More pupils signing up at Dubai schools, dispelling expat exodus theory
A two percent rise in children from South Asian families being enrolled in Dubai schools is an indication that the emirate's expatriate population is stable and not falling, according to a senior government official.
Speaking at an event for Indian and Pakistani businesspeople yesterday, Omar bin Sulaiman, governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC, said that the figures on enrollment since April proved that talk about an expat exodus at the end of June was "empty".
The Indian and Pakistani communities were the two largest foreign groups in Dubai, and could be used as a barometer for overall population and economic trends, Sulaiman added, according to a report in UAE daily Khaleej Times.
"Given that these communities represent a large portion of the Dubai expatriate population, this is another sign that, despite the empty talk of sceptics, there is a continuing flow of real data showing the stability of the expatriate population," he said.
"We are confident that similar results will be found in other expatriate schools with the start of their new academic year in the fall."
The schools data was gathered as part of a study on Indian and Pakistani schools by the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority and presented to the Indian Business & Professional Council.
However, it comes a week after Arabian Business reported that removal firms in the Emirates were gearing up for a bumper summer as expatriates from the UK, South Africa and Australia were looking to move home once the school year finished at the end of June.
In another twist Hamad Buamim, director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, revealed on Saturday in a speech to the chamber that Dubai's population had seen "recent" growth of eight percent.
Neither Sulaiman, who is also deputy director of the UAE Central Bank, or Buamim gave any further details on their respective figures.
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Benoit Jun 04, 2009 05:58 am
As the article speaks only about Schools in Dubai, this could be true.
Many people are moving from Sharjah to Dubai. These people are relocating their kids in Dubai schools (maybe).
The analysis should be made on both Dubai and Sharjah to see the real effect of population mouvement.
Roxanne Jun 02, 2009 06:34 am
I know of at least 3 kids in my younger child's nursery class who haven't yet got admission in any school despite applying in advance to several. All the schools say they are full! And none of these is an Indian or Pakistani school. On the other hand, four students (out of 27) in my elder child's class are leaving Dubai this month-end. All are heading West.
I've also been told that several western expats in our building have left -- only to be replaced by families from India and Pakistan, more so the latter because of the prevailing instability there.
Despite what Dubai's PR machinery is saying, a a clearer picture will only emerge in the months to come.