DIS News

Keeping you up to date with our news and events.

‘On the 22nd and 23rd June, Secondary Performing Arts returned to the stage with our first production since 2019: Aladdin Jr. We are thrilled with the spectacular show our students pulled off and can only commend them for the hard work, dedication, talent and enthusiasm they have demonstrated across the rehearsal period and show week. We are so proud of each and every one of them and know the future of DIS Performing Arts is safe in their hands. A huge congratulations to everyone involved and an enormous thank you to everyone who came out and supported them! This would not have been possible without the tireless work of our Performing Arts Team and a huge and heartfelt thanks goes to Mr. Steede and Ms. Keyworth for the tremendous work they did behind the scenes to ensure our students had the best possible experience while putting on a phenomenal show. Miss Hemming – Head of Secondary Performing Arts’

In one week, the DIS community raised a huge, 24,000AED to feed the Al Futtaim construction workers that work on the site across from school. We are so proud of our students, parents and staff for giving back to the local community with their generous donations and time. What a great way for the students to build up their service on their CASport by volunteering. Our goal was to feed workers during iftar, however as we raised more money than our target, we were able to add more distribution timings for more workers. On Tuesday, 1,150 construction workers received a meal from DIS so thank you so much for all your support. 

DIS Charity Iftar

We hosted the DIS Charity Iftar on 12 April 2023. Total of 250 students, parents and staff members attended the Iftar. Abela catered the event. It was a wonderful evening and an opportunity for us as a community to come together. At the same time we raised more than AED4,000 which will go to the Red Crescent. DISPA ran a lucky draw at the end of the Iftar which brought joy and fun to the event. The prizes were 5x100AED vouchers from Blue Rewards, 3x200AED worth fruit and vegetable boxes, free memberships from Al Areesh Club for 1 month, 2 weeks and 1 week, 10x250AED vouchers from Al Safadi Restaurant. We would like to thank each of the sponsors and the parents who arranged them. Ramadan Kareem to all.     

International Day 2023 – a true DIS celebration of diversity and culture! The DIS community really came together to celebrate the 81 nationalities we have here at school. It was a real celebration of culture and diversity. Our fantastic parents and staff shared so much from their home countries, including cultural performances, food and traditional artefacts. The scenes were really a picture of colour and beauty. We thank every single one of you for coming together to celebrate the diversity we have here at Deira International School. We are proud to represent you all. Thank you to the stall leaders for your generosity, selflessness and pride you have brought to your home country. We are DIS.

On Wednesday 1st March we had our Secondary Sports Day. As always, the students and staff were super excited to complete in a variety of activities to battle it out to be Sports Day House Champions! KS3 competed in Athletics, Handball and Crossfit activities throughout the morning and showed fantastic teamwork and house spirit. In the afternoon KS4 ran, threw and jumped their way to victory competing across a number of different athletics and sporting activities.  Congratulations to Falcon who were our overall KS3 winners and to Oryx our KS4 winners.

“We don’t even know where to start… The last six months have been an amazing journey,  both for students and staff members involved. We have seen the students’ confidence and performance skills develop, as well as new friendships being formed. The feedback from the final performances have been overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the fabulous talent we have here at DIS. Roll on the next Primary Production in 2024!” – Ms Heveran & Ms Coyle

We would like to extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to our families affected by the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, especially to the bereaved families.

To help the victims of the current disaster, in conjunction with Emirates Red Crescent, Al-Futtaim employees, our school communities, their families and friends, were invited to contribute their efforts in providing emergency aid.

We ran a donation drive between 13-16 February to provide urgent relief aid to respond to the specific needs of families and children impacted by the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey.

Thank you for your kind support in giving generously.

تهانينا لطلاب مدرسة ديرة الدولية على مشاركتهم في الجولة النهائية من مسابقة الشعر للجمبع ضمن مهرجان الإمارات للآداب. ونهنئ بشكلٍ خاص الطالبة ياسمين المر على فوزها بالمركز الثاني للفئة العمرية ٨-١٣ والطالبة بشاير العلوي على فوزها بالمركز الثالث في الفئة العمرية من ١٤-١٨ عام.

نفخر بإنجازات طلابنا في مجال اللغة العربية تحديدًا ويسعدنا  مشاركة الجميع في الأعوام القادمة.

Congratulations to our students on reaching the final round of the Arabic “Poetry for All“ competition in the Emirates Literature Festival. Yasmeen Al Mur was awarded second place in the 8-13 age category and Bashayer Al Alawi was awarded third place in the 14-18 age category. We are extremely proud of their performance and encourage all students in our school to participate in future Emirates LitFest events.  

Primary Sports Day was eagerly anticipated by parents, teachers and of course students. With parents being invited for the first time since pre-covid, the atmosphere was electric. FS1 to Year 6 students took part in a lot of different activates. Sprint races, javelin, an obstacle course, dodgeball and hurdles to name but a few. Every student was fully engaged and were competing for house points. The focus of Sports Day was on the DIS Learner Attributes, where medals were given out to students who portrayed risk-taker, communicator and principled characteristics. 

We welcomed 20 British International Schools from across the Middle East to participate in a battle to win the overall title of the U13 BSME games. 

We have seen some incredible performances from all of the schools in football, netball and football, which helped them climb the league on the final day. 

We would like to congratulate BSAK for being the overall BSME champions. 

