Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Qatar’s rising population increases demand for schools

Almost a quarter of Qatar's population is under 25, adding to the need for more schools Mariano Garcia/Alamy via Reuters
Almost a quarter of Qatar's population is under 25, adding to the need for more schools
  • Number of expats fuels demand
  • 50 new schools needed
  • Education a key pillar of Qatar 2030

Qatar’s growing population is fuelling demand for new schools as investors seek to capitalise on double-digit returns.

The Gulf state’s population grew from about 1.45 million in 2008 to roughly 2.9 million last year and is forecast to reach 3.2 million by the end of the decade.

That translates into a need for an additional 50 schools, according to Colliers Middle East, to add to the 550 schools already in operation.



“A population growth rate of around 2 percent over the next 5-10 years is feasible, primarily driven by an increase in expatriates,” said Mansoor Ahmed, head of education at Colliers in Mena.

The majority of Qatar’s population consists of Generation X (those born between 1965-1980), Gen Y (1981-1996),  Gen Z (1997-2012) and Generation Alpha (2013-2022), a demographic which results in a large number of young parents and school-age children.

Almost 25 percent of the population in Qatar is under 25-years-old.

Education is seen as one of the key pillars of Qatar’s National Vision 2030. Alongside healthcare it made up 20 percent of expenditure in this year’s QR200.9 billion ($55 billion) state budget.

“Qatar’s K12 market [from kindergarten to 12th grade], particularly in Doha, is competitive, but at the same time offers growth opportunities for quality schools,” said Ahmed.

AGBI reported last month that Dubai’s private school market, once a goldmine for investors, is no longer yielding the lucrative double-digit returns it used to.

But that is not the case in Qatar, according to Ashwin Assomull, partner and founding member of the global education practice at LEK Consulting, who is based in Dubai.

“Essentially we feel that it [Qatar] is a very strong market for investors and operators,” he said.

“If you build a high quality school and do well around attracting students and grow in line with a sensible business plan, you can achieve really good ROIs of 18-to-mid 20 percent.”

International outlook

International schools account for nearly 60 percent of the total in Qatar and include names such as Sherborne Qatar, Park House English School, Nord Anglia International School Al Khor, King’s College Doha and International School of Choueifat Doha.

In the current academic year almost 17,000 new students enrolled in schools across the country.

Last month school management company GSM Middle East announced a partnership with Aplomado Investments and Fenton Whelan Real Estate to launch a British international school on Qetaifan Island North in Doha.

It will cater for up to 1,600 students and is set to open in September 2026.

“You have a lot of investors in Saudi and Qatar that are 100 percent equity investors so therefore they are not paying back bank borrowing or interest rates at a high interest rate,” said Shaun Robison, GSM’s CEO.

Latest articles

Shoppers choose vegetables in Istanbul; inflation means people are spending on essentials

Turkish retailers’ confidence wavers as inflation bites

Confidence is falling among Turkish retailers, according to a survey from the country’s statistics agency Turkstat. Shoppers have been scaling back on big-ticket purchases, spending instead on basic consumer goods as inflation piles pressure on household incomes. May’s business confidence report, released by Turkstat on June 24, showed sentiment in the retail sector at its […]

Water is handed out to pilgrims in Mecca. Hundreds of pilgrims without a Hajj permit died during extreme heat last week

Egypt shuts down 16 travel companies after Hajj tragedy

Egypt has withdrawn the operating licences of 16 travel companies for organising unlicensed Hajj trips to Saudi Arabia. A statement from the Egyptian government said the companies would be prosecuted and fined, with the funds used to compensate pilgrims’ families for their loss.  Hundreds of Egyptians were among 1,301 people who died of exposure to […]

A floating production unit in Israel's Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean. Carlyle is creating a new oil and gas company to manage the field

New Carlyle entity to manage East Med gas projects

Carlyle, the Nasdaq-listed private equity company, is creating a new oil and gas company to manage recently-acquired assets in the Mediterranean hydrocarbons market. The new as yet un-named entity will be led by former BP CEO Tony Hayward and will manage a portfolio of gas-weighted exploration and production assets in Italy, Egypt and Croatia, according […]

Spinneys plans to open another 12 stores in Saudi Arabia by 2028

Spinneys opens first Saudi supermarket in Riyadh

Spinneys has opened its first supermarket in Saudi Arabia and is planning a further 12 stores in the country by 2028. The UAE supermarket operator listed on the Dubai Financial Market last month and raised AED1.38 billion ($375.7 million) from its initial public offering, which was oversubscribed almost 64 times. The first Spinneys in Saudi […]