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To start with decide on which curriculum you want to follow - UK, IB, American etc.. then it's generally getting a list together and contacting all of the schools to see if they have places.

Most have lengthy waiting lists (UK certainly I don't have experience with the others) and it can be a stressful task but I don't know anyone who hasn't got a place for their child when required, it's just not always in your preferred schools.

When are you planning to start your children? Are you already here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi
Thanks for the advice. We are still in uk at the mo but could be there in time for September. Do Dubai schools have the September start to the academic year ?
We've been looking at properties online too. Can you recommend a areas to focus on and/or avoid ?y husband has been out lots but I'm making my first trip in 5 weeks time.
Many thanks
 

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Without knowing your budget it's tricky but areas popular with UK and other expats with families are Arabian Ranches, Springs, Lakes, Meadows areas. This is mainly because they are established communities with parks, pools, community areas, supermarkets, medical centres etc.. A bit like a small/medium size town at home.

Arabian Ranches is further out in the desert but is lovely and very well looked after - approx 20 min drive to the beach.

Springs/Meadows/Lakes are closer to the Marina, Mall of the Emirates and the beach - 10 mins from JBR public beach.

Both similar prices for similar style housing it all depends on which location you prefer. Springs/Meadows are a little older so you just have to pick a good villa which has been well maintained - there are some shockers but the good one's are lovely.

There are so many other areas but this would give you a start if it's expat community living your after. I'm sure people living in other areas can give you more information.

There are also new communities being built near AR and S/M/L - you will get more space for your money but you'll have to trade that against the fact that they are under construction and the community areas aren't finished.

You can also go for apartment living - some great places down at the Marina if that's what you fancy but I have no idea which are good/bad, expensive/cheap towers. Lots of info. about this on the forum if you do a search.

Also Umm Suqeim and Jumeira 1,2,3 if it's beach style living you want in an independent villa.

In the end your location will depend on where your kids go to school unless you want a lengthy drive so I wouldn't spend too much time looking at houses until you have that sorted.

For a September start you should start applying now. You'll need to pay a AED500 deposit for each child to go on a waiting list for each school you apply too so make sure there is a strong possibility of your children getting a place before you start shelling out the cash or it will be an expensive process.

Good luck with it all :)
 

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Make sure you get a transfer certificate from the older child's existing school.

Your 3 year old can start in September too, and will benefit from the sibling rule (priority) in many schools.
 

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My nieces and nephews are all at DBS (Dubai British School) and are thriving there. My sister and family live in the Meadows so that the children are close to the school and their friends and for after school activities. I think it is important to live close to the school if possible, it's good for the children to have school friends living nearby.
 

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Your 3 year old can start in September too, and will benefit from the sibling rule (priority) in many schools.[/QUOTE]

Just to expand - In the UK system over here your 3 year old can start at the same school as your 7 year old in FS1 in September if you wish. Same curriclum and activities as pre-school in the UK but on the school campus and they have to go every morning.

If that's too much for your child (or you) you can always wait until FS2 (UK Reception class) and choose a nursery environment instead which is what the majority of my child's FS2 class did. All depends on you and your child. I would have just gone straight to FS1 with DS as he was doing pre-school every morning back home anyway.
 

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Hi Anabelle,

We are potential movers as well with a 2.5 month old and 3.5 years old in the month of May. As you suggested I would also prefer my daughter 3.5 years old to still go to nursery rather than start school. She goes to nursery here in Liverpool in morning sessions . Would you recommend when should I be contacting British school there to start her in next September 2013 ? And any good Nurseries in Dubai you would recommend?

Many thx,
Ayesha.
 

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You should put her name at a few shortlisted schools as soon as you are able as the waiting lists are long out here and the system is very different to the UK.

If she's already going to nursery every day though FS1 would be just fine and at least you'd be in a school of your choice then as it's the early years that are most in demand.

I'm afraid I don't know of any nurseries out here but I'm sure someone else will be able to advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Annabelle
A huge thanks for your help and advice. We have been looking at Dubai British School and living in the Emirates Hill area (is that area ok ?) It's quite near where my husband will be working too.
We will be looking for a property up to 180000 AED yearly. DO you think is a realistic figure for a decent place to live there ?
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LAX2DXB said:
Where do you live? You may want to choose a school near your house. Taaleem has many schools around the Dubai area.
My husband will be based at reef tower not far from the smaller palm so will want to live somewhere between there and close to a decent school. Moving in 3 months ish.
 

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The Emirates Living area is great and for 180,000 you'll get one of the larger 3 bed villa's on the Springs or one of the smaller one's on the Lakes. Both communities offer similar accomodation but the Lakes is newer and closer (by 5 minutes drive) to the Marina, Mall of the Emirates and JBR beach. The Lakes also has it's own club with a licensed bar that you can walk too if you live there which the Springs/Meadows doesn't, but you can still go if you live elsewhere.

I'm in the Springs and very happy here. DBS is very popular because of the location so I'd make contact as soon as possible to confirm availabilty/space on a waiting list.

It's also worth checking out the other schools within the area - most people end up having to put their names down at a few schools in order to get a place. We looked around six to get a feel for what was best for our children although we looked all over this side of Dubai and all had waiting lists for the younger kids. I could get a space for my oldest child relatively easily though so with a 7 year old (Y3/4 in September) it should be easier and then you have sibling priority for your little one anyway.

Other schools that follow the UK curriculum that are within a 15 minute or less drive from the Springs are (in order of distance): RIS (Regent International School), JAPS (Jebel Ali Primary School) and GEMS Wellington International School. DBS and all of these schools are rated "Good" in the Dubai equivalent of the Ofsted.

Good luck- hope all goes well :)
 

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daeling with estate agents

My husband and I are moving to Dubai in in July with our 3 children, we have been fortunalte enough to have them enrolled into DBS. We are looking at areas in the Meadows / Jumeirah Islands and planning on a visit next week to get a better feel for the areas and meeting with several estate agents. Can anyone recommend an estate agent or perhaps provide me with a few tips on what to ask / watch out for when dealing with agents? What inclusions should we looking at when negotiating the lease price (sat Tv, water, power, internet etc). Not sure how it works in Dubai....

Any feedback greaty appreciated.
 

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Hi Forro, nothing is included in the rent. All utilities are paid for by the tenant. Ask for a maintenance package for the villa which the landlord pays, and if the agent says there is one let him know you will want it written in the Tenancy Agreement that there is one. On top of the annual rent you will pay a refundable security deposit to the Landlord and a 5% agency fee to the agent. Terrible time to move to Dubai - it is the beginning of Ramadan, businesses slow down and many landlords will be away/unavailable- and the hottest months of the year. Can you leave it to nearer the start of the school year?
 

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Thanks Wandabug,

Unfortunately no flexibility with the arrival date, besides we're coming from Saudi so the heat / ramadan is not going to bother us... Although interesting comments re availability of landlords, had better lock something in beforehand? Other feedback greatly appreciated. Are the majority of agents reliable?
 
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