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Dubai: As schools in the UAE get ready for a new academic term in September, school admissions are soaring.

GEMS Education’s Chief Operating Officer, Zafar Raja, provided a summary of the most recent student registration figures for its schools.

“Schools across our entire network are showing increases in enrollment as we approach the new academic year, and we still have the usual late surge in August before us. This is the case across all our curricula – British, American, IB and Indian – and in all the emirates.”

He issued the following warning: “A key message I would like to convey is that families should secure their children’s places as soon as possible.”

In the UAE, GEMS Education will open 42 schools in AY24, the 2023–2024 academic year.

Raja also emphasised that, though GEMS schools are open for new families to walk in for tours. “That will continue right up until the big return to school in late August and beyond. We love to show parents and children around our schools.”

He added : “Many of our schools have waiting lists but we would suggest that families should always enquire. We have a dedicated, experienced team to help families find a GEMS school for their child.

He advised families to secure their enrolment or re-enrolment as soon as possible with class capacities filling fast. “Again, please contact the GEMS central admissions team or your individual school to help you.”

Zafar Raja

Heightened demand

Lisa Whyte, Group Head of Admissions, Taaleem also said its schools have recorded a six per cent increase in enrollment this year compared to last year. “Our schools in the UAE, specifically in the Taaleem Premium sector, have been adding over a thousand plus students annually. This trend suggests that the upcoming academic year will follow the same trajectory as the year before. Comparatively, our enrolment figures project around 14,000 students for the upcoming academic year, a notable increase from the close to 13,000 students in the previous year,” she explained.

Whyte said the transient nature of the UAE’s population spells constant movement in student numbers, making it possible for new students to enroll anytime.

“There has been a heightened demand for our Dubai British Group of Schools, given their outstanding and improved ratings. Both the Dubai British School Emirates Hills and Dubai British School Jumeirah Park are running at full capacity, leading us to open new campuses in the coming years.”

Taaleem’s Raha Group of Schools in Abu Dhabi and our Dubai IB schools, such as Greenfield International School, Uptown International School, and Jumeira Baccalaureate School, have also seen a surge in applications, with many grades running at full capacity.

“We understand the challenges parents face in finding places for their children. Despite certain year groups being at capacity, we advise families to go through the application process and get on the waiting list. The dynamic environment of the UAE means that enrollment opportunities can change in just a few days. At Taaleem, we prioritise transparent communication with families on our waitlists.

“If a student does not secure a seat in Term 1, we offer the option to move their application to Term 2 or even the subsequent academic year. It is our mission to accommodate and provide the best advice for every parent and student seeking a place in any of our schools.”

New students

Shiny Davison, Principal, The Indian Academy Dubai said the school has seen a 100 per cent rise in student enrollment. In 2022 we registered 750 new students, this year it has been 1,500. “In TIAD we are seeing a high rise in admissions almost filling our operational capacity.

Shiny Davison

“I would say the main reason being that most expatriates feel safe to live here in UAE post the pandemic. I would also credit it to the rigorous monitoring through the inspection cycles.”

“Our inclusion department also thrives at providing the most high quality educational opportunities to students of determination.”

She said the schools are running full operational capacity.

Parents are most welcome to walk into school and meet the admissions officer. They can also register through the school website. For the current year we are all most full to capacity with a few grades where we still have space to accommodate. We will do the necessary work to increase our capacity for the next academic year.”

Dr. Vajahat Hussain, chief executive officer of Amity Education ME said: “Our flagship school in the UAE, Amity International School Abu Dhabi has reached record numbers of admissions this academic year. The school will be welcoming a bigger student body back to school this September. Amity School Dubai and Amity Private School Sharjah have also seen a rise in enrollments this year. The surge in student enrollment is not just a numerical increase; it is in fact a testament to the UAE’s unwavering dedication to shaping a brighter tomorrow through the minds of its youth.”

“We have seen a 30 per cent increase in enrollments across all our schools every year. We are open for admissions throughout the year, and regularly review our capacity and resources to determine if we can accommodate new families.”