Thank you to all schools for taking part in the BSME games. It was a pleasure hosting you. See you next year!

BSME Games video

I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. But I would have to say that the person who inspired me most at the end of 2022 is a 17-year-old student at Deira International School (DIS), Aseel, a friendly, intelligent, entertaining, and driven young woman with the world at her feet.  Yet it hasn’t always been an easy journey.

“I moved to Dubai three months ago,” Aseel begins, “and now I’m studying for my GCSEs at DIS. Next year I’ll be taking my GCSE exams.” Then, without missing a beat, she added, “My favourite colours are white and blue because they symbolise peace.” This was said in an off-the-cuff, humorous manner as she gathered her thoughts about what to say next, but there is very real meaning in that statement.

We’ve all heard celebrities when asked what their greatest desire is, respond with “peace in the world”. And while that is a laudable sentiment that we all share, many of them have never been touched by war. Aseel, on the other hand, is a Syrian refugee who, living in Lebanon for the past 14 years, understands exactly what war and being forced out of your homeland really mean.

Aseel was lucky enough to find a wonderful German family, which is, no doubt, one of the reasons why she is now so hooked on the language

Transforming Lives

Aseel finds herself in Dubai thanks to the Al Futtaim Education Foundation (AFEF), which has joined together with Alsama, a charitable foundation based in Lebanon that provides informal educational support for over 500 refugee children. Through this partnership, a special academic excellence scholarship was offered to high-achieving refugee children to attend DIS, with the scholarship covering the tuition fees and living expenses.

To make this ambitious dream of transforming lives a reality, AFEF reached out to the Al Futtaim Group and schools community living in Dubai, asking, if circumstances permitted, to host and take into their care a scholarship awardee for a full academic year. Aseel was lucky enough to find a wonderful Dutch family, which is, no doubt, one of the reasons why she is now so hooked on the language.

“It’s absolutely amazing living here in Dubai! Aseel says. I have made a lot of friends here from all over the world, and I’m learning new skills and abilities. When I came here three months ago everything was very new to me. The Dutch family I am living with, for instance, with a different language and culture, was a completely new experience – everything was new, but I was determined to overcome the challenges and enjoy my new life.

“I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve visited so many new places. I went to the top of Burj Khalifa, and saw the Burj Al Arab and Jumeriah Beach – there’s so much to do and see. There have been fantastic days out with the school too, such as going to Abu Dhabi on a business trip. I try to participate in all activities at school.”

“It’s absolutely amazing living here in Dubai!”

From Medicine to Business

Aseel is a girl with big, but achievable, dreams too. “When I finish my GCSEs next year, I’m hoping that I will also be able to do my IB, and after that, I would love the opportunity to go to university in the UK to study business.

“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor. When I came to Dubai, though, out of nowhere I changed my mind and I now want to be a businesswoman. In Lebanon, when I see people there, I want to help them and I thought the best way was to be a doctor – if I was a doctor, I would have the skills and knowledge to help people. But when I moved to Dubai, I thought about it. What would happen if I became a businesswoman? I can make more money, then I can go back to my country, to my people, and to my community to help by utilising my skills; I think this is really needed now and will be in the future.

“I must say, my parents were surprised when I changed my path because I’ve been saying I want to be a doctor for the last 14 years! Nevertheless, my mom always supports me, and whatever I decide she is going to say “Okay if that’s what you want, that’s fine, I’m going to support you”. But my dad was like, “Are you sure? You can’t keep changing your mind, you have to sort it out”. I told him I was sure and he now supports me wholeheartedly.”

“It was the school that actually inspired me to do something with business”

Tied up in Bureaucracy

Aseel’s quest to become an international businesswoman is being kick-started by an internship with the Al Futtaim Group, where she is looking to pick up new knowledge and experience. “It’s through DIS,” she explains, “and I’ll be learning about business, marketing, sales, and much more besides. It was the school that actually inspired me to do something with business, and I’ll be learning about the different business departments and specialisms; for example, human resources, marketing, legal – I want to learn as much as I can.”

Once Aseel switched from medicine to business, she approached it in the same way that she approaches everything, with 100% commitment. In fact, having chosen business for her GCSE, she achieved the highest possible grades. “I was so surprised! This is my first year learning business and I am so pleased that I did so well.”

It hasn’t all been plain sailing over the past three months though. When returning to visit her parents in Lebanon, she got no further than Lebanese Passport Control. “You can’t enter Lebanon,” the border guard said, and when Aseel asked why she was told that she was a refugee in the country but had left, so was forbidden to re-enter. “I explained that I had gone to Dubai with the help of the Al Futtaim Group and, after a long discussion, they discovered it was their mistake. When leaving Lebanon for Dubai, they stamped my passport without asking any questions, and they didn’t ask me if I was a refugee.”

Despite the Lebanese authorities admitting it was their mistake, Aseel still had to get on a plane and return to the UAE. Like every other country on earth, paperwork and legal jargon rule supreme, so Aseel’s family has now hired a lawyer in Beirut to sort everything out. “They are working on my documents in Lebanon, and they’ve said it will be at least a month because it’s the holidays now and everyone has gone home. I’m hoping it will all be done in the next couple of months and then I can visit my parents.”

It’s frustrating for Aseel, naturally, but like everything, she will take it in her stride as she works to become ‘International Businesswoman of the Year 2030’.


