TEFL

Teaching English in the UAE

Interested in teaching English in the United Arab Emirates? Here's a breakdown of things to consider before taking the leap.

Posted on 29-04-2012 by Kim Loe - 45 Comments.

The United Arab Emirates is both one of the youngest and one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. The nation itself only formed just over 40 years ago in 1971, consisting of seven emirates. The geography of this terrain is dominated by vast dessert land, dotted with oasis green islands, perfect, white sandy beaches, and some of the busiest and cleanest, best developed, hi-tech metropolises of the 21st century. The modern day buzz and star studded attraction of the UAE, and in particular, the city of Dubai, is something else, and famous and wealthy visitors flock to this modern magnificent land for its  huge shopping malls, plush hotels, and gigantic skyscrapers, just as much as for the traditional souks and ancient mosques and temples.

The UAE is one of the today’s millionaire’s playgrounds; it has become a centre for so much commerce and tourism. Not so many years ago and the main residents of the country were the Emirati nomads, who roamed the deserts by camelback. The modern day United Arab Emirates are dominated by young, multi-cultured businessmen, oil and energy tycoons, and entrepreneurs, with much of the remaining Muslim population moving into a new, urbanized way of life. The women of the country now have freedom (unlike in some neighbouring nations), they are educated, and offered human rights, able to drive and work outside of their home.

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Teaching English in the UAE

English language has become a staple subject in state schools of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and it is now the primary second language. Despite this, there are not as many native English speakers teaching in the UAE as one would think, especially considering the potential for TEFL jobs within Dubai alone. However, the growing tourist and hospitality industries are beginning to change that, and the demand for more natural English speakers and TEFL teachers is rapidly increasing. English TESOL and TEFL jobs in the UAE are not so hard to spot, heavily advertised in local papers and on expat websites, with no real perfect or bad time to start your job hunt. As well as the many schools advertising for qualified TEFL teachers, there is also a network of language agencies, which are often happy to employ native speakers from the UK, Canada, and the USA, interviewing them and offering jobs within the applicant’s home country.

As well as state schools, there are also a wealth of private and internationals schools, educating the hoard of expat kids that find themselves starting a new life in the United Arab Emirates. A further teaching option is with adult classes and business English schools, catering for the many professionals who are drawn to the UAE for high end and hi-tech jobs, needing to brush up on their business English, hoping to develop their careers and impress the boss.

There is also a lot of opportunity to teach privately, with many international families and business learners looking for additional help and tuition, and many TEFL teachers choose to give private tuition in addition to their primary TEFL job, making for very good earning and saving potential.

Teachers tend to get paid very well, the typical TEFL teacher can expect to earn around 8000 to 12000 AED per month (approx 10000 AED = £1700, €2000, $2700), and in most full time TEFL jobs in the UAE, you will receive free accommodation, medical insurance, and all visa costs covered, as well as some end of contract bonuses. Life in the UAE may not be cheap, but the high, tax free TEFL wages make it very possible to live well and build up some great savings.

Whilst there is a rapid increase for native English speaking TEFL teachers in the UAE, any TEFL teachers who are fluent in both Arabic and English should also consider working as a translator, with a constant stream of translation jobs seemingly available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Dubai

Dubai is perhaps one of the most modern cities in the world, and a major global trade centre. It’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, attracting some of the world’s most famous and wealthy people. The economy is secure due to lucrative oil and tourism industries, but such is the economical and social growth that the city has a constantly increasing demand for TEFL teachers, and more so, native English speaking TEFL teachers, with schools and agencies willing to pay high wages, in-line with the high costs and high standards of living in the country.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is another major tourist destination in the United Arab Emirates. One of the richest and fastest developing cities in the world, Abu Dhabi, as with Dubai, is also one of the most expensive to live in. The size of the rapidly growing tourism industry is making for such a high demand for TEFL teachers in Abu  Dhabi, that English teaching wages here are amongst the highest anywhere in the world, and are also tax free! More often than not, including free accommodation! TEFL teaching in Abu Dhabi is not just a chance to witness the exciting growth of one of the most modern cities in the world, but a chance to play a part in its development.

If you would like to get qualified to become eligible for jobs in the United Arab Emirates then you can book your Online TEFL Course here

45 thoughts on “Teaching English in the UAE

  1. I am very much interested in Teaching English in UAE as I have experience in teaching english in CYPRUS.Just wondering what would be the tution fee and also want to know whether you can help me in getting a job or not in UAE?

    many thanks
    Karen

  2. M Amjad Ali says:

    So good you have shared nice info about Dubai and Abu Dhabi ..both cities are very expensive but they attract the people you inform us in this blog that when every one in UAE he full fill his pocket.I can say must how these expensive so that they are very enjoying and amazing and provide you good healthy environment.

  3. I am highly interested to teach English Language, Literature, Communication Skills, Business English and Applied Grammar in UAE.

