Education Industry

Present Scenario

The market for Education is very mature in the region and continues to attract more investors, service providers and students to the country. With the new and expanding school and university campuses, availability of the latest courses, new rules and regulation regarding Education and the increasing focus of the UAE government is a great help in gradually transforming the Education sector. The various educational institutions of the country are continuously evolving to better suit the needs of the present business scenario and a very competitive job market.

According to the UAE government providing Education is a priority. Quality education to all the Arab students is vital for the development of the people. They also believe that E-learning is the fastest way to bridge the gap in the United Arab Emirates. With this in mind, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and the Vice President along with the ruler of Dubai came together to launch an educational platform for about 50 million students all around the world.

The Ministry of Education has also launched a Strategic Plan 2021. These are a set of plans which will gradually introduce advanced education techniques, focus more on the learning abilities of a student and will also improve the innovative and creative skills of a person. With accordance to this plan, the government has taken steps to enhance the quality of education provided to student right from the junior level. This plan aims to develop active reading, mathematics and science skills and will also help in obtaining knowledge of the Arabic language.

The government has also helped many companies to open an educational business in UAE, which has led to the fact that the private sector dominates the kindergarten to standard 12 education scene. An open economy, favourable business environment and a base of expatriates have acted as a big reason for setting up a number of private as well as community colleges in the country.

Advantages of Setting up an Education related Business in UAE

There are various advantages due to which set up an education company in UAE is very beneficial.


A Better Business Environment

The increasing opportunities in the GCC region have resulted in an increase in the number of people coming into the country. This has resulted in the need for good and Education, which can be utilized practically. The government is also focusing on providing better education to the people of the country. This means that the current business environment of the UAE is best for setting up an education business.

Simplified Business Setup Processes and Operating Environment

In the UAE, the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have their regulatory bodies when it comes to Education. These regulatory bodies are present to streamline the various processes in investments and operations in the education business. These bodies not only focus on the public educational institutions but also on the private ones.

The Ministry of Education has introduced a new legislature about the Teaching Licensing System which aims to gain and maintain a high standard of education in the country.

Increasing Number of Expatriate Families

UAE has one of the highest percentages of immigrants. There are more than 200 different nationalities of expats and comprise almost 80% of the UAE's population.

Strategic Positioning of the Country

The country of United Arab Emirates is located very strategically. UAE shares its physical borders with two countries, and the other side has a considerable coastline making it accessible to the continents of Europe and Asia. With no requirement of a Visa for the GCC nationals coming into UAE, the market to which the education industry of the country caters has increased. As a result, the chances of setting up a successful education business for a foreign entrepreneur has increased ten folds.

Government Intervention

The government has understood that it cannot solely rely on the revenue from the oil and gas sector and thus look to diversify the other industries. The most significant step taken by the government is the launching of the education 2020 strategy in the United Arab Emirates. Along with traditional Education, the government is also focusing on the E-Learning market in the country.

The E-Learning market is a fast emerging market segment in the country as it is easily accessible by everyone. All that is required is a stable internet connection and a device (Personal Computer, Laptop, Tablets or even a Mobile).

Renowned Educational Establishments in UAE

The principal force and the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan once said that the most excellent use of wealth is to invest it in creating generations of trained and educated people. The government of the country is taking steps to ensure that people receive the best Education and can compete with others in a global market.

To make sure of this, there are many educational establishments all over the UAE. Some of the highest-ranked universities of the United Arab Emirates are mentioned below:

United Arab Emirates University

This university is located in the city of Al Ain Abu Dhabi and is the oldest university in the United Arab Emirates. It is ranked 390 globally and 5th in the Arab region ranking. Though it is the oldest educational institution in UAE, it is still relatively young as it was established in the year 1976.

American University of Sharjah

This university is licenced in both in the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. This institution offers courses that are in trend in the global market, and these courses are based upon the US model of higher education. It is located in Sharjah and first entered among the ranks in the QS Best Student cities in 2016.

Khalifa University

Khalifa University is a non-profit university which focuses on science. This university was founded in the year 2007 in Abu Dhabi as an initiative taken up by the government to improve the standard of Education in the country. Currently, the university has 1,500 students and also has plans for a new campus which can hold up to 6,000 students. It is based upon the American structure of higher education and provides the latest courses to students.

