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Dubai schools at ‘tipping point’ as new supply drives down fees

Dubai schools at ‘tipping point’ as new supply drives down fees

Knight Frank said pressure on the education sector was expected to increase next academic year

Dubai schools allowed to raise fees by 6.4%

Dubai’s education sector is at a “tipping point” as schools engage in aggressive marketing and tuition fee discounts, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

The firm said its review of the sector indicated there was “an oversupply supply of schools” with pressure expected to increase given the 13 openings planned in the next academic year.

Operators are also currently contending with a government decision to freeze schools fees for the 2018-2019 academic year to reduce pressure on parents.

Read: Dubai freezes private school fees for 2018-2019

Knight Frank said the quality of education in Dubai had significantly improved given and the city was now home to many international operators, with 16 different curricula offerings available.

“With this drastic increase in choice, the market is now tipped in favour of consumers who are demanding quality education at lower price points,” it said.

A survey of 30 per cent of schools in the emirate found many found providing affordable education challenging but believed schooling should be relative to income.

For fees, 80 per cent of respondents indicated year-one rates should be less than Dhs33,000 ($8,984) a year and 56 per cent between Dhs18,000 and Dhs28,000.

Furthermore, 77 per cent of respondents said year-seven tuition fees should be less than Dhs41,000 ($11,162) and 44 per cent said they should be between Dhs33,000 and Dhs46,000.

While 70 per cent said year-13 tuition fees should be equal to or less than Dhs60,000 ($16,334).

Dubai academic year 2016/2017 school fees map (Knight Frank)

Other findings included that 70 per cent of schools reported a decline in their catchment area due to the greater choice in the market.

On average 53 per cent of students at each school resided in a 5km radius.

A study conducted by HSBC last year revealed that the UAE has the second highest school fees in the world.

According to the report, it costs approximately $99,378 or Dhs365,025 to educate a child from primary school through to university in the emirates.

Read: UAE school fees second highest in the world – HSBC study

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