Investors and operators stress on importance of diversity in school fees
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, January 13 - 2013 at 09:05
- PRESS RELEASE
Investors and operators working with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) stressed on the importance of diversity in school fees, size and most importantly location when deciding to build a school. Some of the most influential investors are planning to build their schools in remote areas such as in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Western Region.
"We plan to open seven new K-12 schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which can accommodate up to 30,000 students. The schools will be across the board in terms of curriculum and socio-economic diversity," Mr. Dino Varkey said.
Speaking about location, Mr. Varkey, added, "There are certain locations and communities that must be served. With ADEC's support we plan to open schools in remote locations and are committed to doing so in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. If you have a great school with a proper system and foundation, usually the community will follow."
Mr. Peter Abraam, Executive Director of Royal Group and Board Director of Learn Educational Investments LLC which has had a significant relationship with ADEC over the last few years both in the running of the Al Rabeh Primary School and in the number of applications put forward to ADEC, spoke about providing another 1,300 student seats from Grades 5 to Grade 12 at the new Al Rabeh High School extension.
"We felt it was vital to accommodate high school students in the new school which will be centrally located in Abu Dhabi. We've also worked with ADEC in accommodating another 2,000 KG-12 students in a new school called the Royal Academy which is located in Mohamed Bin Zayed City," said Mr. Abraam.
When asked about how he felt about the school location, Mr. Abraam, said, "Diversity is vital for any investor. It is very important to cover all spheres and continue to build schools in different areas. We are happy to build our schools in different locations across the Emirate, and not just in the mainland."
Dr. B. R. Shetty, CEO of NMC Healthcare and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Indian School, has invested in a 36,000 square meter land plot provided by the ADEC. The new Indian School is located in the Mohamed Bin Zayed City and will serve up to 4,000 students from KG to Grade 4.
"Mohamed Bin Zayed City is a prime location and is ideal for our students since many families live close by to the school. All the 4,000 school seats are already full. That's why we look forward to working with ADEC on providing us with other land plots so that we can keep on serving the community and fulfilling the increasing demand for school seats," said Dr. Shetty.
A potential investor, Mr. Atul Temurnikar, Co-founder and Chairman of the Global Schools Foundation (a non-profit organization based out of Singapore which has 20 schools across 7 countries), is currently discussing applications for land plots with ADEC.
"We have requested to build a total of five British and Indian K-12 schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and expect to provide over 10,000 seats among both British and Indian curriculum schools, thanks to ADEC's help and cooperation. They have not hesitated to provide us with the information we requested and did not hesitate to provide us with land plots, we are very thankful for their ongoing support throughout," said Mr. Temurnikar.
Mr. Hani Shammah, Head of Private Equity and Project Development at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi who work closely with ADEC on their education initiatives, lauded the 1st Private Education Investment Forum held at the Fairmont Bab El Bahr Hotel on January 8th 2013.
"I think this investment forum is indicative of the transformation that ADEC is going through in terms of the outlook and re-organization of the private sector; opening up with more data and more support to ensure the right investors invest smart and professional money and help develop this very important strategic sector which is part of Abu Dhabi's 2030 vision. It's great to see big players and some new big players operating in Abu Dhabi because the more the investors, the more the competition, the better the outcome for the private school sector, households and stakeholders in general," said Mr. Shammah.
When asked about their impression of ADEC's 1st private school investment forum, Mr. Varkey, said, "I think forums and gatherings like this will allow a greater level of knowledge and understanding to be shared collectively among all key stakeholders that are needed to work collaboratively in order to drive the quality and the capacity that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi needs in order to benchmark itself globally as a leading hub for education and human capital."
Mr. Abraam felt the meeting helped improve his knowledge of what's out there in the market. "I wasn't aware of many of the statistics that were revealed to us today and look forward to learning more about the market so that we can undersMr. Abraam felt the meeting helped improve his knowledge of what's out there in the market.tand where the gaps are in order to help cater to the growing student population," he said.
Dr. Shetty said, "Abu Dhabi 2030 is a big dream comes true for everyone. There are thousands of expatriate families who look forward to living in the UAE for a long time and feel that nothing is better than having their children educated here. That is why we look forward to building more schools with ADEC's support. This conference is a complete success because it helps us address how we see things in the present and in the future, and helps us all serve to the community's increasing demand."
Mr. Temurnikar found ADEC's investment forum a great chance to meet with all prominent educators, especially those from ADEC. "I've gained a lot of insight in the investment forum. The event has provided investors with confidence and assurance that a lot of things are moving in the right direction. I'm sure ADEC is moving in the right direction, as of now my comment is great work," he said.
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