The British independent school, which was founded in 1865, has formed a partnership with Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi. It will cater from pre-school up to university level when it opens in 2014.
The school is being designed designed by UK-based Godwin Austen Johnson Architects. It is currently in the schematic design phase, which will be finished by the first quarter of 2013.
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will become the largest school campus in the emirate. The school will be built in a 7ha landscaped setting nd will have the capacity to accommodate more than 1,600 students, aged from three to 18 years.
TDIC managing director His Excellency Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi said: “We are proud to have forged this partnership with one the UK’s most well-established educational institutions. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will aim to provide a first-class academic education, not only for the residents of Saadiyat, but for the wider community of Abu Dhabi. It will be a centre of excellence in science, arts, technology and Arabic curriculum.”
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will other educational facilities being built on Saadiyat, including a pre-school nursery opening in 2013 and New York University Abu Dhabi, which will serve some 2,500 students after it is completed in 2014.
The school will also offer boarding facilities – a first for Abu Dhabi. Various boarding arrangements in purpose-built houses – separate for males and females – will be offered. The majority of students are expected to be day pupils who will share facilities with boarders in study houses.
Anthony Townsend, chairman of governors at Cranleigh School, said: “The team from Cranleigh School, together with our local partners, the Royal Group, have already forged a close working relationship with colleagues from TDIC. This is an exciting venture and the project has unanimous support from the entire Cranleigh community. I congratulate TDIC’s leadership and efforts; while, in turn, Cranleigh will play its part in delivering a world-class school of which both Saadiyat and Abu Dhabi can be proud.”