Dubai's private school sector demonstrates resilience with 14% enrolment growth at new schools

Dubai's private school sector demonstrates resilience with 14% enrolment growth at new schools

Dubai’s private school sector demonstrated its resilience with enrolments at new schools showing an increase of 14 percent in the last academic year.

According to data published recently by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, the 30 new private schools that opened in the emirate between the academic years of 2017-18 and 2019-20 saw student numbers increasing by 14 percent in the last academic year. Private school enrolment for students in grades 1 to 12 in the current academic year saw a slight decrease of 1.7 percent compared to the 2019-20 academic year.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA, said:

"Dubai’s school sector faced unprecedented circumstances this year. Despite setbacks, the emirate’s school sector has not only proven its ability to bounce back from challenges, but also recovered stronger and better. New schools continue to open in Dubai, new families continue to move to Dubai, and our educational community continues to deliver a high quality of education.
"We’re grateful to the teachers and school leaders who have been so devoted to their students and their work; to the parents who have placed their trust in Dubai and our schools; and to the students who have shown such courage and optimism throughout this period. Our community will continue to work together in the weeks and months ahead to build a more resilient, future-focused private school sector.'' Dubai continues to attract new investors into its school sector in line with the evolution of market needs and expectations. As new developments and communities spark further demand for private education, investors can tap fresh opportunities even during challenging times.

KHDA’s private school landscape data for the year 2020-21 shows that 53 percent of all students in Dubai have returned to face-to-face learning, while 47 percent continue to study through full-time distance learning. Four new schools opened in the current academic year.

Schools have demonstrated their ability to deliver learning in a safe and healthy environment amidst the current circumstances. With many schools transitioning to 100 percent face-to-face learning, confidence among schools and families to return to a normal learning experience is rising.

The landscape report includes data on the surprise visits conducted by the KHDA team to ensure that private schools were adhering to Dubai Government rules for health & safety at school. In September and October, the team made 1,148 visits to schools.

The KHDA landscape report, previously an annual publication, will be updated and released three times during this academic year. Upcoming reports are due in winter 2020 and spring 2021.

To read the full current report, visit

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