By Andy Sambidge
Former Tatweer senior exec Saeed Al Muntafiq will oversee ops in Middle East, Africa and most of Asia
Dubai-based GEMS Education has announced the appointment of Saeed Al Muntafiq as Group CEO, who will oversee all the company's operations in the Middle East, Africa and most of Asia.
Al Muntafiq will also lead GEMS Education as it embarks on the next phase in its expansion, a statement said.
He has served as a non-executive director on the board of GEMS Education for over two years. In 2005 he was appointed executive chairman of Tatweer, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding.
Sunny Varkey, founder and chairman of GEMS, said: "Saeed is a tremendous addition to GEMS Education. We are deeply committed to meeting the aspirations and needs of all our students, parents, regional governments and other stakeholders. As CEO, Saeed will be instrumental in fulfilling this vision."
Al Muntafiq added: "I am pleased to be joining GEMS Education, which has been an important part of the growth and development of the UAE. Today we are proud to be exporting world-class education from the UAE to the world, bringing expertise and experience to both the developing and developed worlds."
GEMS Education said in January that it plans to build about six schools a year to take advantage of the UAE's booming private education industry.
Along with healthcare, education is viewed as one of the fastest-expanding industries in the Middle Eastas growing populations and burgeoning wealth create demand for high-quality services previously in short supply locally.
Expatriates account for the vast majority of the UAE population, with demand for schooling rising alongside a gradual shift from short-term residents chasing tax-free wages to workers settling and bringing up families in the region.