American School of Dubai students conduct an experiment in this February 2020 photo Image Credit: Supplied

American School of Dubai (ASD) was recently named the overall best school in the country by SchoolsCompared Top Schools Awards 2021. More than 7,000 nominations were reviewed in collaboration with 25 education experts, and the final winners were chosen by a panel of independent educational consultants. In addition, ASD received the awards for Best School for Sport in the UAE and Best American Curriculum School in the UAE.

“These awards have affirmed what we believe to be true: our school has the ability to change lives, and the evidence of our success has never been more clear,” said Hamilton Clark, ASD Superintendent.

These are just the most recent accolades for the school, which this year celebrates 55 years in operation and ten years at its current location in Al Barsha. What started in a small apartment in Deira in 1966 is now an acclaimed international school of just over 2,000 PreK to Grade 12 students and 200 dynamic educators.

Firmly rooted in the past, ASD confidently looks to the future. The world-class campus continues to grow and evolve with innovative and flexible learning spaces to cultivate collaboration and solution-oriented thinking; to prepare students to adapt and contribute in a rapidly changing world.

Last year, ASD expanded its offerings to include a PreK programme with a focus on enquiry-based learning and housed in a purpose-built, flexible-space environment. The new Early Learning Center is the latest addition to the already extensive campus facilities, which include STEAM and maker spaces, a 630-seat performing arts theatre, two Olympic-sized swimming pools, and a thriving sustainable garden.

Lucy Chow, ASD parent and board member, has lofty goals for the facilities committee that she leads. “Ultimately — whether it is now or 20 years from now — we want facilities that are second to none in the UAE; facilities that meet our aspirations to provide the best forward-looking curriculum for our community,” she says.

Many of these aspirations focus on sustainability. In 2019, ASD was honoured with a prestigious Zayed Sustainability Prize for its initiatives, and the prize allowed efforts to be redoubled in scope, supporting a bee garden that has become a magical outdoor classroom, and an industrial composter.

Innovating for a sustainable future will allow the school to further strengthen its legacy. Through the years, ASD has prided itself on its tight-knit community and supportive alumni — many of whom return to the school after graduation to give back as volunteers, faculty and staff, board members, and parents of the next generation of learners.

Alumnus Nicky Daryani was part of the third graduating class of the school in 1996. He is a current parent of three and was recently appointed Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees. “I wanted to give back to my school,” he says. “ASD has given so much to me over the years and I wanted to play a role in its future.”

American School of Dubai is an international community of nearly 80 nationalities with a mission to become passionate learners prepared to adapt and contribute in a rapidly changing world. For more information or to apply for the 2022-23 academic year, visit