The Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates is responsible for accreditation of schools. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was founded in 2006 to develop education and human resource sectors in Dubai, and license educational institutes.

Primary and secondary education is free of cost for all Emiratis and compulsory for boys and girls at the all grades.

The medium of instruction in public schools is Arabic with emphasis on English as a second language. KG and primary schools may be co-ed or segregated. Secondary public schools are segregated. A list of Public Schools in Dubai.

As of 2015, there are 169 private schools in Dubai that offer one of the following curricula (arranged by number of schools following curriculum): British, Indian, American, the UAE Ministry of Education Curriculum, International Baccalaureate, Iranian, French, Filipino, Pakistani, SABIS, IAT, German, Russian, Japanese, and Canadian. In total, 255,208 students from 186 different nationalities were enrolled in private schools, with 42% in primary education, 25% in secondary, 15% in tertiary, and 18% in kindergarten. The British and Indian curricula alone account for 64% of all enrollment in Dubai-based private schools.

Tuition at these private schools range from AED 1,725 to AED 98,649 per year, and Dubai’s annual revenue from private schooling fees is AED 5.35bn. 39% of students pay less than AED 10,000 in tuition per year.

American, British and International Baccalaureate curricula are taught in English. All students not of Arab heritage must take Arabic language classes. Muslim and Arab students must also take Islamic studies.