Emaar Properties PJSC has announced the Company’s plans to expand its investments into the education business within the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) region and India.
The latest initiative will involve the establishment of international schools in the MENA region and India which will offer premium quality education and an integrated curriculum for students ranging from kindergarten to tertiary levels. To achieve this, Emaar has already forged strategic partnerships with internationally reputable education specialists as well as finalized the acquisition of existing institutions.
The decision to expand into the education business, which comes just two months after the launch of Emaar’s Afaq programme, is well aligned to the fast-growing demand for and emphasis on premium quality education around the world.
According to Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar: “After a thorough assessment of the education landscape in the MENA region, we found that there is a huge and growing demand for premium quality education in this region. As such, we have identified and evaluated the various growth opportunities within the sector and have decided to expand into the education business in order to leverage on this growth.”
He added that: “We strongly believe that our move into the education business is timely, strategic and is expected to make significant contributions to Emaar’s profitability and growth.”
Indeed, education is one of the largest businesses in the world today. Increasingly, people, especially in the MENA region and India, are increasingly starting to recognise the importance of having good education, hence driving up demand for service providers in this sector.
Statistics from the Institute of International Education in the USA also show that the numbers of Arab student enrolments in the USA have declined significantly post 9/11. On the other hand, the enrolment rate in universities in the Arab world has increased simultaneously, and is believed to be a continuing trend.
A study conducted by Incite, an independent market research agency, found - based on availability of existing education institution options - that between now and 2010, demand for premium primary, secondary and higher education, especially in Egypt and the UAE, will exceed supply. Furthermore, various reports suggest that one of the biggest challenges facing the MENA region is the need to develop 100 million jobs by 2020. Other research also suggests that several of these countries have been unable to convert national wealth into extended opportunities for basic education.
Mr Alabbar said: “Our business proposition hits the nail on the head by directly addressing the growing demand for premium quality education in the MENA region and India. As per our studies there is a gap in the availability of quality education and the type of jobs that are on offer in the region. Our plan aims to close this gap.”
Dubai will be the first to benefit from the schools operating under the new initiative, but a quick rollout is planned for all the other markets where Emaar is developing premium residential communities. Providing premium education to the children in the community is part of the company’s holistic approach to property development.
Added Mr Alabbar: “We are pleased with our decision to expand into the education services sector, not just for the economic benefits that it will provide for Emaar, but also because we believe that education is the best way to improve the lives of the people in this region. In a way, we see it as giving something back to the communities that we are part of.”