Licensing of educational activities in the UAE - YB Case 2024

Licensing of educational activities in the UAE

Licensing of educational activities in the UAE

Licensing of educational activities in the UAE

General overview of the UAE education system

Scholarly franchising in the UAE plays a momentous function in upholding elevated benchmarks and excellence of erudition in the nation. The erudite schema in the United Arab Emirates is distinguished by its multifariousness and originality, proffering a broad spectrum of erudite schedules and establishments, both communal and privy. In a bid to uphold and ameliorate the caliber of erudition, the UAE regime accords particular heed to the franchising procedure, which is overseen by stringent statutes and ordinances.

Obtaining an educational licence in the Arab Emirates for institutions involves not only compliance with infrastructural and administrative requirements, but also mandatory adherence to high standards of the educational process. This includes the qualifications of the teaching staff, the quality of the educational programmes, and the provision of a safe and stimulating educational environment for students.

An important feature of the UAE educational system is the emphasis on the integration of modern technologies and innovative teaching methods, which makes the process of opening an educational licence in the Arab Emirates not only a verification of compliance with the established norms, but also an incentive for the continuous development and improvement of educational institutions. In addition, licensing helps to strengthen the reputation of educational institutions internationally, attracting students not only from the UAE, but also from other countries around the world.

The UAE education system also actively supports a multicultural and multilingual approach by offering programmes in different languages, reflecting the global nature of the country and its education system. This requires educational institutions not only to provide quality education, but also to be able to adapt to the needs and expectations of the international student community, which is also taken into account when obtaining an educational licence.

Thus, educational licensing in the UAE plays a central role in maintaining and developing high standards of education, ensuring that educational institutions meet modern requirements and guaranteeing students access to quality and innovative education.

Legislative framework for licensing of educational activities in the UAE

Main legislative acts and regulatory documents

Licensing of didactic pursuits in the UAE is rigorously controlled by a plethora of statutory enactments and ordinances that furnish a structure for the operation of both communal and solitary erudite establishments. The foundation for conferring an erudite charter in the Arab Emirates is the Federal Statute No. 18 of 2020 on Exclusive Erudition, which arranges the didactic progression in communal institutes in the UAE. This statute governs not merely the licensing of communal institutes, but also the authentication of didactic schemas and the welfare of scholars.

Cabinet Decision No. 29 of 2008 on the Regulation on Private Education is also an important document that sets out the requirements for registration of an educational licence in the Arab Emirates. This regulation details the procedures and conditions for obtaining a licence, requirements for educational institutions, their owners and managers, as well as for educational and administrative staff.

To maintain a high level of educational services and meet international standards, the UAE Ministry of Education and local education authorities are actively working to develop and update the regulatory framework. This includes not only the direct opening of an educational licence in the Arab Emirates, but also the processes of accreditation, quality control of educational programmes and assessment of teaching staff qualifications.


Henceforth, the UAE statutory and regulatory framework in the domain of erudition is an assemblage of protocols aimed at fostering propitious circumstances for the advancement of the pedagogical sector, guaranteeing its caliber and attainability, alongside safeguarding the entitlements and concerns of all stakeholders in the pedagogic progression.

The role of the Ministry of Education and local education authorities in regulating licensing

Educational licensing in the UAE is closely linked to the role of the Ministry of Education and local education authorities, which play a key role in regulating and controlling the quality of educational services provided. Opening an educational institution in the UAE requires strict adherence to established regulations and procedures, which ensures a high level of educational standards in the country.

The UAE Ministry of Education sets common criteria and standards for all private educational institutions in the country, including requirements for infrastructure, qualifications of teaching staff, curriculum and learning environment. These requirements are directed at creating a favourable educational environment conducive to the all-round development of students.

Local educational authorities, such as the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and others, operate in accordance with the policies and guidelines established at the federal level, but also bring their own specific requirements and regulations that take into account the characteristics and needs of their regions. This allows the educational process to be adapted to local conditions while maintaining national quality standards.

The process of registering an educational institution in the UAE begins with the submission of an application to the relevant educational authority, which conducts a thorough inspection of all aspects of the institution's activities, from the building's compliance with educational standards to the qualifications and training of the teaching staff. After successfully passing all stages of inspection and meeting the established requirements, the institution is granted a licence to conduct educational activities.

