Cranleigh Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the first intake of pupils last month.
The brand new, state-of-the-art junior school launched the academic year with 658 pupils and a resoundingly successful first day that included sailing, speeches and sports as well as a full curriculum of academic lessons.
Headmaster of Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Mr Brendan Law, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we’ve opened such a stunning school, fully equipped, with a world class team of inspiring teachers and enthusiastic pupils, who have already shown their commitment to a broad and inspiring Cranleigh education that truly echoes our motto of Ex Cultu Robur (‘from culture comes strength’).
“Cranleighans get stuck in: day one showed just that spirit, with a full range of academic, cultural, sporting and co-curricular activities from the off.”
The School is situated in the heart of Saadiyat Island, the cultural showpiece of the United Arab Emirates, and located near to the New York University Abu Dhabi campus, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
The Senior School is almost complete and will open its doors in January 2015. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will educate more than 1,500 students aged from three to 18 years by 2020 and is the best equipped school campus in Abu Dhabi.
Plans for the development have taken just three years to move from initial dream to the outstanding School that became reality this week.
It’s the result of a close productive partnership between the UK Schools, the Royal Group based in Abu Dhabi, and the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the Emirate’s master developer of major cultural, leisure, educational and residential properties on Saadiyat.
Mr Ali Al Hammadi, CEO of TDIC, said: “This school is the realisation of a vision for educational excellence at TDIC. We are determined to give the children the best possible educational opportunities as part of the broader Saadiyat vision; Cranleigh Abu Dhabi is our flagship school and we are very proud to open its doors to the world.”
Mr Mike Wilson, Headmaster of Cranleigh Preparatory School (UK), and Mr Sam Watkinson, Cranleigh (UK) Governor and Old Cranleighan, have both worked on the project since inception, helping to create the superb facilities and shaping the academic and co-curricular timetable to reflect the ethos of Cranleigh UK.
The school will introduce a broad academic curriculum, with emphasis on the individual, while a wealth of opportunities will allow students to explore their full range of talents in fine arts, performing arts, music, sport and cultural activities.
Mr Wilson said: “It is overwhelming to see how the special Cranleigh ethos has been embraced and translated into such a wonderful School in Abu Dhabi.
“We are all so proud of what has been achieved with our partners and so excited about what the future holds for cultural exchange between our Schools.”
“It has been an incredible journey,” added Mr Watkinson, “And we are delighted to have achieved this with our partners The Royal Group and TDIC.
“It’s a very exciting time for Cranleigh and fitting that Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will celebrate its first birthday next year when our UK School celebrates 150 years of providing first-class education.”
Report and picture contributed by Cranleigh School & Cranleigh Prep School.