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GESS Dubai

Demand for Educational Supplies and Solutions Increase as Number of International Schools in the Middle East Reaches a Record High

Dubai, UAE - August 22nd, 2023: The Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Dubai organised by Tarsus is returning for its highly anticipated 16th edition from October 30 to November 1, 2023, at Za’abeel Halls, Dubai World Trade Centre. At the largest education exhibition in the Middle East region, the focus will be towards supporting the demand of the growing number of international schools in the Middle East which has reached a record high of 2,068 in 2023. The event aims to equip these educators with the best tools to succeed in shaping the education landscape for over 1.9 million students in the region.

International Schools Growth Unveiled

According to data compiled by ISC Research exclusively for GESS Dubai, the last decade has witnessed a substantial 54.6% increase in the number of international schools worldwide, rising from 8,771 schools in January 2013 to 13,564 schools in January 2023. Among continents, Europe accounts for 14.3% of the global international school market, while Asia takes the lead with around 57.1% of the market share and 64.1% of student enrolment.

Within Asia, Western Asia, which encompasses the Middle East excluding Egypt, stands out as a hub of international education with 2,068 institutions. The UAE, at the forefront of this educational wave, boasts 769 international schools or a significant 37% of the total. As of January 2023, the region is home to 1.9 million students attending international schools, reflecting a 7.9% increase over the past five years.

Factors Driving Growth

Several factors have contributed to this remarkable growth in international education within Western Asia. These include a surge in expatriate populations from China, Russia and Ukraine, and those from South and Southeast Asian countries; the return of Western expatriate professionals since the pandemic; and rising numbers of Saudi nationals opting for international schools, driven by young parents who have experienced international education themselves. In the UAE’s city of Dubai, with a population that is expected to almost double within 20 years, these schools are being located to support distinct community suburbs that are emerging as the city continues to expand.