On the 5th, 6th and 7th of December the Winter Shows for FS1, FS2, Year 1 and Year 2 students took place at the MPH. The parents enjoyed the show with great enthusiasm. The biggest applause is for our teachers and students who worked very hard for this show.  


Al Futtaim Education Foundation announces a record number of scholarships for existing and new students at its two schools; Deira International School and Universal American School. A total of 35 new scholarships were awarded bringing the total number of students with scholarships to 55.

‘’We are delighted to be able to recognize and reward so many of our existing students and welcome several new students to our schools next year under our scholarship program’’

-Kerry Ross, Director of Enrollments, Marketing, and Operations.   

AFEF is committed to actively bridging the gap between potential and opportunity by making a number of scholarships available on an annual basis, to cover up to 100% for Emirati scholarships and up to 50% of the tuition fees for academic and talent scholarships for students at Deira International School and Universal American School.

The scholarships committee would like to thank you all this year’s applicants for taking the time to apply for one of our many scholarships for 2022-2023. We wish you all of the applicants much success with your studies at either Deira International School or Universal American School. 

*Mark your calendar! 

 If you missed out on this year’s scholarship program, you will be able to apply for the 2023/2024 scholarships as early as October 2022.  The Scholarship page will go live before the end of October so keep an eye out for updates.

(click on the image to view the video)

The Centre for Excellence in Arabic has arabised a number of popular early years titles that the children are already familiar with in English and has commissioned a number of sensory manipulatives and other linguistic tools made exclusively for our schools, to support deep learning through play and multi-sensory activation.
‎قام مركز التّميّز في اللّغة العربيّة بتعريب بعض القصص الأجنبيّة المحبّبة عند الأطفال، وتصميم مصادر حسيّة ولغويّة تمّ إعدادها وتصنيعها بشكل حصري للاستخدام في مدارس الفطيم بهدف تدعيم وصول الأفكار إلى الطفل عن طريق اللعب وتحفيز الحواس لاكتساب المعرفة بشكل عميق وراسخ

Click the photo to access the full article


Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, is currently studying for an EdD with the University of Buckingham,  researching the impact of organizational culture as a tool for school improvement. In this first article; he introduces the rationale behind this study

On Wednesday 8th of June over 600 members of our school community joined at the InterContinental Hotel, Festival City to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2022. Thank you to all those who joined us in person or on our YouTube channel and congratulations again to all our families.

We are so proud of Sama in Year 5, who has not only written her own children’s book in English and Arabic, it has also been published and featured at Sharjah Book Fair. A true budding author! Who would like to be the next author at DIS?

فخورون جداً بكاتبة ديرة المُتميزة سما الغزال من الصف الخامس التي وقعت كتابها الثاني و نشرته في معرض الكتاب في الشارقة.
كتاب “ميلا و الدّلفين” باللغتين العربية و الانكليزية. نتمنى لسما المزيد من النجاح .
من سيكون كاتب ديرة الثاني؟


Please join us to celebrate our student’s creativity and promotion of sustainability. It is purely a student-led event run by our Digital and Innovation and Sustainability Councils. It has been a developing idea since September, and they are excited to see it come into fruition. If you could come and support them, alongside our budding fashion designers that would be wonderful.

When – Thursday 23 June

Time – 7- 8pm

Where – MPH


Spring Break is almost here! Infinite Sports UAE has put together lots of fun activities for children from 28th March to 8th April 2022.

Key contacts: Email: sports@infinitesportsuae.com or phone: +971 58102 6548

Spaces are limited, so we encourage early sign ups to avoid disappointment!

Simply scan the bar code below or get in touch with us via +971 58102 6548 or sports@infinitesportsuae.com to book your space.


فاز فريق مدرسة ديرة الدولية بأحد المراكز الثلاثة الأولى في مسابقة كأس شيفرون للقراء، وقد عَمِلَت: دارين، ومنة، وليان، وحمزة بجهد كبير حتى حقَّقوا هذا التميُّز.

لمعرفة مركزنا النهائي

تابِعونا غدًا

High Performance Swimming provides high quality and professional swimming lessons at various locations in Dubai, all year round. With a team of international swim teachers, they offer a wide variety of classes, starting from Parent & Toddler to Swim Squad. They teach both kids and adults of any age and skill level how to improve their swimming.

Learn to Swim, Swim Squad, and Adult Swimming Programs are all offered here at Deira International School. For more information about the classes at Deira International School, please contact High Performance Swimming at: +971 50 175 4747 and info@hpsc-dubai.com


February half-term (14th-18th) is fast approaching and we’re excited to welcome your child to our next Infinite camp.

Join us for a jam-packed schedule of fun, using our special 20% discount code exclusive for Deira International School parents.

@infinitesportsuae pride themselves in ensuring camps enable your child to keep active and learn new skills throughout the holidays. Camps are also managed by fully qualified coaches and lifeguards so you can be sure that your child is having fun and making new friends in the safest environment possible. Looking forward to seeing lots of happy faces there!

Key dates:
Monday 14th February- Friday 18th February.

Timings: 08:00am-15:00pm [Drop off between: 08:00am-08:45am and pick up between: 14:15pm-15:00pm]
Price: 850aed excl. VAT [using 20% discount – this will now be 680aed excl. VAT]

Key contacts: Email: sports@infinitesportsuae.com or phone: +971 58102 6548

Spaces are limited, so we encourage early sign ups to avoid disappointment!

