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Getting schools ready for the future is among the key features of GESS Dubai as organisers announced the conference programme for this year’s edition of the leading education conference and exhibition in the Middle East.

“The UAE has just declared education to be its top priority as it seeks to consolidate future growth. For education to be a pillar of such development, internal and external stakeholders must push its advancement, in all aspects, to ensure it is capable of contributing to society as expected,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, Tarsus, organisers of the GESS portfolio of education exhibitions and conferences all over the world.

At GESS Dubai, set to take place on 25-27 February 2020 at the Sheikh Saeed Halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre, leading local and international experts expected to share insights on current advances in education technology, with a new Immersive Technology Stage featuring interactive sessions on Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies as practised in advanced classrooms around the world. 

Renowned experts will also lead presentations and workshops on curriculum development, design environments and other important topics that will help shape the future of education in the region.

For Gilda Scarfe, CEO and Founder, Positive Ed, at the centre of future-proofing schools is equipping teachers with the right skills that will enable them to prepare 21st century-ready students.

According to Scarfe, often the focus is on what skills students need to acquire. While that is important, she says teachers also need to be equipped with certain skills set that will help them shape the leaders of tomorrow. “We need professionals who are culturally competent, talented, innovative and creative problem-solvers, skilled and critical thinkers. New technologies give an opportunity to encourage critical thinking,” Scarfe added.

Raghav Podar, Chairman, Podar Education, which operates the acclaimed multi-city and multi-branded Podar schools, calls for aligning digital technologies with student skills. “Digitising education delivery should be aligned with the proper development of student skills for the new century. We need to make sure that we are developing the right skills in children while riding the digital wave.

Meanwhile, renowned international education advisor Helen Wright will deliver a presentation on how schools can achieve global competencies.

A former Vice-Chair of the UK Independent Schools Council and a school inspector who led top independent schools in the UK and Australia for 13 years, Wright will also share insights from her recently published book about a 3-step process on how to develop globally competitive students.

These presentations are among the 300 workshops and sessions that will take place during the 3-day conference at GESS Dubai, more content and learning opportunities for education professionals than in previous years. In addition, teachers get the extra benefit of obtaining CPD certificates for attending.

Happening alongside the conference is the exhibition showcasing products and solutions from a wide range of local and international companies and brands.

Acknowledged as the premier education B2B event in the MENA region, with international visitors coming from 68 countries, GESS Dubai is organised in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Education, as well as supported by the Ministry of Education Bahrain, Ministry of Education Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Arab Bureau of Education for Gulf States (ABEGS) and British Schools in the Middle East (BSME).

Registration to GESS Dubai is now open online at and is free to education professionals over the age of 16.


Make the most out of your visit to GESS Dubai, by checking which of the following conference areas are of interest to you:

  • GESS Talks Arena

Features an exciting range of talks from individual keynotes, to panel session and 1-2-1 interview-style conversations. With inspirational keynotes and dynamic movers and shakers, these sessions are designed to inspire and engage to help administrators and education professionals learn about the latest global education trends and to push your education agenda forward.

  • Neuroscience and Wellbeing

Showcases a series of talks from consultants, and educators on wellbeing and special education needs (SEN) in an inclusive environment in schools. David Hodgson Master NLP practitioner is back for 2 days by popular demand and will outline the latest international research to help educators learn how to boost, motivate and inspire both themselves and their students to achieve the very best.

  • GESS Talks Active

Experience the power of music, drama, art and exercise to get your students active, smiling and engaged. Bring an open mind, a bottle of water and some comfy shoes to experience it for yourself.

  • Future Learning

Essential workshops by educators for educators. Learn from the very best, experience real stories from schools and see students and teachers showcase themselves. These sessions are interactive and thought-provoking, looking at innovations in teaching and will range from the latest trends and new concepts across all areas of education

  • Innovation Stage

Find out about the latest innovations in products and services from our exhibitors for educators today, featuring case histories, interactive showcases, features and benefits of products. Be empowered and ask the questions you’ve always wanted to, experience these dynamic workshops first-hand and learn how to future proof your school.

  • GESS Bites

These dynamic, insightful and fast-paced sessions are designed to get visitors thinking on a variety of education viewpoints and inspirations to foster change, conversations and collaboration.

  • Education in Action

Focusing on what happens in schools, these practical and dynamic sessions will showcase the latest innovations in education. Covering all aspects of education and demonstrating best practice to improve and enhance teaching and learning. Find out about key global education issues, the latest trends and technology as well as entrepreneurship, life skills and vocational training.

  • Leadership Stream

Exclusively for Leaders in Education members, these sessions are aimed at leaders within education from pre-school, K12 to those from HE/FE colleges and universities. Looking at the challenges that leader of schools and educational institutions face, the qualities required to make a good leader and the skills required to advance in senior positions.

  • Future Leaders

This series of workshops are designed for those wanting to know more about stepping into leadership and acquiring useful skills and insights into the techniques and skills essential to aspiring leaders.

  • Immersive Technology Stage

Augmented and virtual reality are rapidly transforming the way that students interact with multimedia content in classrooms across the globe. This dedicated space will showcase immersive technology and host a range of expert speakers, both local and international, to share best practice in the use of AR and VR for learning.