UAE-based property giant, Aldar Properties, has announced plans to further grow its education portfolio by investing USD 272 million (AED 1 billion) into Aldar Education, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
Currently the largest premium school operator in Abu Dhabi, Aldar Education owns 11 schools under Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, while Aldar Academies manages an additional nine.
The developer’s growth plan seeks to raise the existing student capacity in Aldar-owned schools to more than 40,000 places by the 2024-25 academic year.
Further aiming to strengthen the choice and enhance the educational experience offered to students in the emirate, Aldar Education has revealed its intentions to pursue a range of greenfield and school acquisition opportunities in the premium and mid-market segments.
With over 80% of the funds already set, the plan is projected to be carried out over the next three years.
"Aldar touches multiple aspects of life in Abu Dhabi, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we are making a positive impact on all communities in which we operate. Aldar Education is one of our most critical touch points with the community and we want to ensure that more families can benefit from the quality, innovative education we offer in our schools,” Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group CEO at Aldar Properties said.
This latest investment will help us make notable progress in this direction and it also makes financial sense for a business that is of huge strategic importance to the Group."
WHERE WILL THE NEW SCHOOLS BE LOCATED?
The firm’s expansion strategy will focus on improving Aldar Education’s offering in three major locations across the capital: Khalifa City, Saadiyat City and Yas Island.
A first for the company, Aldar has confirmed its acquisition of the British curriculum school, Al Shohub Private School in Khalifa City. Already boasting a strong reputation in the market, the firm has committed to uphold the school’s standards of education and further improve the experience of current and prospective students.
Also located in Khalifa City, the Al Yasmina Academy, an ‘outstanding’ rated British primary and secondary school campus, is set for expansion and relocation under the development plans.
On Yas Island, a new British curriculum school will be developed in the Noya community in Yas North which will be operated by Aldar Academies.
Finally, the Saadiyat Island area will see the expansion of ‘outstanding’ rated and award-winning Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, resulting in improved facilities such as immersive learning technologies, and an increased capacity. An additional school will also be delivered under the Aldar Academies brand which will also provide a British curriculum education and cater to Saadiyat Island’s surrounding communities.
"The education sector is going through constant change and development, and we are keen to remain at the forefront of those developments to provide our students with the best tools available to help them unlock their full potential. This includes the digital transformation of our schools, further investment in EdTech, and the provision of more flexible and diverse education models that appeal to a wider range of families in Abu Dhabi," Sarah Cooper, CEO at Aldar Education commented.