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Parents being priced out of new Dubai schools – report

Ruth Harron 26/06/2019 0

By Gavin Gibbon

Parents in Dubai are being priced out of new schools, according to a report by Property Finder and the Education Intelligence Group (EIG).

The mismatch between new school supply in the emirate and the income and demand levels of its residents is highlighted in the ‘Knowledge Economy Report’, which cites an oversupply in both the residential market and the premium segment of the education sector in Dubai.

Property Finder estimates that 8,990 residential units were completed in Q1 2019, while the total freehold stock in Dubai stands at 528,757 units.

Lynnette Abad, director of research and data, Property Finder, said the price of education must be aligned to the new areas of housing available.

“It is imperative to look at all the various data sets when making these key decisions and working on feasibility studies, especially trying to project three or four years down the road,” Abad said

“Asking price data, transaction price data, demand data, supply data and demographic data are all key data sets when assessing what type of schools to build, where and what their price points should be.

“Historically, failing to consider all this data is where the mismatch occurred and continues to persist,” he added.

Increased school supply

This is certainly the case at the moment, with increasing pressures placed upon the education industry.

In recent years, a number of schools in Dubai have been faced with a rise in the number of empty seats. An increase in new school supply, coupled with a higher number of families relocating back home where schooling is often free, or moving their children to more affordable schools, has exacerbated the problem.

Despite more seats coming up in already existing schools, 16 new schools opened in 2018, adding 25,000 seats to the marketplace. The report revealed that only two of the schools could be classed as ‘affordable’, with the remaining schools offering fees within the premium or mid-market segment.

The average annual asking price of new schools entering the market in 2018 was AED55,509 ($15,111), an increase of AED14,695 ($4,000) from 2017.

Clive Pierrepont, speaking on behalf of Taaleem Group, said school operators and investors must do their homework before committing themselves to huge investments in the market.

He told Arabian Business: “The dynamics of Dubai are changing, and schools have to rapidly adapt to this new landscape. We have seen many recent entrants to the market, driven by their ‘oil tanker’ business plans that haven’t been able to turn around quickly to cope with the rapidly changing market dynamics.

“Up to 70 percent of parent enquiries are driven by referrals from co-workers, friends and family, and a robust reputation within the community cannot be underestimated as parents wade their way through the myriad of incentives offered by new entrants to the market.

“Parents are much wiser to the fact that new premium schools will face challenging times surviving in the current market and may not necessarily be able to deliver on all of their initial promises.”


According to the report, the majority of the new supply which has entered the market are in locations where there are existing schools offering similar price points and curriculums.

In some instances, schools have been forced to offer significant discounts and incentives to parents, including free uniforms, free transport and extra-curricular activities as part of the school fees.

Robison added: “We are now at the point where investors really have to delve deep and explore what residents in Dubai really want, and what it means to be part of the wider community of Dubai.

“The report details the specific needs of a cross section of parents, but the overarching message from them is that we all need to rethink and redefine our perception of what it means to contribute to this community.”

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Meet the first baby born on Eid Al Fitr day in UAE

Ruth Harron 05/06/2019 0

Courtesy of Gulf News

Dubai: Ali Mohammad Al Shaikh was the first baby to be born on the first day of Eid in the UAE this year, entering the world just a minute after midnight at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Baby Ali was born at 00.01 via caesarean section, weighing 3.41kg and spanning 52cm tall.

Emirati parents Mohammad Yasser Al Shaikh and Kholood Salem Al Daheri, said: “We have been blessed with a healthy baby boy which makes this Eid even more joyous. The medical team and staff at Burjeel Hospital have taken excellent care of us and our family during this time, and we are thankful for their support. We want to thank the entire team for all their efforts.”

Mohammad Yasser Al Shaikh with his baby Ali
Mohammad Yasser Al Shaikh with his baby Ali who was born just a minute after midnight at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi.Image Credit: Supplied

Dr Sausan Abdul Rahman, consultant of obstetrics and gynaecology at the hospital, said: “We are both happy and proud that the team at Burjeel Hospital was able to be a part of the birth on such a significant day. We will always remember this moment.”

Eid babies

Other babies born on the first day of Eid included baby Mohammad, who was born at 12.40am at Danat Al Emarat Hospital in Abu Dhabi, born to Ahmad Mahmoud Zahid from Afghanistan and Emirati mother Ayesha Abdul Latif Al Butaih.

Zahid, 27, said: “My wife’s due date was on June 17, but with Allah’s will she started having labour symptoms on the last day of Ramadan and here we are now celebrating the birth of our second child, at 12.40am of the first day of Eid Al Fitr.

