High-premium schools will experience more pressure, as mid-market institutes lower tuition fees to suit consumer needs
The education market in Dubai is moving away from high-premium institutes and more towards mid-market schools, according to Raza Khan, the chief executive of Al Najah Education, which operates Horizon International School, among others.
A number of Dubai schools have recently lowered their tuition fees for the next academic year, citing economic pressure as one of the main reasons, including Horizon, which reduced its fees for some grades by 10-12 percent.
“The market is correcting in favour of operators like Al Najah, and perhaps away from the super-premium operations, who have set their prices at a level where parents feel they have not received the extra value for the premium they are paying,” Khan told Arabian Business.
He predicted that high premium schools will continue to see under-involvement, while mid-market operators such as Al Najah will benefit from the change in consumer behaviour.
Khan added the reduction in prices is a sign of consumers ‘becoming smarter’, and realising a premium experience does not need to be attached to an unaffordable price tag.
“Consumers in Dubai are paying more attention to value for money. They still want a premium product, and they don’t want to compromise on the quality of their experience, but they’re looking at how much they’re paying for their experience,” he said.
The school is already seeing increased inquiries and positive feedback from parents due to the price reduction, said the CEO.
“We’re anticipating significant improvement in the revenue of the school, because it’s a growing school. The correction in the fee levels will drive an increase in revenues and enrolments and we are already seeing that in the January trend in terms of the level of inquiries and registrations at the schools,” he said.
While the trend is still quite new, it will pick up to see top rated schools offer ‘more realistic’ price levels, according to Khan.