Start Your Teaching Journey in the UAE

How to Start Your Teaching Journey in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, is becoming a top choice for those seeking to live and work overseas. Home to cosmopolitan cities, world-class infrastructure, and amazing amenities, it isn’t too surprising that more professionals than ever are heading to the Middle East in search of a better quality of life. 

While those working in the construction, finance, and technology industries are among those most drawn to the UAE, teachers are attracted to jobs here, too, thanks to the many benefits that educational institutions can offer them. In many cases, English teachers will receive bonuses such as free flights and inclusive accommodation as part of their contract, allowing them to save even more of their salary. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to start your teaching journey in the UAE, let’s dive into some of the paths you can take and the kind of lifestyle you could enjoy.

How Do I Teach English In The UAE?

If you’re wondering how to teach English in UAE, the first step is to get your TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification. You’ll need a 120-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited course provider to get a post here. While having a degree may give you an advantage in the job market, especially in education, it isn’t always crucial. Some language schools will be prepared to offer you a position if you are a native English speaker and have a TEFL certificate. 

Nevertheless, the education job market in the UAE can be competitive, so it’s important to do everything possible to make your CV stand out. The more experience you have, the more attractive you will be to employers, and if you’ve taken advanced and specialist TEFL courses, you’ll have an edge over your competitors. Knowledge of Arabic will also set you in good stead to secure a job. 

Where To Teach English In The UAE

The United Arab Emirates has seven principalities, each with its own hereditary ruler. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the two best-known emirates, with Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain less famous in the West. TEFL positions are highly sought after in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but those who are keen to relocate to the UAE may find it easier to secure a post in Sharjah, where there is less competition for roles. 

Although Arabic is the UAE’s official language, English is used throughout the Emirates and is usually a requirement to obtain a local job. That makes this part of the world a great option for any TEFL professional seeking an overseas post. 

The population of the UAE is extremely varied. Not only will you find many local ethnic groups, but there’s also an ever-growing number of ex-pats, which will give you lots of opportunities for socialization as well as employment. There’s no shortage of exciting things to do in your downtime, either. From the thriving arts and cultural scene in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, to Dubai’s luxury shopping malls and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Thanks to the impressive infrastructure, traveling between the Emirates is a breeze. Buses will transport you effortlessly from city to city, allowing you to explore and discover this fascinating destination during your leisure time. 

How To Find A Teaching Job In The UAE

There are many options when it comes to finding a teaching job in the UAE. Several education recruitment agencies specialize in finding qualified professionals for schools, academies, and colleges across the Emirates, with plenty of bonuses. There are well-known language schools that hire TEFL-certified teachers, while local UAE newspapers and overseas teaching companies also advertise vacancies on their websites. 

Another option is to work as an online English teacher while touring in the UAE. Online education is rapidly becoming a popular way to learn English. With a TEFL certificate, you can find work with one of the many online language schools, teaching English remotely to students all over the world. This is a particularly good option if you’re keen to gain more experience before applying for a teaching job on the ground in the UAE since those who are newly qualified are more likely to be able to secure an online teaching job than an in-person position in such a highly competitive region. 

There are some great benefits that come with online teaching too. You can arrange your own schedule and work as little or as much as you like, allowing you to fit your teaching commitments around your Middle Eastern travel and adventures. This will give you the greatest freedom to explore the Emirates while also earning an income. 

What To Expect When Living And Working In The UAE

One of the top reasons for relocating to the UAE is the excellent quality of life that English teachers can enjoy here. Salaries can be anywhere between US$1800 and US$5000 per month. With the average cost of living only being somewhere between US$1000 and US$1500 per month, that leaves plenty of money left over to add to your savings account or spend on travel or luxuries. A typical English teacher in the UAE will save around $800 each month after covering their essential expenses. 

Of course, the Middle Eastern culture is very different from what you may be used to at home, so it’s important to know the laws and expectations before you arrive. There are some strict regulations regarding dress codes and public displays of affection, for example, which must be adhered to if you want to avoid legal action and potentially severe penalties.

Nevertheless, as long as you do your research and are well-prepared for life in the UAE, you’re sure to find living and working in this part of the world a rewarding and exciting experience. With so much to see and do, it isn’t surprising that many professionals eventually choose to make this their permanent home. 

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