Dubai education providers at 'tipping point' with increase in schools

The increase in schools comes even after Dubai imposed a freeze on school-fee hikes
Dubai education providers at 'tipping point' with increase in schools
Education providers are facing further pressure with the addition of 13 schools in the current academic year, bringing the total number of private schools to 207. (Image: shutterstock)
By Bloomberg
Tue 11 Dec 2018 08:10 AM

Dubai’s school market is turning in favour of parents, according to Knight Frank.

“The education sector in Dubai is now at a tipping point, with aggressive marketing and tuition fee discounts symptomatic of an oversupply of schools,” according to a report.

Education providers are facing further pressure with the addition of 13 schools in the current academic year, bringing the total number of private schools to 207.

The increase in supply comes even after Dubai imposed a freeze on school-fee hikes.

GEMS Education, the Dubai-based school operator backed by Blackstone Group LP, postponed plans for an initial public offering after the decision, people with knowledge of the matter said in June.

The UAE has taken a number of measures to curb a rise in the cost of living and stimulate a sluggish economy. A 2017 study by HSBC found spending on children’s education in the UAE is the second-highest in the world, after Hong Kong.

The increased supply may particularly affect mispriced schools - expensive schools in mid-income neighbourhoods that already have below average occupancy rates, Knight Frank said.

Here’s a breakdown of schools in Dubai by curriculum in the 2016-2017 academic year:

UK: 74 schools with 93,771 students

American: 34 schools with 48,257 students

Indian: 33 schools with 79,579 students

International Baccalaureate: 11 schools with 13,232 students

UAE Ministry of Education: 11 schools with 13,678 students

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