Simply scan the bar code below or get in touch with us via +971 58102 6548 or sports@infinitesportsuae.com to book your space – don’t forget to enter/quote DIS20 to receive your exclusive discount!

The Biggest Celebration of School Career Counselors from over 365+ Schools in UAE. It’s time, we nominate them and express our gratitude for their exemplary contribution.  

BUT, we need you help – to show your appreciation for our School Careers Counselor, let’s vote for Mrs Buket Ayaz! #wegotDIS” All you need to do is follow this link: https://lnkd.in/d7w9rqsc 

On Wednesday 2nd February, we will be hosting our Options Evening for Year 9 students and parents from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. We will share valuable information about GCSE and BTEC courses available for your child to study at DIS. during the evening we will have representatives on hand from each of the options subject. You will be able to talk to our teachers about what the subject entails and this will help you and your child to make informed choices for their future. 

GSCE/BTEC Options Booklet 21-22

Our students will have a DIScovery week starting Monday, 31 January until Friday, 4 February which will support them with choosing the right subjects to study for their GCSEs. During this week, our students will get a taste of different subjects available to study in Year 10. They will also take part in workshops in both academics and personal goals to extend their future prospects.

Wow, what a fabulous first term we have had. To all our DIS families, have an amazing winter break. A time to recharge batteries and share memorable moments with family and friends. stay safe and we look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday 3rd of January. 

Happy Holidays!

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun and we’re excited to welcome your child back to an Infinite camp this holiday season.

Join us for three weeks of festive fun right here at Deira International School and enjoy a jam-packed programme of activities, games, and fun challenges!


Week one: Sunday 12th to Thursday 16th December
Week two: Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd December
Week three: Monday 27th to Thursday 30th December

*(All sessions can be booked on a five, three and one-day basis.)

As a DIS parent, we’re also excited to be able to offer you a fantastic 25% discount – simply enter the code DIS25 at checkout!


Spaces are limited so we recommend booking early to avoid any disappointment.

On November 9, we hosted our first BIG US University Fair after 19 months of not being able to meet university reps in person. Students were very thrilled to meet the university reps and had so many questions to ask! During tutor time, they had completed an activity regarding meaningful engagement with universities. Knowing more about the right questions to ask, they were fully committed during the fair. We will continue to host more universities on campus and look forward to seeing our students interact with university representatives. 

The Al Futtaim Education Foundation offers a generous scholarship scheme to support our parent community. The scholarships are made available on an annual basis and cover a percentage of the tuition fees up to a maximum of 100% for Emirati scholarships and up to 50% of the tuition fees for academic, IBDP, IBCP and talent scholarships. Please join our scholarship masterclass to see how to navigate the scholarship application process and understand the awarding criteria.

To book a spot for the webinar, please complete the form on the link that has been shared via email.

Year 9 IB Pathways Information Evening

Year 9 students are at the start of the process of selecting their IGCSE and BTEC options for Year 10/11.  

Over the course of the year, we will offer a variety of workshops and evenings to inform students and parents about the option subjects available to study for their IGCSE or BTEC course in year 10/11. There will be an opportunity to explore further into IB subject choices as well.  

The first session we are hosting with families will be face to face on Tuesday 2nd November at 6 pm – 7.15 pm in the MPH at DIS where we will be introducing the options timeline and looking at pathways to different occupations.  

This will help students with making key subject choices in relation to an occupation they might like to pursue in the future. You will also have the opportunity to have a Q&A session with Ms. Pointon and speak to our amazing current IB students about their route to IB and university.  

To book a spot for the information meeting, please complete the form on the link that has been shared by email.

Infinite Sports after-school activities and half term camp

Our partner at Infinite Sports has many different sports providers who are specialists in their field with highly skilled, qualified and experienced coaches.

Students can enjoy:



Martial arts


Dance fusion




You can find all their details in the brochure below. Registration is done directly with the different activity providers.

Infinite Sports Brochure

Half term camp:

The team at Infinite Sports takes pride in ensuring the camp activities enable your child to keep active and learn new skills throughout the holidays. Each day children will enjoy a range of fun activities, games and sports challenges. All the activities are managed by fully qualified coaches to ensure your child can have fun and make new friends in the safest environment possible.

Our IB1 CP students are excited to start their first day of work placements with the Al Futtaim Education Foundation. Through leveraging our links with the Al-Futtaim Group (AFG), students this term are fortunate to have a personal mentor in an industry that directly links to their career aspirations to develop students’ personal and professional skills. The students will undertake work placements and industry visits one day per week throughout the term.

The work placements this term include the legal, health, financial, marketing, fashion, travel, communication and architectural industry. We wish them all the best in their professional learning journey.

We are pleased to share the following exclusive offers through Al-Futtaim HealthHub with parents of students studying at Deira International School as well as our school community:

     -PCR tests at AED 99* for students, teachers, and parents

     -Pediatric check-up at AED 89* (Paediatric consultation, hearing screening, eye test, dental)

All you need to do to avail these offers is to present your student/parent/teacher school ID.

*The offer is only applicable to Al-Futtaim Schools/Al Futtaim Education Foundation. Terms and conditions apply.

