History of the GISAD
The German International School in Abu Dhabi was founded as German School Abu Dhabi in 1976. At that time it was founded by the Strabag company as an “expert school”. With 16 students and three teachers, the school began its education in modest conditions in the middle of the desert.
Over the years, the school developed steadily and increased its student numbers to almost 70. The outbreak of the Gulf War unfortunately hindered the expansion of the school during that time and the student numbers dropped to 20. The teacher at that time, Mrs. Maggie Topping, kept the school alive with these few students until a headmaster was appointed again in 1990.
Slowly the number of students increased again and over the years several extensions were built step by step on the land generously provided by Sheikh Zayed for a symbolic rent of AED 18,000 per year. In 2005, with the help of local German companies and especially a donation from the royal family, a modern sports hall was built on the site. In 2005/2006, Emirati children were admitted to the kindergarten for the first time thanks to H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Scholarship.
In 2006/2007 the school achieved official recognition as a German school abroad, which means that all diplomas of our school are equal to those of German schools within Germany. The number of students has now increased to 138. In 2007/2008 the school received permission to introduce the upper secondary level and in 2010/2011 the German International Abitur examination was held for the first time. This new perspective again provided the school with an enormous increase in the number of students to approximately 230.
By admitting Emirati children, the contact to the Emirati partners has become much more in depth. In 2008, the school succeeded in concluding an agreement with the government of Abu Dhabi in which a high-quality school building was given to the school free of charge. In return, the school undertook to admit ten Emirati children a year free of charge. At the beginning of the 2008/2009 school year, the entire school was able to move into the new, spacious school building. Here our students now have ideal learning conditions.