Introduction to DESS

For over 40 years Doha English Speaking School (DESS), one of the longest established not-for-profit schools in Qatar, has provided children with an outstanding education through the British Curriculum.

Our story began in 1971 when an English speaking primary school catering for British children was first built in Doha. The junior school was opened in February 1979 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the present Amir’s father.

Following the opening of Year 7 in 2021, and Year 8 in September 2022, DESS is now the only non-for-profit preparatory school in Qatar.  As a member of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS); a UK kitemark of excellence in education, DESS focuses on providing the best possible education for children aged 3-13.

At DESS we are committed to providing a caring and well-disciplined environment as a basis for our whole school community to engage in a life long love of learning. We work together for the benefit of each individual student, teaching them the importance of making friendships and to respect and care for others. Through the rigorous academic curriculum and our wide range of extra-curricular activities our children are given the best opportunity for self-development and discovery to become well rounded, happy, confident individuals who reach their full potential.

Nearly all of our teachers are British trained and with over 90% of our children being British passport holders and, together with facilities and grounds of the highest quality, we have a platform for learning which reminds our children and parents of a traditional British school yet with a truly international feel in Doha.

Our Year 6 Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) are in the top 2% of both State and Independent Schools in the United Kingdom. Our children’s academic achievements are significantly above those demonstrated in the UK national average statistics and their sporting achievements are also most impressive.

In 2023 DESS received 2 Outstanding Inspection reports. (COBIS & BSO)

We were awarded the highest possible grading in all key areas. This grading allows DESS to be favourably compared with other UK and overseas independent schools. BSO is the gold standard of inspections and the only international accreditation system advocated and supported by the British Government for British international schools. 

We pride ourselves as a family at DESS working with parents to nurture and educate their children on an emotional and practical level during some of the most exciting, formative, years of the children’s lives. Our students leave DESS well-prepared for a seamless transition to UK independent, grammar, state and international schools they go on to attend.