Dubai schools cost more than UK universities

Arabian Business finds Oxford and Cambridge charge less for entry than Dubai schools

Omar is back

Nobody cares or will ever care about high fees and extra charges bcz: 1st) it's a matter of incredible demand bcz more & more people come to Dubai for work& thus, Dubai schools occupancy is no less zan 200%(no kidding)!,2nd) schools know very well zat 75% of their students' tuition are paid for by companies (so 40 or 60k no big difference), 3rd)schools r NOT subsidised bcz locals r either more than capable to pay xx or have free local schools option while exapts are just temp. alien residents,4th)Dubai is a top rich&famous global dest. thus, a mother coming with a Porsche wont care much if 40 or 60k & school onwers know zis, 5th)z rating system& inc. fees ideally entice absolute greed wiz no control whatsoever (shameful but n0body cares!), 6th)Dubai campuses r very fancy, ASD press release said new campus costed $128 million!!,7th)schools know zat most parents r eager to get Western education no matter what,8th)schools can simply say u have no money go 2cheaper Asian schools! Liife!!!!


It is really bad that we have to struggle very hard to pay fees as students and yet the Dubai government can do something.. Am very disappointed myself

Peter P

The school system has been an issue for several years - and still no light in the tunnel. The quality of education, high turnover of teachers and ridiculous fees will not only have impact on the expact families but the country itself while trying to attract the top talents of expat work force. The government needs to set this on the top priority list in order stay as a competitive and attractive destination for the future expats prior the "education bubble" bursts. After all, there are a plenty of destination choices with top education systems competing on the same expat work force.


Navin, it's an interesting point. However, I would have preferred the Indian curriculum for my child, we did the research. When we called schools they asked if my child is Indian, and when we said he is not, he is European, they refused us.


Here is one for the books, a friend of mine who works at the school my daughter goes to called me yesterday to say that I should fill in the KHDA SURVEY, which I did. When I called her back to say I had completed it, she said, that the staff were called into a meeting in the morning by the Owner to say she is striving to get a OUTSTANDING so she can increase fees. One of the teachers asked why....her answer was....I have just had some extra buildings built on the campus.....SERIOUSLY!!!!! Now one can ask how she thinks that should get her an OUTSTANDING mark!!! In order for her to increase the fees. I struggle to understand the logic. Yet there is continuous stories of bullying in the school that they don't address!


We need to have new schools set up under the patronage of respective embassies, community groups. Need to study the current regulations by the govt. / KHDA regarding the setup and function of such an entity. I request Arabian Business to investigate the modalities and regulations in place. If the law permits let us run a campaign to see if all of us who just speak on these issues like to invest / capitalize their educational expenses. I am sure there are lots of parents or individuals including myself who are willing to contribute in establishing such educational venture. After all educating our children is an investment, for the long term benefit of the society and economy of the country. Once such schools comes up in which the parents as stake holders have their say, then we can see the chocolate schools start to melt.


@Mike what has me wondering, is whether you came to the region through some sort of an intergalactic time slot. Are you stuck here until several moons line up? Because the way I see it, the door that brought you here is still open for you to go back if anything about the region, it's people and it's lifestyle goes against your morals... Some nerve to come somewhere and discriminate against a country's own people!

Mike DeLonghi

TMO. You make sense albeit your request is somewhat naive. The UAE does not want foreign influence through patronage from embassies/expat communities. They don't really want a sustainable education system for white collar expats, because we are supposed to be out of here in 3-4 years remember? The current money machines such as GEMS benefit local sponsors and local owners while ensuring a high turn over, simply because very, very few expats can see education costs through from kinder garden to college...and most will only stay here for a few years - so they won't mind so much being ripped off. And in many cases the company pays.
Take your shades, it's all part of the plan!


I think Dubai has a fundamental problem with its education system, if there is one! My son was educated in Syria until grade 11, when we moved to Dubai last year, he spent most of his class time sleeping, as he was bored with the subjects taught, which he informed me that he learned at grade 10 back home. His maths teacher complained to me about his sleeping and even snoring in class, but that he could not punish him since he was able to answer any question or solve any problems put to the class while my son was asleep. He graduated with a 86% marks and even obtained a scholarship to study at a prestigious British University.

As for fees, I find them ridiculously expensive. Just for comparison purposes, an international school based in Damascus charges the equivalent of AED 8,100 for grade 8 studen, while the Dubai based school charges around AED 18,000. And I know that teachers do not get housing allowance and the likes!


education has become a mere joke in the UAE. i'm a parent with two children studying in a mid level british curriculum school based in dubai. annually i shell out 60k for both just for tuition and bus fee.any activity provided by the school is charged extra. my kids just attend the school and come back home cos the extra curricular activities they charge are high too.
the major problem i face is when i have to pay the term fees in advance for both my kids. i strongly feel that KHDA should give parents an option to pay fees on a monthly basis too cos no company pays the three months salary in advance.its been a constant struggle for parents like me with mid level salaries who pay from their own pockets to provide their kids quality education. wish khda would promote more schools like IHS and DPS in the UAE.

Mike DeLonghi

Good point Navin, now what would be interesting to have Anil research how the teachers are paid at IHS/DPS versus teachers at e.g. GEMS. Also, one should compare the quality/cost of the buildings/facilities - at the end of the day these are the two main cost contributors for running a school. Having had children at Dubai American Academy, having engaged with teachers and 'enjoyed' the dismal buildings, I would argue that the GEMS provides very little value-add, well rather a mind boggling rip off.

We now have children i Private School in South Africa. Excellent quality for less than half of what we paid in Dubai. Good South African teachers at both places by the way :-)

Paolo C

Want to give an education? Well, some parents find it better to put money into their bank account rather then building a true world around their children. Dubai is not a place to grow children.

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