Adec urges private investors to build more standalone kindergartens

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has urged private school investors to look into opening more standalone kindergartens. Student enrollments in private schools are expected to grow at an average of five per cent in the next few years.

Adec’s Private Schools and Quality Assurance (PSQA) sector held first-of-its kind workshop focusing on investors. The Adec said standalone kindergartens in Abu Dhabi are predicted to flourish thus offering new investment opportunities for potential investors.

At the workshop, organised by the business development division, stakeholders were given details on investment opportunities.

PSQA’s business development division manager Tareq Al Amiri said such forums were organised for the past three years but it was for the first time that a tailor-made investment workshop was held to offer transparent and detailed information to investors. “This also showcased the different opportunities available in the market. Our main aim is to keep investors updated on our framework, while guiding them on what is exactly required to start a new school or refurbish an existing one, especially since we now encourage standalone kindergartens schools.”

“The education market in Abu Dhabi has witnessed sustainable growth in the past few years due to investors becoming more familiar with current and future market needs, which is exactly what we’d like to achieve and witness here in Adec,” Al Amiri said.

At present, 191 private schools serve around 245,000 students in Abu Dhabi, out of which 24.6 per cent are Emirati students and 74.4 per cent expatriates. There are more than 14 different curriculums offered and nearly 45,000 students are enrolled in kindergarten. According to 2016-17 statistics, kindergarten students represent about 18 per cent of private school students.

As many as 65 new private schools were opened in the past six years. Investors were given details on the investment opportunities available in the market, with an overview on the current situation for private schools in Abu Dhabi, the private schools licensing process, followed by details on banking requirements to review school financing, which was particularly helpful to learn about in order to familiarise potential investors on the banking process in detail. Khaled Al Junaibi, a potential investor, said he gained more knowledge about how to mitigate things with Adec. “I particularly liked the idea of Adec inviting speakers to represent the banking and finance operations of things, which helped offer transparent and clear information on what the exact process is for investors.”

Al Junaibi plans new American school, which he hopes will help cater to 1,300 students in Al Ain as a start. Mohamed Al Zaabi, investor and businessman, said it’s the perfect time for Emirati businessmen to invest in starting up schools.

“I have lived in the Far East for more than 20 years, where I gained knowledge and experience in the education sector. Now I am back to my country, where I plan to bridge the experience I gained. I am delighted to hear that Adec is facilitating things for us, and look forward to introduce our new education facilities.”

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