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KHDA Landscape Report 2020-2021: Enrolments Dip Slightly, But Total Number of Schools Up

KHDA Landscape Report 2020-2021: Enrolments Dip Slightly, But Total Number of Schools Up

by David WestleyOctober 12, 2020

Dubai’s education regulator, the KHDA, has released its landscape data for the year 2020-21. Amongst other things, it reveals that less than half, 47%, of all students in Dubai have returned to face-to-face learning (they are still doing distance learning), while 53% have opted for blended learning (a combination of distance & face-to-face learning).

In the report the KHDA also noted an increase of 14% in enrolments in the three years up to 2019-2020. However, for the latest academic year, 2020-2021, private school enrolment for students in grades 1 to 12 saw a slight decrease of 1.7% compared to the 2019-20. Many analysts, and off-the-record schools themselves, had expected the numbers to fall in the face of Covid-19 and its impact on the wider economy.

An impressive 30 new private schools opened in the emirate between the academic years of 2017-18 and 2019-20. This year those numbers slowed although 6 new schools still opened. Four merged or closed.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA, said:

“Dubai’s school sector faced unprecedented circumstances this year. Despite setbacks, the emirate’s school sector has not only proven its ability to bounce back from challenges, but also recovered stronger and better. New schools continue to open in Dubai, new families continue to move to Dubai, and our educational community continues to deliver a high quality of education.

“We’re grateful to the teachers and school leaders who have been so devoted to their students and their work; to the parents who have placed their trust in Dubai and our schools; and to the students who have shown such courage and optimism throughout this period. Our community will continue to work together in the weeks and months ahead to build a more resilient, future-focused private school sector.”

The landscape report includes data on the surprise visits conducted by the KHDA team to ensure that private schools were adhering to Dubai Government rules for health & safety at school. In September and October, the team made 1,148 visits to schools.

The landscape data report is usually released annually but this year there will be three reports. Upcoming reports are due in winter 2020 and spring 2021.

Key stats

  • 47% of students are doing 100% distance learning
  • 53% of students are doing blended learning (a combination of distance & face-to-face learning)
  • 20,445 teachers are employed in Dubai
  • There are 32,398 Emirati students, out of a total of 279,191 students in total
  • Average Tuition Fees Paid: 29,953 AED
  • 50% students pay less than 20k
  • 25.9% of Dubai students are born in Autumn
  • There were 1148 surprise visits to schools by the KHDA team in Sept & Oct 2020
  • 88% of schools following alL the rules and guidance


The infographic

About The Author
David Westley
David is the co-founder and GM of Which Media, the owner of and

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