Musallam Salem Bin Amro with his daughter Salama.
Musallam Salem Bin Amro with his daughter Salama.Image Credit: Supplied

“We have named him Mohammad and he weighed 3.5kg. Baby Mohammed and my wife are in good health thanks to Allah. His sister Mahra has been waiting for him, and our celebration today is doubled with his birth and Eid. Thanks to Danat Al Emarat team for the care they have been providing my wife and both children. From here I would like to congratulate our UAE leaders, government and the people of UAE and the Islamic nation on Eid Al Fitr.”

Mohammad’s birth at Danat Al Emarat preceded the birth of Salama at the same hospital, a few minutes before Eid Al Fitr prayers.

Her Emirati father, Musallam Salem Bin Amro, said: “She is our first child, and we named her Salama. She weighs 2.7kg and is in good health thanks to Allah. Having her born today has doubled our joy as we all celebrate the first day of Eid Al Fitr. The baby and her mother are in good health. We were expecting her in 10 days, but with Allah’s will she has joined our Eid celebrations today before Eid prayers. I would like to congratulate our leaders, government and nation on this blessed occasion of Eid Al Fitr.”

Ahmad Mahmoud Zahid with his son Mohammad.
Ahmad Mahmoud Zahid with his son Mohammad.Image Credit: Supplied

Other publicised births include that of a little girl at 4am in Aster Hospital in Mankool, Dubai, to parents Neha and Tarun Dhandhaniya from India.

Tarun said: “We are blessed to have a little angel in our lives on this auspicious day of Eid. Thank you Aster for making this day so memorable for us.”

RAK Hospital also reported the birth of baby Sultan at 10.45am, weighing 3.7kg, to parents Musa Muran and Shams Muran from the Comoros Islands.

Musa said: “I’m so happy today, I feel like I’m flying high. Thankfully, both mother and the baby are doing well. We have a daughter and now we have been blessed with a son as well, so this Eid is memorable for us. I was born and raised in the UAE, and now this is our second generation being born here,” he added.

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5-day public holiday in UAE for Eid Al Fitr?

Ruth Harron 24/05/2019 0

Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque
A night view from Wahat Al Karama of Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: The UAE Cabinet had previously announced in March that the same number of holidays will be granted to the public and private sector.

The decree was issued with the aim to achieve a balance between the two sectors and to support the national economy in its various fields.


According to Gulf News reports, Eid Al Fitr this year is likely to fall on Wednesday June 5, which corresponds to 30 days of Ramadan.

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources had announced that Eid Al Fitr will be marked from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3.

Public holidays calendar
Holidays in 2019.Image Credit: Supplied

So if the crescent moon is not sighted on the night of June 3, this means that there will be 30 days of Ramadan and UAE residents will be able to get a five-day public holiday.

In a tweet posted earlier last month, the government department clarified that the next long weekend will be for Eid Al Adha and said that residents will benefit from a four-day holiday – one for Arafat Day and three for Eid which falls on 9 and 10-12 of Dhu Al Hijja respectively.

Depending on the moon-sighting, Eid may either fall on Saturday August 10 or on Sunday August 11.

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How do we help make sure kids are prepared to be polite, not just in the offline world but also online?

Ruth Harron 22/05/2019 0

Courtesy of Khaleej Times

Sarwat Nasir

Filed on May 19, 2019 | Last updated on May 19, 2019 at 10.20 pm

Being ‘famous’ or ‘popular’ is no longer limited to Hollywood stars since YouTube was launched over a decade ago. Now, celebrities – such as Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Kendall Jenner – befriend and follow well-known YouTubers because they know their products will reach a much wider audience if they are to be promoted by these social media influencers.

But being a social media user isn’t easy, especially when ‘fame’ comes along with it as one gains millions of followers.

In the UAE, specifically, remember the teen YouTuber who was mocked worldwide for her highlighter look? She was rudely being called a ‘glazed donut’ and made headlines worldwide. Or just take the recent drama with James Charles, Tati Westbrook and Jeffree Star – popular YouTubers exchanging harsh words towards each other via their online channels.

It’s not easy growing up in a digital world. But how do we help make sure kids are prepared to be polite, not just in the offline world but also online?

The UAE has rolled out a moral education programme across all schools, and pupils take actual exams that quiz them on how to behave morally online.

Students, parents and teachers have shared their thoughts with Khaleej Times on whether moral education can really help in today’s digital world.

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Ruth Harron 10/05/2019 1

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