  4. I am interested to teach EFL, ESL, Communication Skills and Applied Grammar in UAE.

  5. Angela SHEPPERDSON says:

    I am a fully qualified native British TEFL teacher with 18 years experience tutoring children through to advanced adults. I hold a TEFL Business English Certificate in addition to my TEFL Certificate. I am looking for work in Dubai and/or Abu Dhabi on a part time or ad-hoc basis. Please advise.

  6. Anges says:

    I want to teach english in UAE. Many years of experience also like a interpreter. No problem for me to move.

  7. Mark Ingle says:

    I am looking for a position teaching English in an Islamic country, I have 25 years business experience as well would be a good teacher for business people.
    I am a English Muslim – revert.
    Thank you.

    • samhudson says:

      We do currently have jobs in Azerbaijan, if you look at our jobs board you will see that we have some jobs for very experienced individuals

  8. taught ESL in brazil for several yers. i was very effective. looking for overseas position.

  9. taught ESL in brasil for 2 years

    i was very effective.

    english degree from prestigious university

    am very interested in job abroud and particurly Dubai

  10. Elizabeth Barnett says:

    I have recently graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree in English and have no teaching experience. I do however have a great deal of work and travel experience and am a very quick learner. I would like to teach English in Dubai and am wondering if that is a possibility with my current experience. I would be willing to become TESOL certified if that would help. Any advice or job opportunities you can provide me with would be greatly appreciated.

    • LoveTEFL says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Dubai is a very competitive market, where it would be extremely challenging to find a role—-even with a uni degree. I would recommend to look at getting a TEFL/TESOL certification as it looks beneficial in your CV/Resume.

      What you could do is have a look at the roles we offer in China or Thailand and gain some experience there, and then consider Dubai—this is when you’ll have a greater chance in landing a better job, as there would be a lot of CELTA and DELTA graduates around in Dubai with years of teaching experience.

      LoveTEFL

  11. Tahir Jahan Khan says:

    I am M.Phil TESL and need a teaching job abroad.

  12. LoveTEFL says:

    Hi M. Phil,

    Are you looking for any particular role, or location? Have you obtained a TEFL/TESL certification?

    LoveTEFL

  13. javed says:

    dear sir/madam
    i am a master,s degree holder in english.i have also experience of 5 years in private sector.would you like to guide me regarding teaching in Duabahi?
    thanks
    javed ahmed

  14. Richard says:

    Hi I am a Director of Studies at an academy in Spain.. My wife is keen to move to the UAE for her career. This article sounds really optimistic about the esl job situation but I have not found many opening on the sites I have been to so far. Where are the best places to look for jobs in the ESL industry there?

  15. pamela spyro says:

    Hi! I am a teacher of English as a foreing language and have been teaching for many, many years. I have taught (and was trained) in Brazil, and Greece. I do not have a bachelor’s degree but have had teacher training and hold permit to teach English in Greece. I also have a Celta. Would like to find any English teaching job in Dubai.

  16. Elanie says:

    Hi, I would appreciate some advise on the following… I really want to teach English in Dubai. I have a year experience teaching in South Korea (2009). I also have a university degree in marketing. Is it possible to get a job, while I complete my TEFL course? I already registered for the 150 hour course and will complete the course in 6 months.
    Thank you

  17. Huda Chaudhry says:

    Hello.
    I have just finished teaching in china after a year and a half. I am looking to move to the UAE and was wondering what was the best way to go about it.

  18. fida hussain says:

    Hi,I currently hold a BA in business admin & law and a postgraduate degree in law. I have extensive experience in direct marketing including training & 1-1 mentoring. Currently I do not hold a TEFL qualification or similar course. I am on the verge of embarking on one in due course. I would like a good position in Dubai or Middle East.
    Any helpful advise/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks in advance.

  19. Ronica says:

    Hi! I am a management professional, and a business skills trainer. I would love to teach English in Dubai, but I don’t have a B.Ed (indian teacher qualification). will getting a TESOL certificate help?

  20. Saf says:

    Hi. Just completed my TEFL course. Really want to teach in the Middle East but I don’t have any experience. Is that a huge problem?

  21. hammad muhammad says:

    I am very interested in teaching english in Dubai but i do not have a degree will this be a problem as im currently doing a tefl/tesol course online and taking grammer training?

  22. Jennifer says:

    I have just recently completed a 150 hour master certificate TEFL course. I am also a qualified primary school teacher with 6 years teaching experience (B.Ed Hons 2:1). I’d be extremely interested to secure a post in Dubai. Does this sound possible with my qualifications? I’d love to continue to work with children…. Would I need to complete a TEYL certificate too?

  23. Luis Pazmino says:

    Hello
    I have a Bacherlors degree from an Ecuadorian University, currently teaching at University level, I am fluent in English and Spanish with an Ecuadorian and a US citizenship, and I would like to teach in the UEA.

  24. David Sanusi says:

    am a Ghanaian and a teacher by profession.I’ve been teaching for almost 5 yrs now with a degree in early childhood education. can it be possible for me to teach in your country?

  25. Dubai Jobs says:

    I am interested for that.

