Principal’s Welcome

Principal’s Welcome

Welcome to the German International School Abu Dhabi!

Thank you for your interest in our school! GISAD was founded in 1976 and we are proud of our long history in the United Arab Emirates. In 2006/2007 GISAD was officially recognized as part of the German International School Network. Since then all certificates issued by us are fully recognized in Germany: As recognized educational institutes (regardless of their origin), our students have equal access to all offers of the German education system, with the Abitur in particular to colleges and universities in Germany and worldwide.

Our teaching staffs are well trained (state examinations for teachers, state diplomas for educators) and contribute experience from the German-speaking world and international experience. We pursue the goal of enabling our students to have a successful school career that will pave the way for a promising future by providing them not only with excellent knowledge but also with fundamentals of the German culture and a high level of intercultural competence.

In 2005 / 2006, GISAD received a generous donation from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, H.H. Mohammed bin Zayed, which enabled us to move into our spacious and modern school building and expand our academic offerings. The H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed scholarship enabled GISAD to integrate Emirati children from kindergarten age into our school community for the first time. In the school year 2018 / 2019 we proudly awarded our first Emirati student with the German International Abitur.

The German International Abitur is our highest qualification and is achieved at the end of grade 12 after the students have passed a number of exams. Our Abitur certifies a profound and broad knowledge and extended skills in the world language English through bilingual subjects which we teach from the intermediate level onwards. It enables students to study at universities and colleges worldwide, not least in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, but also here in the Emirates.

Our school career path is characterized by the fact that the linguistic skills are very specifically promoted already in kindergarten. For some children the first priority is to become fluent in the German language. In addition, the offer “Arabic for native speakers” begins in kindergarten. The German-speaking children receive language support tailored to their needs with a wide range of educational opportunities and English lessons from the very beginning. From the first grade on, the lessons are German-speaking. Only children who have a good command of German can transfer to the GISAD primary school. However, we offer additional linguistic support to students with a different mother tongue during and after lessons. For children whose mother tongue is not Arabic, lessons in Arabic as a foreign language also begin in the first grade.

With the transition to the lower secondary level (from grade 5), our students are classified as Realschule students or Gymnasium students. From grade 6 on, based on their overall guidance regarding their future school career they follow the respective career path. The teachers carry out these assessments and are in close contact with the parents in this respect. A later change of classification is possible depending on the further development of the children. From grade 9 onwards, some subjects are taught bilingually (German and English).

GISAD is an all-day school that offers after-school care facilities. Our after-school program offers a variety of options, also through cooperation with extra-curricular partners, to relieve parents of after-school supervision and homework assistance.

For more information or to visit us in beautiful and sunny Abu Dhabi, please contact us!

Andreas Rothfritz 



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In the school year of 2005/2006, six Emirati children were accepted to GISAD for the first time. An integration program was established which meant to enable an easier transition for non-German native speaking students. In addition to the separate “German as a Foreign Language” (DaF) lessons, the most important component was the introduction of an admissions test and an interview with the parents to evaluate the suitability of the children and the willingness of the parents to support them in learning a new language. Meanwhile, almost 50 Emirati children participate in the integration program.

Tailored DaF lessons are given and homework supervision is offered as part of the program. Emirati school children also show great interest in participating in working groups. The care of the Emirati children and their parents as well as the selection process is carried out in close cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Education Council. The school management decides on the admission of the Emirati children. Since the school year of 2007/2008, GISAD employs an integration officer whose main task is to coordinate the care of Emirati children and their parents and to expand the integration program in line with new requirements. DaF lessons are chargeable for all applicants.

In recent years, a trustful cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Education Council has been established. There is great interest on the behalf of the school community and the Emirati community to generate a success of the integration program and thus contribute to expanding the knowledge of foreign languages and cultures to Emirati children and parents alike.

Our Integration Officer is Ms Ouafa Abadi. You can reach her at, Tel.: +971 2 666 8668 Ext. 2


How many students are attending GISAD

Total: 374

110 Kindergarten Students

112 Primary Students (GR. 1-4)

124 Middle School Students (GR. 5-10)

28 High School Students (11-12)

How many classes are in each grade?

Kindergarten: We have a total of 6 groups, averaging a total of 18 children per group

Grades 1-4: In total we have 7 classes, averaging a total of 16 children per class

Grades 5-10: In total we have 8 classes, averaging a total of 16 students per class

Grade 11-12: In total we have 2 classes, averaging a total of 14 students per class

How many teachers are at GISAD?

We currently employ 48 teachers at GISAD


8 teachers are employed that are seconded by the German Government


40 teachers are employed by the school association


Our teachers come from diverse backgrounds and are all fluent in German and English. We also employ native Arabic speakers for Arabic language classes and Islamic Teachings.

How does GISAD compare to other schools in the region?

GISAD has a long standing history in the UAE having been established 1978. We have extended our program such, that children with a non-German speaking background may be integrated as of the kindergarten stage. Our future strategy will foresee to extend this integration to class 1.

As we are a subsidy of the German Government, our fees are very competitive. Our schooling system and graduate program are aligned with that of German. Our students advance through the Thuringia Educational plan in kindergarten, from grade 6 onwards they will be advised to follow the German graduate diploma path – Abitur – or the Real Schulel school path. This allows students to adjust seamlessly back into the German educational system if the family has to relocate or the student plans to attend university in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. Further we offer our students a wide range of extracurricular activities many until 3:30 p.m. This allows students to finish their homework at school, attend their sports or learn theater or yoga.

What time does school start and end?

School starts with the UAE flag raising ceremony at 7.55 a.m. Students who are late for this are asked to wait in the foyer and not disrupt the ceremony in the schoolyard. The first lesson begins at 8 a.m. School ends either at 1.10 p.m. or 3.20 p.m. depending on the individual lesson plans and extracurricular programs which the children may be attending.

Is there a bus transport service?

Yes, we hire a private bus company service which allows our students to be supervised by trained staff. With the help of GPS tracking, you may view the bus location of your child on your own behalf at any time. Our route network extends across Abu Dhabi and serves as a safe method of transportation. You will find a detailed overview in downloads

Are there assemblies and where are they held?

Our assemblies are held in our H.E. Mohamed Rubaya Al Mehairi Gymnasium.

Do you provide school lunch, snacks?

Yes, we work with an external service provider, Keita. Keita is well recognized in the UAE and serves a number of different schools. Children may top up their cafeteria card at any time or bring their lunch from home.

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