Investing in education is critical to fostering growth and innovation for generations to come.

The private education market in the Gulf countries is perceived as the fastest growing in the world, where the demand for quality education, particularly in early childhood, has never been higher. Economic growth and demographic changes, particularly the rise of dual income, middle class nuclear families and the increase of population in urban areas, continue to intensify the demand for quality schooling. The GCC education industry is dynamic and rapidly evolving, with unmatched growth potential.

Growth opportunities in the GCC

There are school ownerships opportunities in all of the countries in which we operate, as well as in countries where there currently isn’t a Maple Bear presence. Please contact us at ownaschool@maplebear.ae if you’d like more information on any country.

Private schools that demonstrate value through high quality instruction and modern curricula will succeed in the GCC market, where parents are driven to provide their children with the best possible education to ensure their future success, and governments are invested in creating knowledge based future economies served by talented young professionals.

Overall, GCC enrolment in pre-primary education falls short of OECD and global average, undersupply of quality early childhood education options being a contributing factor in many countries. But with strengthening impetus from social, economic, and political dynamics of the region, the pre-primary education sector demonstrates tremendous opportunity.

Strong players in the pre-primary sector are poised for growth in light of the youthful demographic profile of the population, which is projected to reach 65 million by 2030, a third of it being under the age of 25.

Multi-billion dollar investments forecast for the education sector leading into 2020

The expected total investment between 2018 and 2020 is reported to be $ 90 Billion USD.

A young regional demographic profile

There is a conscious effort on part of the governments to encourage uptake of early childhood education . An emphasis on the importance of early childhood education is reflected in government policies and national education agendas. Private-sector participation actively sought by governments to help relieve the budgetary strains created by low oil prices.

Private-sector participation in the education market actively sought by GCC governments

The private sector commands nearly 50% of the pre-primary education market alone. GCC governments recognize the private sector’s capacity to introduce innovation and to collaboratively modernize the education system.

Conscious effort on part of regional governments to encourage uptake of early childhood education

National policy agendas emphasize early childhood education, while 1/5th of total national budget continues to be the average allocation for education as a whole. These practices align with the goal to develop diversified, knowledge-based economies driven by native human capital.

Large and growing expat population

The region remains a destination of choice for families focused on building careers and futures, indicating sustainable demand.

Greater workforce participation by women

More women are entering the workforce than ever before, leading to an increase in number of dual income households as well as overall income levels, while driving demand for greater quality early childhood education and care.

Quality of teaching remains a great challenge

The assured success of professional development programs implemented in countries like Canada create demand for foreign curriculum private schools, where quality of instruction remains at par with the depth of the curriculum being taught.

Parent spending on education ranks high by global standards

The high per capita incomes in the region bode well for education, with expats and GCC natives alike invested in providing children with opportunities and knowledge necessary for success


Maple Bear is one of the fastest growing international education brands in the world. With over 447 schools in 20 countries, Maple Bear truly is an institution with a global identity.

Since 2015, Maple Bear has seen a growth of 163% in schools

Check out the map to explore Maple Bear presence around the globe: