Revealed: UAE school fees are highest in GCC

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The UAE is the most expensive country in the GCC for education, according to figures that also show fees highest in the Emirates for UK and Indian schools operating in the region.

Cost of Living Reports Middle East (CLR) found average school fees across all curriculums in the UAE as of Q4, 2013 were $10,250 a year, with the fees ranging from an average $2,263 for Kindergarten students to $18,237.25 for Year 12.

Revealed: Most expensive GCC school fees

This was closely followed by Oman with average schools fees of $10,105, Saudi ($8,652), Kuwait ($8,461), Qatar ($8,3123) and Bahrain ($7,242).

In Oman fees ranged from an average $6,023 for Kindergarten to $14,186.25 for Year 12, with the range in Saudi $3,048 to $14,257, Kuwait ($5,283 to $11,638), Qatar ($3,473 to $13,152) and Bahrain ($3,696 to $10,788).

CLR said high school fees in the UAE – the fourth most expensive in the world for expats - were the result of high demand and restricted supply, forcing 87 percent of employees to spend more than their company allowance on school fees.

Citing a WhichSchoolAdvisor.com survey, it said some expats were spending up to 30 percent of their annual income on school fees if at least two children were at school.

However, it warned the cost will affect the type of occupations the UAE was able to hire from abroad. “If education is too expensive we will see that the UAE will be less likely to attract middle and senior management positions, because these people have families and may not want to educate their children in an expensive, not necessarily better, educational system,” it said.

The CLR report found the Indian curriculum had the highest increase in applications, with Indian schools in Abu Dhabi receiving more than three times as many applications as they had places and turning away “hundreds of children”.

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Posted by: mindscape

I send my kids to an Indian curriculum school here in Dubai, i dont have a problem with the raising fees. If i had the choice, i will evaluate and send my kids to appropriate schools.

The main issues in UAE are choice of schools and value for money.

Iam more intersted in someone giving priority and evalauating the quality of education, safety and then the facilities given to the children.

Most of the times the priority is the other way. The quality of education is where we parents do not get our value for money.

One of the examples is the kids here study Arabic as a language for almost 12 years or more and yet they cannot speak in Arabic. See the amount of time and money wasted and what is the point.

Posted by: Ebru

I am a landlord who is fed up with having invested so much in property in Dubai and then hearing the constant complaing about high rent and price. Too many people in Dubai have their whole families with them and then complain about high rent and high school and what not. The solution is to do what most of the workers in the malls and domestic workers and salesmen already do, which is to have your family back home. It is naive and arrogant to expect to be able to live with your family in a world class city without having to pay a fair price for housing and education.

Posted by: Nick

Why can't people see the simple fact that education where it's "free" it's anything but free ? It's just that instead of paying each year for X years and then you're done the state taxes you less (in theory) but for the rest of your life. In reality they get to take a lot more of your income than if you paid for all those "free" services.

To achieve the same result all you have to do is take a loan. That's what the state does on your behalf anyway.

And for the guy asking if the locals dont go to school for free- what exactly do you expect ? To have them pay for your kids education ? Why exactly would they care to do that ? Even if they taxed people for it- expats came here for a better deal. If they are taxed for services they don't need they're liable to leave as they left their home country.

And to @MAS- no you don't deserve education or healthcare. For you to get them you must either enslave the teachers/doctors or rob a third party to pay them. Thats why the west is bankrupt.

Posted by: MAS

Education is a basic necessity in the current times just like breathing, it is the future of our generations to come, and if we have the costs so incredibly expensive - how are children going to be educated in a proper manner? Don't we deserve cost effective education, just like healthcare..

Posted by: Andy

30% of their income on high school fees for their kid/s is like a 30% tax in reality unless the person does not plan on getting married and having kids. Dubai is a place for single expats. If they are married with kids then the cost of living goes up big time as residency fees for the family and school fees kick in.

Don't locals go to school for free? High School is free in California and depending on where you live depends on the quality of school your kid goes to.

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