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50,000 new schools needed across Gulf by 2020 – research
August 1, 2016, 1:42 pm

More than 50,000 new schools are required in the GCC by 2020 to cope with rising demand in the education sector, it has been claimed.

The International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) has warned that new schools are needed to address an anticipated surge in the Gulf student population from 12.6 million in 2015 to an estimated 15 million by 2020.

Citing figures from Alpen Capital’s GCC Education Industry report, published in May, Rhona Greenhill, co-founder of IPSEF, said: “Experts estimate about 51,000 schools will be needed by 2020 to accommodate the growing demand for schools throughout the GCC.

“This will be a significant addition of 7,000 more schools than the current number to address the burgeoning school student population across the region.”

According to the report, 41,678 new schools will be established in the GCC in the public education sector by 2020, as well as 9,301 private schools.

Of these, 44,441 new schools are expected to be set up in Saudi Arabia, 2,054 in Oman and 1,497 in Kuwait. A total of 1,406 new schools are expected to be established in the UAE, 1,107 in Qatar and 503 in Bahrain, Alpen Capital said. 

Its report identified more than 500 educational projects totalling $50 million in various stages of development across the Gulf.

Mark Ryder, an education consultant at Daymer Group, said: “The lead in time for the delivery of new schools is at least 24 months allowing for design and approvals in advance of a typical construction first phase of at least 14 months.

“This also assumes handover to the operator in the May preceding a September opening.

“With this in mind, we have a good sense of the schools planning to open in September 2016 and 2017. The window for September 2018 schools will close in a few months. 

There are schools planned for Abu Dhabi and Sharjah but not in the same numbers as Dubai. I know there is significant activity in the construction of new public schools in Saudi Arabia and that the Qatar market is also active.  New schools in Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait are limited.”

Source: Arabian Business

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