Teach English in the UAE
High salaries, high quality of life, warm weather and unique experiences. Teaching opportunities are opening up in the best cities in the UAE, providing you with great career development with amazing benefits!
A few facts about the UAE:
Approximately 80% of the UAE population is comprised of expatriates. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the fastest growing and modern cities of the UAE, Abu Dhabi claims to have the majority of the oil reserves in the country and Dubai is seen as the financial hub of the country. Both cities are top tourist destinations and very desirable for expats to live in, which is one reason that had led to economic growth. Ajman, on the other hand, is a small up-and-coming emirate that has been growing steadily in prominence.
Arabic is the official language in the UAE, although English is widely spoken and road signs are all in both English and Arabic. The majority of the local citizens follow the Islamic religion and are surprisingly open-minded to other religions as you will find Christian churches spread around each Emirate. Regarding climate, it is quite comfortable with a temperature range of 11 to 25 degrees Celsius from October through March, and in the summer, the weather reaches an average temperature of between 45-47 degrees Celsius.
Opportunities for teachers
There are countless opportunities for teaching jobs in UAE, teaching jobs in Dubai and teaching jobs in Abu Dhabi. The majority of the openings are for licensed teachers in all subject areas either in public or private schools. UAE has become one of the most popular locations for teaching abroad. Most of the schools prefer or require a 2-3 year contract while offering a great salary with great benefit packages including accommodation, flights, health insurance and education allowances for dependents. It is a great place to start with if you want to save some money and get some great travel experience. Teaching Nomad has teaching jobs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and others!
Salaries for teaching in Dubai and UAE often range from $35,000 - $55,000 USD/annually, considerably more for administrators. Compensation packages usually include housing or a housing allowance along with relocation money and end of contract bonuses.
Teaching IB in the UAE
As of 2020, there are 48 schools in the UAE that use the IB curriculum. This equates to over a thousand IB teaching positions, many of which are available to foreign teachers. Learn more about teaching IB in the UAE, and check out the history and an overview of teaching IB abroad in our blog.
UAE may not be as conservative as Saudi Arabia, but there are a couple of things you should know in order to get you started. In most cities of the UAE, you can consume alcohol in bars, restaurants, and hotels, except in Sharjah where you pay high penalties and get deported if you get caught to be drinking alcohol publically or privately. Before you can buy any alcohol, you will need to obtain an alcohol license to buy and consume alcohol in the UAE. An important tip for the non-Muslims during the Ramadan season is that you should NOT eat, drink or smoke in public places from sunrise to sunset, and most of the restaurants are closed during the day.
Teaching in Dubai
Dubai has quickly become one of the most popular destinations for foreigners, whether for long-term stays or short trips. People are drawn to its beautiful beaches, low crime rate, and flourishing skyline. Teachers, in particular, are excited by the possibility of teaching in Dubai because of its tax-free salaries.
Every day thousands of businesspeople and foreigners fly in and out of the country, and the business sector is growing almost as rapidly as the skyline. This creates a high demand for English teachers, as the importance of being able to speak and read the language becomes more crucial with every passing day.
When you think of Dubai, you may think of glitz and glamour. From the beaches to Lamborghinis to endless shopping malls, the whole city sparkles with innovation. The students are diverse, as people come from all over the world to live in the city. This also provides endless opportunities for teachers looking to go on an adventure and teach in Dubai!
Schools in Dubai are constantly looking for teachers that specialize in all sorts of subjects! The main thing to remember about teaching in the UAE is that you need to hold a degree that matches the subject that you teach. For example, if you'd like to teach biology, you need to hold a degree in biology.
The tax-free salary is a huge plus, but the cost of living in Dubai is pretty high. Rent and groceries are expensive, but budgeting carefully will ensure that you save however much money you'd like.
Teaching in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is full of palm trees, beautiful flowers, and green grass. The scenery is breath-taking, and Abu Dhabi is one of the biggest emirates in the UAE. This means that you’ll meet diverse groups of people and have access to some western amenities.
Teaching in Abu Dhabi will be an exciting adventure from start to finish. It will be challenging to get used to the lifestyle and culture, but you’ll likely be teaching in a modern school that works hard to provide top tier education for its students. This means that you will be expected to work hard, and strong classroom management skills are required.
