Start saving early as cost of a child’s education to skyrocket in UAE

Start saving early as cost of a child’s education to skyrocket in UAE

Financial solutions provider Old Mutual International is urging expat parents in the UAE to start saving early as latest figures show the cost of a child’s education could reach almost 1.5 million AED.

The latest industry figures, based on sending a child to a UK or US curriculum school in the UAE followed by university in the United States, demonstrate the huge cost that most parents in the UAE will have to consider at some point.

Old Mutual International, part of Old Mutual Wealth, is passionate about helping its clients plan for the future and believes early preparation is one of the keys to success.

To help parents calculate the cost of sending their child to school in the UAE, Old Mutual International has launched a new online tool that will help families to plan for their aspirational future while taking in all the additional costs associated with education.  

Brendan Dolan, regional director, Middle East and Africa, for Old Mutual International, says: “Most parents want to provide the best for their children and would agree that funding their children’s education is a key financial priority and this is especially the case in the UAE where all expatriate parents need to pay for their children’s education.

“It’s imperative parents in the UAE start saving as soon as they can so as not to rely solely on their income to fund the fees, which can be a risky strategy. The earlier parents start to save for education, the less money they will need to put aside as it will have more time to accumulate any investment growth.

“The first step in planning appropriately is facing up to these costs and our online tool will help parents to do this. We would then advise they seek out professional help from a reputable financial adviser as early as possible.”

Based on the latest industry figures from, Old Mutual International estimates that sending a child to a UK or US curriculum school up to university age can cost 562,543 AED* (US$152,865) in school fees alone. Additional costs such as trips, bus services and uniforms, can cost as much as 15,684 AED** (US$4,262) every year from primary through to high school, this could bring the total cost of school education to approximately 766,437 AED ($208,271).

When it comes to supporting a child through university the figures can become even more eye watering depending on the country the child studies in. If the child studies in the US, industry figures estimate the total cost for a four year course can add up to 681,124 AED (US$185,088)*** which includes university fees, room and board, transport and other living expenses.

If the child studies in the UK, then costs may be slightly cheaper at approximately 323,700  AED ($87,962)**** for a three year course, which includes university fees, rent, transport and other living expenses. If the child studies at a top university in London then costs will rise significantly.

With the cost of living rising all the time, by the time the child reaches university these costs are likely to be significantly higher.

Brendan continued: “When considering the best ways to save for a child’s education there are many options available. Many parents may want the security of ring-fencing these savings to ensure future educational needs are safeguarded – in such cases, a trust arrangement may be beneficial, and will ensure the child’s future is provided for in the event of something happening to one or both parents.

“The various potential risks should also be taken into account, for example, what if one or both of the parents lose their jobs, have an accident, or dies? Or an unexpected situation may arise when there are competing priorities, such as looking after an elderly relative.  Speaking with a financial adviser will help to ensure a robust financial plan is put in place.”

The new online tool from Old Mutual International to help parents calculate the cost of sending their child to school in the UAE is available


Table of figures:

Kindergarten(age 4-6) education* $17,592 64,739 AED £14,425
Primary – grades 1 - 5(age 6 -11) education*
other expenses**
78,421 AED169,170 AED £37,695
Middle – grades 6 - 11(age 11 – 16) education*
other expenses**
235,844 AED94,105 AED £52,552
High School – grades 12 – 13(age 16 – 18) education*
other expenses**
92,788 AED
31,368 AED

University – based on a 4 year course at US universityUK university education and other expenses***education and other expenses**** $185,088
681,124 AED323,700 AED £151,772
TOTAL (UAE school fees and other expenses and US university fees and expenses) $393,359 1,447,561 AED £322,554
  1USD = 3.68 AED 1USD = 0.82 GBP


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