x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai's Westminster School will remain open for its 5,000 pupils, say officials

Relief for thousands of families as the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) say Gems Education have officially withdrawn its application to close the popular school.

DUBAI // A British school threatening to close its doors to 5,000 pupils has announced it will remain open with no fee increase.

Gems Education, which runs Westminster School, told the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) last August that it intended to close the school this year, saying the inability to increase fees under the authority’s framework had made it impossible to continue.

The decision to remain open was confirmed by the KHDA today.

“Gems officials have reversed this decision,” the KHDA said.

A spokesman for Gems Education later said the school would continue to operate with the same fee structure in the new academic year, which begins this September.

The school charges about Dh10,000 a year, making it one of the most affordable options in Dubai. More than 60 per cent of the pupils travel from Sharjah and other neighbouring emirates to study there.

“We would like to acknowledge the parents and students of the school for their understanding and support over the past few months,” said a spokesman for Gems. “The passion they have displayed for their school has been extraordinary.”

Parents who paid registration fees at other Gems schools for the new year will get a refund if they continue at Westminster.

aahmed@thenational.ae