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Wed 6 Nov 2019 08:54 AM

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Dubai Monopoly: How an elite school earned a spot on the board among Dubai's iconic landmarks

Nord Anglia International School takes its place ahead of 168 others in the emirate

Dubai Monopoly: How an elite school earned a spot on the board among Dubai's iconic landmarks
Mr Monopoly pictured in Madinat Jumeirah. 

Mystery surrounds the inclusion of a Dubai school in the city’s version of the popular board game Monopoly, which was launched at a ceremony in the Burj Al Arab on Monday.

Nord Anglia International School takes its place on the ‘map’ on the red squares, in between Global Village and Dubai Opera, in what a previous press release described as “iconic locations around the city”.

Locations selected include Atantis The Palm, Mall of Emirates, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, as well as Dubai Frame, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Mall, the second largest mall in the world, and the Palm Jumeirah were not featured.

The top spots, usually reserved for the salubrious areas of Park Lane and Mayfair in the original UK version, are taken by Bluewaters and Burj Al Arab.

Arabian Business contacted Nord Anglia International School, who said they had “a few” meetings with the development team behind the Dubai Monopoly board where they were given the opportunity to showcase what they offer.

However, the public relations officer for Monopoly, Caroline Salas-Tapia, from 6W Agency, could not confirm how many other schools were “interviewed” and said the selection process which led to Nord Anglia being selected for inclusion was “confidential”.

Dan Taylor, global head of sales, Winning Moves, the manufacturers of the official Dubai version of Monopoly, under license from American owners Hasbro, told Arabian Business: “We have created a game that has hopefully captured a little bit of everything about Dubai; the history, the global landmarks, retail, education, attractions, local treasures.

“We create editions like this all around the world and position locations on the game board to match the need for enjoyable game play, it has nothing to do with something or somewhere being more valuable than another (Nord Anglia will set you back 220 monetary units on the game, more than Mall of the Emirates).

“The game celebrates Dubai’s past, present and future and highlights everything that is great about Dubai. We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response to the game and we hope it is something that the people of Dubai can be proud of and enjoy playing for many years.”

However, it remains unclear why Nord Anglia was chosen ahead of the other 168 schools in the city. A request for clarification has been sent to Taylor but has so far gone unanswered.

Salas-Tapia said: “Winning Moves have a variety of strategies for criteria that mix and match”.

She added: “What I can definitely say is that the board layout has a game strategy itself that is further than just the square prices and isn't only about expensive or cheaper squares. The street of the board is based in different statistic data that involve probabilities, board experience, game master’s techniques and data about board sequences.”

Nord Anglia offers the National Curriculum of England and Wales to Year 11, followed by the IB Diploma for post-16 students.

It opened its doors in 2014 and is among the most expensive schools in Dubai for this academic year with average fees of AED78,080. Nord Anglia currently has 1,745 students and was rated ‘Very Good’ in the last inspection round by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Matthew Farthing, principal, Nord Anglia International School Dubai, told Arabian Business: “Like other organisations on the new Monopoly board, we’re delighted to be included. We’re very proud to be part of the Dubai community and part of an iconic game that families love playing.”

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