Demand for Mid-Market Schools to Grow in the UAE


Demand for Mid-Market Schools to Grow in the UAE

Special to TAG Educa News Agency

DUBAI - There is a high demand for mid-market schools or affordable education in the UAE, and it will continue to grow, according to the latest report from Colliers International.

Released as part of Colliers’ Knowledge Partnership with the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) exhibition, the world’s leading education show held recently in Dubai, the report predicts steady year-on-year growth of three per cent for the next 10 years for the school-going population in Dubai. There will be 370,000 private schools enrollment by 2030 compared to 290,000 in 2018.

“It’s more mature and stable demand in the UAE for mid-market schools with a price range between AED25,000 and AED45,000 per annum. Increasing young population and maturing income levels will increase preference towards mid-market schools,” said Mansoor Ahmed, Director, Colliers MENA.

According to the report, Dubai witnessed the opening of 10 new private schools with 10,000 seat capacity during 2017-18 academic year, and the number of new schools jumped to 14 in the academic year 2018-19 with 24,000 new seats. This year, four new private schools opened for the 2019-20 academic year with around 4,000 seats. 
There are more than 210 private schools in Dubai. British, Indian, and the US curricula are the top 3 choices in Dubai with a market share of 37 per cent, 27 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively.

Mr. Ahmed mentioned that demographic profile has changed in the country as more families are mid-income oriented, mid to high income and mid to low income-oriented. Therefore, they can afford mid-market schools.
He added, “The main demand which we see is between AED20,000 per annum and AED35,000 or AED40,000. So those who are opening schools and catering to this segment they are performing well. Therefore, there is growth, and there is a demand for new and existing schools.”

Same is the case in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, he said adding that Sharjah needs more schools as there is a large number of students who come to Dubai every day. According to the latest data of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai, around 35,000 students come to Dubai from Sharjah.

Talking about high-end schools, he said there is also demand in this segment, but too many schools opened in the last three years, and they take time to reach the full capacity because of high fees.

The Colliers report also talked about the growth and opportunities in regional markets such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

In Saudi Arabia, the school-going population is expected to reach 9.5 million in 2030 compared to 7.3 million in 2018. Similarly, private student enrollments are expected to jump to 1.5 million in 2030 compared to 1.1 million in 2018.

The report predicted that higher education in the Kingdom also has potential and opportunities because of high demand for technical and vocational courses; and increased demand for healthcare, tourism and retail-related courses.