Private schools in Dubai will not be allowed to raise their fees during the next academic year, the Dubai Executive Council has ruled.
The decision was revealed after the council – chaired by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – met on Wednesday to deliberate over a number of recommendations designed to boost the economy.
Other measures approved during the meeting included the slashing of market fees imposed by Dubai Municipality from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, the scrapping of 19 fees related to the aviation industry to attract Dhs1bn ($272.2m) of foreign investment and the waiving of a 4 per cent late payment fee on property registration for 60 days.
The emirate’s school regulator the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced last month that it would soon reveal its latest cost index regulating school fees after publishing inspection results.
The government body said 14 of the 166 private schools it inspected this academic year were rated outstanding, 27 very good, 68 good, 51 acceptable and six weak.
The annual Education Cost Index (ECI), calculated by the Dubai Statistics Centre, is based on school operating costs, which includes teachers’ salaries, rent, maintenance, electricity and water charges, among other commodities.
Based on the ECI last year, the KHDA said that private schools would be allowed to increase their tuition fees by between 2.4 per cent to 4.8 per cent for the academic year 2017-2018.
Schools were permitted to increase their fees depending on their KHDA inspection rating.
Schools rated as ‘outstanding’ were eligible to hike fees by up to double the ECI – 4.8 per cent, while ‘very good’ schools could increase fees by 1.75 times the ECI – 4.2 per cent, and ‘good’ schools by 1.5 times – 3.6 per cent.
The rest of the schools were allowed to increase fees by the 2.4 per cent ECI rate.