By Andy Sambidge
Knowledge and Human Development Authority chief reveals plan to increase schools by almost 50%
The number of private schools in Dubai will reach 250 by 2020, adding more than 80 in the next six years, according to Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
There are currently 169 private schools in Dubai but this number will increase by almost 50 percent to accommodate the projected 65 percent increase in student population from the current 243,000 level to almost 400,000 by 2020, he said in a comments published by news agency WAM.
In 2014/15, 11 new schools opened – the highest recorded number in a single year in the history of Dubai, he added.
"These new openings help Dubai to meet its goal of providing places for the increasing population of school children. Nearly all new schools are opening across the newer parts of Dubai, consistent with the areas of highest population growth," said Al Karam.
According to Al Karam, more schools and greater school choice for parents will result in a new era of increased competition in Dubai’s private schools.
"Schools offering high quality teaching and learning, good value, and convenient locations will attract a greater number of families, achieve their growth targets and emerge as market leaders," he added.
Latest data from the KHDA show that more than half of the new schools that have been established since 2007, and 15 out of the 21 schools that have opened in the last two years, cater to a broad mix of international students from a range of countries.
Al Karam said these schools represent the fastest growing market segment of schools in Dubai, outpacing the growth of those catering predominantly to students from a single national or ethnic background.