5 Oct

A guide to business set-up for education providers

The UAE is home to about 10 million people from all over the world who enjoy its live, work and play environment. An essential contributor to the country’s livability factor is education. The following article will help investors navigate the scope, benefits, requirements and procedures of business set-up for education providers.

Why invest in an educational institution in the UAE?

According to the latest governmental statistics, the UAE currently has more than 300,000 higher education students from 187 nationalities pursuing 18 types of curriculums. While the most popular curricula are British, Indian, and American, many students prefer the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the UAE Ministry of Education curricula, among others.

Therefore, there is a world of investment opportunities for educators to tap into the business of preparing young minds for a better future.

According to a study conducted by consulting firm EY-Parthenon, the complexity of regulations around setting up an educational institution in the UAE, compared to some other countries like Singapore and Malaysia, is positioned much better when it comes to the ease of entry and obtaining necessary approvals from concerned authorities.

The other benefits of investing in a UAE business are 100% foreign ownership of the company and the convenience provided in dedicated educational zones.

Steps to setting up a higher education institution

Setting up an educational business in the UAE is similar to starting other companies. However, this may require comprehensive paperwork and additional approvals. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Get required approvals

Depending on which emirate you want to set your educational institution, you have to get approvals from various authorities. For example, if you choose Ras Al Khaimah, you need to have approvals from the Ministry of Education, another one from the Department of Economic Development and, if you are leasing land to build your facility, the license issuing authority – Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ).

2. Establish your company

Register your business, get your license and lease a prebuilt facility or land for your institution.

3. Build your facility (if you have leased land)

If you are developing a facility, you must obtain pre-requisite approvals and construction-related permits before and after completing your project.

4. Obtain UAE visas

Get your partners/investors, managers and planning staff in the country to kickstart the initial work.

5. Open a bank account and obtain funds

Liaise with local banks and get your business bank account running so you can apply for loans and safely store your business funds.

6. Begin operations

With the legalisation of your company, facility and staff members, you are set to offer admissions.

7. Hire academic faculty

In the course of operations, you may be creating jobs for many at various levels. In the UAE, you can choose to source your workforce from anywhere in the world.

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) – The ideal destination for your educational business

Ras Al Khaimah’s educational sector works to meet the knowledge demands of its residents and the growing expatriate population, leading to higher enrolment rates in private institutions at affordable and attractive prices.

When exploring business set-up for education providers in Ras Al Khaimah, you need to consider which type of institution to establish and what courses to offer.

Preferred higher educational institutes in RAK

  • K-12 private school: Suitable for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in and/or operate a private school.
  • Higher education institution: The preferred model is establishing an international university branch. This is a popular option for those who would like to bring world-class learning opportunities into the UAE and help prepare students to enter the workforce.

Higher education programmes in demand at RAK

In recent years, the emirate has seen a growth in demand for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses, including but not limited to the following:

  • Computer science
  • Electrical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Environmental management
  • Aviation sciences
  • Supply chain and logistics
  • Tourism and event management
  • Data analytics/Artificial Intelligence

As the market needs change, so will the need for new higher education programmes, including:

  • Big data and data science
  • Travel, tourism and hospitality
  • Smart manufacturing
  • Fintech
  • Media and communications
  • Sustainability
  • Cybersecurity

RAKEZ Academic Zone

RAKEZ Academic Zone is an educational hub of home-grown and international institutions and service providers in the UAE. The Academic Zone was established to attract and support qualified educational institutions that are committed to delivering market-driven, educational, training and professional development services that benefit Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE and the broader Gulf region.

Academic Zone simplifies the process of business set-up, provides numerous options for leasing facilities or land where you can build, own and operate your school, college or training institution and offers professional assistance and support throughout the journey, from exploring the local market to setting up and sustaining the business.

Take the first step of getting in touch with the RAKEZ experts, and they will walk you through the entire journey of business set-up for education providers. Call +97172041111 or send an email to info@rakez.com


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Last Updated on 12/29/2019 9:23:05 PM

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