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| 24 April, 2018

Dubai school fees fall along with home rents

8 out of 10 schools have updated their fees this school year

Image used for illustrative purpose. Secondary students gather on stage ahead of their weekly assembly meeting on the last week of the school term in Wellington International School in Dubai.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Secondary students gather on stage ahead of their weekly assembly meeting on the last week of the school term in Wellington International School in Dubai.

REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

As the price of house rents fall across the emirate, there has been a small drop in school fees as well, according to Middle East education guide, Edarabia.

The quarterly price evaluation study by the education experts states there has been a "10 to 15 per cent" decrease in school fees in key residential areas across Dubai (when looking at the accumulated average of annual schools fees for the total number of schools located in specific areas).

Edarabia, in collaboration with UAE property portal Bayut.com, has released its latest findings on 'Dubai school fees vs. rent' for the first quarter of 2018.

Statistics from Bayut.com show rents falling across key residential areas where school fees are the most expensive. However, several schools Khaleej Times spoke to denied that fees have been reduced. The survey states that Nad Al Sheba, Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), and Al Sufouh are the top three areas where school fees are most expensive, with average annual fees of up to Dh65,152 for all year groups. On the other hand, schools located in Deira, Al Qusais /Muhaisnah, and Karama; offer the lowest school fees in Dubai, averaging Dh12,761 per year, according to the research.

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Upon contacting a school in Deira, one school official who chose to remain anonymous, said: "We cannot confirm that there has been a school fee reduction. We do offer discounts and scholarships for the students, but we have not officially slashed prices." Most major school groups refused to comment on the matter.

School fees vs. house rents

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Farid Gasim, founder of Edarabia, said compared to Edarabia's findings in 2017, the new report indicates that 8 out of 10 schools have updated their fees this school year, some reducing their fees by up to 10-15% in some cases. "The study has looked only into the school's tuition fees; the statistics are devoid of transport and other education supplies costs," he explained.

"We calculated the average fees by comparing the fee structures available on the school websites," he explained. For example, in Deira, the price comparison was done for 17 schools and the average annual fee is Dh12,761, while in 2017, it was Dh 13,904. The most number of schools are located in Qusais and Muhaisana, topping the list with 33 schools. The average fee in this area for this year is Dh15,533. In 2017, it was Dh18,026.

Mirdiff and Rashidiya have the second highest number of schools, with an average annual school fee of Dh30,600 per year. Meanwhile, school fees in Springs, Meadows and Nad Al Sheba have reduced from Dh67,066 to Dh65,152. Ind-ian High School's CEO Ashok Kumar said: "As far as my knowledge goes, none of the older Indian schools have slashed prices as such. But yes, at the start of the year, some schools did announce scholarships and price freeze. These are attempts to raise the admissions numbers in the school."

Ragini Seth, an Indian parent of two high school boys, said: "I can confirm that my sons' school's fees have not decreased. Though it has not increased either. but we pay a lot of money for school supplies."

Earlier this year, Horizon International School (HIS) in Dubai reduced tuition fees by up to 33 per cent, joining at least two other Dubai schools that also slashed fees for the 2018-19 cycle. A total of 22 Dubai schools chose to freeze their fees in 2017, according to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. Repton School Dubai and Foremarke, operated by Evolvence Knowledge Investments (EKI), announced that it has frozen its junior school fees and reduced its senior school fees by 10 per cent on average. The institute said its aim was to make education more accessible to a wider group of schools.

Rent vs. school fees

The Q1 Report (2018) suggests that the lowest apartment rents are to be found in the new 'suburbs' of Dubai: Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Sports City, DIP and IMPZ. JVC is also home to some of the most affordable villas, after Mirdif and Dubai Sports City. Meanwhile, the most expensive apartments and villas are to be found in the older, central neighbourhoods, like Al Sufouh, Jumeirah, Nad Al Sheba, Palm Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim.

The data suggests average rents fell in Nad Al Sheba, Springs, Mea-dows and JVC. The average rent for a Nad Al Sheba four-bedroom villa fell by 15.7 per cent and in JVC, three-bed villas' rents fell by 20.7 per cent.

Click on the image above to open the full report in the PDF version in a new tab.

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