GEMS Education Expands in Saudi Arabia

Press release
Published April 10th, 2018 - 08:48 GMT
6th Annual International Education Exhibition and Forum in Riyadh ‘Taleem’ 2018.
6th Annual International Education Exhibition and Forum in Riyadh ‘Taleem’ 2018.

GEMS Education announced at the 6th Annual International Education Exhibition and Forum in Riyadh ‘Taleem’ 2018, that it has in principle agreed to enter into a joint venture with Mohammed Alsubeaei & Sons Investments Company (MASIC) to develop a network of international curriculum schools across the Kingdom. 

This plan was agreed at a recent meeting between the Minister of Education, His Excellency Dr Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Issa; Mr Ibrahim Alsubeaei, Chairman of MASIC and Mr. Sunny Varkey, Founder of GEMS Education. Based on this strong foundation, GEMS Education will also bring other regional partners into this programme in the future. 

In line with Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 and under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, this proposed joint venture between GEMS and MASIC will see the launch of a new education company ‘GEMS KSA’ with a goal to establish a network of schools within the next 10 years aiming to increase Saudi children’s access to quality private education across all regions in the Kingdom.

One of this joint venture’s priorities is also to establish ‘TELLAL’, a teacher training and school leadership development institution. TELLAL will provide initial teacher training, continuous professional development and accredited professional qualifications for teachers and school leaders throughout Saudi Arabia.

The country is currently undergoing a major transition overseen by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, leading the most fundamental cultural and economic transformation in the modern history of the Gulf state, with a vision to establish a distinct educational system that builds a globally competitive knowledge-based community.

The Kingdom is making concrete efforts towards developing its education sector at the primary, secondary, and higher education levels, with a steadily growing number of private schools and universities. 

The Minister of Education, His Excellency Dr Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Issa said that he is delighted to welcome the launch of GEMS KSA and that he looks forward to close cooperation with GEMS and MASIC in addressing the nation’s education priorities.

Mr Sunny Varkey, Founder of GEMS Education, said: “We are actively exploring opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and we are excited about our long-term commitment to education and are confident that this new partnership along with other regional partnerships will contribute to transforming the education landscape in the Kingdom. We are driven by our mission to put a quality education within the reach of every child.”

Mr. Ibrahim Alsubeaei, Chairman of MASIC, commented: “We are proud to be part of the launch of this new initiative to develop state-of-the-art schools around the Kingdom. MASIC has an extensive portfolio of investments in private and public companies as well as real estate in the Kingdom which will facilitate the realisation of this venture. These schools will provide world-class education and facilities that will help students achieve high level of skills which are an essential foundation for the success of future generations. They will provide new job opportunities for Saudi Nationals which aligns with Vision 2030. MASIC is honoured to be part in this venture with GEMS, an international leading education provider.”

MASIC, a leading professional investment company, was originally established as a trading house in Makkah and is now one of the Kingdom’s top 50 companies. 

Guided by the government policies, GEMS Education has supported the education system in the UAE which has in turn helped expat and local families access to an international standard of education. GEMS will aim to assist Saudi Arabia in a similar fashion and provide schools at a variety of price points from the affordable to premium segments. GEMS will also support, where required, the state schools in Saudi Arabia through public private partnerships.

At the heart of this plan is the development of the people of Saudi Arabia. With over 500,000 Saudi children forecast to be attending private schools by 2021, GEMS KSA is poised to expand rapidly to develop future generations of Saudis to be global citizens with the 21st century skills required in a diversifying economy, whilst preserving and strengthening a national identity in line with the Kingdom’s pivotal role in the region.

GEMS started in Dubai nearly 60 years and is today the largest operator of kindergarten to Grade 12 schools in the world. It is unique in offering excellent education at all fee levels, from low cost schools to some of the most innovative premium schools in the world. That has given GEMS a deep understanding of the culture and values of the Middle East.      

Background Information

GEMS Education

In 1959, two teachers, KS Varkey and his wife Mariamma, arrived in Dubai. 

At the time, Dubai was a burgeoning trade centre on the Arabian Gulf. The Varkey family had left Kerala, India to seek a better life for their family. What they found was a real need to educate children arriving in the city from around the world.

Their son, Sunny, added a visionary’s ambition to a practitioner's experience. From simple roots in a family of teachers, GEMS Education, is today an international company with schools and education services across the Middle East. We still share the same mission - to provide a quality education to everyone.

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