Thus, the Ministry of Education and local education authorities play an important role in ensuring the quality and accessibility of education in the UAE by overseeing the opening and operation of educational institutions in the country. This ensures that high standards of education are maintained and contributes to the development of the UAE education system as a whole.

Licensing of educational institutions

Stages of licensing a new private educational institution

Establishing an educational organisation in the Arab Emirates is a complex task that involves many steps involving detailed planning and strict compliance with regulatory requirements. The licensing process for a new public school consists of several major steps to ensure that the institution meets all the standards and criteria.

Step 1:

Submission of an initial enquiry to the Ministry of Education or the relevant local education authority

At this stage, general information about the planned educational institution should be provided, including the type of school, the educational programme and the estimated number of students.

Stage 2:

Obtaining preliminary approval

After reviewing the preliminary application, the authority issues a preliminary approval, which is the signal to begin preparations for the launch of the educational establishment in the UAE. This approval does not constitute a licence to operate an educational institution, but it does allow you to proceed to the next stages of preparation.

Stage 3:

Development and submission of the full package of documents

At this stage, the school must prepare and submit a full package of documents, including a business plan, a draft educational programme, information on the qualifications of the teaching staff, and plans for the school building with regard to health and safety requirements.

Stage 4:

Verification of compliance with health and safety requirements

The local authority inspects the school building to ensure that all premises comply with established health and safety standards.

Stage 5:

Assessment of the educational programme and staff qualifications

Authorities from the Ministry of Erudition or the regional tutelage jurisdiction evaluate the proffered erudite curriculum and the credentials of pedagogical and managerial personnel to ascertain that they adhere to the established benchmarks.

Step 6:

Issuance of a licence for educational activity

Upon successful completion of all inspections and assessments, the school receives a licence, which is the official permission to establish an educational institution in the UAE. The licence is issued for a fixed period of time and then requires renewal based on the school's performance.

This process highlights the importance of meeting high quality and safety standards when establishing an educational institution in the UAE, thereby ensuring a positive educational environment for students.

Criteria and conditions for maintaining the licence of an educational institution

In order to perpetuate the license of eruditional establishments in the UAE, encompassing both public academies and higher erudition institutions, particular criteria and stipulations have been instituted aimed at guaranteeing exalted quality learning and scholar security. These requisites fluctuate contingent on the genre of educational establishment and the locale where it is situated.

Private Schools

Public schools enrolling with the UAE Ministry of Education (with the exception of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, which have their own regulatory bodies) are obligated to fulfill certain duties. These duties encompass ensuring all scholastic, bureaucratic, well-being, security, and ecological prerequisites and safeguards within their premises, upholding qualified licensed personnel and presenting yearly reports on the school's academic, pecuniary, and bureaucratic endeavors.

Furthermore, schools must establish records for scholars and personnel, adhere to Islamic and Arab doctrines, UAE public ethics and virtues, revere national distinctiveness and sovereignty, and acquire sanction before implementing notable alterations to their operations, utilization of facilities, or syllabus.

Higher Education Institutions

In the loftier erudition domain, the Emirate of Abstraction Ministry of Erudition hath ushered in newfound entitlement and credentialing criteria that commenced in September 2019. These criteria enshroud 11 scholastic and bureaucratic facets of loftier erudition establishments, encompassing stewardship and oversight, caliber affirmation, inquiry and evolvement, scholars, academicians, instructive installations, health, security and milieu, juridical conformity and civic proclamation, didactic reserves, pecuniary potentiality and durableness, and civic amenity and uprightness. Didactic institutions are at present necessitated to electrically dispatch a succinct "self-evaluation dossier" elucidating their stratagem, caliber affirmation precepts, syllabus, academician composition, didactic reserves, installations and laboratories.

These criteria are grounded on a caliber evaluation that considers an establishment's domestic and global standings, its renown, scholastic chronicles, worldwide accreditations of its schemes, and adherence with Ministry of Education stipulations, determinations, and prerequisites. Establishments are then categorized into sundry echelons, and 'exquisite' establishments garner a plethora of benefits such as a septenary interstice between scrutinies for sanction and accreditation, the capability to scrutinize myriad schemes concurrently, diminutive squads of appraisers during the scrutiny, briefer sojourns by appraisers, and precedence in inaugurating new schemes, thereby dwindling the expenditure of sanction and accreditation by over 50%.

