190910 our own english high school
Our Own English High School, Fujairah, follows the Indian curriculum and caters to around 3,000 students. Image Credit: Supplied

Fujairah: Our Own English High School, Fujairah, involved in a legal dispute between GEMS Education and the landlord of its premises, is no longer operating under GEMS Education, Gulf News can reveal.

The development follows GEMS’ statement in July that had mentioned the dispute, saying GEMS would not be able to pay the Indian school’s teacher salaries for July as a result.

Gulf News has learnt that GEMS, the UAE’s biggest private school group with 48 schools in the country, is no longer operating the school. However, it is understood that the school is open and continues to operate under the landlord.

‘School open’

When Gulf News called the school on Tuesday morning, a woman who answered the phone said the school was open. A request for further comment was not met immediately; the school has not yet responded to a voice message left by Gulf News.

A GEMS Education spokesperson told Gulf News: “We confirm that GEMS Education has been forced to withdraw, very reluctantly, from Our Own English High School, Fujairah (OOF) due to an ongoing legal dispute with the landlord of the school premises.”

‘Negotiations fell through’

The spokesperson added: “The school has been faithfully serving thousands of families and playing an integral part in the community for the last 30 years.

"The dispute arose after negotiations regarding the terms of renewal of our long-term lease with the landlord fell through and the professional licence of the school was unilaterally, and without our knowledge or consent, transferred into the name of the landlord in March 2018.

"As a result of these actions it is no longer possible for us to continue to operate the school from the current site.

‘Seeking reversal’

“We have been working hard to try and resolve this matter through the courts and other avenues, and notwithstanding this decision, we will continue to rigorously pursue our various legal claims through the courts, including seeking the reversal of the transfer of the professional license and return of all school assets. We cannot comment further as the matter remains sub judice”.