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Jubail Island Set to Bring the First Gordonstoun School to the Gulf Region

  • Jubail Island Investment Company and Spaces Investment & Real Estate Development signed an agreement with Gordonstoun, to open a school on Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi on 21 September 2023.
  • The partnership will see Gordonstoun’s unique educational ethos introduced to the Gulf Region, with special focus on character building and skill development for students ages four-to-eighteen.

Jubail Island Investment Company (JIIC) and Spaces Investment & Real Estate Development (Spaces) announced plans to open a school on Jubail Island in Abu Dhabi, in agreement with Gordonstoun in 21 September 2023.

The collaboration will see Gordonstoun School grant JIIC and Spaces the exclusive regional right to license the “Gordonstoun School” name, trademarks, curriculum, and know-how in the development of the school. The school will comply with Gordonstoun’s high standards and reputation, bringing an enhanced sense of excellence and distinction to the region’s already-impressive educational offerings.

The agreement was signed by Mounir Haidar – Managing Director of JIIC, Fahad AlBlooshi – Chairman of Spaces, and David White – Gordonstoun Chair of Governors and Chair of Gordonstoun International Ltd at Gordonstoun in Scotland, United Kingdom.

The signing ceremony was also attended by Engineer Abdulla Saeed Al Shamsi – Operations Corporate Director at JIIC, Ali Yassin – Chief Finance Officer at JIIC, Feras Abu Ibrahim – Chief Executive Officer of Spaces, Lisa Kerr – Principal of Gordonstoun, Pamela Muir – Chief Executive Officer of Gordonstoun International, Ralph Tabberer – Gordonstoun International Director, and Jon Longdon – Gordonstoun International Director.

The first Gordonstoun school to open in the region will be in the master planned Jubail Island development in Abu Dhabi and is expected to welcome students in September 2026. Jubail Island’s Gordonstoun School will be aligned with the student experience offered by the institution in Scotland, and will aim to combine Gordonstoun’s emphasis on leadership, challenge, and service with opportunities for students to engage with UAE culture and tradition.

Commenting on the MoU, Mounir Haidar, Managing Director of JIIC, said: “The opening of Gordonstoun School in Jubail Island will see the iconic destination elevated even further, propelled by Gordonstoun’s prestigious global reputation and unique educational ethos. Once functional, the school will serve as a world-class institution for students throughout the region and will underscore Abu Dhabi’s leading status as an exclusive hub for living and learning. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Gordonstoun and Spaces to bring this vision to life and look forward to welcoming students to Jubail Island’s Gordonstoun School in just a few years’ time.”

The Jubail Island school will operate under the Gordonstoun name and will bring the benefits of Gordonstoun’s world-renowned character education to the region. The collaboration will contribute to Abu Dhabi’s leading status – and with Jubail Island being the leading lifestyle destination – will create one of the region’s most exclusive residential communities in the heart of the capital. Its presence in the development also serves as a testament to the forward-thinking nature of JIIC and its commitment to delivering a truly exceptional and integrated living experience.

Fahad AlBlooshi, Chairman of Spaces, added: “Partnering with JIIC and Gordonstoun on the launch of the first Gordonstoun School in the region is an incredible opportunity that will see the foundations laid for a new kind of education. Gordonstoun’s specialised approach to value-based education, which teaches students hands-on skills and supports with positive character building, is in alignment with UAE values and culture, which aim to encourage independence, perseverance, and discipline. We’re excited to debut the school in Jubail Island and look forward to the ways in which it will continue to shape the future generations of the UAE.”

A co-educational school for both boarding and day students in Moray, Scotland, Gordonstoun is one of the world’s top independent schools that caters for students aged four to eighteen. It has served as the leading global institution in character education for over 80 years and is also the birthplace of the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award. Following the English GCSE and A Level curriculum, Gordonstoun teaches students resilience and confidence in the face of challenges.

David White, Chair of Governors and Chair of Gordonstoun International Ltd, said: “At Gordonstoun, we are world-leading in the education delivered to our students and it has always been our vision to make our unique approach more universal. This agreement is a big step towards making a Gordonstoun education more widely available to students in the Region, and we are delighted to open up this unique form of learning to other parts of the world. We hope it will be the first of many similar ventures in the future.”

“The income from our international operations is essential to fund our bursary programme, which offers life-changing opportunities to children from under-privileged backgrounds. It also allows us to develop our facilities for the benefit of our students and local community,” he added.

Managed by LEAD Real Estate Developer, Jubail Island is nestled among the breath-taking natural beauty and rich biodiversity of the mangroves, and covers more than 3,000 hectares. It will house a collection of six residential village estates between Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. The low density, low-impact landmark destination seamlessly blends sustainable living, luxury, and wellness in an iconic new addition to Abu Dhabi’s real estate landscape.


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