In a landmark diversification drive, global real estate major Emaar Properties (“Emaar”) through its wholly owned subsidiary Emaar Education, has acquired Singapore-based Raffles Campus Pte Ltd., (“Raffles Campus”) a premier education provider, to surge ahead with its projects in the educational sector.
Raffles Campus is a leading educationalist with campuses in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam. Upholding an integrated pathway model of education as one of its high points, Raffles Campus will manage over 100 educational institutions, which include nurseries, international schools, business schools and universities.
Emaar is planning to develop these educational institutions in central locations close to and within its master-planned communities in the UAE, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as the Indian Subcontinent.
“Emaar’s foray into the education sector is in line with the company’s Vision 2010 of becoming one of the world’s most valuable companies,” said Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties. “Emaar’s initiatives in this respect will be focused on providing world-class standards of education through a bouquet of need-based curricula that are internationally benchmarked. The acquisition of Raffles Campus underscores Emaar’s commitment to delivering international teaching expertise across all our educational institutions, as a response to the growing demand for world-class education in our key markets.”
Already on an international expansion path through the creation of master-planned communities in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, India and Pakistan, Emaar will build its educational institution portfolio by opening international schools that meet the strong demand of residents within its projects, as well as the general public in the region, for world-class education.
Raffles Campus is registered with the Singapore Ministry of Education in Singapore and holds the award of the SQC for PEOs (Singapore Quality Class for Private Education Organisations). Raffles Campus will offer three streams of internationally recognized curricula - International Baccalaureate, American Diploma and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education – all of them to be provided in Emaar’s network of international schools.
Raffles Campus works towards the holistic development of children from nursery to senior level with a balanced focus on classroom courses, personality development and athletic and cultural activities. It has a solid track-record of assuring academic excellence in a creative learning environment.
Emaar’s education initiatives will be spearheaded by Mr Boon Yew Ng, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Education. “Raffles Campus brings to Emaar a global network of world-class educational expertise,” he said. “The multicultural, multi-campus environment of the Raffles Campus network also offers students anywhere in the world the option and flexibility of Raffles Campus ‘Student Immersion Exchange’ programmes,” added Mr. Ng.
Raffles Campus has unique exchange programmes for both students and teachers. “The world is becoming a smaller place, with global citizenship on the rise. The opportunity to live in a different country and culture will allow our students and teachers to develop a global outlook and be better equipped to meet the challenges of the modern world. The bonds and network built through exchange programmes will also help our students and teachers in every Raffles Campus educational institution around the world feel that they are part of one global education institution,” said Mr Ng.
Emaar’s Raffles Campus educational institutions will have an international pool of teachers with many faculty members to be hired locally and trained by the educational experts at Raffles Campus. The schools will feature advanced educational tools including modern laboratories and a range of sporting and recreational facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and soccer grounds.
Apart from education, Emaar has also announced ventures in the healthcare, retail and hospitality sectors.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )