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ASD Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Julia Martinez, Director of Advancement, American School of Dubai

The American School of Dubai (ASD), founded just a few years before the United Arab Emirates’s official formation in 1971, is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2016-2017 school year. ASD is one of the country’s longest-standing not for- profit education institutions. The school has become widely recognized for its leadership in the region’s education sector while supporting the progression, innovation, diversity, and growth of the United Arab Emirates over the last five decades.

Under the guidance of the first Ruler of Dubai and UAE Vice President, His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, ASD was founded in September 1966 by the Dubai Petroleum Company as a school for its expatriate staff from the United States. Beginning the first year with 11 students and two teachers, ASD’s student body now numbers more than 1800 representing more than 55 nationalities at its purpose-built, exemplary campus in Dubai.

“ASD’s mission is to challenge and inspire our students. Through a vision that has been shaped and enabled by the growth and development of the UAE, we strive to create the next generation of passionate learners who contribute to our rapidly changing world,” said Dr. Brent Mutsch, Superintendent, American School of Dubai (ASD).

“As we celebrate 50 years of our journey today, the American School of Dubai extends heartfelt thanks to the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and his father His Highness Sheikh Rashid, for their support of our mission to develop the highest quality le arning environment for our students,” added Joe Lebrato, chairman of the Board of Trustees, American School of Dubai (ASD).

Today, ASD is a collegepreparatory, Pre-K through Grade 12, community school, offering what is best about American education to provide learning experiences designed to enable students’ maximum potential.

To celebrate this important anniversary, on November 3 ASD recently held an on campus, all school and community celebration. The anniversary event involved all students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni and community members. To commemorate the event, students, faculty and staff created a ‘50 on the Field’ and celebrated with music performances by students, speeches and video presentations, including the opening of a time capsule created in 1991. One highlight of the event was when ASD students and the community performed and sang together for the first time a commissioned, 50th anniversary school song and alma mater. The event concluded with celebratory cake and ice cream in honor of ASD’s birthday.

Later this year, the American School of Dubai will host a 50th Anniversary Gala fundraising event as well as an all alumni reunion weekend (March 2 - 4, 2017). All JAS and ASD alumni, parents, past parents, faculty, staff and friends of ASD from around the world are invited to attend.

To learn more about these events, contact Julia Martinez, Director of Advancement at


  • 1966
    Creation as the Dubai Petroleum American Community School, located in Deira, with 11 students
  • 1973
    New Jumeirah location officially opened by first ruler of Dubai and UAE Vice President, His Highness Sheikh rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
  • 1976
    renamed as the Jumeirah American School (JAS)
  • 1977
    Officially became an international school, enrolling foreign students
  • 1983
    JAS embraces learning through technology, opening Apple IIe computers labs for school use
  • 1990
    Secondary program launched, adding one high school grade each year
  • 1992
    JAS renamed to the American School of Dubai and celebrates its 25th anniversary
  • 1994
    JAS graduates its first class of 21 seniors
  • 2004
    The government of Dubai, through official decree, makes ASD a not-for-profit school within a Cultural Foundation and no longer operated by Dubai Petroleum Company. ASD is governed by an appointed volunteer Board of Trustees
  • 2006
    ASD goes to a wireless environment and adopts a laptop-based learning environment
  • 2010
    The new ASD campus in Al Barsha opens and is inaugurated by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin rashid Al Maktoum
  • 2016–2017
    ASD celebrates its 50th anniversary year

Published in ISS NewsLinks: Volume XXXII Number 2

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