How to Set Up an Educational Institution in Dubai

How to Set Up an Educational Institution in Dubai


There are 3.33 million residents in Dubai belonging to all age ranges, and so there is always a steady demand for quality education. Strong demand can be witnessed across the elementary school, middle school, and the high school levels. There is also some exceptionally strong demand for college-level higher education. You will find that Bachelor’s degree level courses are just as in demand as are Master’s degree level courses.

And the demand comes not only from prospective students wanting to study full-time, but also working executives who are looking to up skill themselves. Both these categories of prospective students are looking for high quality educational service providers. There are already some reputed educational service providers in Dubai, and there is demand for even more to cater to the growing population of Dubai. Someone with experience in matters of company setup in UAE can provide you with a Feasibility Study.

When establishing an educational institution in Dubai, it is important to secure the approval of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority or KHDA. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority oversees childhood education, higher education, and training institutes in the emirate of Dubai. It was established in 2006, and seeks to ensure that quality is maintained at all educational institutions at all levels. Its aim is to see to it that Dubai becomes at par with the best in the world.

How to Register an Educational Institution in Dubai

The first step involves determining the type of education and the location. For instance, if you were planning to open an elementary school, it is expected that your school will have playgrounds, classrooms for the students, staff rooms for the elementary school teachers, and adequate parking for school buses. It should ideally be located in a quiet place or residential neighborhood, so that there is no or little risk to students who may attempt to cross the road in front of the school.

The same would be applicable if your school was a K-12 education institution that is it provided classes from kindergarten to the 12th grade. Only more would be expected, such as bigger playgrounds, more infrastructure such as science laboratories and an extensive library, an increased number of staff rooms, a fleet of school buses, and enough parking in front of or inside the school for all the school buses and parents who may come to drop off and/or pick up their wards from school.

To get a Private School Permit, you need to submit a copy of your Academic Plan / Calendar. You will also need to provide a copy of the Lease Agreement in case you plan to rent a school building or multiple school buildings at the same location. If you have constructed your school building, you will need to attach a copy of the Land Deed. A copy of the Completion Certificate issued by the Dubai Municipality or the Free Zone Authority (in case it is in a free zone) will also need to be furnished.

When it comes to higher education or training, you can choose to open your educational institution in the city itself. There are several free zones located right in the heart of the city that can provide you with the necessary infrastructure, so that you do not have to construct your own buildings. You could rent a semi-furnished office space and furnish it accordingly so that it becomes a classroom. You could set up multiple classrooms, lecture halls, and faculty offices this way. There is no need to have your own fleet of buses.


Or if you wanted to have dedicated infrastructure, you could choose to open your college or university in the Dubai International Academic City. This is a university town spread over 2960 acres and located just 20 minutes from Dubai. It is already home to 27 different universities and colleges. Some the universities located here include Herriot-Watt University Dubai, Curtin University Dubai, and British University in Dubai, American University of the Emirates, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, and Zayed University.

It offers 129 million square feet of built-up, ready to move in space that you could use for your university or college. There is ample parking for faculty and students. The Dubai International Academic City is located close to the International City, which has been designed as a residential neighborhood meant to cater to all nationalities. So accommodation for staff, students, and visiting faculty won’t ever be a problem – the International City district is just ten minutes or so away from the Dubai International Academic City.

You need a detailed business plan that takes care of all these. When applying for approval from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, your plan needs to be as detailed as possible. It must mention not only how you plan to structure your operations, but also details of the staff you plan to hire, including their educational qualifications. Your application to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority must also contain how your educational institution is expected to add value.

College students discussing a project


Synergy University Dubai is located in the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre free zone, which is in the city itself. It runs four undergraduate programs and five postgraduate programs. On the other hand, Manipal University Dubai, which has several courses on offer, runs full-fledged university operations at the Dubai International Academic City. Other universities which are based out of the Dubai International Academic City include University of Birmingham at Dubai and Amity University Dubai.

The approval process for an institution of higher education involves meeting with officials from the Ministry of Education. They will study the Business Plan and see if the space leased meets the requirements for the educational programs offered. Any changes that need to be made will be outlined in the Evaluation Report. The promoters of the college or university can then make these changes, following which a Letter of Recommendation will be issued for grant of a Business License.

Why Choose A&A Associate for Opening an Educational Institution in Dubai?

At A&A Associate, we have years of experience in the field. We are a team of company formation experts who specialize in all matters relating to free zone company setup in Dubai as well as the rest of the United Arab Emirates. We are backed by an exceptionally strong legal team, and we have in-house access to leading finance professionals. We can see to it that all the paperwork is in order, so that your application will be approved without encountering any delays.

For more details, call +971 56 408 6728 or send us a message using the form below.

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