Dubai's GEMS inks deal to fund Qatar schools

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An artist's impression of one of the proposed Qatar schools.

An artist's impression of one of the proposed Qatar schools.

Dubai-based GEMS Education said on Monday it has partnered with The First Investor (TFI), Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) and Tanween to fund the development of two private schools in Al Wakra.

The educator said in a statement that the move was in response to rising demand for schools as Qatar's population rockets.

Students expected to enroll within private schools in Qatar are forecasted to increase by 30-40 percent over the next 3-5 years which will lead to a capacity shortfall in the education sector.

TFI, the investment banking division of Barwa Bank Group, QIC and Tanween have agreed to fund the development of two mid-income schools and lease the operations out to GEMS Education on a long term basis.

The schools are currently in construction phase and are expected to open next year. Of the two schools, one will follow the British curriculum and the other will follow the Indian curriculum, the statement said.

Khalid Al Subeai, CEO of TFI, said: "TFI is extremely proud to support this initiative which aims at creating a market for sustainable real estate in the schools sector to fulfill the social commitment of all parties involved. At the same time it will create a unique platform for all partners to earn stable long term cash flows through the underlying operations of the schools."

Dino Varkey, COO of GEMS Education, added: "We are excited to be opening our schools in Qatar next year. GEMS Education has previously delivered a number of education services in Qatar.

"The Group has a long-term commitment to Qatar, and we look forward to working with the Qatar authorities, our partners and the broader community to develop further high quality education facilities in the country."

GEMS Education has more than 100 schools globally including over 30 schools in the UAE, which are some of the most renowned schools in the UAE.

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