Living costs in Dubai seem to be easing as rents and now school fees are seeing a drop. According to School Fees vs. Rent report released by Middle East Education guide Edarabia and U.A.E.-based property portal Bayut.com, school fees within the emirate have fallen by 10-15% in certain areas during the first quarter of 2018.
Dubai has about 185 private schools, which educate a total of 273,599 students including 32,103 Emirati students and 15,099 students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The highest average school fees for all groups are AED 65,152 ($17,591) in areas like Nad Al Sheba, Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), and Al Sufouh. While schools located in Deira, Al Qusais / Muhaisnah, and Al Karama are the ones offering lowest average school fees of AED 12,761 ($3,446) per year.
School fees, especially within the U.A.E., have been progressively increasing adding on to the living costs. According to research from HSBC, parents in the U.A.E. spend about half a million dirhams in their lifetime to ensure that their children get the complete education. As per the research education costs within the U.A.E. were the second highest in the world.
This has led to a massive influx of investment into the region’s education sector as investors pump in funds to open new schools to cater to the existing demand.
However, as austerity measures grip the region—thanks to the freefall in crude prices—demand for schools have also been impacted. Now with VAT being implemented, concerns are rife that living costs could further strain the residents' purse strings.
In Dubai, some schools have folded due to being economically unviable. Delhi Private School Academy’s campus in Dubai International Academy City announced in October 2016 that it will be closing, while The Westminster School returned from the brink of closure after intense lobbying.