Please visit https://www.healthhubalfuttaim.com to know more.

September 2021 – We are so excited to announce that our very own Naya from Year 10 has been shortlisted for the UAE Young Athlete of the Year in the Gulf Sports Awards, representing DIS. This is such a great achievement, and she needs our help and votes to secure the win. 

Please vote for Naya here by clicking on Naya’s picture on FB to “like” it. The voting is counted as likes for the individual picture, not the post.


Naya is an international rhythmic gymnast who represents the National Team of Syria and was awarded the Winner of Outstanding Performer in all sports by her school in 2021. She excels in all sports at school. Besides gymnastics, she also plays on the netball and basketball team. Naya is an example of a very hardworking and committed student and athlete. She always works up to her best potential in everything she does. Despite the war in Syria that lasted 10 years and affected her ability to travel across the globe to several competitions, she has achieved great results internationally. Naya’s dream is to be an Olympian someday.

We hope you can help and support Naya by voting, either on Facebook or through one of the following platforms:
GYS Expo Website (click here)
GYS Facebook

GYS Instagram (live from 9pm on Monday) 
GYS Twitter 

Every individual can vote four times. The award is given through 50% voting and 50% judging by a judging panel.

Public Online Vote (50% weighting)
Voting opens: Sunday September 12th – 5pm UAE time
Voting closes: Tuesday September 14th – 9pm UAE time

You can vote for Naya by using any of the above links. If you vote via Facebook, please click on Naya’s picture and “like” it. The voting is counted as likes for the individual picture, not the post.

September 2021 – Following on from the success of the Future Fluencies Programme that Al Futtaim Education Foundation offered in association with Awecademy in 2020/2021, we are pleased to announce the launch of the 2021/2022 cohort. The programme will be run by School of Humanity, a venture that Raya Bidshahri, former co-founder of Awecademy, sees as the next evolutionary step in her mission to reinvent education.

Future Fluencies is a 6-month programme where learners develop the skills of the future while solving global challenges and receiving mentorship from industry leaders. 

Al Futtaim Education Foundation is offering full merit-based scholarships to 32 learners, aged 13-18, from Universal American School and Deira International School to participate in the programme.

Participating learners get to embark on interdisciplinary learning paths, such as Future of Money, Future of Healthcare, Future of Art, and Future of Well-being. They graduate from the programme with:

  • a compelling portfolio of projects & solutions
  • real-life work experiences to guide their career trajectory
  • a robust network of industry experts and advisors
  • practical tools to help establish self-purpose & enable well-being
  • an opportunity to present in a global showcase at Expo 2020

For more information about the programme, please refer to the brochure linked here

August 12, 2021, Dubai, UAE – Al Futtaim Education Foundation announced today that Deira International School’s Class of 2021 has achieved outstanding GCSE results for its cohort of 108 students. Deira International School (DIS) is owned and operated by Al Futtaim Education Foundation.

A remarkable 77% of the results were A*-A grades while 51% of grades awarded were A*. 89% of the results were A*-B, and 97% of the grades were A*-C. The pass rate of the cohort was 100%.

Stand out students include Daniel Nasri, Marcelle Shouly, Meera Hallak, Muhammad Nadeem, Murtaza Asghar, Nabil El Hage Ali, Nayla Waly, Pradyumna Saligram, Roxanne Dubash and Vaynika Gupta. These students all achieved 100% A*.

Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, commented on the achievement:

“I am thrilled with these outstanding results. This has been such a challenging year for everyone; for students, staff and parents. Witnessing our GCSE cohort achieve this level of academic success is absolutely wonderful, with no less than 51% of results at A*grades and 77% achieved A*/A. So many students have won massive individual battles and overcome huge obstacles to achieve what they have today. I am enormously proud of all our students for working so hard under such difficult circumstances to achieve these results. I must also acknowledge and thank DIS staff who not only had to prepare the students, but also had the additional task of assessing the students’ portfolios for submission to the boards. This was an enormous undertaking, and I could not be more grateful. The consequences of their efforts can be seen in today’s superb news.”

Highest achievers who received 100% A* Grades:

  • Muhammad Nadeem
  • Pradyumna Saligram
  • Vaynika Gupta
  • Daniel Nasri
  • Meera Hallak
  • Murtaza Asghar
  • Roxanne Dubash
  • Nabil El Hage Ali
  • Nayla Waly
  • Marcelle Shouly
 IGCSE Results201920202021
 No. of exam entries804970974
 No. of students in GCSE level cohort93114108
 % of exam entries graded A*/9-8202751
 % of exam entries graded A*-A /9-7455477
 % of exam entries graded A*-B /9-6708089
 % of exam entries graded A*-C /9-4899597
 % 5+ A*-C889597

Students from Deira International School have achieved record results for their IB Diploma exams 2021.

Twin sisters Naz Karadede and Nil Karadede, both students at Deira International School (DIS), achieved the full mark of 45 points for the IB, The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). In addition to Naz and Nil Karade, two more DIS students and graduation award winners also scored 45 points: Jolie Ghobrial, Director’s Award winner, and Hasan Raza, Head Boy and Fellowship Award winner.

Only about 0.2% of students across the world achieve the highest point score of 45 points, so these exam results are truly outstanding.

