What’s It Like Living in the UAE as a Woman?

Whether you’re excited to explore a new culture or live among stunning modern architecture, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made its way into your top choices for teaching abroad.

Now, it’s time to learn more about living in the UAE as a woman. Let’s explore gender roles and opportunities in this Middle Eastern country – here are a few common questions women have about living in the UAE.


What roles do women play in UAE culture?

The constitution of the UAE proclaims equal rights for women and men, which allows females to assume professional positions in any sector, including education, military, business, and government appointments.

These laws also extend access to health services and family welfare assistance, according to the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington D.C.


Do women in the UAE have access to higher education?

Yes! Seventy percent of university graduates in the UAE are women. Within that pool, 46 percent hold degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. If you’re thinking of balancing a few university or post-graduate classes along with teaching in the UAE, it’s entirely possible with careful planning and time management.


Are there many female teachers in the UAE?

A report published by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) regarding women in the UAE states that 55 percent of primary school teachers and 65 percent of intermediate and secondary school teachers are women.

The region is proud of their General Women’s Union (GWU), which supports literacy programs, provides vocational training, job placement services, and family mediation services to help women get the jobs they want.


How should women dress in the UAE?

The tourism-focused Visit Abu Dhabi website suggests being respectful of the local Islamic traditions related to clothing, food, and drink while feeling free to practice your own religion and a respectful, liberal dress code. You’ll notice both women and men wearing headscarves and long, loose robes over their clothing.

To best mesh with the culture, female teachers should dress modestly, especially in the outlying areas where residents are more conservative. We’ve also created a downloadable pdf about lifestyle limitations in the UAE that has more information on it.

Women are an integral part of the workforce and family structures in the United Arab Emirates. Traveling to the UAE as a teacher allows you to explore a region that’s rapidly modernizing and putting gender equality at the forefront of their initiatives.

If you’d like to learn more about the language, weather, and job opportunities in this region, view our helpful guide on teaching in the UAE.


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