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What’s new about Dubai’s new schools?

Seats for the asking, attractive price points, innovative curricula and convenient locations, the ‘pluses’ they are laying claim to are many

  • The Alpha SchoolImage Credit: Supplied
  • Dubai Heights AcademyImage Credit: Supplied
  • DEWA AcademyImage Credit: Supplied
  • Lycee Francais Jean MermozImage Credit: Supplied
  • The Alpha SchoolImage Credit: Supplied
XPRESS

Dubai: Dubai residents are now spoilt for choice when it comes to schooling as 10 new schools are set to launch by September.

Experts said admissions have not only become easier but also more affordable, as the new schools lure students with seats for the asking and better price points, not to mention claims of innovative curricula and location advantages.

They expect a huge jump in the average rate of enrolment in Dubai’s private schools, which has stood at 6.6 per cent since 72 new schools opened in 2007. According to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), new schools typically fill 60 per cent of their seats after four years of operation, and 80 per cent after seven years.

Main attraction

James Mullan, co-founder of www.whichschooladvisor.com, said the main attraction in many of the new schools lies in their pricing. “There is a value proposition as new schools realise parents are under substantial financial pressure. Lower fees are definitely a sweet spot now.”

Top on the list of affordability among the new schools is the Indian curriculum Amity School at Al Qusaias which offers an annual fee range of Dh15,000-Dh26,000. The Alpha School, also in Al Qusais, has an annual fee range of Dh22,380-Dh28,500, which experts said is very competitive considering the school follows the UK curriculum.

The annual fees at Al Warqa’s Newlands School, which follows the National Curriculum for England, is even lower, ranging from Dh19,000 to Dh26,000.

Newlands is also offering a 10 per cent founding fee discount in the first year and five academic scholarships for Emirati girls, that will be 100 per cent supported by the school.

Nasreen Kasuri, the school’s founder and chairperson, said, “We feel privileged to be able to offer a world-class English curriculum at affordable fees to discerning families in Dubai. Newlands represents 42 years of delivering the UK national curriculum and, in particular, IGCSE, O and A Level results across South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oman.”

According to Shaun Robinson, partner at the UAE Learning Network, newer schools are also innovating in their curricula offerings. “Newlands for instance will tackle open-ended challenges and students will establish themselves as digital authors. They will take part in global communication exchanges and be in contact with global diversity. New technology tools will be used throughout the school and students will be pushed to develop a love of enterprise and entrepreneurship,” he said.

Foreign languages

With demand for foreign languages going up, the upcoming French school in Al Quoz, Lycée Francais Jean Mermoz, will offer the official French programme, with instruction in French. English and Arabic will be taught as separate subjects.

The school claims its curriculum has beeen designed in such a way as to develop the autonomy of children and their analytical abilities. The school also promises “luxury” sporting facilities.

Viable options

Besides these factors, the newer schools are positioning themselves as highly viable options with their convenient locations.

As experts said, the fact that most of the new schools are situated in North Dubai or in the newer areas of the south shows they are closely following the spread of the city’s population.

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