Dubai's private school population tops 300,000 for first time

Education chiefs say rise reflects public confidence in the emirate's 200-plus private schools

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Dubai's private school population has increased to more than 300,000 for the first time after growing by more than 14,000 since the start of the academic year.

Official statistics show 303,262 pupils are enrolled in the emirate's private schools — a sharp rise on the 289,019 total in September and above the pre-pandemic level of 295,148 children in 2019-2020.

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai's private education regulator, said there had been a 4.9 per cent increase since September.

“Dubai’s private schools have consistently focused on improvement and growth, even during challenging times,” he said.

“The record number of pupils reflects the trust and confidence that families place in schools.

“School leaders and teachers have come together and collaborated to work towards Dubai’s aspiration to provide every pupil with a high-quality education grounded in well-being.

“We’re grateful to educators, parents and pupils for being part of Dubai’s education community and for creating the future of education together.”

Dr Al Karam said the encouraging figures were also reflective of Dubai's status as an attractive place to live and work for people across the globe.

“The rise in school enrolment also reflects Dubai’s growing attractiveness as a lifestyle, business and investment destination, which has encouraged families from across the world to relocate to the city,” he said.

Earlier this month, The National told how many Indian schools in Dubai had recorded a boom in enrolments, particularly from families who moved to the UAE this year.

Head teachers reported that instead of the usual movement of pupils within UAE schools, they had requests for admissions and school tours from parents who had recently arrived in the Emirates.

The population of Dubai is projected to nearly double in the next 20 years, according to experts, who predict a new wave of post-pandemic immigration.

UK schools lead the way

The data shows that 35 per cent of pupils are enrolled at UK schools, 26 per cent at Indian schools and 16 per cent at US curriculum schools.

Pupils studying in the emirate's private schools represent 187 nationalities, highlighting Dubai's multicultural society.

Dubai is home to 215 private schools, offering 18 different curriculum choices.

Updated: April 14, 2022, 5:40 PM