The UAE is leading the charge for international schools, boasting 624 up from 596 in 2017. Saudi Arabia is next with 257 followed by Qatar with 166.
The ISC report also revealed that a total of 1.51 million students are attending international schools in the region, each paying an average of USD$7,658 annually for their education.
In 2017 a study by HSBC revealed that the UAE has the second highest school fees in the world after Hong Kong, costing approximately USD$99,378 to educate a child from primary school through to university.
Richard Gaskell, schools director at ISC Research said that most of the demand for international schools in the Middle East is focused on the mid-price schools that are “affordable to the majority of professional expatriates and more affluent local families”.
“The market in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE, continues to expand. ISC Research is aware of 17 new international schools opening for the 2018-2019 academic year in the UAE, 13 of which are located in Dubai,” he said.
The ISC report was released ahead of the upcoming IPSEF Middle East Forum in Dubai from 21-23 September.
“The growth of the international schools’ market in the Middle East further confirms the role education plays in the development agenda of governments in the region,” added Rhona Greenhill, IPSEF co-founder.
“A number of initiatives have been set in place to enable private companies to establish local branches or independently set-up international schools and help support the growth of the education sector as a whole in this part of the world.”