Teachers that go to Abu Dhabi to teach say that it was one of the best experiences of their lives. The students can be rowdy but teaching here provides the perfect opportunity to gain invaluable experience. The education system in the Middle East is undergoing constant reform, and you’ll get to be a part of that!
Teaching in Sharjah
Sharjah is a dry and conservative emirate. It shares a border with all 6 of the other emirates as well, so traveling between them (especially to Dubai) is quite easy! Sharjah is the cultural capital of the Arab World, and people that live there absolutely love it.
A few interesting facts that teachers love are:
- The UAE’s first schools were set up in Sharjah in 1907. It’s called Al Tamimiya School, and its establishment is a very important part of Sharjah’s history.
- The UAE’s first library was also established in Sharjah in 1933. It’s called Al Taymeya, and there’s a lot of history behind it.
There’s a large number of expats that live in Sharjah, so it’s likely that many of your colleagues in your new school will be foreigners. Living in Sharjah also comes with convenient access to schools, hospitals, grocery stores, entertainment, and restaurants.
Teaching in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah is an emirate that values community, and you’ll find that your neighbors and colleagues will really try to get to know you. Joining groups online for expats in RAK will help you to find and make new friends as well.
Teachers in this emirate have an excellent work-life balance, and they get to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather and nearby beaches in their off-time. You will likely want to invest in a car or make friends with someone that’s willing to share or drive you around.
Teachers that have gone to teach in RAK have said that it’s less hectic than it is in bigger emirates. This gives teachers more time to enjoy the mountains, beaches, and desert landscapes found throughout the UAE.
A good place to meet other expats is Al Hamrah where there are themed nights and brunches on the weekends.
RAK currently has about 10 international higher education institutes as well as many private/international schools with different curriculums such as American, British, Arabic, and Indian. The education sector in Ras Al Khaimah is constantly growing and developing, so if you plan on staying to teach here for a while, you’ll likely see improvements and changes within the systems in place.
Teaching in the UAE FAQ List
Do I need to speak another language in UAE? >
It is not required to speak another language but learning the basics of Arabic, which is the official language would be helpful. English is used amongst business and public professionals.
Does Teaching Nomad have fees? >
Teaching Nomad does not charge fees for our teacher position placement services, our fees are paid by the schools. But we do charge for our online or classroom-based TEFL certification.
What’s the weather and temperature like? >
Though the climate is desert it can be very pleasant during the winter months. The climate is quite comfortable with a moderation of 11 to 25 degrees Celsius (51 – 77 Fahrenheit) from October till March, as for the summer the weather reaches get very hot with highs 45-47 C (113-116 F) degrees.
How long is the process to find a job? >
Once you’re ready to begin the process, we here at Teaching Nomad will start searching for teaching positions based on your experience, credentials, interests, and needs. The UAE follows the same school schedule as western countries with the school year starting in August. Therefore the peak hiring season is October – May. Applications are encouraged year around and there are always some openings for the Spring semester.
What about a work visa? >
All employers Teaching Nomad works within the UAE, offer a work visa. We will make sure to keep you informed during the processing and make sure all your paperwork is filed correctly.
What are the requirements to teach in the UAE? >
Government-run schools in UAE always require a formal teaching license from your home country. Private schools also usually require this, but can sometimes be more flexible. However, as a general rule, a teaching license and/or degree in education will be required. A minimum of 2 years of experience in your subject field is also usually required.
Should I be worried about my health? Do I need vaccines? >
The UAE is a developed nation with no outstanding diseases or outbreaks. For anyone with special requirements, consider consulting with your doctor about having your vaccines and immunizations up to date. It is also mandatory that all expats have health insurance – which your school will provide.
Why should I teach English in UAE? >
Teaching English in the UAE can be very rewarding. Not only will you travel across the globe to experience a new culture, but you’ll be compensated with high wages, great accommodation, and the ability to teach English in a welcoming environment.
What type of teaching jobs are available? >
The UAE has a wide range of teaching positions available. Teaching positions will be within the UAE public school system or privately owned mainstream (K-12) school. Foreign teachers are needed for all subjects including math, history, science, English, and more. Also, you may work with learners from K-12 as well as University level.
Are there many foreigners in the UAE? >
Yes, the UAE has one of the highest expat to local ratios in the world. In the public school system, foreigners compose between 25-35% of the teaching staff. Also, the overall population is expatriates, with more than 70% of the general population.