American University in Dubai (AUD)

This is a private university which was established in the year 1995 and presently caters to around 2,500 students of more than 108 nationalities. Accredited with both UAE and US, there are various programs in the English language at its Centre for English Proficiency (CfEP).

University of Sharjah

This university was formed by the Emir of Sharjah, Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi. The University of Sharjah aims to become one of the leading academic institutions in the GCC states and also around the world. The University of Sharjah has played a significant role in the development of the Emirate of Sharjah

Zayed University

This university was formed in the year 1998 and is one of the top young universities that have been featured in the QS Top 50 Universities in 2019. Currently, there are 6,500 students enrolled in the university with more than 169 international students.

Affordability of Education

In recent times, the cost of Education in the UAE came into question. This is because it was very expensive for people to enrol in educational institutions, but in recent years, the government has taken steps to ease this burden.

Education in the UAE has been basically divided into three parts.

Primary Education

The Ministry of Education has deemed primary Education as compulsory from the age of 5. Primary Education is usually from kindergarten to 5th grade. Many schools offer both primary and secondary education at the same place so that the student does not feel the need of changing schools once he has finished the Primary Education.

Secondary Education

Secondary Education is from the 6th grade to 9th grade. The secondary education is essential for a student as this Education will help the student in making a path for himself.

Tertiary Education

Many tertiary educational universities are accredited to foreign universities situated all over the UAE. Some of the major universities that are present in the UAE have been mentioned above.

As there had been questions regarding the affordability of Education in the United Arab Emirates, the government took a particular step and is trying its best to make Education affordable for everyone. Earlier, the modal was to open up a top-end school with the fees on the higher side, but this business model is gradually diminishing. Now it is preferred to open an affordable school in the United Arab Emirates.

The management of the schools understood that the exceedingly high cost of Education was proving to be a burden on the parents. Thus it was better to provide excellent facilities instead of top-notch facilities and charge an affordable amount. The Ministry of Education shares the belief with the Government of UAE that Education is very important for the growth of the country and the private education system is an integral part for supporting the plans and aspirations of the government.

The government has announced the launching of or the plan of establishing various schools and other educational institutions which can be afforded by all the residents of UAE.

Teaching Licencing System

This licencing system was launched by the Government of the United Arab Emirates, keeping in mind the future vision for the country. The government is trying to provide the highest quality of education possible. This license will soon become a requirement for all the teachers in the country and will provide recognition to all the teachers.

As all the teachers will require this license of the country by the end of the year 2020, it will help in equipping the teachers of the UAE with the know-how and the competence to compete with all the teachers globally.

To achieve the Teaching licence, all prospective teachers must pass two separate tests. The first test will be based on general teaching methods and practise. The second test will be based upon the specialization. In case any of the test takers are not able to pass a test or both of them, the system will help them to achieve better marks in the future by providing them with customized training courses. The customizations will deal with the present scenario of the test taker and the needs of the taker.

The Effect of Value Added Tax on Education in UAE

From the 1st of January, Value Added Tax was implemented in the United Arab Emirates. The implementation of this tax thought to be a game-changer as it will bring in a new source of revenue for the UAE government. In the UAE, all of the leading educational supplies and all the related goods will be levied at zero per cent VAT. The primary educational institutions included in this are

  • Nurseries, Schools and Preschools
  • Higher educational institutions that are funded or owned by the federal or the local government

It should be kept in mind that not all businesses are eligible for zero per cent VAT. The educational institutions which are recognized by the many local or regional government and the institution should receive 50% or more funding directly from the provincial or federal government.

Also, only the educational services which are recognized by the local or federal government can only be zero-rated. If a particular course is not with the accordance of the curriculum as provided by the government, the standard rate of VAT is charged (5%).

Where to Set Up?

An education business can be an excellent option for a businessman as there are many upcoming opportunities in the country. A prospective person in business can set up an education business either in the Mainland or in the Free-Zone.

There are two regulatory authorities in the United Arab Emirates that oversee the provision of Education in the country. These Authorities are :

Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)

The ADEK was established in the year 2005. Formerly known as Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEK was mostly responsible for the management of all the schools in Abu Dhabi. This body also acted as a regulatory body for all the management and administration of the emirates public schools. From 2009, the ADEK has started implementing its New School Model, which is aimed towards improving the quality of Education in the Emirate.

Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)

The establishment of the KHDA was done by a decree in the year 2006 under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The aim of the development and establishment of such authority was to develop the human resource sector and the education sector in the UAE. It is responsible for the quality of the private Education and also provides new and innovative ways for the growth of the same.

