With high remuneration and a global lifestyle, the Middle East has been attracting people all over the world to make it a home away from home. Expatriates make up more than 40 percent of the current Middle East population. However, those who wish to move their family to a new country must ponder many crucial questions. One is the choice of school to send your child to, and within this lies the all-important debate between national and international schools. The increase in the number of international schools worldwide, especially in the Middle East, shows that today’s parents prefer international schools to national schools in their city.
As of July 2022, ISC Research data recorded a total of 13,180 English-Medium international schools around the world, enrolling 5.8 million students aged between 3 and 18 and employing 571,000 teaching staff. The sector emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever and continues to demonstrate defensive resilience, generating over USD 53.8 billion in annual school fees. Interestingly, UAE remains the country with the highest number of English-premium international schools, and Dubai has the world’s biggest student enrolment. According to a report prepared by ISC Research for GESS Dubai, the region’s leading education exhibition and conference, English-medium international schools’ market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) posted a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent over a six-year period, beginning 2015 until January of 2021.
From just 1,885 six years ago, there are now 2,264 international schools throughout the region, with the UAE leading all countries with 725, followed by Saudi Arabia with 292. Egypt and Qatar each have 279 and 207 international schools, respectively. It is also worth mentioning that the UAE has the world’s highest number of students enrolled in international schools at 689,000, ahead of China with 419,000 and India with 316,000 students. Dubai also has the world’s highest concentration of international schools in a city, with 333.
To help parents, students, and academicians looking to know more about the Middle East’s international school market, we have come up with a special issue featuring 10 Must-Watch International Schools in the Middle East- 2022. On the cover, we feature GEMS American Academy, Qatar (GAAQ), which has been standing true to its mission of becoming one of the best schools worldwide and producing learners who are purposeful, tenacious, innovative, and respectful leaders.