international schools

Dubai: The international schools market in the UAE continues to expand, with 17 new schools opening for the 2018-2019 academic year, a new study suggests.

According to the latest data from ISC Research, released ahead of the forthcoming International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) Middle East in Dubai, the UAE led all countries in the Middle East in the number of international schools, boasting 624 international schools, up from 596 last year.

The research also shows that the premium, English-language international schools market continues to expand across the Middle East, showing no signs of slowing down despite challenging economic conditions.

“The market in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE, continues to expand. ISC Research is aware of 17 new international schools opening for the 2018-2019 academic year in the UAE, 13 of which are located in Dubai,” said Richard Gaskell, schools director at ISC Research.

The study states that the number of international schools in the region has grown from only 1,159 in 2013 to 1,593 in 2018.

“Most of the demand for international schools in the Middle East is currently focused on the mid-price international schools that are affordable to the majority of professional expatriates and more affluent local families,” he added.

Following the UAE, there are 257 international schools in Saudi Arabia and 166 in Qatar. A total of 1.51 million students are attending international schools in the region, each paying an average of $7,658 (Dh28,129) annually for their education.

Rhona Greenhill, co-founder, IPSEF which runs the leading international conference on private and international schools in the UK, China and the Middle East said the growth of the international schools’ market in the Middle East further confirms the role education plays in the development agenda of governments in the region.

“A number of initiatives have been set in place to enable private companies to establish local branches or independently set-up international schools and help support the growth of the education sector as a whole in this part of the world,” he said.

According to Greenhill, new market updates will be revealed at the Dubai edition of IPSEF, which will be held on September 21-23 2018 at the KHDA headquarters in Dubai International Academic City.

Ashwin Assomull, Managing Director, L.E.K. Consulting will present insights on the UAE K-12 education landscape, providing the very latest data on growth drivers and opportunities in this highly competitive segment.

As the international schools’ sector continues to grow, competition is expected to get tougher. Given this context, organisers have included a session on Marketing the #Future School, finding relevance in a crowded market to be led by Simon Noakes, Founder & CEO, Interactive Schools.

The talk is expected to provide school owners and administrators insightful steps on how to highlight their unique strengths and remain competitive in the market.