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Fri 26 May 2017 12:30 AM

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Revealed: huge disparity in Dubai school fees

Private school fees in Dubai may vary by more than AED600,000 per year depending on where you live

Revealed: huge disparity in Dubai school fees

Private school fees in Dubai may vary by more than AED600,000 per year depending on where you live in the city, according to new research.

A report by educational portal Edarabia and real estate website Bayut revealed that Jumeirah Village Circle, Nad Al Sheba, and Arabian Ranches are the top three areas where school fees are most expensive, with average fees up to AED850,000 for all year groups.

By contrast, Al Karama, Deira, and Al Qusais are identified as the areas in Dubai with schools offering the lowest fees at just over AED200,000, the report said.

It added that JVC is also home to some of the most affordable villas and apartments in the city.

In February, it was reported that Dubai school fees will increase by up to 4.8 percent in 2017, according to the new Education Cost Index (ECI) which is used each year by Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority to set fee increase limits for Dubai schools every year.

The new report said that there are now 185 private schools in Dubai with a total of 273,599 students.

Out of these, 16 were recently rated as outstanding by the emirate's education authority, 14 were rated very good, 69 as good, 50 as acceptable and 10 as weak.

It added that most schools with a UK curriculum were found to have an outstanding or very good rating, while lying at the other end of the spectrum with more weak rated schools are those offering Indian curriculum.

The report also showed that the lowest apartment rents are to be found in the new, “suburban” neighbourhoods of Dubai - JVC, Sports City, Dubai Investment Park and Green Community. JVC is also home to some of the most affordable villas, after Mirdif and Al Rashidiya.

Conversely, the most expensive apartments and villas are to be found in the older, more central neighbourhoods – particularly Al Sufouh, Jumeirah, Nad al Sheba  and Umm Suqeim. Arabian Ranches, a sought-after, high-end development consisting solely of villas, is the exception to this rule.

Last month, UAE businessman Mohamed Alabbar warned that private school fees are too high in the region and threaten to exclude poorer children from the education system.

The Emaar Group chairman questioned whether education should be privatised and said extortionately high private school fees were to blame for lack of access to high quality education and a general failure to prepare young people for the jobs market.

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Juergen 2 years ago

I don't think that article is accurate. It is very clear, that the school fees are too high and very soon not affordable anymore for the majority of Dubai residents. However - I am not aware of annual school fees of AED 850,000. I am also not aware of a AED 600,000 gap in school fees per year....

XDV 2 years ago

Are there some typos in the fees .? Shouldn't the max and min fees read AED 85,000 and AED 20,000 rather than AED 850,000 and AED 200,000 as printed?

Ahmad 2 years ago

Variation in fees of AED600,000 per year?
Are you sure that these figures are correct?

James 2 years ago

I think you need to check your numbers. Whilst school fees in Dubai are expensive, I don't think they have reached the numbers quoted in your report.

Parent in Debt 2 years ago

Are parents encouraged to take on more debt to pay off school fees and rent?

shanti 2 years ago

Everything rises here except the salary.

Colin 2 years ago

The chart says "average school fees for all year groups".

Aysela 2 years ago

Not surprised at all! If you take the average fees at a school in Deira and compare that with a school in an upmarket area of Dubai, you will definitely notice the difference. Certain curricula schools are quite affordable as the average wage teachers make there is a fraction of what they'd get in new expat communities.

A colleague at work pays AED 14000 per year for her daughter whereas i pay closer to AED 43,000 per annum for the same grade. If you add up entire schooling, the numbers can go quite high!

New Expat 2 years ago

I recall a recent study by Alpen Capital suggesting that the average cost of a child's entire life of schooling in Dubai is about AED 1 million. Although steep, that seems to apply mostly to the outstanding and very good rated schools by KHDA as they are afforded the opportunity to raise fees annually.

Our son goes to one of the popular schools in al barsha, adding up his fees for the entire lifetime would come about 720,000. The same group has a school on the other side of the creek and that costs 1/4 the price. I suppose the cost of rent & teacher compensation is more reasonable there?

Vivek 2 years ago

It's no surprise that the cost of education here is just as high as you would spend on an ivy league degree. What we pay annually would easily add up to AED 1 million once he graduates, but i guess that is the cost of getting good teachers, all the fancy campus facilities and convenient location to your benefit!

One can only hope that the recent drop in real estate would make both housing and also rent for schools more affordable, thereby affecting fees!