Expatriate parents in the UAE will end up spending more than Dh1 million on their children’s education, financial experts claim.
According to a study by asset management group Old Mutual International, the total cost of sending a child to school in the UAE and on to university overseas can add up to nearly Dh1.5m.
The company, which sells investment products to savers, said parents can spend as much as Dh562,543 in fees alone by sending their children to a UK or US curriculum school from the age of five to 18 – averaging out at about Dh43,272 a year.
Adding in trips, bus services and uniforms, which Old Mutual calculated as another Dh15,684 each year from primary through to high school, brought the total cost of school education to about Dh766,437.
Old Mutual estimated that a four-year course at a university in the United States plus living expenses could set students back another Dh681,124 in total.
Last month, rival financial services group Zurich Life conducted a similar study, estimating that education covering 14 years, including preschool, primary, secondary school and university, totalled Dh933,945.
These included upfront preschool fees of Dh58,693, followed by six years of primary education at Dh35,230 a year totalling Dh211,382. By the time a child reaches secondary school, Zurich calculated that annual fees went up to about Dh43,052, totalling a little over Dh258,000 for the six years. It calculated that university fees in the US cost another Dh84,428 a year for three years, while living costs could reach Dh234,551 per student.
In Abu Dhabi, fees for British and American curriculum schools range from Dh23,000 to Dh43,600 a year at Glenelg School Abu Dhabi to between Dh65,000 and Dh96,333 at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, fees for British or American curriculum schools range from Dh10,270 to Dh21,660 at Al Diyafah High School to between Dh50,379 and Dh100,759 at Repton School Dubai.
“School fees are increasing all the time. Fees in Abu Dhabi work out at Dh48,000 each a year so we spend nearly Dh100,000,” said Jane Roberts, who has two children at a British curriculum school. “We get a contribution of about Dh30,000 per child from my husband’s employer so I don’t think we end up spending quite as much as these estimates. Also their calculation for extras seems to be a little on the high side.”