The Class of 2021 is the most successful cohort in Deira International School’s results history with a record-breaking average IB Diploma score of 38 points and a pass rate of 100%. No less than 23 students, representing 38% of the candidates, scored above 40 points. This year’s global average score was 33.02 points.

We are very proud of all our Class of 2021 students and congratulate them once again for achieving these fantastic results.

Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, commented on the achievement:

“We are thrilled with these outstanding results. This has been such a challenging year for so many reasons, particularly due to the unpredictability of the examination systems. To achieve record results, especially with such a high percentage of students achieving 40+ points and four students achieving a perfect 45 points, is phenomenal. It is also important to point out that this is a reflection of the consistent hard work of our students and the dedication and professionalism of the teachers and all staff at Deira International School. It is wonderful to end the year on such a high note of success, which will also lay the foundation of continued excellence in the future.”

DIS Graduation C2021

The Al Futtaim Education Foundation would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Class of 2021 and all graduate students from both Deira International School and Universal American School.

We were so delighted to see all our graduates and their families during a special graduation ceremony* that took place on June 23 at Intercontinental Dubai Festival City. The event was held under the patronage of Mr. Omar A. Al Futtaim, CEO and Vice Chairman of Al-Futtaim Group, Chairman of Al Futtaim Education Foundation.

The event was attended by Mr. Omar A. Al Futtaim, CEO and Vice Chairman of Al-Futtaim Group, Chairman of Al Futtaim Education Foundation and Ms. Mira Al Futtaim. Honourable guests at the event included H.E. Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash and members of the Al Futtaim Education Foundation, the schools’ governing body, and members of the DIS and UAS Boards.

Graduation day is the day every student has dreamed about, and one of the finest milestones to commemorate for the Al Futtaim Education Foundation. We are so proud of your accomplishments, both as individuals and as cohorts. Our Class of 2021 is one of the most successful cohorts we have seen, across our schools, in the history of the Foundation. We are extremely proud to have played a role in developing these young individuals and setting them up for their further journey and success.

The Chairman’s Leadership Award was presented by Ms. Mira Al Futtaim to Mya Msuya from Universal American School for having forwarded the school through her actions and leadership. Joined by Mr. Fadi Hammadeh, Al Futtaim Education Foundation and Chairman of the DIS and UAS Board, Ms. Mira Al Futtaim also presented the Valedictorian Award to Krishna Mashruwala from Deira International School.

The challenges for the Class of 2021 have been immense. While we commend your resilience and determination, we are also very grateful for your patience and flexibility. This year’s graduation event was particularly special since it was the first time during the pandemic that we were able to gather as a community.

We are so thankful that so many of you were able to join us on this special day, and we would also like to express our sincerest appreciation for all your support to our community throughout the past year.

*The event was held with strict adherence to the COVID-19 prevention measures and protocols adopted by the Government of Dubai and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).

We are so proud of Hasan Raza, our Head Boy and IBDP student, who has been featured in an article on SchoolsCompared.com about the current struggles of applying to universities in the middle of a pandemic. The article is part of a SchoolsCompared Student Voices series called Stories from the Edge of the Future – A Guide to Applying for University.

In the article, Hasan describes his journey to secure his dream admission at UofT’s Rotman Commerce program, in the heart of Toronto. He shares all his tips and tricks of university applications and how to make every application count – and how staying positive in a world turned upside down by Covid-19 can make all the difference.

The three Higher Level subjects Hasan chose at DIS were all focused on commerce: Business Management, Economics and Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches. His Standard Level subjects were Chemistry, French B and English Language Literature.

Hasan says it was the ability to venture into different fields during his IGCSE’s that helped him finalise the career he wants to work towards.

Hasan aspires to be a businessman in the foreseeable future and plans to study Business and Economics at a Canadian university. He has already applied early to five universities in Canada which include UofT, UBC and McGill University. As a backup plan, he has also applied to five universities in the UK, including the LSE, UCL and University of Warwick.

We couldn’t agree more with Hasan’s advice on how to prepare any written assignment – in this case, a university application:

“If you’re able to prepare for your supplemental applications, start working on them as soon as possible to ensure that you’re able to get feedback and have sufficient time to make tweaks. If you rush your essays, it will show. Those minor tweaks that you make as you approach the deadline will add that element of finesse and flair that admissions officers are seeking.”


Good luck to you, Hasan, we are really proud of you and look forward to seeing you succeed as a businessman VERY soon – but we do expect a small discount!

We sat down with Buket Ayaz, DIS University & Careers Counsellor, to talk about some of the unique challenges she faced for secondary counselling the past year.

“This year has been a very special, but also a successful year with one of the most successful cohorts I have seen in my life. Our students have received university offers from King’s College, LSE, UCLA, and many other top universities, but it has been a year where we were all ‘planning for a future unplanned’.

We had to develop new ways to tackle the pandemic and the learning. We stepped up when it came to being resilient. The students were able to tell themselves that they just had to move on, despite the constant uncertainty. They did not give up!

The biggest challenge was that I was not seeing the students as much as usual in person. All my counseling sessions took place on Zooms and Teams. We held “College Readiness” group sessions every week.

However, this also turned out to be a positive thing. The online sessions made it possible to form a bond with the students in a different way and stay in touch. It turned out to be a benefit where I was able to reach the students most of the time – and give them information when they needed it.

The biggest challenge for the students was probably making plans when they didn’t know if the plans would go ahead or not. They planned for their IB exams, and the exams got cancelled!

