Global Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibition (GESS)

Education Poised for Growth as GESS Dubai Ends on a High Note

•UAE will require 13 new schools every year until 2020 •Expat parents prefer enrolling their children within international schools •More than half of UAE Nationals (57%) send their children to private schools in Dubai rather than public schools


Dubai, UAE -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/17/2015 -- GESS Dubai ended on a high note, recording marked increases in visitor and exhibitor numbers, a sign that Dubai's education market continues to gain significant interest from education stakeholders from all over the world.

"The interest in the Dubai education sector, and for the whole UAE and GCC region as well, continues to grow – both from the academe's side and the companies trying to reach out to a growing education supplies market – from instructional tools to e-learning devices that have become important teaching and learning supplements in classrooms throughout the Gulf," said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F&E Group, organizers of the region's premier education exhibition and conference.

Over the last eight years, GESS Dubai has grown co-exponentially within the Dubai education sector. The recently concluded education show and conference welcomed a total of over 10,000 educational professionals from more than 73 countries compared to last year, a 40 per cent increase in international visitors, partly encouraged increased attendance from the Middle East, highlighting GESS Dubai's relevance to the global teaching community.

Thompson said visitors have come from all over the GCC, United Kingdom, China, South Korea, the United States, Japan Germany, Finland and Nigeria, to name a few. Exhibitors have also grown in number this year, prompting the organizers to add an additional hall to accommodate the increased demand for education space from over 400 companies and organizations showcasing the latest educational products and solutions geared at the Gulf's growing education market.

"This is the seventh year in a row that GESS Dubai has achieved gains in visitor and exhibitor numbers. This year, we will stage the exhibition for the first time outside of the Gulf region, with GESS Mexico happening in April and GESS Indonesia taking place in September," Thompson continued.

Meanwhile, delegates attending the region's premier education exhibition and conference were told that Dubai's private schools market, during the period between 2016 and 2020, will require an addition of 52 educational facilities across multiple curriculum's which translates into an approximate annual demand of 13 new schools. This was according to a paper presented by Colliers International entitled Dubai Education Overview.

The report further said that in 2013/14, there were 30,994 Emirati students (13%), and 212,721 (87%) expatiate students in the Private Schools. Due to the transient nature of the expatriate population in Dubai, parents prefer enrolling their children within international schools, this is mainly attributed to the pursuit of a curriculum that is globally transferable. In addition to this, almost 57% of the UAE Nationals send their children to private schools in Dubai rather than public schools. Emirati students enrolled within private schools in Dubai have almost doubled over the past decade, signalling an increased preference by Emirati parents to expose their children to private schooling.

Meanwhile, the latest figures released by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority show that the number of private schools in Dubai will reach 250 by the year 2020. There are currently 169 private schools in Dubai as of last years, but this number will increase by almost 50% in the next six years to accommodate the projected 50% increase in student population from the current 243,000 level to 366,000 by 2020.

The private school sector is critical to the growth of the overall education market in the UAE, as its total share of schools in Dubai has grown to 67%, educating about 89% of the total student population within the emirate.

With investments in the education expected to intensify in the coming months, GESS Dubai organizers see another stellar year when the 9th edition of GESS Dubai taking place on March 1-3, 2016. "We have exhibitors confirming their participation for next year even before the show ended this year. Preparations have already begun, promising an even more comprehensive showcase of the cutting-edge products and solutions from local and international exhibitors; as well as another engaging programme for GEF that will hopefully continue to support the region's ever growing need for the latest trends and insights on teaching and learning," Thompson ended.

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