Dedicated Free-Zone in UAE

There are many Free-Zone which are dedicated to Education and the related businesses. Some of the Free-Zone that are devoted to the education industry are:

along with this, there are a number of Free Zones and dedicated Educational Zones that are present in the United Arab Emirates and work towards providing a platform for the education business.

How to Start an Education Business in UAE?

If you are looking to set up an education business in the United Arab Emirates, you need to follow specific steps to obtain approval from the respective business organization. These are:

Select Location and Type of Education to Impart

There is a wide variety for which one can receive support ranging from kindergarten to private tutoring. The application you need to fill up will vary according to the type of activity and also the location where you want to set up the business.

Complete your Registration

This step will consume most of your time. A businessman needs to provide all the necessary details and all the supporting documents for registering the business. All the details of the activities that will be undertaken to ensure the growth of the business are should be provided.

Fill up an Application

Fill up a simple Educational Service Permit Form. This form is comparatively very simple, but some complications may arise. Thus it is always recommended that you avail the services of a Business Consulting Firm.

Provide the necessary Paperwork

Filling up the application is not the only job that needs to be performed. The data provided in the application must be backed up with the relevant documents. These documents can include The name reservation from the competent authority, Director/ Managers CV, and various other documents.

Submit your Application

Finally, you need to submit this application to the relevant authority. The necessary fees also need to be presented when asked.

Requirements for a Teaching License

The Government of the United Arab Emirates has recently introduced a Teaching Licencing System, also known as TLS. The teaching license will be a necessity for entering into the teaching business in UAE by the year 2020. In order to receive the teaching license, specific requirements need to be fulfilled by a person. These are:

  • The applicant must possess a bachelor's degree or any degree more considerable than the bachelor's degree.
  • The applicant must not have a criminal record in the past.
  • He must produce a fitness report verified by the concerned authority
  • He should be in possession of the original Educational certificates
  • In case the applicant has graduated from a university outside of the UAE, he should produce the educational documents which are attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Embassy of the country in the UAE.

These are the five basic requirements that need to be fulfilled if a person wants to receive a teaching licence in the United Arab Emirates

Future Opportunities in the Education Sector in the UAE

In the initial days, the UAE had very rural schools and minimum infrastructure. There was not much development in the field of Education, and the budget and the infrastructure was very meagre in comparison to today. Over the years, The UAE government recognized the importance of Education on the life of a student as well as the development of a country. With proper attention and an adequate budget, the scenario of Education in the UAE has witnessed a drastic change.

The traditional classrooms have evolved over time, the infrastructure of a school has increased, and the education system now focuses more on creativity and innovation based learning over simple reading, writing and theory-based learning. The students of today have a higher exposure to the real world which helps in understanding the present business scenario and then make informed decisions.

The classrooms will be more interactive, and the respective educational institutions will be responsible for making the students employable. The schools believe that each and every student has some unique quality, and it is the responsibility of the schools to highlight it. The classrooms of the future will comprise of the following:

  • Dedicated Learning Places
  • Access to Real scenarios
  • Less focus on theory and more focus on Innovation and Creativity
  • Greater teacher to student ratio
  • Incorporation of the latest technology for learning such as AR and VR

These are only some of the changes that will be implemented in the future classrooms of UAE. The education sector in the UAE is changing for the better with the government providing emphasis not only on the government-owned Universities but also the Private Educational Institutions. This makes for an excellent opportunity for those who want to enter the education sector in the UAE. Availing the assistance of a Business Setup Firm will be of great help to the up and coming businessman to establish his base in the UAE.

Why Choose Commitbiz?

Who are we?

Commitbiz Consultants stands precisely the same, holding the position of one of the best

business consultants in the UAE. Our professional experts are well-versed with the

incorporation procedures and maintain a vision to accelerate your business.

What do we do?

As business experts, our core tasks are highlighted below:

  • Provide business license
  • Act as a catalyst between clients and the UAE government

How can we benefit you?

Standing as one of the top ten business consultants in the UAE, we assist you in the

following processes:

  • Strategize to accelerate your business growth
  • Streamline your business activities
  • Comply with the legal rules and regulations
  • Provide tailored business solutions
  • Establish the business pillars post-incorporation process like accounting, taxation


If you are planning to step ahead and set up your company in UAE, do contact us today-we’d be glad to assist.