We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Thu 2 Jul 2009 05:38 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Enrolment figures up despite UAE exodus fear - GEMS

EXCLUSIVE: Education major says pupil numbers for next term are up 5-12% on 2008.

Enrolment figures up despite UAE exodus fear - GEMS
ENROLMENT FIGURES: GEMS Education says its numbers for the next school year are up, despite fears of an expat exodus. (Getty Images)

Enrolment figures next term at GEMS international schools are up 12 percent on last year, bucking the trend despite fears of an expatriate exodus from the UAE. Waiting lists are also up five percent at GEMS’ Asian schools, but the education provider said the true scale of expatriate pupil departures will be known at the end of the summer.

A GEMS spokesman said: “We only really know what is happening in terms of enrolments at the beginning of next year. At the moment we just don’t know.”

“There’s been an [population] exodus going on for the last six months because of the global financial crisis. Clearly a percentage of the population has waited before the end of the school year before flying off. But right now our numbers are looking ok,” the spokesman added.

Massive lay-offs in mainly construction and real estate has led to speculation that thousands of jobless parents will pull their children out of school and return home.

International schools in the UAE broke up last week. But it is understood that parents wanting to put their children down on GEMS waiting lists for next term only have to pay a AED500 deposit - a small fee for expatriates who could be still be undecided about leaving the Gulf. 

GEMS runs 26 schools in the UAE, 17 of which are in Dubai. It is the largest private education provider the world.

In May GEMS said it was monitoring enrolment figures for next term on a ‘week by week’ basis.

Arabian Business revealed that removal companies are overwhelmed with bookings in June. ISS Worldwide Movers said it was handling six moves a day, compared to two per week this time last year.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest education news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Geriant 11 years ago

There is not a single fact in this story. GEMS makes claims that cannot be verified and also admits they don't really know what is going to happen. Go to the back of the class for talking too much!

Jim 11 years ago

Did I get that right? So basically whereas the business has increased for removal companies everywhere, ISS are making like 6% of the moves compared to the same time last year!!! Are you sure ISS has not moved itself?

OS 11 years ago

My wife taught in a GEMS school. I am told one of the schools is owed millions in upaid fees and has a number of children who taken their transfer certificates. BTW, the schools have also received a notice from HR that Welcare and EDC will not offer discounts to the Asian staff and their dependents. Does this qualifies under RACISM ? I guess GEMS would get badly sued if they tried this in Europe or America.

gem observer 11 years ago

This is a absulte lie.

bewildered of dubai 11 years ago

get that spokesman in a corner with a dunces cap on...Admittedly smart at extracting fees for "waiting lists" but certainly not transparent in attempts to fool potential paymasters. (Parents of school children.) You cant fool all the people all the time, or can you???

Joh 11 years ago

Why do they periodically give out such statements? People here know that there are many who have take TCs which help their kids in the next admission. Ofcourse, if there are families coming into Dubai, kids will need admission. However, if jobs are not so sttractive as before, why should people come? GEMs means Gather Extra Money.

Godfather 11 years ago

The facts and figures about the School Transfers of students are a known to facts to the public.. Hey Gems Guy.. U can show off any figures.. as it is not audited by any BPA's or any authorities of that kind.. Try to give some affordable solutions for education for the children to achieve knowledge.. Instead of coming up with cheap ideas of increasing the Transportation fees by starting a new Transport company and using the same buses, Increasing the Tuition fees, terminating students who has failed to pay their dues.. Giving knowledge is divine.. and Ur not selling fish or meat..And Try to understand the ethics of Ur Service to the public..

Mike D 11 years ago

Yeah, right GEMS. This reminds me of the Stalin era version of PR from the 1930s USSR: "Bumper potato harvest, tractor production up 200%"; meanwhile, the population starved. Do you really think we were all born yesterday? I could never send my child to a school that talked to me as if I were and idiot.

Omar 11 years ago

I wonder why some people do not want to believe anybody: They do not want to believe that : 1- Dubai airport is witnessing solid growth so are Emirates, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic (different sources including audited figures from IATA & Sir Richard Brightson personally!). 2- Different sources, reports, figures that real estate market is on a solid path of growth! 3- GEMS, the world's largest private education provider, is confirming that they are witnessing solid growth. 4- Burjuman, MOE, Shayaa, etc.. that the retail market is steady! 5- Different banks including HSBC are advertising for easy loans programs! 6- Dubai's official bid for olympics 7- Abu Dhabi Formula 1 8- Paris Hilton program and other similar programs and many other facts. I am not going to argue anymore but please, i beg you to answer my previous question: What are you still doing here if Dubai / UAE was not absolutely the best (better than so many places including your own countries)? When you answer this question to yourself, then, your feedback will be logical. Jealousy is beyond limits. Something for sure is that millions are enjoying UAE and love it very much including myself for a very simple reason: Had the undersigned found a better place, he would not have come here originally but UAE is the best. Better to say a big thank you for hosting us as guests on their soil while our countries failed to give us anything better! Life goes on and everybody is getting impressed by UAE bcz it's second to none.

bewildered of dubai 11 years ago

well said Omar and credit to you for your faith. Just a little surprising that when you state "everybody is getting impressed by UAE bcz it's second to none," yours is the only comment supporting this position.