The high wages on offer in the United Arab Emirates mean that employers expect the best teachers to be applying for their roles – don’t be surprised to see that interviews won’t be granted to teachers with fewer than 3 years of teaching experience (sometimes five years) and an MA alongside other qualifications. You can boost your chances if you have experience teaching the IB, IELTS or Business English. Something else that lives up to expectations aside from the generous wages in the UAE is the heat, so if you’re bothered by warm weather, definitely give it a second thought before jetting off to this hot climate. Another thing to consider are the cultural differences you’ll experience in this part of the world, with some regulations that expats find stifling to their quality of life. However, if these are all factors you can live with, the UAE is one of the top places on the globe to find a financially lucrative, long-term teaching role..
Where to find work in the United Arab Emirates
Getting a work visa can be quite tricky as you need to be sponsored for one by your employer or pay to get office space in a special area. For teaching couples, it’s easier to get a work visa if your married partner has an officially sponsored one. Some schools prefer to hire teachers who are already living locally, so if you aren’t having luck in your job search, consider the option of travelling on a tourist visa and finding work once you hit the ground. However, it’s a good idea to apply well in advance for your move to the UAE as some schools can take five or 6 months to complete all the paperwork and prepare for your arrival. With the school year starting in September, the best time to apply is in the spring. Bear in mind that contracts are often for two or three years here, so it can be a great place for experienced TEFL teachers who want to settle down for a while – especially if you’re bringing your family and want a bit of stability. There’s also plenty of opportunities for career development, with roles such as Head of Department and Head Teacher roles coming up frequently.
Employers in the United Arab Emirates
Berlitz has centres in Dubai and Sharjah. If you don’t have a teaching degree, a CELTA or TEFL will be essential. Minimum contract length is 2 years and contracts often start in September. It’s preferred to have several years of teaching experience. Lessons are for 50 minutes and you can expect to teach up to 24 lessons her week.
In any country, the British Council will usually pay the highest salary of all TEFL positions in the city, but with such high wages in the UAE, BC is around the industry standard. You’ll need several years of experience to apply and many successful candidates have already taught with BC before applying here.
To teach with Direct English you need a TEFL qualification, a BA degree, and two years of teaching experience.
Footprints Recruiting hires teachers for Dubai and the UAE (and other locations). They boast a quick response time after filling in their online application form. Salaries can be anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000, depending on your experience and credentials. Most jobs include housing and other bonuses such as return flights, extensive holidays , health insurance (for you and your family too), a relocation allowance, an annual travel allowance, school fees for your kids, and a completion bonus at the end of your contract. Positions are in public schools (usually in Abu Dhabi), private schools, vocational colleges, and language academies.
Check the website for current job vacancies at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University.
Khaleej Times is a newspaper with an online jobs listing (which is quite tricky to navigate – go to More and then Jobs).
Experience teaching IELTS will be a plus when applying to the Speak English Institute in Dubai.
Teach Away lists a vast number of teaching jobs, from basic roles to subject specialists and HOD positions.
There are over 140 international schools in Dubai alone. Check out this list to see which ones the International School Advisor reckons are the top 20. You can find schools following an English curriculum where PGCE qualified teachers will fit in easily, and also schools following the IB where previous experience will put you in good stead.