The educational opportunities offered by Dubai's private schools is growing. By the end of the academic year 2015-2016, parents will benefit from more than 63,000 seats in 27 new private schools and by 2017 there will be more than 196 private schools in Dubai with a capacity to reach more than 341,000 students.
The positive growth of Dubai's private school sector has been an ongoing trend. In the academic years, 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, 18 new private schools provided some 19,000 seats and in the last academic year alone parents benefited from 11 new private schools opening their doors with a capacity of more than 25,000 seats.
Chief of Regulations & Permits Commission (RPC), Mohammed Ahmed Darwish, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), confirmed: "There will be an expected total of 27 new private schools by September 2016, bringing the total estimated capacity to 63,000 seats."
Looking ahead, the burgeoning growth of Dubai's private school sector is set to continue. Dubai's successful bid to host Expo 2020, coupled with the growing population of the city has brought investor confidence and currently, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is reviewing more than 60 applications for the establishment of new private schools in Dubai.
Darwish said: "This creates competitiveness among the new private schools within Dubai. Private schools then present special packages and promotional offers to attract parents of new and existing students and to occupy the highest rate of seats available. The offers include attractive instalment packages and discounts for families which have more than one child in the same school. As a result, parents benefit from the competition created amongst private schools in Dubai."
Executive Director of Education Development, Kalthoom Al Balooshi, explained: "This will help in reaching the Emirate's goal of having 360,000 seats by 2020. Furthermore, the new private schools have contributed to private education by providing a variety and range of good to outstanding quality education."
Al Balooshi added: "In order to establish the best available educational opportunities for Dubai's private education sector, we used a variety of channels to communicate with more than 200 investors and education providers inside and outside of the UAE. This has helped in obtaining international school branches within Dubai and once again, adds to the choice of curriculums for parents to choose from."
In fact, this year sees the addition of a school that will offer a Swiss qualification to the sector; confirmation that KHDA continues to meet the demands of all students by ensuring there are multiple options for Emirati families and expats alike.
Currently 87% of the total seats available in Dubai's private schools are occupied by students. Around 35,000 of these students travel from the neighbouring Emirates due to the improved facilities offered by Dubai private schools.
Al Balooshi went on to say: "We also encourage the good and outstanding schools to expand within the Emirate by opening new branches, at the same time attracting good-quality schools from other Emirates to establish branches in Dubai."
This diversification of educational opportunities to students in Dubai results in strong and competitive investor interest and strikes a unique balance to enable the sector to provide an outstanding quality of education to students.