Bargain reports and analytics

How much do school supplies cost in the United Arab Emirates and in other countries?

PicodiAugust 21, 2018

Prices of schoolbooks, backpacks and school supplies are increasing every year. Check for yourself how the prices of these items vary in the United Arab Emirates and in other countries around the world.

The beginning of the school year is often connected with stress: not only for the future first graders, who suddenly need to grow up a little but also for the parents who need to face the financial side of this whole venture.

We have decided to analyze the costs of the first graders’ school supplies for the 2018 and to compare the spendings of the Emiratis with the expenditures of parents from other 36 countries where the school year starts in August or September.

In order to accomplish an objective analysis, we focused only on the basic yet essential products from the school supplies list. For instance, we resigned from the comparison of the prices of shoes or school uniforms as these matters are often decided by the local authorities or school principals. We left out student’s books as well. Our data is based on current prices in selected online stores in analyzed 36 countries. To calculate the average price, we have taken into consideration the items from the medium and low price ranges. While converting foreign currencies we used an average exchange rate from July 2018.

A few hundred pounds for a start


Since the analyzed basket consisted of over 27 products, we have divided the whole list of items into 4 categories: backpacks, basic stationery, creativity items, and PE clothing.

Every first grader needs a fine quality backpack that will give enough support and will not jeopardize the health of pupils considering they carry a lot of items inside. Although in the first grade the number of school subjects is relatively low when compared to the programme of the whole primary school, the backpack needs to have enough space to accommodate a pencil case, a folder with notebooks, a few textbooks, a lunchbox and a bottle of water. In Emirati shops, an average price of a quality backpack is AED 28.

For the most basic stationery set (notebooks, book sleeves, folder, pencil case, pens, pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener, and ruler) an average Emirati family will spend a significantly higher amount than for a backpack, that is AED 140 which is the most expensive part of the school supplies.
Of course, the matter of prices is individual and depends a lot on the financial possibilities of the family and the conscious choices of the parents, as some shops offer both very cheap and very expensive, branded products.

The art classes are absolutely significant when it comes to making the whole education process more pleasurable for children. Overall necessities useful during these classes are scissors, glue, construction paper, various kinds of poster colours, pencils, marker pens and plasticine. The total cost of these would be about AED 128, which is the second most expensive group of products in the school supplies list.

The standard PE kit for the first grader consists of sports shorts, training shoes and two basic white t-shirts. After analysing August deals from different online stores we have deduced that this part of pre-school shopping would consume AED 90.
The total cost of the school supplies for the first grader in the United Arab Emirates comes to AED 385.

Over 3% of Emiratis’ salary will be spent on the school supplies. Who expends more?


We have decided to check what is the cost of the school supplies in different countries in comparison to an average salary. Comparing and contrasting, we have acknowledged that in 2018 the school starter kit would be equal to 3.29% of an average monthly salary in the UAE.

Among other countries relatively smaller amount of money is spent on the school kits by the Saudis (3.62% of their salary), whereas Russians (18.91%), Brits (8.96%) and Turks (19.32%) spend more.

Definitely, the most expensive school supplies come to be in Nigeria and Moldavia where the school supplies costs are equal to 54.74% and 36.66% of a national average. In the meantime, in Sweden, Canada, France, Switzerland and the USA the costs are not greater than 4%.

If you would like to save money on school supplies for your child, you should consider shopping with Picodi. In Amazon, Aliexpress, Alibaba, eBay and Banggood, Picodi offers cashback, as well as discount codes, which will bring the total of your cart down significantly.

Public use

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