GCC's $1.9B private education sector a boost for refurb business

Published August 17th, 2015 - 11:00 GMT

Demand for new private school facilities across the GCC is driving onsite refurbishments, with a number of companies looking to secure multi-million dollar projects in the sector.

An ever increasing population, rising numbers of inbound expatriates, and the increased importance being placed on high quality education, has resulted in an active pipeline of around 355 educational projects, the majority of which (92 per cent) are being developed in Saudi Arabia, followed by Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and the UAE.

According to a July 2014 GCC Education Industry report from Alpen Capital, figures released at the Education 2020 Conference valued the UAE's private education sector at $1.9 billion in 2014.

Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) noted that the number of private schools in the emirate will reach 250 by 2020, up from the current tally of 169, adding more than 80 academic institutions in the next six years.

Capitalising on the trend, Desso, a European carpet and sport pitches company, has secured several project wins in 2015 to cover 54,300sqm of educational floor space. Desso's expanding portfolio of high profile contract wins valued in excess of $1.3 million, and includes the Cranleigh School in Abu Dhabi which selected Desso to install 5,600sqm of its carpet tiles, and the capital's Khalifa University commissioning a 14,500sqm of new carpet installation. Other projects include the Gems Schools regional rollout with a total of 20,200sqm of carpeted space, and a number of Adec schools in Abu Dhabi, totaling 9,000sqm.

"In 2014-15, a total of 11 new schools opened in Dubai alone, and with the strong demand for state-of-the-art facilities, we are concentrating on opportunities in this sector, as the combination of Desso's reputation for creative and functional flooring solutions, such as Desso AirMaster and Desso SoundMaster, meet the stringent requirements of local authorities and deliver a superb scholastic environment," said Andre Dulka, Desso's regional director, Middle East, Africa & India.

"Increasing numbers of both local and foreign private institutions are setting up in the UAE, and we plan to tap this growing demand as part of our ongoing strategic focus and based on our successful track record in the education sector," he added.

Alpen Capital puts enrolment increases at GCC private schools at a 5.7 per cent CAGR between 2013 and 2020. In 2012, enrolments at private institutions in the GCC accounted for 36 per cent of total enrolments that year, up from 24 per cent in 2000. On an average, the GCC region is expected to see a recurring spend of $150 billion on the education sector in the next couple of years.

In addition to refurbishment projects in the education sector, the number of hotel refurbishment projects in Dubai is also expected to dramatically increase in the run-up to Expo 2020. JLL, a leading real estate investment and advisory firm, said that Dubai is set to see an increase of 28,000 new hotel rooms by 2018.

By Rohma Sadaqat


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