While it can be a highly competitive career, there are plenty of opportunities in Dubai for new and experienced teachers, while those with a background in ESL teaching can take advantage of the openings at language schools or vocational colleges. There are also plenty of private and international schools which frequently employ British teachers.
Teaching in Dubai can be extremely rewarding and many who have done it have expressed that being exposed to a variety of different cultures, religions and races has helped enrich both their professional and personal life. Then there’s the breath-taking scenery, the shopping, the food and the beaches…we could go on, but let’s focus on teaching there for now.
If you’re already thinking about experiencing life in the United Arab Emirates or not, here are some facts about moving to and teaching in Dubai that you may not be aware of.
Schools provide lots of support
The warm climate and tax free income aren’t the only benefits of choosing to teach in Dubai. Most private and international schools will also offer various allowances that include:
- A housing allowance, which is usually given to teachers coming from abroad on top of their basic salary
- Flight allowances, which allow you to travel while working in Dubai and spend school holidays discovering more of the world
- Medical coverage, as there’s no national health service in Dubai and health insurance is a necessity
- Free tuition to any children in your family. Private and international school fees would usually cost around £20,000 annually
The schools in Dubai, especially the international and private ones, work hard to invest in English speaking teachers and by taking away the worries of affording a house or expensive medical bills. While the figures are decided between the employee and employer on an individual basis,
facilities always try to give British teachers a great opportunity to gather life and professional experience.
Language barriers are rare yet allowed for
Many people worry about the language barrier affecting their
work and social life when they move to Dubai. However, English is currently the
most spoken language in the city and lots of the staff in the schools speak it
as a first language.
As a result, there is a big requirement for those who can
teach English and government run schools have made the effort to pair English
teachers with Arabic speaking teachers to help break down any language barriers
that may hinder education.
Alongside this, there are huge expat groups that prominently
speak English and, chances are, you’ll easily be able to find housing in one of
The classroom will be in your comfort zone
Teaching in Dubai can initially seem like a daunting
prospect to British teachers, but despite being many miles away there are lots
of similarities between the educational systems in the two different countries.
Elementary classes typically have teaching assistants to
help students who may use English as a second or even third language, while
some schools even employ the English school curriculum. However, some research
into what curriculum your chosen school utilises will be necessary so you can
adapt to that style of teaching.
Common curriculums mainly include:
- IB (International Baccalaureate)
A lot of the learning is student led and gives the pupils ownership of their own learning. However, there are certain areas that are mandated and certain aspects must be taught and assessed. For example, teaching Shakespeare will still be a key part of the lessons in an English curriculum. Alongside this, teachers in Dubai must also make links with Arabic culture, making special consideration towards Emirati students due to a mandate by KHDA, the education board in UAE.
If you want an adventure while you continue to learn and earn, teaching in Dubai is a brilliant option. There are plenty of programmes which dedicate themselves to helping British teachers experience and integrate with the many different cultures that Dubai and the UAE has to offer and a wealth of leisure activities to pursue.
With a wide variety of benefits including the opportunity to travel to exciting and exotic places, taking your teaching career to Dubai could be one of the best moves you ever make.