DUBAI, UAE, January 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Varkey Group, owned and managed by non-resident Indian entrepreneur Sunny Varkey, has announced ambitious expansion plans for India and other international markets.

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Celebrating 50 years of flag-bearing success in education and healthcare in the UAE, the Group which includes the private K12 education operator GEMS Education and the healthcare brands Welcare and City Hospitals, plans to provide quality education for five million students across the world by 2024.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, who was the guest of honour at the celebratory event, commended the role played by the Varkey family in contributing to building private education and healthcare infrastructure across the UAE.

Sunny Varkey, Chairman, said the Varkey Group aims to become the undisputed global pioneer and the number one education brand in the world. With our 2024 expansion plan we are flying the flag for Dubai and the UAE as a pioneering international business.

He said India will play a principal role in leading the Group's global expansion. India is one of the key destinations, where we already lead several educational initiatives including 17 schools in major cities. We plan to own or manage over 100 schools in India over the next few years.

Recipient of the Padma Shri award and Rajiv Gandhi Award for Eminent Educationist, Sunny transformed 'Our Own English High School,' the school set up by his parents, Mariamma Varkey and late K. S. Varkey, 50 years ago in Dubai, into a global enterprise through his acumen, vision and dynamic leadership.

In 1998, the Group expanded into healthcare with the Welcare Hospital, an advanced medical facility, which was the first hospital outside the US to have lab facilities certified by John Hopkins University. The City Hospital, a multidisciplinary speciality hospital, opened in Dubai in 2008.

GEMS Education provides high quality schooling for more than 100,000 students from 125 countries across three continents. It employs over 9,000 education professionals, specialists and staff from around the world.

The Varkey GEMS Foundation, a philanthropic trust founded by Sunny, introduced the Guruvar Awards in India where the winners receive over US$500,000 collectively. The programme honours over 144,000 teachers in about 3,000 schools across 45 cities in India.

For more information, please contact: Hiba Al Hafidh / Sara Hamam ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller PO Box 28063, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971-4-334-4550 Email: /

SOURCE: GEMS Education

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Hiba Al Hafidh / SaraHamam, ASDAA Burson-Marsteller, PO Box 28063, Dubai, UAE, Tel:+971-4-334-4550, Email: / .