Chinese tourists in Dubai Mall in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Hartland International School in Dubai on Monday announced a new strategic partnership with the Chinese Language Institute, Dubai (CLI, DUBAI) to offer additional Mandarin courses at the school. The aim is to boost multilingual language studies for its students and develop their abilities to compete in the future in the job market.

More than 200,000 Chinese are now working, studying and doing business in the UAE, according to the Chinese ambassador to the UAE, while Chinese tourists continue to soar with an increase of 25 per cent year-on-year witnessed since 2014, according to the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Fiona Cottam, principal of Hartland International School, said: “With the number of Chinese visitors to the UAE continuing to grow and prominent economic partnerships and ties between the two countries, the learning of Chinese is something that many families have shown great interest in.”

She added: “To further develop the relationship between our communities, there is an increasing need for multi-linguists who can communicate effectively in diverse regions. The teaching of Chinese, coupled with the improved teaching of Arabic in our schools, will naturally further strengthen relationships between the Chinese and UAE governments.”

Following two successful years offering Mandarin Chinese language lessons to its students as a second language course in their yearly curriculum, CLI Dubai will now provide two levels as part of the enhanced programme. A framework is also being developed for the more advanced Chinese students to include maths in their native Mandarin to support the requirements of those students returning to China.

Lucy Chuang, head and founder of CLI Dubai, said: “With almost 1.2 billion native speakers, Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world. We have witnessed a steady growth of the Chinese community in the UAE over the past 10 years and we are passionate about enlightening the wider public about China’s culture to bring people closer together and provide greater opportunities for collaboration across the two countries. We are excited to increase our offering at Hartland International School and welcome those who are keen to expand their minds.”

As part of the agreement, CLI Dubai will also plan to provide 300 Chinese books in association with Shandong Publishing Group, China to add to the library at the school for students advancement. A cultural enrichment initiative will also see students partake in an exchange programme with schools in China for its students to practice their skills as well as hosting Chinese students from China to experience the diversified culture in the UAE.