TDIC partners with UK's 147-year-old Cranleigh School for elite campus on Saadiyat Island
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, November 25 - 2012 at 11:44
- PRESS RELEASE
Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has announced its partnership with Cranleigh School, a leading UK independent school founded in 1865, to open an elite campus on Saadiyat island in the third quarter of 2014.
His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, TDIC's Chairman, was joined by His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al-Khaili, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, and representatives from the Royal Group, Cranleigh's representative in the region, alongside senior delegates from Cranleigh, for the signing ceremony which took place at Manarat Al Saadiyat.
Built over seven hectares of land, with a capacity to accommodate more than 1,600 students, aged from 3 to 18 years, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will become the largest school campus in the emirate with open green spaces, extensive landscaping and an ambient environment. In addition, it will host co-educational facilities comprising separate Junior and Senior schools with each housing its own classrooms, faculty offices, administration offices, dining hall and library. The school will introduce a broad academic curriculumwith emphasises on the individual; while a wealth of opportunities will allow students to explore their full range of talents in fine arts, performing arts, music, sports and cultural activities.
Commenting on this initiative, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al-Khaili, Director General of the ADEC said: "ADEC has been supporting the development of world-class private schools to help encourage quality education. By attracting leading education institutions such as Cranleigh to Abu Dhabi, we are supporting the Emirate's long-term educational vision. Our private school sector strategy focuses on increasing access to private schools and improving the quality of education by focusing on students' performance, while also stressing on high-standard teaching methods and leadership qualities. We are proud to welcome more quality schools into the market."
His Excellency Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Managing Director of TDIC, stated: "We are proud to have forged this partnership with one the UK's most well-established educational institutions. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will aim to provide a first-class academic education, not only for the residents of Saadiyat, but for the wider community of Abu Dhabi. It will be a centre of excellence in science, arts, technology and Arabic curriculum. This is indeed another remarkable demonstration of how TDIC is partnering with the best in every sector as Abu Dhabi is investing heavily to boost the local educational industry."
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will be a fine complement to the wide-range of educational facilities on Saadiyat, such as a pre-school nursery opening in 2013 and New York University Abu Dhabi that will serve some 2,500 students after it is completed in 2014. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will house specialist facilities for music, science, art, design and technology, drama, dance, and sport classes, as well as state-of-the-art IT facilities with the latest technology including electronic tables provided for pupils. These will be complemented by a shared 650-seat auditorium, 2,900-square-metre sports centre and 19,300 square metres of outdoor fields with generously spacious recreational areas. The sporting facilities will include two grass pitches, an Astroturf pitch, four tennis courts, two swimming pools and an indoor arena comprising of two full-sized courts, which can be used for basketball, football, badminton, gymnasium, dance studio and drama suite.
The school, located next to Manarat Al Saadiyat and the UAE Pavilion in the Saadiyat Cultural District, will also offer boarding facilities - a first for Abu Dhabi. Various boarding arrangements in purpose-built houses - separate for males and females - will be offered, including full-boarding as well as individualised day and weekly boarding options. The majority of students are expected to be day pupils who will enjoy shared facilities with boarders in study houses. The school and the facilities are all designed to suit Cranleigh's community and family-oriented atmosphere.
Anthony Townsend, Chairman of Governors at Cranleigh School, stated: "The team from Cranleigh School, together with our local partners, the Royal Group, have already forged a close working relationship with colleagues from TDIC. This is an exciting venture and the project has unanimous support from the entire Cranleigh community. I congratulate TDIC's leadership and efforts; while, in turn, Cranleigh will play its part in delivering a world-class school of which both Saadiyat and Abu Dhabi can be proud."
Hamed Al Ameri, Royal Group's Chief International Investments Counsel, stated: "Over the last two years, Royal Group has formed a strong relationship with the highly regarded team at Cranleigh School. Together, we look forward to working with TDIC towards their vision of establishing Cranleigh Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat island."
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi's first-class facilities will complement the refined nature of every project on Saadiyat including the surrounding world-class educational and cultural institutions, such as New York University Abu Dhabi and the inspirational museums designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects which will open starting with the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2015, and followed by Zayed National Museum in 2016 and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017.
The school - designed by Godwin Austen Johnson Architects, the UK-based award-winning architectural firm established in 1847 - is currently in the schematic design phase, which will be ready by the first quarter of 2013. The concept has been designed carefully to provide a better environment for the students.
Cranleigh was founded in Surrey, UK where it has been running for the past 147 years with educational principles that are embedded in the school's deep-rooted culture, family-focused values and high standard curriculum. The academic sphere is the most important of all at Cranleigh, and, as with all other aspects of school life, Cranleighans are encouraged to set their own targets as they move up the school. Fostering independent learning and self-motivated work are two crucial goals, while there is strong evidence of a correlation between a pupil's co-curricular life and the success he or she has inside the classroom.
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