UAE's education sector to grow to $7.1bn by 2023

Private school enrolment is expected to grow from 56 to 66 percent over the next five years, according to new research
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Mon 14 May 2018 02:05 PM

The UAE’s education market is will grow from $4.4 billion in 2017 to $7.1 billion by 2023, according to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

BGG’s “Where to Invest Now in the GCC Private Education” report identified four drivers of private education growth in the region, including higher private school spending than in OECD counterparts, tuition fees that will continue to grow at between 2 and 4 percent per year and a student-age population expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 1 and 3 percent.

Additionally, private school enrolment at the primary level and above is high throughout the region.

“New developments such as evolving demographics, government interventions and regulatory issues are reshaping the complex private education market within each country in the GCC,” said Dr. Leila Hoteit, the partner and managing director of BCG. “As the potential for growth in the private education market varies significantly from country to country, it is important for investors to understand the size of each market and its potential for growth in the coming years.”

The report also found that, in the UAE, private school enrolments are expected to increase from approximately 56 percent to 66 percent over the course of the next five years. In Abu Dhabi alone, enrolment is expected to grow at a 4 percent CAGR between 2017 and 2023, according to government statistics.

In both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the average tuition fee per student is expected to increase at a 4 percent CAGR between 2017 and 2023.

“The private education market has become increasingly complex and competitive in recent years, particularly in mature markets, and these shifts have implications for investors,” said Maya El Hachem, Principal at BCG.

“The profile of investors is increasingly diverse and includes family owners, non-profit investors, corporate investors and financial investors,” she added. “In the UAE, attractive opportunities can be found in unmet demand segments such as medium fee IB and low fee schools. There is also opportunity for investors to leverage Dubai’s drive to become a test-bed for innovation by introducing schools with modern, digital approaches to education.”

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Last Updated: Mon 14 May 2018 02:15 PM GST

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