Including a provision that students need to be in the country 14 days before school starts…

Back in June, UAE Minister of Education, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi confirmed the country’s 2020/21 academic year will officially start on August 30.

Of course, with the pandemic and much of 2020 schooling taking place in a virtual classroom, prior to that confirmation there were questions as to whether schools would reopen in part or even at all this year.

Al Hammadi said “Education remains a top priority and national objective, and therefore our leadership has directed to apply the distance education system under the current circumstances so that our students won’t lose track and miss one single day from their academic year”

Newly announced requirements for Abu Dhabi students

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Education and Knowledge has issued a guidebook for parents and kids returning to school in the capital.

Contained within the pages, there’s useful advice on areas like coaching children ahead of their return to help avoid anxieties about Covid-19.

The handbook also states that families should be “present in the UAE, at least 14 days prior to your children’s school reopening date”.

Parents are also asked to ensure they and their child (if they have a phone) have installed the ALHOSN app on their phones.

UAE-wide rules and regulations

Earlier in July we reported on new Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) guidelines for the upcoming academic year.

These are in place of course to ensure schools remain safe spaces, and to avoid any potential spread of Covid-19.

All staff, visitors, and students over age 6 will be required to wear masks at all times inside the school.

Temperatures checks for all on arrival, with results not exceeding 37.5 degrees Celsius.

Entering and exiting the schools will be staggered to avoid congestion. Only one parent or guardian will be permitted to drop off and pick up their children.

Desks will be placed 1.5 metres away from each other and students will not change classrooms between lessons. And they’ll even have to maintain that same distance during break times (which is going to be tough work for the teachers and assistants of the younger kids).

For the full list of updates and protocols, refer to the KHDA website.

What school days will look like

Individual schools are adopting different approaches when it comes to a return to the school schedule.

Options for schools include:

Full days — children will attend school daily

Half-days — children will attend half a school day daily

Alternating days — children will receive face-to-face learning at school on alternating days

Alternating weeks — Your children will receive face-to-face learning for two weeks and distance-learning for the remaining two weeks, every month

Hybrid — A combination of the above

Your child’s school is required to tell you which model it’s following before July 30.


There will be distance learning options for children (and family members in the same household) with high-risk health conditions.

A medical certificate must be sent to the school for confirmation.

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Tuition fees

All children of school age must be enrolled for the academic year.

Full payment of tuition fees is required regardless of study model.

Those experiencing financial distress should contact the school’s principal.

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