Welcome to Dar Al Marefa
It starts with an idea. The idea of a community committed to learning. A community built around the shared pursuit of knowledge. A community built around respect: for ourselves, for each other, and for the world around us.
A home away from home, a house of knowledge.
More than an IB Curriculum school, Dar Al Marefa is a community that empowers every child and enriches their development, giving them the skills they need to become lifelong learners. We encourage children to become active members of their social communities - members who are knowledgeable, confident and kind. Dar Al Marefa is an inspiring educational initiative by Al Ghurair and is a top ranked learning institution, and the only bilingual International Baccalaureate Curriculum school in Dubai. In partnership with parents, friends, and the local community, we aim to make a significant contribution to the UAE’s next generation, instilling in them Emirati and Islamic values.
Vision & Mission
Our vision is to create a community that fosters lifelong learning, is rooted in its values and beliefs, is open minded, tolerant and appreciates diversity. Our graduates are principled and courageous individuals, ready to contribute to a more just and peaceful world.
Our mission is to build a consistent, challenging and safe learning environment that supports each child in exploring their capabilities, encourages them to respect other cultures and embrace the world with open-mindedness, tolerance and confidence.
Dar Al Marefa represents the powerful Emirati values, spirit and cultural identity that has helped to build this great country. We open the school’s doors to welcome all people in the same way that the UAE has opened its doors to the world community, living and learning together for the powerful progress of this nation.
Dar Al Marefa is more than a school. It is a family, a society, and a culture that fosters respect, acceptance, and faith. We invite like-minded families to join us with open minds and a spirit of optimism for our community of learners. We have put our hearts and hands into creating an environment that will advance human civilization and knowledge. We invite you to enter our Dar and experience the power of an enlightened education.
Senior Leadership Team
Mr Ian Thurston
Head of Secondary
Inas Al Derbashi
Assistant Head/DP Coordinator
Assistant Head/MYP Coordinator
Assistant Head/Student Well-Being
Assistant Head/PYP Coordinator
Board of Governors
Ibrahim Abdulla Ahmed Al Ghurair
A Business Management graduate from Boston University Questrom School of Business, USA, in 1999 Ibrahim joined the family-owned Al Ghurair Resources – a key player in the agri-commodities sector – as a Commodity Trader He progressed to be part of the pre-opening team of the first oilseed extraction plant in the Gulf, which is now a major global player in oilseed products. From there he took various responsibilities in the group, including the restructuring of several major units.
With a passion for architecture, established Muraba, a boutique property development company, focusing on developing A-grade residential projects.
Ibrahim is a board member of the Al Ghurair parent company, and a father of six, all of whom are all enrolled in the International Baccalaureate programme.
Dr. Abdullah Saad Al-Khanbashi
Dr. Abdullah Saad Al-Khanbashi is a recognised UAE administrator and academician. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee (1997); M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville (1991); and a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville (1990).
In the past 25 years, he held many important positions. From 2008-2012 he served as the Vice Chancellor of the UAE University, the main federal University in the United Arab Emirates. He was also a key member of the UAE University Council and the Chairman of the Academic Affairs Council, as well as other specialized University committees. He also served as UAEU Provost (Chief Operating officer) from 2005-2008. Dr Al-Khanbashi made a significant contribution to the development of tertiary education in the UAE.
Arturo Lujan, has recently joined AGI Ventures as CEO. Arturo holds a BSE (Economics, Finance and Management) and MBA (Master in Business Administration) from WHARTON School of Business with Honors; Advanced Management Programs from HARVARD Business School; amongst others. He is certified as Six Sigma Master Black Belt (MBB - CEO) for Driving Accelerated Profitable Growth. Morevoer, he is the First CEO in Spain certified with the prestigious Marshal Goldsmith SLC for Leadership Development.
He has an extensive history in leadership which included prestigious Fortune 100 Companies and Private Equity Firms, like 3M INNOVATION (Top 20 Fortune and 1st Most Innovative Company), TETRA PAK (Global Leader for Industrial & Consumer Sector), LEVANTINA NATURAL STONE COMPANY (1st Global Leader in Natural Stone and Largest PE Deal in Spain - Owned by BNP Paribás and PE Charter House), Stone House Capital Group (Backed by US and International PE Funds), PRAXIS GLOBAL IT (Leading FinTech & IT Company in Latin America), 3E ENERGY EFFICIENCY (PE Owned in Spain), JUANEDA-VITHAS HEALTH CARE GROUP (Swiss PE Group), and REWARDS TO (Silicon Valley PE) amongst some Prestigious and Leading Global Companies.
Arturo leads company value creation, accelerated growth, results improvement, cashflow optimization, M&As, strategic and operational excellence. Moreover, as a result of his strong focus on Developing Teams and People, the companies that Arturo has led ranked consistently in the "TOP 5 GPTW" (Great Places to Work) in their respective Countries.
Dr. Nevine El Souefi
Dr. Nevine El-Souefi is an internationally-recognised educational consultant, and has worked in the field for more than 25 years as a teacher, trainer, curriculum designer and academic advisor. She is the founder and CEO of Edupedia, a leading educational consultancy firm.
Dr. El-Souefi is a certified and experienced International Baccalaureate (IB) trainer and consultant. She is the leader of the curriculum review committee at the American University in Cairo (AUC) – Graduate School of Education – Diploma Programme. She is also certified as an international trainer; has co-authored several publications; and holds a master’s Degree from AUC in TEFL and an EdD in Teacher Education from the University of Leicester, UK.