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Dubai private schools collect Dh6.8b in tuition fees

57.5 per cent of students pay less than Dh20,000 in annual tuition, report says

Gulf News

Dubai: Private schools in Dubai collected Dh6.8 billion in tuition fee revenue in the 2016-17 academic year — Dh700 million more than the Dh6.1 billion collected last academic year — a new report showed on Tuesday.

The Dubai Private Education Landscape report also said 57.5 per cent of students pay less than Dh20,000 in annual tuition. Last school year, 60.7 per cent of them paid less than Dh20,000.

The report was unveiled by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in London, at an event hosted for investors, educators and consultants by the UAE Embassy in UK.

Dubai currently has 185 private schools teaching 273,599 students. It means, on average, each school generated a revenue of around Dh36.7 million — and each student paid around Dh24,800 — in annual tuition fees.

More than 88 per cent of seats in the schools are occupied. The report said 120 new schools are expected to open in the next 10 years.

In the new academic year (2017-18), 10 more schools are slated to open, providing additional school seats to keep up with the growing demand. Private schools in Dubai reported an average annual enrolment growth of 6.6 per cent over the last decade.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of KHDA, said: “Dubai is a community which thrives on collaboration and it represents an opportunity for everyone. We have seen consistent and strong growth in private education over the years and this has contributed to an improvement in the overall standard of living and long-term economic growth for Dubai.”

Student enrolments have grown by 89 per cent in the last 10 years. By the end of the next decade, a total of 470,000 students are expected be studying in private schools.

Dr Al Karam added: “By improving access to private education and enabling a wider choice for families, we are opening more avenues for high-quality education with a focus on happiness, well-being and positive education.”

Meanwhile, higher education institutions in Dubai reported a 9.6 per cent annual growth in the last six years, with a 73 per cent increase in student enrolments.

Dubai is also home to 1,249 training institutes offering over 45,000 courses.

The full report is available on

Education landscape

185 private schools

273,599 students (32,116 Emiratis)

187 student nationalities

16 curricula

31 higher education institutions

28,972 students

4.5 per cent annual enrolment growth in 2016-17

Top five nationalities in Dubai schools

India: 93,013 students

UAE: 29,843 students

Pakistan: 22,754 students

Egypt: 14,172 students

UK: 13,149 students