Mindfulness Practices on Rise in Dubai

Youth Mindfulness
A new trend focusing on students emotional well-being is on a rise in Dubai. Private schools like Greenfield Community School (GCS) and GEMS Founders have recently introduced first of its kind meditation-like Mindfulness practices in Dubai to improve focus and emotional intelligence among students. On similar lines, some schools in Dubai have also collaborated with “The Institute of Habits for Mind” to enhance the behavioural skills of children through interactive methods.

What is Mindfulness Practices?
Mindfulness is a meditative practice that trains the mind to be present, self-aware and joyful. Mindfulness practices help children to develop concentration, increase compassion and empathy for others and effectively handle difficult thoughts and emotions. By learning and practising mindfulness, children learn to better control their emotions, see life with much-needed clarity and overcome emotional setbacks.

Key Features – Youth Mindfulness

  • Focuses on the breath
  • Pays attention to the events occurring to child’s mind and body
  • Broadens perspective, enabling the child to see things beyond his/her frame of reference

Benefits – Youth Mindfulness

  • Reduce anxiety, depression and stress
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Improve relationship with others
  • Enhance attention span
  • Boost self-esteem

Emerging Trends – Practicing Mindfulness
In next few years, it is very likely that more schools and institutes in Dubai will embrace and adapt mindfulness practices. This is because educators and parents will realise the importance of such practices on personal development of children.

Additionally, Dubai’s socio-economic construct is such that majority of the parents’ either have a full-time working career, more than one child or have social commitments, due to which they are unable to spend quality time with children. As a result, children go through emotional setbacks and childhood stress which affects their emotional wellbeing. Hence, mindfulness practices provide a great platform to parents to tackle behavioural issues in children.

Dubai’s Private Education Sector Overview
In recent years, Dubai’s education sector has grown significantly to contribute 1.7% towards Dubai’s GDP, generating revenues (earnings from tuition fees) of AED 6.1 billion ($1.7 billion) in 2015-16 from the private education system.

The preference for private schools is high in Dubai as more than 90% of the students are enrolled in private schools. As of 2016-17, there were 196 private schools registered in Dubai and the number is expected to increase to 279 by 2020. Similarly, the private student enrolments (Kindergarten – 12 grade) are also expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.6% from 265,299 in 2016 to 366,562 by 2020.

Mindfulness Segment – Investment Opportunities
The mindfulness segment in Dubai’s education sector is still in introduction phase allowing investors and educators to capitalise on first movers advantage and low competition. The market conditions are favourable as private student enrolments (265,299) accounts for nearly 10% of Dubai’s population (2,746,705) as of March 2017.

Likewise, ease of market entry, zero income tax, positive socioeconomic indicators and high returns on private education investments provides enormous opportunities for educational investors that are willing to invest in mindfulness segment.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com
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