Home to almost 10 million people, there is a large demand for English teachers in the UAE. It's the place where most of the best teaching jobs in the world can be found. So if you've ever considered teaching in the UAE, this article will cover most basic questions you could think of.
ABout the UAE
The two biggest emirates are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While the most lucrative teaching jobs are usually found in Dubai, many jobs are offered in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the country. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are both clean, modern and safe cities.
The UAE is home to many ex-pat workers, with teachers being far from the majority. In fact, of the close to 10 million people who live there, about 8 million are ex-pats. While the country is much more Westernised than its neighbours, it is still a Muslim country and many conservative customs are still followed.
Due to the money flowing around the Emirates, landing a job here is most ENglish teacher's dream.
Types of Jobs
For those wanting to teach, you can narrow jobs down to 4 basic categories, public schools, private schools, Universities and academies.
Public School jobs are usually found in Abu Dhabi and are highly sought after due to their high salary, prestige and list of benefits. The government of Abu Dhabi has been trying to give their students a brighter future by really pushing English education.
Private schools are located all around the country and unlike in some countries, it's very common for students to attend private schools over public ones. Private schools often have a more diverse range of students and you shouldn't be surprised to find ex-pat students in your classes.
University jobs or work on vocational schools involve teaching recently graduated students in more specialised fields. You will often need to specialise in a certain area (like the West, STEM degrees are like gold) in order to land one of these jobs.
Academies are the easiest of these jobs to get as they usually as less demanding in requirements and pay teachers less. Along with lower pay, the students in these after school, or University entrance academies will often be tougher to handle.
To work in public, private or vocational schools, you're going to need a minimum of a BA with a teaching license from your own country and a couple of years experience. Masters are also quite commonly required.
If you're lucky, you may land a job in an academy with only an unrelated BA, TEFL certificate and some experience. You will need to either hand contacts in the area or simply get lucky though. Competition is fierce.
SalarY & Benefits
Because of the wide variety of jobs on offer, it can be hard to give an average salary. They vary widely from $35000 to $70,000 per year. That might not sound that high initially, but keep in mind that on top of being tax free, you also have your flight, housing, health insurance and relocation allowance provided for free!.
After 12 months teaching here on even a basic salary, you should be looking to save at least $20 000, depending on your lifestyle.
In your downtime there's no shortage of things to do in the UAE. There are many world-class theme parks, malls, art shows, film festivals and international sporting events being held year round. In fact, at the time of writing England's cricket team is currently competing against Pakistan's in the UAE!
Like much of the Middle East, the culture of the UAE is incredibly diverse and old. There are amazing historical sites to explore such as Al-Bidyah Mosque (the oldest mosque in the Emirates). You'll also have every opportunity to wander though markets and bazaars and mingle with vendors.
Because of the high number of ex-pats living there, it's never hard to find people to hang out with. Finding friends is easier than you think when the country is packed full of short term, ex-pat workers.
UAE is also well place between Asia, Africa and Europe so that flight times are not very long, meaning you can fly to most destinations without even needing a layover.
With a high salary and lots of time off, travel is high in the list of most English teachers in the UAE. Emirates Airlines is based on Dubai and thousands of flights stop to transfer in Dubai on any given day. Flights to almost anywhere are cheap due to this.