  26. Moegammad Soliegh Ceres says:

    Hi, I am a Registrar at the Institute of Sharia Studies in Cape Town South Africa. I have a B.A Honours in Shariah Studies from the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia (2002).I also completed the TEFL Course and I an interested in teaching in Dubai.I am a South Afican National.

  27. Hafsah Mahetar says:

    I am a teaching assistant at tge moment. I have completed a 5 year BA in islamic philosophy and sciences. And just completed my tefl course too. Any jobs for me??

  28. Abbas khan says:

    Hi lovetefl. I’m a celta certified bsc graduate with 3 years experience at primary level and with adult learners. I’m seeking to further my career in Dubai. Do you have any options for me. Thanks

  29. fam says:

    Hello! I have a BA and an MA in the Humanities, both from Cambridge University, and a TEFL certificate from a well-known British institution. I have 16 years’ teaching experience, working with young people and adults of many nationalities in classroom situations in Oxford (UK), Cape Town (South Africa) and Harare (Zimbabwe), where I have also privately tutored the staff and children of several embassies. With this background, might it be comparatively easy to find work in the UAE, preferably in Dubai/Abu Dhabi?

  30. Rohani Ismail says:

    Hi! I am interested to explore a teaching opportunity at Dubai, teaching English as a second or foreign language. However, I don’t have a TESL or TEFL certificate. I was an EL teacher for 14 years and a Vice-Principal for 4 years in Singapore schools. Would appreciate some suggestions or advice. Many thanks!

  31. Kath says:

    Hi there I am posting here in an effort to gain advice and information regarding teaching English in the UAE.

    I am an Australian secondary teacher with 15 years of experience. During that time I have held positions of leadership such as English Coordinator as well as organising and coaching for such extra curricula activities such as debating, public speaking and tournament of minds. I have a Bachelor of Arts (English and Political Science) and a Bachelor of Teaching (English & Humanities. For the last 7 years I have taught and assessed ESL students along with their non-ESL peers within mainstream English & Humanities classes.

    Any advice or recommendations will be appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

    Kind regards,

    Kath.

    • Kerry Griffiths says:

      Hi there, Kath.
      Thanks for your comment- it sounds like you have plenty of experience, and your qualifications will certainly stand you in good stead for teaching abroad.
      At present, we do not offer employment opportunities in the UAE- however we have recently begun recruiting for jobs in Saudi Arabia, details of which can be found here: http://www.lovetefl.com/jobs-in-saudi-arabia/
      Please feel free to email us at info@lovetefl.com for any further information- the best of luck in your endeavours!

  32. Julie says:

    Hi there,
    I have completed the 120 hour TEFL course and have a BA (Hons) Sociology degree. I have no formal teaching experience but I would like to find work teaching English in Dubai. Realistically are there many opportunities with these qualifications?
    Thanks

    • Kerry says:

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks for your comment.
      A degree is generally required when teaching in the UAE, as is a 140 hour TEFL qualification. You may find that you need to take on a bit more training, but I would imagine you will find work with few problems. We don’t currently recruit for Dubai, so I can’t give you definite answers – I’d just recommend doing a bit of extra research.
      I hope this helps!
      Kerry

  33. Jannah says:

    Hello,

    I am extremely interested in finding a teaching job in the U.A.E. I graduated from an accredited university in the U.S.A. I received my BA degree in Criminal Justice, but I have gone back to school to receive my Masters in Bilingual Education/TESL. I will be graduating in May of 2015. I have experience as a pre – kindergarten teacher for 2 years, as well as a private ESL tutor. I am also a native English speaker from the U.S.A.

    I am not sure, however, if this will be enough experience in order to receive an job opportunity in the U.A.E.

    I would appreciate any advice that you would be able to give me.

    Sincerely,

    Jannah

  34. uma kulkarni says:

    Hi all
    Im highly impressed with so many talented and qualified educators participating in this forum.
    I was a teacher for 12 years in boarding schools within India. Later I had to give it up to take care of my kids. Now Im freelance writer working for online magazines and websites. I have recently completed TEFL. Im interested in working in UAE. What is the scope for me in UAE? Any suggestions.

    • Kerry says:

      Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Here at LoveTEFL, we only place native English speakers in TEFL roles overseas.
      I’d recommend a bit of research in your native country to see if you can find a company that can place you.
      The best of luck with your TEFL journey!

  35. humera Ambareen says:

    Hello, I am post graduate in Science and perusing my Ph.D, published many Research papers nationally(India) and Internationally. I wondered why it’s a trend to hire only native English Speakers in UAE? Not even given a chance for demo? Y we r not given a chance for teaching jobs? Do they think we r not qualified? Confused!!!

    • Kerry says:

      Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment.
      When hiring English teachers, companies tend to hire native English speakers who have teaching experience. This is to ensure the highest possible quality teaching for the students of the establishments we recruit for.
      I would recommend researching ESL providers in your native country.
      The best of luck!

  36. Samira says:

    Where is your location in Dubai thanks

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