Parent trap

UAE primary school plans to open Starbucks in reception area...

A Dubai primary school is planning to open a Starbucks coffee shop to give parents a place to wait for their children, it has been reported.

The trial at GEMS Jumeirah Primary School has divided opinion among parents with some raising concerns over their child's safety and potential health implications, reports the National on Wednesday.

The shop has taken up a "sizeable portion" of the school's reception area and the company branding can be seen by passers-by, the paper reports. No date has yet been given for the opening.

"By making Starbucks' presence very visible to the community, it could attract unwanted guests to the school," one father, who wished to remain anonymous, told the paper.

Headmaster Stephen Chynoweth wrote to parents to confirm the Starbucks trial and reassure them that all staff had been vetted and approved to work in schools.

According to the report, the shop's profits will be shared with the school and used to pay for new equipment and other school initiatives.

Some parents are in support of the move and have posted comments on the community website www.expatwoman.com saying as much. GEMS's marketing director, Richard Forbes, told the paper he was "aware of the very positive feedback from other parents".

Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority said it was an internal school matter and that no complaints about it had been received from parents.

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