Students in UAE class
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Private education boom in UAE

25 September 2011 Last updated at 12:40 BST

The annual scramble to secure places for children at the UAE's private schools is over and children are returning to the classroom.

About 80% of the country's population is expatriate so most youngsters are not entitled to state school tuition.

And this provides a massive opportunity for private companies to enter the education industry.

Some schools charge £20,000 a year but offer five star facilities. Others come without the frills and have fees of just a few hundred pounds.

With such a wide variation in prices and facilities, how does the country's need for a functioning education system stack up against the desire of these businesses to turn a profit?

Simon Atkinson reports.