Dubai's private school population tops 365,000 amid record-setting enrolment surge

Education authorities say a 12 per cent annual rise is the largest recorded in emirate's education sector

Students of FS1 in their classroom at the Arcadia Global School in Al Furjan area in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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Dubai's growing private school population has surged by a record-setting 39,000 in one year, authorities said on Monday.

Official statistics show more than 365,000 pupils are enrolled in the emirate's classrooms, up from 326,000 in November 2022.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority – Dubai's private education regulator – said the 12 per cent rise is the biggest since the authority was established in 2007.

The latest figures represent an increase on the 4.5 per cent growth between last June and November and come amid a continuing population boom in the Emirates.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA, said the enrolment boost highlights is testament is Dubai's position as a leading global destination to live and work.

“Our city is not just experiencing growth; it is creating growth,” said Dr Al Karam. “An ambitious city is a magnet for ambitious people, and Dubai continues to welcome a record number of families and teachers each year.

“Schools in Dubai prioritise quality, well-being and inclusion, while offering diversity in their curriculums, locations and demographics.”

In April 2022 The National reported Many Indian schools in Dubai had recorded an increase in enrolments, particularly from families who had moved to the UAE.

Experts project the emirate's population will surge to 5.8 million by 2040, bolstered by a fresh wave of post-pandemic immigration.

Dubai's daytime population – a figure that includes commuting workers who live in other emirates – is set to soar to 7.8 million by this time.

Dubai has 220 private schools, offering 17 curriculums to pupils from more than 180 countries.

This year, Abu Dhabi has opened 11 new private and charter schools to help meet the needs of a growing pupil population amid a nationwide education sector boom.

About 15,000 extra school places were created and more than 450 teachers hired for the start of the new academic year as part of a major drive to deliver top-class education across the capital.

Dubai's new schools – in pictures

Updated: October 23, 2023, 3:07 PM