Dr Saima Rana

Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education and CEO/Principal, GEMS World Academy – Dubai

Dr. Saima Rana is a visionary education leader, serving as the CEO/Principal of GEMS World Academy - Dubai and Chief Education Officer at GEMS Education, the world's largest private education provider. With a deep commitment to providing transformative learning experiences, Dr. Rana plays a pivotal role in shaping the global educational landscape. Dr Rana is also the Chief Education Ambassador for the Varkey Foundation and Founding Trustee of The Shahnaz Foundation. With a background in school improvement in inner-city schools, and a PhD in Technology and Education, Dr Rana has worked in areas with high deprivation indicators as well as affluent areas, combining traditional school improvement techniques with a commitment to collaboration between the local community and businesses in order to accelerate regeneration and raise standards. 

Bringing a wealth of expertise and a progressive mindset, Dr Rana champions innovation and excellence in education. Her visionary leadership sets the course for GEMS World Academy - Dubai, fostering an environment where students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.


As the Chief Education Officer at GEMS Education, Dr Rana leads with an unwavering commitment to elevating educational standards across the GEMS Group. Through her strategic guidance, she empowers educators and instills a passion for lifelong learning, while maintaining a keen awareness of global trends and best practices.

Recognised for her thought leadership, Dr Rana actively contributes to the development of educational policies and initiatives on regional and international platforms. Her progressive approach to education has earned her admiration and respect within the educational community.

Dr Rana has worked as a senior educational consultant for Cambridge Education Islington with a particular focus on Teaching and Learning, Raising Standards, ICT, Assessment for Learning, Curriculum, Change Management and Building Schools for the Future. She has also served as a panel member and subject expert on several programmes and projects for the Department for Education (DfE) and the Office for Standards in Education for Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), providing guidance on quality assurance, delivery and professional standards. Dr Rana is also a member of the following boards: Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education (PAGE), Mosaic Community Trust (MCT), University College School (UCS), the Institute for Ethical AI in Education (IEAIED) and the BCS School Curriculum and Assessment Committee. Dr Rana has sat on the Board of International Baccalaureate Schools and Colleges Association (IBSCA) and is also a qualified Executive Leadership Coach. She has presented academic papers on Policy, ICT, Globalisation and Secondary Education at the Institute of Education, London; Trinity College, Dublin; The Knowledge Lab, London as well as at international conferences in Europe, the USA and China.

Dr Rana has also devoted herself to a variety of charitable educational projects, with a particular passion for building schools for poor children across the globe. She is the trustee of charitable schools in Pakistan and Kashmir, and provides teacher training to schools located in slum areas in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Sudan and other parts of Africa. She is a global ambassador for Girls Education initiatives and is a mental health ambassador for Refugee Mothers, where she has worked with a number of organisations to support language learning. She also supports several street schools in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Her latest projects include building an orphanage and technical skills college in deprived areas. She believes passionately that education is the answer to eliminate poverty, inequality, and injustice, and has dedicated her career to the ideal of giving every child a world class education.

Driven by her unwavering belief in the power of education to shape the future, Dr Rana continues to inspire and transform the lives of students, educators, and communities at large. Her leadership is instrumental in realizing the mission of GEMS World Academy and GEMS Education to nurture exceptional individuals who make a positive impact on the world.

Dr Rana's expertise in educational leadership, coupled with her relentless pursuit of excellence, has made her a trusted voice in the field of education, inspiring educators and learners alike. Through her transformative work, Dr Saima Rana continues to shape the landscape of education, leaving an indelible impact on future generations.

Our Academy 

In The Words of Our Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education and CEO/Principal, GEMS World Academy – Dubai

Meet Dr Saima Rana as she talks all things education, the IB, school culture, student life and what it is that makes GEMS World Academy such a special place for all our students.

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    Part 1: Career highlights, achievements and inspirations
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    Part 2: Education philosophy and school vision
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    Part 3: Why GEMS World Academy is so special – now and in the future
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    Part 5: The International Baccalaureate
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    Part 6: Technology and future of education

Meet Our Team

Our diverse and cosmopolitan mix of educators and education professionals from around the world allow us to create a truly international environment and draw on leading global resources and techniques from countries that include the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Night shot of campus