Ceremonial inauguration of the Deutsche Internationale Schule Dubai
In the wake of its move to the new building in Dubai Academic City in August 2015, the Deutsche Internationale Schule Dubai (DISD) is now one of the world’s most state-of-the-art German schools abroad. The building was ceremonially inaugurated on 16 April 2016.
Numerous guests accepted the invitation of the DISD Board and principal Gert Blach. The guests of honour included the German Ambassador Dr Eckhard Lübkemeier and his wife, Vice-Consul of the German General Consulate in Dubai Wiebke Gaede, Major-General Sharafuddin Sharaf from the Sharaf Group, Director General of KHDA Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Martin Geskes, the architect behind the new building, and Adonis Nasr, Director General of AMSI.
The ceremony took place in the festively decorated school canteen. It opened with verses from the Koran, recited by DISD Arabic teacher and KHDA Coordinator Ahmed Abdelwahab, followed by the Emirati and German national anthems, sung by the DISD school choir. The guests were then warmly welcomed by children from the nursery in German, English and Arabic. There followed a programme of speeches and musical contributions, led by DISD student Leyla Bischoff in German and English.
A sign of Emirati-German partnership and friendship
The first to address the gathering was the German Ambassador, Dr Eckhard Lübkemeier, who was visibly impressed by the new school building: "What has been created here is a great achievement. And I don’t just mean the building. Above all else I mean all the years of commitment on the part of those who made the construction possible. That we have been able to gather here today to celebrate is down to the merit of individuals who have demonstrated vision and decisiveness, courage and perseverance, and diligence and skill." He singled out for special thanks the ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. "He gifted to the Deutsche Internationale Schule Dubai the plot of land on which this impressive building now stands. The land and the building are a visible and vibrant sign of the partnership and friendship that exists between the Emirates and Germany," the German Ambassador stressed. He also bestowed words of thanks on the School Association and its Board, the school administrators, the Sharaf Group as investor, the KHDA, and the architect and contractors.
The accompanying musical programme lent the ceremony a particular tone. So it was fitting that principal Gert Blach should devote the start of his speech to praising the development of the school choirs and thanking the DISD music department for its work. In addition he thanked everyone who had made the construction possible – partly in Arabic, which particularly pleased the Arab guests. "I am delighted to have joined forces with such an outstanding teaching staff to found this school," Blach said. He also emphasised the positive cooperation with the parents and wished the whole school community every success: "That we’ve been able to rely on the support of our students and their parents has been a fantastic experience. And we will continue to have confidence in future on the constructive support of the parents." Chairman of the school board Mark Dehnert and Major-General Sharafuddin Sharaf of the Sharaf Group also took the floor and expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the successful project.
Successful inauguration ceremony
The stage show ended with a horn recital by DISD orchestral teacher Lobu Petic. The guests were then invited outside to watch as Dr Al Karam, Major-General Sharaffudin Sharaf and German Consul Dr Lübkemeier together ceremonially cut the red inauguration ribbon. At the conclusion of the ceremony, hundreds of balloons were released with good wishes into the bright blue sky.
Students then proudly escorted the guests of honour through the new building, and the nursery, primary school and secondary school presented themselves by means of various exhibitions and projects. On the stage, a panel discussion supported by the German Ambassador took place on the topic of "the failure and benefits of diplomacy". "All in all it was a very successful inauguration, during which the Deutsche Internationale Schule Dubai was able to demonstrate the high quality of its German education in Dubai. All the guests were inspired and impressed by the new building and the work of the teachers and the students," principal Blach concluded.
The Deutsche Internationale Schule Dubai is one of 140 German Schools Abroad supported by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA) of the Federal Office of Administration on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office and assisted by the countries in terms of personnel, finance and also teaching methodology. The ZfA reinforces quality-oriented school development and supports the foundation of new schools with a German profile. It advises local schools in the development of German lessons and also with the introduction of German school-leaving qualifications in accordance with international standards.