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Sahar Cooper

UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Health & Education

Tomorrow’s leaders, today

CEO, Aldar Education


Sahar Cooper brings more than 25 years of experience in school leadership, global education management, and business acumen. She has been in her current position since October 2018.

Aldar Education is a pioneer in Abu Dhabi's education system, helping to prepare students for leadership roles and further learning.

Can you provide an overview of Aldar Education’s educational management philosophy and where the organisation is situated within Abu Dhabi’s educational ecosystem?
Aldar Education’s guiding philosophy is to deliver a globally focused education that shapes and empowers tomorrow’s leaders, today. By focusing on our core values of inclusivity, sustainability, and innovation, we are able to stay true to our philosophy. As a national education leader, the UAE’s rich and diverse culture, and tolerant values are at the core of our agenda. Students from over 100 nationalities are taught across the Aldar Education network by our core teaching team, which is comprised of over 50 nationalities. Staying true to our commitment of fostering the nation’s heritage, we have enhanced the delivery of Arabic and Islamic studies. Our commitment toward developing and shaping the nation’s talent implies that education should be accessible to all. Our programme of support for people of determination maximises inclusion in mainstream classes, with additional staff to facilitate personalised programmes of learning. We take a holistic view and maintain high expectations of social, emotional, behavioural, and academic progress for our people of determination. Aldar Education endorses an inclusive, sustainable education model that inspires changes in knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to enable a more sustainable and just society for our students and our communities. These initiatives, along with many others, have placed us at the forefront of shaping the nation’s pipeline of talent. Within the capital’s educational ecosystem, we lead by offering community-based learning experiences and for this very reason we have instigated various sector partnerships to inculcate and demonstrate environment-friendly practices among our students. The core element of our success is in creating an atmosphere of partnerships with all academic staff and parents. By encouraging participation from teachers and parents at every level, we are able to create an engaged community based on trust and a passion to improve the lives of our future generations.

What is Aldar Education’s view on integrating continuously changing technologies into the classroom experience?
Innovative classroom experiences are crucial, particularly as we prepare our students for higher education and employment in the future. For this very reason, we are investing significantly in technology and innovation. Introducing the latest and most advanced technologies across all schools as part of a drive to empower staff, students, and wider school communities with essential 21st-century skills. We remain a leading force within the UAE in incorporating technology within our facilities. Equipped with the latest technology in our classrooms such as AI-powered learning software, our teachers are able to customise the learning journey, depending on his/her needs and, therefore, we facilitate a more impactful and engaging learning environment. All our schools are accredited as Microsoft Showcase Schools, which helps us focus our delivery on learning and leading. We are planning to introduce world-recognized technology qualifications from Microsoft that students can enrol in whilst still in school. Through visual gaming tools, such as Minecraft Education, we are able to make teaching more focused and effective while engaging the minds of our students. Our recently launched LEGO® Education Innovation Studio offers a hands-on learning approach that actively involves students in their own learning process. By facilitating an innovative education experience and a comfortable learning environment, our students are able to take their learning a step forward and develop skills that will transform them into global citizens of the future.

How does Aldar Education work with the government to help advance education in the UAE?
At Aldar Education, we always strive to provide a holistic learning experience. With the support of a robust and dedicated team of education experts, we are working on strengthening Aldar Education’s partnership portfolio with multiple government and non-government entities to collaborate on initiatives that will benefit our students and communities. Our strategic partnership formed with the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is part of a joint initiative to provide a world-class education system. As a result of the partnership, we have implemented an expansion action plan including the inauguration, management and operation of Al Rayana School, a pilot for the Abu Dhabi’s Charter Schools programme, the very first of its kind to be introduced in the region. Through implementation of this system, we have witnessed a real difference in the learning experiences of our students with some of them surpassing national average scores, which is a momentous achievement given that this program is still in its infancy. Another testimonial of our commitment towards the community is our recent pledge to commit over 25,000 visits by our students to the Expo 2020 taking place in Dubai. We were among the select few to sign this commitment and extend our student’s learning environment beyond classrooms. Through these initiatives and many others, we are working closely with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai government to provide high-quality education with international standards, and a focus on Arabic, Islamic Studies and local culture.



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