Dubai Aims to be a Global Model with Rahhal

A new initiative launched by the KHDA wants to challenge the 300 year old, industrial approach to education, and replace it with something that recognises all knowledge and learning is equally valid.
Dubai Aims to be a Global Model with Rahhal
By Veathika
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The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai has launched a new initiative which could revolutionise education and learning in the country.

The fundamental principle is to move away from the traditional "300 year old" approach to learning, towards something capable of arming tomorrow's workers who "will be in jobs that don't even exist yet". has sent off a number of questions to the KHDA to get more detail however what we have been told so far is that the pilot “Rahhal” project is a "flexible and accessible education model providing knowledge, skills and experiences to the community at any age". It recognises "all the learning that takes place [both in and outside of a classroom], enabling learners to build upon their experiences and present those to employers as attested, official proof of their learning history".

Under the Rahhal system even hobbies would be considered legitimate learning - as valid as traditional examinations.

Intriguingly, students would not need to go to one school but be able to to study part-time at two, three or even four different mainstream schools.

The pilot project will kick start in September 2018.  According to Dr Abdulla Al Karam, the KHDA's Director General:

“We are now putting the prototypes and processes in place to pilot the program by September 2018, this in consideration with the beginning of the 2018/19 academic year. In May 2019, we’re going to bring our partners and stakeholders together to review what went well and what could have gone better. At that point, we’ll be ready to put together future recommendations and roll out Rahhal to all residents in Dubai.”

Parents, who would want to home school their children or within their own community, will be free to do so.

Adults who wish to continue learning can design their own programmes, according to their needs and schedules.

Older children who wish to learn “on the job” – whether one job or six – will have that option available.


The initiative offers a framework that can be customised to the needs of each specific learner. Learning content will come organically from the community – private sector organisations, volunteering groups, community groups, among others and will be supported by employers, to ensure that what learners are learning is also what they’ll be doing and using as they progress in their lives.

“Rahhal has been inspired by our partners in the community, who we consulted during the ideation phase and who we continue to consult while implementing the initiative.

"Our partners include parents of neuro-typical students, gifted and talented students and ‘students of determination’, parents who homeschool their children, education consultants, policy think-tanks, private-sector organizations and other employers, universities, local government bodies, school principals and teachers, qualification and certification organizations, and of course, students,” said Dr Abdullah.

Further details as we get them.

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