Dubai schools demonstrate resilience and continued growth with 2.6% increase in student numbers

Dubai is home to 210 schools offering 17 different curricula

Dr.Abdulla Al karam

Dr.Abdulla Al karam

  • Families continue to move to Dubai, confident their children have access to high quality education in both distance and face-to-face modes 

Government of Dubai Media Office: Student enrolment in Dubai’s private schools has increased by 7,300 students in the last three months, a rise of 2.6%, according to updated data released by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in its latest report titled ‘All Seasons Education - Spring Edition 2021’.

A total of 286,588 students are currently enrolled in Dubai schools, which includes 138,917 girls and 147,671 boys. Parents continue to exercise their choice on how their children learn, with 50% of students doing full time distance learning and 50% of students doing blended learning (a combination of distance and face-to-face learning).

A total of 28,166 students are enrolled in 36 higher education institutions in Dubai in the 2020-21 academic year. New data also shows that 25% of university students have come to Dubai specifically to undergo education.

Key indicators of student wellbeing in Dubai continue to be positive. A sneak peek of the results of the Dubai Students Wellbeing Census, to be released next month, shows a five to six per cent increase in the proportion of students getting a good night’s sleep.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA, said, “Dubai’s private education sector has remained resilient despite the current global circumstances. Families continue to move to Dubai knowing they can choose between distance and face-to-face learning for their children, and that they will have access to high-quality education for both modes. Dubai remains an education destination for international students, particularly as universities focus their efforts on graduating young professionals who are ready to thrive in the world of the future.

“What’s important about these numbers is also what lies beyond them. Over the last year, we’ve seen great courage, positivity and love from our community of teachers, leaders, parents and students. We are grateful for their trust, and for their determination to create a kinder, happier and even more resilient education community in Dubai.”

The latest landscape report includes data on the surprise visits conducted by the KHDA team to help schools, universities and early learning centres comply with Dubai Government rules for health and safety. Since May 2020, the team has made more than 20 visits to schools each day.  During these visits, 93 % of all Dubai private schools, 92% of universities, and 100% of early learning centres were found to be compliant with health and safety protocols.

Dubai is home to 210 schools offering 17 different curricula. With nearly 110,000 students, UK-curriculum schools account for 38 per cent of all student enrolments. Indian curriculum schools were the second most popular in Dubai, with over 75,000 students enrolled.

Business studies continues to remain the most popular choice for higher education programmes, followed by courses in engineering, information technology, media and design.

The ‘All Seasons Education - Spring Edition 2021’ is the second of three landscape reports scheduled to be issued by KHDA this academic year. Updated data will be announced again in summer.

To read the latest report, visit 

Key Numbers from Spring Edition of KHDA landscape report

  • Total number of schools in Dubai – 210
  • Total number of students in Dubai – 286,588
  • Total number of Emirati students in Dubai schools – 33,288
  • Total students of determination in Dubai – 14,868
  • Total number of higher education institutions in Dubai – 36
  • Total number of students in Dubai’s higher education institutions – 28,166
  • Most popular higher education courses – business studies, engineering, information technology


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