Why European families are moving to Dubai and choosing SISD as their school of choice

Why many European families are now moving to Dubai

Over the last few months, we have witnessed a large influx of families moving to Dubai, and a very large percentage of these families are coming from Western European countries. 

Over 70% of our school tours are now with families moving from Europe, and they have cited these reasons for moving to Dubai, and for choosing SISD for their children. We’ll outline some of these reasons in this blog: 

  1. The COVID-19 situation in Europe. The pandemic has affected Europeans tremendously. The lockdowns that some countries have faced since 2020 continue to affect the quality of life of their citizens. There is also no potential easing of this situation and the vaccination rollout has been slower than in the UAE. 
  2. Free Zones. Also known as free trade zones, free zones are business zones. Companies operating within these zones are exempt from taxation. There are 24 free zones in Dubai, each catering to specific sectors and industries, and they are divided into three major categories. Business owners in these areas must have 100% ownership of the business. The zones encourage foreign investment and promote economic activity, which gives families the opportunity to work or do business in the city. Dubai is the first emirate to introduce this model in the UAE, and European entrepreneurial families are seeing the benefits of this. 
  3. Remote working visa. The pandemic has highlighted our ability to work from anywhere. Many employees have shifted to working remotely from home, and families are rethinking plans for where they’d like to work and live. In March 2021, the UAE launched a new remote work visa that enables employees of companies located outside of the UAE to live and work remotely from the UAE. For one year, foreigners can enter the UAE and work under the terms and conditions issued with the visa.

The visa allows remote workers to take advantage of low taxes, work in a safe environment, and have access to affordable accommodation, coworking, healthcare, and ethnic/cultural diversity. 

  1. Weather and quality of life. The weather in Dubai is unbeatable, with lows of 14 to 16 degrees Celsius in winter and 28 to 31 degrees in summer, and very little rainfall occurring only in winter and spring. In addition, there is a high quality of life in the city: attractive housing, high salaries, and low taxes and transportation costs. There is a vibrant social life, most people speak English, other religious beliefs are tolerated, and there are high educational standards at international schools.
  2. UAE’s COVID-19 response. The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the UAE’s response to COVID. With 56% of the country’s population vaccinated against COVID-19, the UAE is among the top in the world for the number of vaccines administered, second only to Israel in terms of the proportion of population vaccinated. Immunisation includes all citizens and residents aged 16 and above.
  3. Multinational demographic. Dubai consists of a multicultural demographic. There are already lots of European families and groups of expats from most major countries living here, including a thriving European community. People may find they already have friends or family located here, or that it won’t be as difficult to find others to connect with.
  4. Educational options for children closer to home. As we evolve toward a more global society, parents are not as likely to send their children to boarding schools in the UK or other places in Europe. Families in the Middle East, Africa, and India can now find better and safer options for their children’s education closer to home. 

SISD’s staff and students are from all over the world, creating a truly unique multicultural environment that fosters development on a variety of levels. SISD isn’t just a place to study—it’s a place for students to call home, too. Our teachers are predominantly from the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland, and European families appreciate this level of quality teaching and native speakers for the language development of their children. 

Four reasons why SISD draws international interest

  1. We are known for our International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. Founded in Switzerland, it is a programme that European families respect and are familiar with. The IB programme often has more appeal than the British curriculum, especially for European families who are looking to give their children a very global educational experience. 
  2. We offer bilingual language programmes. For those ready to maintain fluency in French or German (the two most prominent European languages taught alongside English), our proven immersive approach to bilingual education provides our students with a crucial competitive advantage at university and the workplace. We are one of the only schools in the UAE to offer this level of bilingualism from age 3 – 18 years. 
  3. The demographic of existing families. SISD is home to a lot of Swiss, French, German, and Italian children and their families. This helps children and families to settle in and make friends. 
  4. We are highly recommended. Families that approach us are referred by their friends, and this makes us proud to be a well-respected academic institution. Visit our Testimonials page to see what parents have said about us.

For more information about our programmes, contact our Admissions team at admissions@sisd.ae.

More from Nord Anglia