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The Dubai Gem School


Dream up the seventies : a post - oil ers when Dubai , a fledgling city was , as it were , in its throes , building roads and bridges , sea ports and airports. It was almost in tandem that the Dubai Gem Nursery laid its modest foundations. The school opened in 1973 with four children attending classes. But as its founder , Mrs Sultana Rabi observes today, education is a process , not an investment in brick and mortar. The school has grown slab by slab. Thus , in many ways , the institution has grown with the city. As Dubai's industrial free zones and golf clubs mushroomed , turning it into an international business and leisure hub , Dubai Gem made small but worthy contribtions to the city's education patina.

Today , even as it’s first students have embarked on career thresholds across the world , the school continues to expand and on the drawing board is the master plan that hopes to see Dubai Gem stand among the more impressive of secondary high schools offering IGCSE - the International General Certificate of Secondary Schools Education.

Big is not necessarily beautiful , but sometimes growth is inevitable. So we shall grow , while not losing the common touch. As Shahien Hamza , the music and art teacher who has been with the school for some fifteen years observes : “ I have preferred Dubai Gem as a Junior school. All schools welcome our students because the school gives them an excellent foundation and very good personalities. ” But the challenge now is to be able to grow , while still providing that warmth that homes are made of. How well have we done so many years , comes only from testimony.

Mrs Lydia Kuriakose , a former teacher at Dubai Gem and currently director of Good Shephard Inn , a school and childcare institution in the state of Kansas , U.S.A wrote lately to Mrs. Kharwa , who is among the school’s first teachers : “ Convey my love to all at Dubai Gem, ” she wrote. “ I will never forget Dubai Gem , my friends and colleagues , who have meant a lot to me. I love you Dubai Gem and I owe all my success to you , next to god. ”

The school since startup in 1973 has obviously undergone a metamorphosis. The school’s roster now lists the names of at least 3,000 children. Our first teachers , Nayar Kharwa and Zarina Gaya are now joined by a competent team of 150 teachers , focused in several facilities , the sciences , humanities , information technology , sports , ballet , languages as well as music and drama.

The point Mrs J. Grattan , the school’s principal , makes is that human responses are often imperfect and human relationships demand qualities of understanding and of give and take in a far from perfect world. “ Children need to respond positively to the imperfections of others and to be adaptable in their approach. Habitual instant gratification makes difficult for them to respond with patience and understanding.

The school also sees a role for itself to set among its children sense of values as well as help them keep pace with new ideas in development. It has made beggining with the formation of Gems in Green , a student body that addresses environmental issues and whose leaders are drawn from Grade 8 and 9. As Dubai Muncipality’s Target 555 - a campaign to make the students of Dubai aware of environmental issues in the Emirates.

The souvenir commemorates the twenty five years of work focused in education and looks at how the future is likely to unfold for this alma matter.

THE PRESENT TEACHERS OF DUBAI GEM PRIVATE SCHOOL : ( Classes from Nursery to IX not included.)


Bibi Rabi,

Jean Grattan,

Magda Ghoneim,

Omneya Ameen,

Jeroo N. Dubash,

Kay Fairley,

Nina Malhotra,

Hyacinth Lobo (Head of Senior School)

Karal King,

Heba Ramadan,

Sheela Mistry,

Ahmed Salem,


Computer Teachers:

Veena Mony,

Shafaq Naheed.


Hortencia D’Souza.


Elizabeth Mathew,

Neelam Macio.

Music Teachers:

Rosa Marie D’Souza,

Shahien Hamza,

Vino Wijeratne.

P.E. Teachers:

Sadie Smith,

Julie Bramwell,

Anneke Overall,

Leslie Daniels,

Arnab Ghosh,

Mr. Micheal.

Language Teachers:

Shanaz Hussain,

Usha Sapory,

Shahid Qader,

ayada El-Debs,

Anahid Nafar,

Sarah Zahedi,

Naheed Nafees,

Tabassum Jafri,

Khalida Adiba.

Arabic Teachers:

Mona Hasan,

Rana Kasseb,

Sahar Abd El Monem,

Menat Elelah,

Heba Nasr,

Doaa Said,

Latifa Hussein,

Sanaa El-Moneim,

Amal Hasan.

Islamic Studies Teacher:

Badriya Kapadia,

Khalida Adiba.

Nursery Staff:

Lorraine Woolley,

Hala Mounir,

Mangalika Wijetilleke.


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