Regulatory bodies for K-12 education in the UAE

The ordinance of the pedagogical proceeding in UAE academies is executed by sundry entities contingent on the Emirate:

  • Federal echelon: The Office of Erudition (MoE) is accountable for all echelons of pedagogy in the UAE, encompassing lyceums, academies, varsities, and postgraduate curricula. The MoE establishes the overarching principles to which communal lyceums must conform.
  • Regional echelon: in Abu Dhabi, the Bureau of Erudition and Cognition is accountable for sanctioning lyceums, in Dubai, the Cognition and Human Advancement Authority, and in Sharjah, the Sharjah Private Erudition Authority. These entities are accountable for the oversight, administration, and enhancement of erudition endeavors in the respective emirates.

These regulators play a key role in maintaining high standards of educational licensing in the UAE, ensuring that educational institutions meet both initial conditions and criteria, as well as ongoing compliance requirements directed at ensuring the quality of the educational process and student safety.

Licensing of educational activities of specialists

Requirements for qualifications and training of teachers

First and foremost, teachers should have a major specialisation in the field in which they teach. This usually implies a Bachelor's or Master's degree in the relevant discipline. In addition, specialised qualifications or certificates may be required to teach certain subjects or in certain educational institutions.

Additionally, the process of opening an educational licence in the UAE requires teachers to undergo professional training in pedagogy and teaching methods. This includes courses and training in curriculum development, the use of innovative technologies in education, methods of assessing student knowledge and skills, and strategies for classroom management and interacting with students of different ages and backgrounds.


In addition to academic preparation and professional development, teachers must demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, lead, think critically, and solve problems. They must be able to motivate students, maintain a positive and productive learning environment, and adapt to the diverse learning needs and cultural diversity of learning groups.

Finally, in order to obtain an educational licence in the UAE, teachers must undergo a criminal record and reputation check. This provides additional assurance that only individuals who meet high moral and ethical standards and can provide a safe and supportive learning environment for students are involved in the educational process.

Process for obtaining and renewing a licence for teachers

Obtaining an educational licence in the UAE for teachers is an important step to confirm their qualifications and right to teach in the country. The process involves several steps, from application to obtaining the licence and its subsequent renewal to keep the teacher's qualifications up to date.

Step 1:


The teacher submits an application for a licence to the UAE Ministry of Education or the relevant local education authority. The application must be accompanied by documents proving the qualifications and experience of the teacher.

Step 2:

Qualification Assessment

The submitted documents are assessed for compliance with the requirements. This may include review of educational certificates, credentials, and other documentation of professional training and experience.

Step 3:

Professional testing

Teachers may be required to undergo professional testing to assess their knowledge and skills. Testing may cover subject matter specifics, teaching methods, and pedagogical skills.

Step 4:

Obtaining a licence

After successfully completing all stages of assessment, the teacher receives an educational licence, which confirms their right to teach in the UAE.

In order to maintain their qualifications and meet current educational standards, teachers must regularly update their licence. This usually requires taking additional training, workshops or refresher courses, as well as going through the evaluation process again.

Obtaining and renewing an educational licence in the UAE challenges educators not only to demonstrate their professional competencies and skills, but also to continuously seek ways to improve and develop themselves. These requirements aim to maintain high standards of educational quality in line with international norms.

Impact of licensing on qualification development and career progression in the education sector

The educational licensing process in the UAE has a significant impact on the professional development and career advancement of educational professionals. It not only sets criteria for teaching staff and educational institutions, but also incentivises the improvement of the educational services provided. This, in turn, contributes to the professional development of educators and enhances their career opportunities.

The process of obtaining a licence to conduct educational activities in the UAE motivates teachers to continuously grow and learn professionally. In order to obtain and maintain a licence, teachers need to undergo regular professional development, professional courses and seminars, which contributes to their continuing education and development. This not only improves their teaching skills but also expands their knowledge in various fields, making them more competitive in the labour market.

In addition, licensing contributes to the standardisation of qualification requirements for teachers, which ensures a high standard of educational services in the UAE. Teachers who hold a licence automatically confirm their ability to meet these high standards, which increases their prestige in the professional community and improves their career prospects.

Licensing of educational activities in the Arab Emirates also facilitates the formation of a network of professional contacts among teachers, education experts and heads of educational institutions. Participation in professional events, seminars and conferences related to licensing allows professionals to exchange experiences, ideas and best practices, which contributes to their professional and personal development.

