Education remains a key priority for Abu Dhabi, and it is taking concrete steps to ensure that future generations of its citizens will be equipped with the tools and skills they need to lead the country. A strong reforming push undertaken in the early part of the 2000s is beginning to bear fruit, and core measures of education have been improving significantly. 

Education in Abu Dhabi is broken into three main categories by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC): public schools, private schools, and higher education 

According to the most recently available statistics from the Statistical Center of Abu Dhabi (SCAD), the Emirate has 442 schools, of which 187 are private and 256 are government operated. The Emirate boasts 17,118 classrooms populated by 366,029 students and 23,747 teachers and 10,265 administrators. The number of pupils per teacher was 15.4 and the number of pupils per classroom was 21.4. 

R&D has been a major emphasis for leaders in the education sector, and many local universities have expanded while other internationally recognized institutions have established campuses. Khalifa University, Master Institute, New York University Abu Dhabi, and Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi have all opened and expanded campuses across the Emirate, bringing a new standard of education to Emiratis 

Public Private Partnership have begun to play an increasingly important role in Abu Dhabi's education sector. Beginning in 2006 with a pilot program that included 30 kindergartens and primary schools, the partnerships have sought to outsource educational and administrative responsibilities to private contractors. These partnerships have succeeded in improving the quality of education and producing quantifiable and scalable outcomes. The program has grown sizably from the original 30 schools, and currently 176 schools participate.

To support the development of the Education sector, Abu Dhabi has successfully developed and attracted a range of local and internationally recognized institutions have established campuses and schools in the emirate

Key Statistics of the Education Activity (2010-2017*)

Education sector real GDP (2010-2017* - AED billion)

GDP at constant price - AED billion 2010 2015 2017* % CAGR - 2010-2017
Total 587.1 770.0 785.6 100% 4.25%
Education 6.9 7.6 8.3 1.06% 2.67%

Source: Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi - * Preliminary estimates

Higher Education Institutions by Type and Sector

Type 11 - 2010 14 - 2013 15 - 2014 16 - 2015
Total 17 224 24 24
Government 12 14 14 14
Private 5 10 10 10

Key Players

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