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Thu 1 Oct 2015 03:48 PM

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Record 21 new private schools in Dubai next year

While there is room for them all, the emirate’s education boss warns they may need to specialise to succeed

Record 21 new private schools in Dubai next year

A record 21 private schools will open in Dubai for the next academic year but they may not all succeed, the head of the emirate’s education authority has warned.

The number of new schools is more than the total for the past two years and will include curriculums from across the world, such as British, American, Indian and German.

Knowledge and Human Development Authority director general Dr Abdulla Al Karam reportedly said there was sufficient demand for the institutions but to do well they would need to find their own specialty, such as excelling in sport, arts or languages.

“If you’re coming with standard school operation, yes, it is a crowded space and you expect that from a mature market or a maturing market,” Al Karam told The National.

“But you don’t need to compete in that existing market space. I think you need to create your own new space in that marketplace.

“Our message to the right operator is to look at uniqueness and that is what Dubai needs at this point, because now parents more than any other time have choices.

“We keep adding good seats. I think it’s time to add unique seats and that’s what the parents are looking for.”

There are now 169 private schools with a total capacity of 255,208 students. The KHDA wants to increase that to 196 private schools with 341,000 students by 2017, as the population increases, particularly towards the World Expo 2020.

The increased competition among schools may also help to stabilise or reduce fees, which parents have complained of being too high.

KHDA assess private schools each year, ranking them from excellent to poor, which also impacts their ability to increase fees.

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