TEACH ENGLISH IN THE UAE

About Teaching English in the UAE

Known as a world center of trade and commerce with world-class shopping, dining, and infrastructure, the UAE is one of the most sought after destinations for English teachers in the world. Teachers are drawn not only by the fantastic lifestyle and travel opportunities, but also by excellent salaries that enable them to save $1,500 a month or more(much more in some cases), and enjoy benefits like free airfare, housing, paid vacation, and health insurance.

Because the UAE is a small nation (population just under 10 million) and a coveted destination for foreign teachers, the job market is extremely competitive.  Beginning TEFL teachers may find it difficult to be hired here, as most jobs will go to experienced teachers with advanced credentials. Those with lesser credentials should consider applying for positions in less well-known emirates like Sharjah.

Teach English in the UAE Teach English in the UAE


English teachers primarily work in either private language schools, international schools, or language institutes catering to adults. It's typical to teach about 20-25 hours per week and then expect an additional 10-12 hours on average for lesson planning and grading.  With frequent holidays and paid time off in the summer in most cases, teachers have ample opportunities to enjoy travel opportunities throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and India as well.

Teaching Requirements

TEFL CERTIFICATION

A TEFL certification is typically required to teach English in the UAE, and it's common for schools to prefer applicants with advanced credentials or extensive teaching experience.

Interviews are typically conducted in advance from your home country. Because of this, it is most common for students to take one of our TEFL course options listed below:

Other options include our 4-Week In-Person Chicago, USA TEFL Course or our other in-person TEFL courses in 20 locations worldwide.

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

Schools in the UAE prefer to hire native English speakers - this means teachers with citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. There are, however, some exceptions so be sure to get in touch with your ITA Admissions Advisor to discuss this in further detail.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

At a minimum, English teachers will need to possess a bachelor’s degree in addition to their TEFL certification. With that said, many schools in the UAE will require teachers to possess a degree specifically in education or a master’s degree (often in any field). Many will strongly prefer candidates to have previous teaching experience and/or a teaching license from a country like the U.S or the U.K.

TEFL Jobs in the UAE

JOB TYPES

The most common job types in the UAE consist of:

  • Teaching adults, business professionals, or children in private language schools and occasionally in vocational colleges.
  • Teaching children and teenagers in International schools.
  • Private tutoring both children and adults.
  • Teaching English Online.

HIRING & VISA

English teachers in the UAE can expect to find jobs year-round. Interviews are typically conducted via video chat in advance from your home country.

In addition, it is standard practice for English teachers in the UAE to receive a sponsored work visa via their employer.

HOURS

English language schools in the UAE typically offer 20-25 hours per week of work, leaving you plenty of opportunities to travel and explore.

STUDENTS

There are a variety of teaching opportunities in the UAE with all different demographics. It is most common that your students will be adults and business professionals, but it's also possible to teach elementary and high school-aged children.

Salary & Cost of Living

START-UP COSTS

Start-up costs will range from $1,500 - $2,500 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in the UAE until you receive your first paycheck, things like meals and transportation. This doesn't include costs for housing because it's typically provided by your employer. 

SALARY

A solid hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in the UAE and save each month after expenses. Teachers can expect to earn $1,800 - $5,000 USD per month and save 800+ per month

On top of generous pay, it's common for employers to pay for teacher's housing and sometimes even provide reimbursement for flight costs. 

COST OF LIVING & SAVINGS

The cost of living typically ranges between $1,000-$1,500 USD per month.

English teachers in the UAE can expect to save money each month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, and also save money at the end of the month. 

 

What does teaching in the UAE look like?

Watch ITA alumna Katie Ayers show us a day in her life living and teaching English in the UAE.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day in the life videos from our alumni. Also, check out the UAE Ebook below to learn more about what your life as a teacher in the UAE could look like!

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Teaching English in the UAE FAQs

What are the basic requirements to teach English in the UAE?

To teach English in the UAE, make sure you understand what is and is not required:

Required:

  • A TEFL certification
  • A four-year college degree is required and many employers strongly prefer teachers who possess a degree specifically in education or a master's degree (in any field).
  • Many employers strongly prefer candidates who have prior teaching experience and/or a teaching license.
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available

Not Required:

  • School's typically prefer to hire native English speakers but there are occasional exceptions. 

Read More: What are the Requirements to Teach English in the UAE? [Including Dubai & Abu Dhabi]

What type of visa can I use to teach English in the UAE?

It is standard practice for English teachers in the UAE to receive a sponsored work visa which will be processed in their home country before departure.

How much money can I make teaching English in the UAE?

A generous hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle and save money each month while in the UAE. Teachers can expect to make $1,800 - $5,000 USD per month. On average, teachers save up $800+ per month after expenses.

Start-up costs will range from $1,500 - $2,500 USD with the cost of living typically ranging between $1,000-$1,500 USD per month.

Read More: What Are Salaries for English Teachers in the Middle East?

Recommended TEFL Courses for Teaching English in the UAE

Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 170-Hour Online Certification
  • 11 Weeks Part-Time
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 20-Hours Live Practice Teaching

Intensive Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 4 Weeks Full-Time (40+ hours per week) - required class time typically 6-8 hours daily
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 10-Hours Live Practice Teaching (Virtual) built into the course
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Why Our Alumni Love Us!

Katie Ayers

Teaches English in the UAE

Katie Ayers

Dubai is home of the world record lifestyle. You can literally do anything. You want to go skiing? Done, play with monkeys? No problem, stand at the top of the tallest building? Okay! Sky dive? Yea, it’s Tuesday, of course! Stay at a 7 star hotel? Who doesn’t want to do that!

Carmen Oswalt

Teaches English in the UAE

Carmen Oswalt

I am currently teaching kindergarten at an international school, with a large majority of my students are native Arabic speakers. I find myself using many of the different techniques that I learned through ITA with my students every day.

Adam Lucente

Teaches English in the Middle East

Adam Lucente

You’re living in the Middle East. You probably won’t be living there forever. So live in the now, and don’t think too much about back home or your next move. Appreciate the experience for what it is, and do things one can only do in the Middle East. 

Visit the the UAE section of our blog to read more articles and stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in the UAE.