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Teaching English in the United Arab Emirates 101

Qualified English teachers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can realistically expect to make $1,800 - $5,000 (or more) tax-free a month with benefits including airfare to and from the assignment, health insurance, and even furnished housing.  Dubai, and Abu Dhabi receive a high number of English teaching inquiries due to the fact that Dubai, in particular, is known for its fantastic assortment of shopping, dining and other attractions (the 160 story Khalifa Tower and indoor ski slopes, for example), in addition to its cosmopolitan reputation as a center of trade, finance, and tourism.

A minimum of a 4-year college degree (BA/BS) and a TEFL certification is typically required to teach English in the UAE. Many schools also require prior teaching experience and/or a Master's Degree. Want to learn more, read What are the Basic Requirements to Teach English in the United Arab Emirates [Including Dubai & Abu Dhabi]?

Because the UAE is considerably smaller than Saudi Arabia and a coveted destination for foreigner 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 less well known Emirates like Sharjah.


Check Out Stories & Videos from Alumni Teaching in the UAE!

Many schools and universities begin in August-September, so spring and summer tend to be excellent times to look for jobs, but job vacancies do open throughout the year.

Most teachers are interviewed and hired in advance from their country and have their visa processed before their departure for their teaching destination. To receive their visa, teachers should expect to pass a physical and an HIV test, and in many cases, academic transcripts and a criminal background check may also be necessary. Expect the processes of interviewing and procuring a visa to take at least 1-3 months.

English teaching jobs for teaching English in the UAE are concentrated in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain and other large cities.

For more information about teaching English in the UAE, check out our UAE Resource Hub! 

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