Regulatory and control mechanisms

The role of inspection and evaluation in maintaining quality standards in education

In the United Arab Emirates, the didactive permitting procedure is inexorably linked to scrutation and assessation, which is a cardinal element for maintaining and meliorating quality benchmarks of didactive amenities. This maneuver guarantees that didactive establishments are systematically scrutated and scrutinized to ensure that they conform with the acknowledged benchmarks and criteria.

Particularized establishments, encompassing the Emirati Ministry of Erudition, alongside indigenous eruditional entities like ADEK and KHDA, conduct sporadic sojourns to eruditional establishments to evaluate their efficacy. Throughout these sojourns, sundry facets of eruditional establishments are scrutinized, comprising the caliber of pedagogy, syllabus, infrastructure, governance, and scholar attainment.

The aspiration of examinations for erudite establishments in the UAE is to furnish excellent erudition in all scholastic establishments that gratify the requisites of scholars and the anticipations of their clans. This encompasses establishing a secure and incentivizing erudite milieu that fosters the comprehensive advancement of each scholar's persona.

Moreover, the outcomes of scrutinizations and assessments are utilized to pinpoint realms for amelioration and to proffer counsel to scholastic establishments on how they can enhance their efficacy and the caliber of erudition. This fosters the perpetual refinement of the pedagogic progression and the overarching standard of erudition in the realm.

Erudite authorization in the Emirates and associated scrutinizations and assessments further foster lucidity and answerability of erudite establishments to the populace. The repercussions of assessments are frequently disseminated, enabling progenitors and scholars to formulate enlightened determinations in electing an academy and evaluating the caliber of erudite provisions.

The office of scrutinies and assessments in the edificational licensure scheme in the United Arab Emirates cannot be overexaggerated. They not solely ascertain that lofty benchmarks of edificational worth are upheld, but also aid in the genesis of an atmosphere of perpetual betterment and advancement, which is pivotal in yielding adept and rivalrous alumni.

System of fines and sanctions for violation of licence requirements

Opening an educational organisation in the UAE requires strict compliance with licensing requirements and quality standards set by the local educational authorities. In the context of maintaining these standards, a system of fines and penalties plays a key role in ensuring that educational institutions comply with all necessary rules and regulations. This system provides for a number of measures directed at preventing and correcting any violations that may affect the quality of education provided.

If violations of licensing requirements are detected, educational institutions may face various types of sanctions, including warnings, fines, temporary suspension of the licence or even its complete cancellation. The amount of fines and the severity of the sanctions depend on the nature and severity of the violations. Minimal fines may be imposed for administrative offences, while more serious actions that undermine the safety and well-being of students may result in more severe measures.

The educational licensing process in the UAE involves regular inspections and assessments of educational institutions to monitor compliance with established standards. These inspections help to identify any potential problems at an early stage and give educational institutions the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments to improve the quality of the educational process.

It is important to note that the system of fines and sanctions not only penalises violations, but also serves as an incentive for educational institutions to continuously maintain high standards of education and strive for improvement. This emphasises the responsibility of educational institutions to students, their parents and society at large for providing quality and safe education.

Henceforth, the apparatus of mulcts and censures for transgressions of permit requisites stands as a pivotal implement in overseeing eruditional pursuits in the UAE, warranting exalted benchmarks of excellence and security in scholastic establishments and augmenting their perpetual advancement and refinement.


The educational licensing process in the UAE is a comprehensive system directed at ensuring high quality educational services and compliance with international standards. Strict requirements for infrastructure, teacher qualifications, and regular inspections and evaluations are key elements of this system, contributing to the effectiveness of the educational process and ensuring the safety and well-being of students.

The system of fines and sanctions for violations of licensing requirements underlines the seriousness of the approach to regulating the educational sphere and serves as an additional incentive for educational institutions to continuously improve their activities. At the same time, licensing promotes professional development and career growth of specialists, motivating them for continuous training and professional development.

Opening an educational institution in the United Arab Emirates requires not only compliance with all established rules and regulations, but also active engagement with the educational community and society at large. This implies not only fulfilment of formal requirements, but also striving for innovation, quality and continuous improvement of the educational process.

Thus, the procedure of registration of an educational licence in the UAE is an important tool in the hands of the state to regulate and control the quality of education, which ultimately contributes to the development of society, formation of highly qualified specialists and preparation of the young generation for successful life in a changing world.

Experts of our company are ready to provide all necessary information and full support for the procedure of obtaining an educational licence in the UAE. To contact us, please choose a convenient method from the Contact Us section.

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