Teaching English in Dubai

A lot of foreign teachers are tempted by the idea of teaching English in Dubai. Dubai is one of the top-earning locations known for its high salary, rent-free accommodation, and potential bonuses.

Overview
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Schools
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Salary
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FAQ
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Facts

Overview

A lot of foreign teachers are tempted by the idea of teaching English in Dubai. It might be because of the high tax-free salary. Besides that, accommodation is also typically covered and bonuses are handed out for completing contracts.

But first, you have to realize that Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a fusion of many cultures and people. It’s estimated that 90% of the 10 million people that live there are expats. The majority of foreign teachers believe that the Emirates is generally friendly to Western people. It is believed to be like a stepping stone before Saudi Arabia.

There are mixed experiences about teaching English in Dubai. The climate is hot and humid. The beaches are clean in general. Public transportation is affordable, but renting an apartment yourself is not.  There are big fines for spitting, littering, and breaking the law.

Schools

Schools have high expectations for teacher qualifications.  Usually, you need a teacher’s license for teaching English in Dubai. You might be able to slip into a language center with just a Bachelor’s degree.  You’re looking good if you have an M.A. TESOL or Degree in Applied Linguistics.

Be flexible. Be prepared. You need a bit more than TEFL certification because TEFL jobs are hard to find. Many go by word of mouth before they reach the external advertising stage. This is where networking comes in handy.

In all jobs, expect to be putting a full 40 hour weeks, 5 days a week because you often don’t get light workloads. You could be using a curriculum off the shelf or creating your own as required. Be prepared for extra paperwork, activities, and obligations when you’re teaching English in Dubai.

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Salary

You can earn anywhere from $3,500 to 5,500 USD (12,000 – 20,000 AED) per month. The salary is fantastic. And even better is that it’s tax-free. UAE also offers bonuses for completing contracts and flight reimbursements.

One of the most important things you should look out for in your contract is that it includes housing. You don’t want to pay for this out of your own pocket because housing is expensive compared to other Gulf countries.

The savings potential is very high in the UAE. The cost of food is cheaper than in Saudi Arabia and transportation costs are on par with the rest of the Gulf. It’s possible to save anywhere from $800-1,000 USD monthly salary if that’s what you’re looking to do.

Certification

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An accredited TEFL program clearly focused on classroom teaching and lesson planning.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drink alcohol in the UAE?

The current rule is that yes you can drink in UAE if you hold a liquor license. You are allowed to drink in your own home, apartment, or hotel room. But check up on the latest laws for alcohol rules and regulations in the United Arab Emirates.

Why is it called the United Arab Emirates and where does Dubai fit in?

The UAE is an elective monarchy formed from a federation of seven emirates. The emirates consist of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain.

How bad is the driving there?

Driving is not as bad as in Saudi Arabia. There are camera towers everywhere checking for speeding, tailgating, and ruler breaking. Some cameras are recording 24 hours a day and help determine who is at fault in a car accident.

How much can you make teaching English in Dubai?

The United Arab Emirates is one of the top-earning locations for salary.  You can earn anywhere from $3,500 to 5,500 USD (12,000 – 20,000 AED) per month. But the qualifications to get hired are strict if you can find a job at all.

Do you need a degree to teach there?

Usually, you need a teacher’s license for teaching English in Dubai.  A Bachelor’s Degree might be sufficient for you to work in a language center.  If you have an M.A. TESOL or Degree in Applied Linguistics, these qualifications are most sought-after in universities.

Facts

  • Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest skyscraper at a height of 828 meters.

  • The largest mall in the world is located in the United Arab Emirates.

  • Burj Al Arab is the world’s first seven-star hotel.

  • There is virtually no crime in UAE with a crime rate close to zero.

  • Ski Dubai is a ski resort located in the middle of the desert.

  • Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a Formula One motor racing event.

  • Dubai has four human-made islands shaped like palm trees.

  • The literacy rate in UAE is very high (93%).

  • Oil exports accounts for about 30% of Gross Domestic Product.

  • No one pays income tax in Dubai.