Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s biggest listed developer, is investing Dh350 million ($95.3 million) to expand its education portfolio across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
This is in addition to the Dh1 billion investment commitment made by Aldar in 2022 to boost its education portfolio.
As part of the latest investment, Aldar Education will establish Cranleigh Bahrain, marking the company’s first entry into the kingdom.
Cranleigh Bahrain will become the first branded premium school in the country to offer a British International Curriculum when it opens in 2024.
The increased investment also includes the acquisition of Kent College Dubai and Virginia International Private School in Abu Dhabi, Aldar said in a statement on Monday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
The acquisition of Kent College Dubai, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, represents Aldar Education’s first entry into Dubai, while it continues to expand in Abu Dhabi with the Virginia International Private School acquisition.
The expansion increases Aldar Education’s student capacity by more than 6,000 seats, with total seats set to reach over 58,000 seats by the academic year 2025/26, according to the company.
“This investment not only demonstrates our commitment to transformational growth but also our ability to successfully deliver on building scale and enhancing asset and geographical diversification across our platform,” Jassem Busaibe, chief executive at Aldar Investment, said.
Aldar Education includes Aldar’s entire educational portfolio, with almost 35,000 students across 28 operated and managed schools and a growing network of 4,600 educators with a wide range of curricula and a teacher training academy.
"Through this expansion, we are enhancing our ability to have a positive impact on students across the UAE and the wider region," Sahar Cooper, chief executive at Aldar Education, said.
Aldar Education plans to further enhance the quality of education at Kent College Dubai and Virginia International Private School by improving the facilities and infrastructure.
Established in 2016, Kent College Dubai offers a comprehensive range of educational curricula, including the British curriculum, International Baccalaureate Diploma, and BTEC programmes in performing arts, sports, and business.
Located in Shakhbout City in Abu Dhabi, Virginia International Private School is an American curriculum school catering to students from kindergarten through the elementary and secondary levels.