Nurturing Tomorrow’s Leaders: The Story of Al Ahmadiya School

A Community of Learners: Al Ahmadiya School's Role in Building a Strong Society

A landmark based on the development of education in Dubai and the other coastal emirates, Al Ahmadiya School, was the very first of its kind in the Emirate of Dubai.

You may pick up some interesting facts regarding the development of education in Dubai in only a few minutes here. Historically, the Holy Koran, basic arithmetic, and Arabic calligraphy were the only subjects taught in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by religious men known as Al-Muttawa in private houses.

It was in the very first years of the 20th century when semi-formal institutions like the Al Ahmadiya appeared, where students could study not just religion but also literature and the sciences. Students sat on mats instead of desks and were divided into several groups based on their age and their memorization skills for the Koran.

Classrooms and new disciplines, including English, sociology, and science, were introduced at the Al Ahmadiya school in Dubai when the city adopted a formal education system in 1956. Soon after, enrollment exploded, necessitating a relocation to make room for all of the additional students. While checking out the local souks, this is a worthwhile pit stop.

Al Ahmadiya School
Al Ahmadiya School

Al Ahmadiya School, the first school in Dubai, was founded in a two-story structure next to the Gold Souk. From its opening in 1912 until its demise in 1958, the school attracted and educated some of the region’s brightest scientists and thinkers.

It reopened in 1995 as a museum after extensive renovations; exhibits in each room feature dioramas and movies that provide insight into the building’s history. Intricate design, movement, and furnishings all hint at a glorious past.

Next door is Heritage House, a well-preserved historic home constructed in 1890 by Matar Saeed bin Mazina and filled with period furnishings, household goods, clothing, jewelry, toys, and more.

A central courtyard connects the several classroom wings of the institution. Information, images, videos, and recreations from the era will be provided in each lesson.

Exterior of Al Ahmadiya School
Exterior of Al Ahmadiya School

The history of Al Ahmadiya School

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmouk began work on it in 1912, but he passed away before it was finished. His son, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Ahmed Bin Dalmouk, subsequently took over. In honor of his late father, he christened the institution Al Ahmadiya.

He had the role of school counselor. He also had religious leaders and Arabic language instructors sent in from Saudi Arabia, including Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Hamad Al Mubarak and his sons Sheikh Abdullah and Sheikh Abdul Latif.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Ahmed Bin Dalmouk imported four renowned Iraqi scholars, Sheikhs Abdulla Bin Abdul Wahab Al Waheeb, Ahmed Al Arfaj, and Nasir Al Mansour, in 1920.

Al Ahmadiya School, UAE
Al Ahmadiya School, UAE

There were once around 300 pupils when the institution first opened. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Ahmed Bin Dalmouk covered the costs of the study for those without means, while a small price (between 3 and 5 Indian rupees) was charged to the children of the wealthy.

In 1922, the building’s upper level was enlarged to house a larger student body. Due to the economic depression that followed the collapse of the natural pearl trade, the school was out of session from 1932 to 1937.

The school went from offering semi-regular to regular classes in 1956. The Department of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs took over the school in 1963 when it relocated to its current structure. The school was renovated for around 18 months in 1994. The entire campus is 528 square meters.

AL Ahmadiya School was inaugurated on March 20, 2000, by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (aka, DTCM) assumed responsibility for the Ahmadiyya School in April of 2000.

View of Al Ahmadiya School, UAE
View of Al Ahmadiya School, UAE

Presentations on the history of AL Ahmadiya School, education in the UAE, traditional writing tools, traditional classrooms, photographs, student certificates, and historical documents all serve to illustrate the evolution of education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Dubai. The Al Ahmadia School of Deira may be found in the neighborhood of Al Ras.

Description: The opening of Al-Ahmadiya in 1912 marked the beginning of its rise to dominance as one of the country’s premier educational institutions. In 1956, it introduced ground-breaking new subjects, including English, sociology, and the sciences, to the Dubai curriculum.

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