Dubai schools cost more than UK universities

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


There are plenty of very good Indian schools like the IHS and DPS who provide decent schooling at under 12 K a year and their students make it to good universities in India UK and US, I personally do not understand this craze for "international" schools by so many Indian Expats unless off course they need to burn out company provided allowances!


And you reiterated my point! If dad's mates get the jobs then why talk about the glories of school education? We are talking about non CEO kids here and kids vying to be CEO's themselves not CEO's kids who will in any case will benefit from thier fathers earlier hard work at fiercely competetive schools :)


You just reiterated my point- Asian and Indian school focus on Math and Sciences and that's it. International schools with more subjects to choose from don't isolate children who don't have a head for those subjects and helps them nurture others. I worked at one of the companies you mentioned- nobody got ahead because they could multiply in seconds or speak several languages- soft skills like negotiations and personality got them ahead.

If your thinking is that math and science is the be all and end all for 16 years of education- I agree, Asian schools are ahead there. I believe there is more to school than crunching numbers.
To the private schools defense- The heads of those companies you bought up must send their kids to expensive private schools in dubai. When the time comes for your child to get a job, they probably will have to go through several rounds and psychometric tests like I did. The private school ones will just have to call their mates Dads and ask when they start.


@ Amit, When i hear Obama and the likes of Thomas Freidman telling American kids to study math in order to compete with Indian kids in Chennai and Bangalore then they must be doing something right there in those schools with no Planetariums and Dolby labs to send out kids to Pepsi, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Vodafone and not necessarily NASA or some software company! and yes i do believe that i send my kids to school to get sound fundamentals in Math, Science and Language skills as well as memory training and to acquire a desire to compete and achieve. The basic point being that i don't mind paying $ 50K for top Indian US/UK universities as i know i am getting value for my hard earned money but not $20K to Schools in Dubai for teaching my kids Astronomy!


International schools are fundamentally different from Indian and Asian schools in what and how they value their students. I should know- I was a product of both.

Asian schools and their syllabi focus more on quantitative scoring and place a higher value on Maths and sciences. Most performance is based on memorizing by rote or exams.

International schools focus more on entire curriculum, realizing that if your not going to be a software engineer or working at NASA, there are plenty of other things you are good at -they just have to find out what. This is the point where Asian schools whack you over the head and tell you that your life is over if Math and Science is not your forte.

To find those alternative routes you might take are expensive, so its understandable when schools charge more for certain activities like Astronomy or media production. Asian schools (except for Modern High) in Dubai charge a fraction because they don't see a need for those facilities and extra-ciriculars


Yes, it's a shame that we as parents have to really struggle so hard to give good education to our children in Dubai.So, please KHDA and the Dubai government should see that education is made affordable and the fees structure realistic .It's indeed disturbing that such ridiculous amount is charged for pre-primary and primary education.It's an appeal and request to please control the fee hike.

Sickof Ripoff

I think if we are to look at the cost of schooling in Dubai then a perfect example should be that of a NON profit private School that achieves excellence. JESS is an example for the government to grade other schools, for Nursery the fee is AED 30,000 annual and the Year 1 is AED 38,000 annual. Compare that to Repton lower in the table of achievments at AED 47,000 for Nursery, not forgetting AED 1,000 just to see the child for 20 minutes.
COME ON UAE Municipality... Sort this out! The schools already profit a fortune from waiting lists 2,000 people long at AED 500 each and we have to try with atleast 5 schools. If Dubai is to be the city of NOW... do something NOW!
Scrouge x


More importantly is that the level of education in Dubai is way below average, as you can read from the report but also I have first hand experience of this. Children educated here even in repton of mess are struggling to get into half decent private schools in the uk, khda needs to seriously look into this before approving anymore fees rises...especially that repton has applied for another rise this year!!!


Let us look at the real cost as they say teachers . some schools still pay teachers less than global market standards . Therefore the teachers we have here are not even comparable to the teachers in UK or India . Why is there always ads for teachers put out by all the school . The jobs pays with short timings , holidays but is that fulfilling here . No since the profits are eaten by schools to build their infrastructure . their capitalist dreams How can a parent afford a fee of 55k plus tuitions in grade 11 , 12, . SAT university entrance charges with a salary of 35k - 40k . This calculation is not good , it shows that our children will not stay here , eventually they will go away and never return . The global standards of education does not mean looting parents who are expats . open your eyes govt of dubai see who is looting you .


The KHDA and government should really look at the education sector as a whole. If this is meant to be a for-profit sector, then there should be some benchmarks set for them. X per cent of your school graduates should be able to get admission in to prestigious international higher education institutes as a matter of course and not exception.
I am sure the next 'line of reasoning' by the schools is going to be teacher salaries. I challenge these so called Groups to publish the salaries paid to teachers, especially in the last four years when fees have become unreasonably high. I am sure you will not find an increment above 4 - 6 per cent cumulatively, if at all. So what justifies the higher costs?

More seriously

UK University education is highly subsidized by the British government.

Private Schools in Dubai, England and anywhere else are not!

If you want to help consumers then compare the cost of apples with apples I.e private education in the UK versus Dubai!


I bet 45.000DHS would get you a lot more education and a far, far better school in England than you would in Dubai. As a previous poster stated, Dubai is not a place where you should raise children...

Alma Garner

That's true. I pay �7,800/year for my 5 year-old to attend a private international school here in the UK. That's equivalent to around Dhs45,000/year. However the private British schools are cheaper actually. I thought ours was pricey because it's an international school and follows the IB Curriculum.

The Consultant

You are a bit out of date - Government subsidies for UK students now only cover a small part of the tuition fee. Overseas student fees are not subsidised (arguably they are subsidising domestic students) and the fees for them for standard courses at most universities are not all that different from the cost of senior schooling at a British curriculum school in Dubai.


I have been discussing this topic with my colleagues at work recently and very weird that this article came out as well.:)
The school fee and schools here are an absolute joke.

Recently a school in Al Qusais, (also owned by GEMS group) was shutting down because they are not making any money... WHATTT???:?this is outrageous...and the Govt. officials should take a note of it. This particular school also requested parents to sign a petition to ask Govt. to let them raise the fee and that parents agree to pay higher fee... I nearly fell of the chair when I heard this.. !!
Schooling, Healthcare should be a service to the residents of a country NOT a business.... PERIOD!! Charge me Tax, I don't mind paying tax.. but don't ripp me off!!!

I would rather spend 50K for my child to go to Harvard/Yale/Oxford.. then spend at a local school here.


It's shocking to hear such numbers for education...especially since I went to a private school in Dubai myself and then to AUS in Sharjah for my BSBA. My father now pays double for my step-sister's 4th grade versus my 12th final grade in the same school. Sounds ridiculous and pitiful. Luckily for me, I now live in Germany and have to start thinking about placing my daughter in Kindergarten in 2 years from now, yet I do not have to go crazy about the costs, and this goes throughout the schooling phase as well. Dubai Government should start to play some positive role and understand that education and medicine should not be their main business after its' real-estate image went below ground. Less and less people of my age, 30, with a young family, are willing to go to work and live in Dubai, even if the income is twice as much as wherever they are based in at this point of time... What once was my home is becoming a greedy fake city...well, not becoming, already is!


You should check out US private schools.. they're just as expensive if not more. UK universities are generally cheaper than US private universities. I believe paying between AED70,000 to AED100,000 should be the norm at some point.. Hong Kong schools are also on that level too.

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