Our heritage

From humble beginnings, GEMS Education has grown to become one of the world's largest private education providers

In 1959, teachers KS and Mariamma Varkey left Kerala, India for the United Arab Emirates, seeking a better life for their family. What they found in their new home was a real need to provide a quality education to the many children arriving in the city from across the world.

KS and Mariamma’s son, Sunny Varkey, added a visionary’s ambition to his parents’ practical experience, and from humble beginnings rooted in a family of teachers, GEMS Education has today become a truly global organisation and the largest K-12 private education providers in the world.

Drawing on a legacy spanning over 60 years, our mission remains unwavering: to put a quality education within the reach of every learner.

GEMS Education - Our heritage - Timeline