Educating a child in the United Arab Emirates from preschool to university can cost expat parents at least £255,000.
Insurance firm Zurich- Middle East has calculated the cost for an average priced education has increased by almost 1% in the past 12 months.
But the figures leave out vital expenses such as books, trips and uniforms which can add an extra 40% to the bill, while looking for a place in a top graded school or university can also add another 50% to the cost.
The figure includes two years at preschool, six years each at primary and secondary level and a three-year university course in the UK.
Parents give up luxuries and savings
Walter Jopp, CEO of Zurich – Middle East, said, “When it comes to education, the research shows it is important to start planning early to ensure enough capital is available when your child is ready to start university.
“Adopting a long-term approach to savings could help fund the best education for your child without worrying about the cost.”
Parents told the team carrying out the study that they would go to extraordinary lengths to fund their children’s education, including sacrificing their retirement savings and other investments and luxuries to pay for tuition fees.
Almost two-thirds of parents said that they would take on debt to fund a college or university education.
But despite the cost, seven out of 10 parents finance schooling from their day-to-day income and 40% consider the price of a decent education is more important to them than saving for retirement.
UAE parents pay more than average for education
Parents in the UAE traditionally pay more for education than those in other countries.
A recent study by HSBC Bank revealed the annual spend was 140% higher than the global average of $7,631 at $18,360.
Another survey, by ECA International, ranks the most expensive international schools worldwide – with Chinese schools charging the most – with an average $39,581 a year.
Britain, France, Switzerland and the USA also ranked in the top 10, mainly because they offer qualifications that are recognised the world over.