They didn’t even know if they would be able to come to school the next day.

Meanwhile, I was working around the clock, and I didn’t know what my working hours would be like. I had to attend college sessions in different time zones to get all the latest information that I needed to share with students.

There are so many dimensions in my role, but the most rewarding part is knowing that I have not only helped students find their dream careers and schools but also impacted the journey of self-discovery by opening up a world of possibilities for them.”

May 2021 – We are very delighted to share the latest vaccination stats with you. 96.1 percent of all our teachers and school staff at DIS have now been vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine.

We have encouraged and supported all our staff members to get vaccinated for their own protection – as well as for the safety of our campus and school community. The DIS vaccination drive includes all our teachers and support staff, administrators, security guards and bus drivers.

We are continuously committed to keeping everyone in our community safe, and the latest results show that we are on the right track with our efforts.

Any remaining staff members who are not yet vaccinated undergo weekly PCR tests, as per the KHDA guidelines.

Elite Sports are back after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday with their football programme at Deira International School and will offer football sessions to children of all years at the school.

Re-commencing Wednesday 19th May 2021, the schedule of sessions for children aged 4 – 14 years of age has been designed so your child can flourish in one of our fantastic training facilities, resume their sporting activity and keep fit and active, whilst being coached by our team of UEFA & FA Qualified Coaches.

Wednesday 3.00 – 4.00 (All Year Groups)

From AED 80 per session

The remaining sessions of the term will take place INDOORS IN THE AIR CONDITIONED SPORTS HALL, and spaces are strictly limited. To avoid disappointment, you can secure a space via https://secure.telr.com/gateway/ql/EliteSportsAcademy_198545.html (AED 672) or contact football@elitesports.ae / 04 554 5916 for more information.

We cannot wait to resume, with all respective safety procedures in place to ensure your children are safe while learning the sport they love. 

Elite Sports Academy

April 2021 – Six senior students from DIS began their Customer Experience Internships at Al-Futtaim Automotive during the first week of Ramadan, along with 12 students from Universal American School.

The students will be learning the ropes “on the floor” at Toyota, Lexus, Volvo, Honda, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM showrooms over the next month until Eid. Ramadan is the busiest time of the season for automotive dealerships, but our students are up for the challenge and eager to get some hands-on experience in sales, communications, and customer service.

The internships are offered every summer in collaboration with Al Futtaim Education Foundation and give our student a chance to get real work experience, solving real tasks. The summer internships are an important part of our continuous focus on experiential learning at DIS.

“I decided to do this internship because of my interest in Toyota and cars. I feel like this is going to help me socialize a lot more and help me learn how to sell a car and learn communication skills… This is why I chose to apply for this internship.”

Watch the video below from the first day’s training session:

AFEF Internship Final

March 16, 2021, Dubai, UAE – Deira International School (DIS), owned and operated by Al Futtaim Education Foundation, announced today that Jana Tamer Issa, a DIS Year 12 student, has won the first place in the Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition at Emirates Literature Festival. Jana secured the winning position in Arabic poetry in the age group between 14-18. This year’s edition of the Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition attracted more than 700 participants around the UAE who competed in Arabic or English across two age groups.

Emirates NBD Poetry For All is an annual competition run by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to celebrate poetry performance and recital. Students learn poetry by heart and give an emotional response to the language and ideas of the poet.

This year’s entrants performed individual interpretations of their favourite poems in several preliminary rounds and after nearly five months of preparations leading up to the grand finals. The first place winners in Arabic and English also repeated their winning performances on stage in front of an audience of parents, teachers, and VIPs, at the awards ceremony held at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU).

The winner plaque was handed over to Jana by Isobel Abulhoul, OBE and CEO of Emirates Literature Festival, in the presence of HRH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Commenting on winning the award, Jana Tamer Issa, DIS Year 12, said: “I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to participate in this year’s Emirates Literature Festival Poetry for All in Arabic. I have always wanted to participate in a poetry competition because my grandfather was a poet and he inspired me to know more poetry. Back in October, there was an Instagram post about the competition, and I immediately felt like I wanted to register and try it out. This experience was very unique, and I really enjoyed both performing and watching very passionate performances. The competition has not only made me appreciate poetry, but it has also made me appreciate the phenomenal poets that surround us from the present and the past. It is my honour to have been the winner this year and I am grateful to everyone that helped me: my mum, Mr Yasser, my aunt and everyone who supported me. It was truly a wonderful opportunity that has helped me gain confidence and enhance my speaking skills in Arabic. I cannot wait to participate again next year.”

Yasser Ghazal, Head of Arabic A at Deira International School, commented on Jana’s win:  “In cooperation with the Center of Excellence for Arabic Language in Al-Futtaim Educational Foundation, we always seek to raise the level of the Arabic language and instill a love for language and literature among all students. Therefore, we have been keen to participate in this year’s competition and encouraged all our students to sign up. We qualified for the finals online, reached the top ten, and now Jana has won the competition. Congratulations again to Jana – we hope her win will inspire everyone to participate in the coming years.”

Simon O’Connor, School Director at Deira International School, congratulated Jana for her achievement: “We are immensely proud of Jana for winning this year’s Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition. Her oratory talent has not only impressed us at Deira International School during the internal competition rounds, but also all the external judges at this year’s competition. We are excited to see what lies ahead for Jana’s many talents, and we are confident that Jana’s impressive performance and win will inspire other students at DIS to explore poetry recital.”

