The scandal of UAE school fees

Anil Bhoyrul argues that UAE schools are earning thousands of dollars for doing absolutely nothing


How hesitant to get an application for admission, Principal may question, havent you seen the closing date ? as if the school got highest education standard. Schools block exam results if tution fees are in arrears. Are those results of tution given at schools ? Are they unaware, parents are demanding results of highest extra paid prviate tutions ? Still the school get top standard rank. What a pitiful phenomena !

M. A. K

Schools have repacked basic education into a 5 star package & have started minting money, its time that the authorities get involved & take control of the situation, normally schools select the best of the lot & focus more attention only on those children as for them if these children score well, the school would get a good name & more BUSINESS next year, the schools are more focused on their reputation & revenue's, its more of business than education, indirectly they don't realize they are demotivating & neglecting the other children.


I have a different set of issues, though yet similar because in this case too, the school gets paid for not doing a lot. To explain - my son has learning difficulties and hence we have employed a shadow teacher at our expense along with 2 tutors who alternatively come home to help him with his education. The only thing the school does is provide the classroom. On top of that the teachers rarely spend time with him, after all, he has a shadow teacher to help. My question is if I am bearing 4 sets of expenses, can't the school at least subsidise some of their cost?


@kohinoor, why should the UAE government go through all the hassle and expen you are suggesting just to educate your children? You want a tax free country and public education? Wow, get me two of those!
Your children will go to add valu somewhere else, the benefits of their education will not benefit in any manner the UAE or its population, they have no reason to take care of your children education
Yes, they could, they may use a world class public education system o attract ad retain certain type of expats, but that is clearly not their choice and afaik they never promised that.
There are (I suppose) good schools in the UAE, and given the low standards of most places they can command their price, as simple as that
I find more interesting that while having no children of my own, and no dog in this fight, I seem to be one of the few (only?) appalled by the poor results of the Dubai schools in PISA, something I find much more worrying for the kids' future

Abdul Baqi

I agree , now this is situation with us , school only increase the fees but standard get decrease and need tuition ,authrities should intervene


High time to Nationalise the schools. Tution fee and other releated fees shall be collected by Govt body and a uniform Teachers salary structure shall be devised and dispursed by the same Govt institution based on the standard and fee collected.

Owner should be left over with property and administration charges alone again that should be approved by the Govt.
Hope for the best decision to come soon.

How many of us ready to stand up and say that our kids can take head on with other kids from our home countries? These institutions produce weak students, endup in weak and unrecognized universtities and institutes. Of course, if you have more wealth at your disposal you can buy seats but defenitely not by merit out side UAE. Success rate by merit is tooooooo minimal.


and then schools say that they are loss making!!! And we see no improvement in quality of education nor improvement in the competitive urge amongst kids, they remain as casual as they are in a picnic.

fatimah ahmad

i really don't see why the school should be named,the thing is,every school should be aware that a complain has been made of such,and they should endeavor to change,because to say the truth,its not really funny when you are a managing parent and trying to get things in order.and the state government should please look into the issue


Mark Renton..and so what happens to kids in the minority population?..I should go on and build a school so I can accommodate my child with about 70 children of my nationality schooling in Dubai?

Oh wait!!!..or why did I even come to Dubai at all?

All I can say to you really is that it's a pity..Please go on and read the second to my last sentence..clearly meant for people like you.

Omar is back

funny how everybody pretends of bringing z best education from his country!Education has always been a biz like medical sec.!that's why almost everybody on earth incl. Europe where univ. r mostly free dream of going to US univ. despite high fees!this is why US deg holders are preferred in top comp. even in Germany or Tokyo or Paris or Dubai! US univ. even have their own inv. funds zat fund zeir superiority!Same applies to schools! e.g.: In UK, D. Cameron & most min attended pricey pri. schools!US schools r expensive & full worldwide incl. Paris, Nice, London bcz they r z best although public schools in those cities r widely available& FREE! Yes, Dubai schools r fairly good & therefore expensive! Anil, plz NAME the schools in question like u did with BH so we curb those malpractices!Media plz push hard!!Regulators should act today rather than tomorrow to limit greed!KHDA consists of top notch worldclass advisers but yet, much more should be done!


It is high time journalists probed further into the crass business of education in the UAE. Those self proclaimed prestigious schools run advertising by way of claiming a rigorous curriculum, outstanding academic results and acceptance in the top universities globally. Has anyone managed to get actual data (i.e., certified raw data, not fabricated percentages and pretty charts) by GEMs so far on their graduation scores and number of students admitted to world top universities? just try! good luck! . DAA has no better results to share than their students being admitted in over 500 colleges in the world, it is all about quantity suddenly!. Some GEMs schools are marging up over 400% thanks to the private equity firms that manage their businesses. The tuition fees parents are paying are not correlated to academic success.


Anil why you didn't name the school, the article would even be better with the school name. Is the reason only that you are privileged and can get your 500 AED back :) Its more likely school was putting pressure on you isn't it? Where is the freedom of press in Dubai?


My children are going to one of the "Outstanding Schools" of Dubai and we are happy with the level of engagement and education that is being provided by the school. There is something these schools are doing right!Keeping that in mind, a school that has achieved an outstanding rating, is clearly performing optimally with the given fee structure and does not need to increase the fee every year! It is the schools that are struggling for performance due to restricted resources, and have proved that they have potential that require a restricted fee appraisal.There should be a 2-3 year cap on school fee increases in UAE.
As far as registration fees are concerned - they should be 100%refundable if the child does not secure a space! No school has the right to take the fee and never revert!


Which school are your kids going to?


This kind of investigative or even gently probing journalism is welcome. Pity someone bottled on the Better Homes expose, as I see the entire reference to their false advertising and "we screwed up" has been expunged from the website. This is very sinister.


The real scandal is writing such an article without mentioning the actual names of the schools. Where is the courage, if what you write is true, then they should be named and shamed. This is the only way things will change, and this is the power and purpose of jouralism. Look at yesterday's great example by AB, when they pointed the false advertizing by realestate agency "BetterHomes", within few hours BetterHomes was taking down the ads and appologizing. It would have never worked if the article mentioned some "hypothethical" realestate agency.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Features & Analysis
Investing in the next generation: the value of Gulf education

Investing in the next generation: the value of Gulf education

Developers tired of traditional real estate assets are turning...

GCC's class act threatened by teacher shortages

GCC's class act threatened by teacher shortages

A global shortage of school teachers is particularly hurting...

Educating business minds

Educating business minds

University of Wollongong is one of a number of institutions helping...

Most Discussed