UAE school fees are far too high, says Emaar chairman

Mohamed Alabbar calls for affordable education in region while Aramex founder says system is "broken"


Other than the high fees..hidden profits being made in the form of huge mark ups on text books, uniforms, shoes even...then there is fees for participation in various international benchmark test supposedly mandated by the KHDA.....a school in dubai forces students to buy an intel tablet at a 400% markup !!!


Just google 'wealth of owner of GMS education' and you will simply understand the entire business model! 2.1 billions USD. yes you read it well. I am always extremely impressed and respectful by entrepreneurs and person taking risk and following their dream to have their own business. But education is the pillar of the future of any country, it should not be a business with such a high scale profit scheme as simple as that.

Me myself

The Authorities need to subsidize education, reduce cost of land/rent lower rates so that education owners can subsidize the fees and pay the teachers good salaries.

All I see is talk and hot air for years. After few days of debates and blaming Gems education it all dies down. Parents suffer in the end


Wealth of people who had taken risks, work hard should not be a thing to envy. They had in turn created thousands of jobs in the local market, shared the profits with the local residents and also GEMS owner does huge philanthropy work,

In most countries education is subsidized by the Govt, or through public schools. Private education is and always will be costly.

One Guy

Extortionate fees are now everywhere in Dubai. It has gotten completely out of control. From expensive mall rents through to
the high cost of education and healthcare insurance. VAT is not going to help whatsoever and will only serve to add cost to businesses who will surprise, surprise pass these costs on to the consumer.

If perhaps salaries we able to rise in a commensurate fashion to match the now outrageous cost of living it would not be so bad. It regrettably has not been, companies have deliberately been trying absolutely everything to ensure that their people are provided the bare minimum, further compounding the cost of living issue. One of the key offenders.....yep you guessed it.....

Shehla Naqvi

Yes Emaar should first consider reducing the rents and service charges of their own properties which includes schools and nurseries. When I protested the high rent increase each year the reply was increase your school/nursery fee. Which is the wrong approach.


Was it just me that missed "?[The person] who can pay AED50,000 [$13,600], well, I don?t care, he can send his kids to school in London if he wishes. But what about that guy with seven kids who can?t afford to pay even AED1,000 [$272] for their education. That?s where the pain is.?
For a start if you have seven kids and can't afford even a 1,000AED then you should not really be having seven kids! Plus he is not going after the high end of schools he doesn't care what they charge. That's the problem with Dubai right now - its not catering for the middle class, we are getting a reduction in standards of expats that want to live here because of exactly this mentality.


rightly said.....from house rents to school fees to Food Trucks......Dubai does not cater to the middle class
Food trucks are supposed to be a very affordable place.... 45dhs for a burger !!!!!

Pankaj Shah

My lawyer has sent her elder son to University in UK. She told me that in spite of him having to pay for his accommodation and food on top of his College fees , his yearly outgoing is LESS than the annual school Fees for her younger son in Dubai - who is living at home ! That should tell you the whole story.

We have to face facts, most private enterprises are run by expats who are driven by a short term agenda - to make as much as possible in as short a time as possible. No one know when circumstances will change and force them to leave and go home.


What the schools are charging here is equivalent to the school fees of a highest caliber Private school in e.g UK, or US. BUT the standard and quality of education is only equal to a Public or Govt school in Western parts of the world. If schools are charging such huge amounts of fees, then they should also provide the highest standard of Private education which matches that of a private education standards in UK or US.


Thank you Mr. Al Abbar for addressing this issue, government should privatise all schools, there shouldn't be any private school period. enough money being made by them. Enough
Sick to my stomach every time I hear about those education fees, unbelievable.
I would love to see their balance sheet and see where all this excess money going for after paying all operating expenses.

jack sparrow

This should make interesting sharing on social media along with the entertaining comments even if AB will not publish my comment.


Cost of schools are always on the increase side while quality of education is mediocre. each year, schools are subsidising good teachers with "fresh" bread of graduates who know nothing about being a good educator. Though all initiatives of KHDA to ameliorate the education , still a lot that be done.
add to the this the cost of activities (inside and outside schools) in which our kids are not having: if Emaar want to help: let them assist in their own schools to decrease costs and provide free neighborhood activities centres in the regions whereby kids can learn skills and hobbies instead of them sitting on a coach all day and playing on their smart devises in a costly air-conditioned environment
education should be having a subsidy from the ministry even if schools are teaching expats kids.

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