About Al-Futtaim Education Foundation

Al Futtaim Education Foundation (AFEF) was launched as an initiative of the Al Futtaim family to support the vision of the Government of Dubai and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) for the creation of a globally competitive economy while maximising its social contribution to the community through this not-for-profit endeavor. It aims to meaningfully impact the education scene in the UAE, the region and beyond.

The Foundation founded and now operates the Centre for Excellence in Arabic which supports the UAE Vision of ensuring that students have a solid knowledge of the Arabic language. It aims to support Arabic teaching and learning with solid, research-based tools, strategies and instruments. The Centre cultivates interest in Arabic through a focus on literature, on developing a wealth of curriculum resources, and on providing a platform for action research into the language.

AFEF owns and provides governance to Deira International School (DIS) and Universal American School (UAS), which it plans to make the leading British and American schools in the region, taking education in the UAE to the next level. The schools aim to provide the best learning environment for its students and deploy pioneering initiatives to prepare them for higher education, equipping them with the skills to excel in an increasingly globalized and technologically advanced world. The Foundation supports by bringing the highest levels of excellence to DIS/UAS through employing the best-in-class teachers who will guarantee top quality education, propelling the schools to attaining their peak potential.

About Al-Futtaim

Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim today, is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Structured into four operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate and retail; employing more than 42,000 employees in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands.

Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organisation to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate.

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity; Al-Futtaim continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day.

Claire Heylin, primary English lead teacher at DIS, shared insights in The National on why and how parents should to read to their children all year round. 

The Month of Reading 2021 might be coming to an end, but that does not mean reading at home should stop. In the article, Claire Heylin explains all the reasons why reading is “nourishment for the soul and the mind”, and she also shares tips on how to encourage reading in your family. 

Read the full article here:


We are delighted to announce that Deira International School (DIS) has been awarded the ‘International School Awards’ for ‘Digital Technology in Learning’. This is testament to the outstanding work of teachers and leaders at DIS in revolutionising our digital environment and using cutting-edge pedagogy to create outstanding learning opportunities for all students, whether onsite or at learning remotely.

The International School Awards celebrate learning, teaching, community, wellbeing, leadership and strategic initiatives at international schools. They provide the opportunity for international schools to share best practice, creative endeavours, community participation, and innovation. This year, due to the impact of COVID-19 on schools throughout the world, many initiatives will have been developed to respond to the crisis. As a result, the judges are looking for initiatives that show innovation and the potential for change through adversity. The International School Awards are hosted by ISC Research with the support of International School Leader Magazine.

The Digital Technology in Learning Award recognises a digital technology initiative that has had impact on student learning and also required evidence of the development of digital responsibility. The last year has seen a huge acceleration of the need for students to be digital natives – able to use technology fluently in all that they do. This will be a crucial skill set for all students’ futures.

Simon O’Connor, Director of Deira International School, commented ‘I am thrilled with this recognition by such a prestigious organization. The use of digital technology is at the forefront of education development and this highlights that Deira International School is leading the way and helping to construct the future for all our students. I am enormously grateful for the hard work of all the teachers here at DIS who have seized the opportunities created by the current pandemic to continue to improve the learning opportunities for our students.’

Teachers at Deira International School have been working hard over the past 18 months towards a common goal. As part of our now award-winning digital strategy, teachers have embraced the medium of technology to enhance the already outstanding teaching that takes place. The purpose of technology in education is not simply to replace what has previously been done. Instead, technology gives us the opportunity to redefine how learning takes place. Students at Deira International School are direct beneficiaries of this digital strategy. Every day at school, students benefit from the high level of aptitude from teachers with how to use digital platforms to create the optimal learning experience for students. It is important to note that this award reflects the quality of teaching and learning through our digital provision, not our digital provision itself. As such, parents enrolling their children at Deira International School can be assured of the highest quality education. 

The use of artificial intelligence is now integrated into our school assessments, particularly in English, Maths, Science and Arabic. Teacher feedback to students is often via verbal voice notes through Microsoft OneNote. The use of verbal feedback adds significant value to the feedback process. The ability to give more depth the use of voice notes is a game-changer when it comes to facilitating student progress. Our use of Microsoft Teams, in particular the assignments and rubrics, means that students have objective and meaningful feedback based on commonly shared criteria. Part of our digital strategy includes the readiness to adapt to the ever-changing opportunities that are available to us. This means that whilst we have various integrated apps and process is, we are always looking at how to make this even better. 

A key part of our digital strategy is the leadership of our student body. Students at Deira International School have been a fundamental part of developing our vision, creating our strategy and implementing it. Students have learned about the leadership process and how to engineer change. This is being at all levels within the school.

Deira International School is part of the Al Futtaim Education Foundation and is based in Dubai Festival City. The school has been recognised for its transformational work over the past 12 months in developing its digital learning environment by the ‘International School Awards’. Chosen as the winner from schools across the globe, this is testament to the outstanding vision for learning of the group and strategic implementation by the leadership.

DIS is contributing to a greener planet through renewable energy generation, our solar panels in DIS are generating up to 26% circa of its electricity and this is leading to carbon offsetting up to 465.67 ha yearly.


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