Dubai private school tuition fees frozen for next academic year

Government says schools would be unable to increase 2022-23 fees

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Dubai's private schools will not be permitted to increase tuition fees for the next academic year, the emirate's education regulator said.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) made the announcement on Tuesday following the release of the latest Education Cost Index (ECI).

The ECI measures annual changes in school running costs, including salaries, rents and utilities.

Families have suffered because of pay cuts and job losses. I’m sure the decision is for the greater good for all
Sheila Menon, Ambassador School

This year's study found no cause to increase tuition charges for 2022-23.

This is the third consecutive year that fees for Dubai schools have remained unchanged.

“Dubai’s private schools continue to demonstrate strong growth and resilience, driven by the trust and confidence of families,” said Mohammed Darwish, chief executive of the Regulations and Permits Commission at KHDA.

“Our robust fee framework ensures complete transparency and balances the expectations of families and schools.”

The Education Cost Index and the Fee Framework were developed in collaboration with government departments such as the Dubai Statistics Centre, Department of Economic Development and Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

"In the last couple of years, families have suffered because of pay cuts and job losses and we did not have school inspections per se," said Sheila Menon, principal of Ambassador School.

"It’s a difficult time for schools and families. We continue to pay salaries, rents, maintenance and other bills but I’m sure the new decision is for the greater good for all. So, we will not increase the fees at all."

A spokesman of Gems Education said they have “noted the decision and are trying to understand all the implications.

“As with other schools, we will follow the directives of the regulator. There was no fee hike across the Gems network in the past two years.”

Enrolment at Dubai’s private schools has increased by 5.8 per cent since February 2021.

More than 20 new schools have opened in the emirate in the past three years, bringing the total number to 215.

A report published by the KHDA in November found more than four in 10 parents of pupils at private schools in Dubai pay less than Dh18,000 ($4,900) in annual fees.

Data from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority shows only 9 per cent of parents pay more than Dh75,000, while another 22 per cent pay between Dh18,000 and Dh35,000.

Updated: March 02, 2022, 7:05 AM