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.
Kevin has 40 years of experience in education both in the UK and the Middle East. He was a highly successful teacher and became the youngest school principal in the UK aged 28. He has worked as Headteacher, Principal, Senior inspector and Principal Schools Adviser in a wide range of settings. Kevin was the founding `Principal and CEO of Kings’ Education in Dubai and key player in the development of high-quality private education in Emirate. He joined Dar Al Marefa last year as a Board Member and CEO of the school’s holding company. Kevin is a dedicated grandfather, seasoned traveler, writer and horticulturalist.
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.
Dr. Asma Al Ghurair
Dr. Asma Abdulla Al Ghurair is a medical doctor, philanthropist and mother of two teenage boys. She serves as a board member of Kinderhut Foundation and Dar Al Marefa School, and has served on the board of Dubai Foundation for Women and Child (DFWAC).
Dr Al Ghurair is passionate about making a difference in communities through education for all, without sacrificing the culture and ethos of the UAE and its leadership.
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.
Vikas Jain is a commercially savvy senior finance professional, who drives sustainable long-term value creation, while managing short-term challenges of the business. He has a proven track record across several industries in UAE, USA and India. He is a Chartered Accountant and is the Group CFO of Al Ghurair Investments LLC. He has been in Dubai for over 18 years and has 2 school going kids, pursuing IB curriculum.