation amongst the US curriculum schools, I have a friend with a younger child there that has been very happy.
Because it was really hard to wade through all the information about the schools and had concerns about getting 2 children placed in the same school, we ended up hiring the services of great educational consultant. She is a former teacher herself and has lived in Dubai for a number of years. She really has a good handle on the current issues going on with most of the schools and has personal relationships with the registrars. She has an extensive interview with you and looks over your child's school records to help you narrow down your options and then she does all the work from there - she filled out all the applications, "presented" our family to the schools of our choice...and she seemed to get us spots in waitlisted years. She really works on what is in the best interests for your child - I really was aprehensive about paying for this service...but I researched her and her references, and everyone I have come across has been more than satisfied with her services.
If you get to 5 posts and want to send me a message, I'd be happy to pass along her contact details if you are finding it difficult to get this done on your own.
Good luck! I should be arriving around the same time as you, and I have a 10 year old daughter as well! Maybe we can compare notes!