One of the richest countries in the world, where it’s not uncommon to bump into an international celebrity or carry around a Louis Vuitton purse, the UAE has been one of the top places to do business; and with the high tax-free salaries, it’s no wonder ESL teachers also are jumping on the bandwagon. Yes, despite those living in the Emirates having a high level of English, there continues to be a demand for high levels of English instruction. With the promise of inviting salaries, luxurious apartments and the chance to live in the World’s richest region, ESL teachers in the UAE are more than satisfied.
If you’re under the impression that the UAE is just desert, you’re misguided. The skyline is more than impressive, especially in the evening when the overbearing shard-like buildings jut high up into the air illuminating the sky for miles. The UAE is a shopper’s paradise and with Abu Dhabi and Dubai being at the forefront of the world’s designer and shopping scene, the UAE proves to be a shopper’s dream with its dozens upon dozens of cool malls with great designer pieces for the avid shopper. If this doesn’t pique your interest, perhaps the malls other amenities will; with the world’s biggest cinemas, ice skating rinks, underwater zoo and even an indoor ski run all being located in a mall. In the UAE the impossible happens…so, how does one go about getting a teaching job in the UAE?
The UAE is quickly becoming one of the most popular ESL teaching destinations in the world. ESL teachers in the UAE are awarded with great salaries plus benefits, gorgeous weather and wonderful lifestyle. Teaching ESL in the UAE can be a fantastic experience, however, it can be tricky deciding on one of the seven emirates to teach in. Almost all contracts for ESL teachers in the UAE include a modern apartment, great medical insurance, return airfares, and a whole lot more. Almost everything’s included, even your bills, so the money you earn teaching English in the UAE is mostly for your food and leisure. Foreign teachers in the UAE can earn big with starting out teachers earning $2,000-3000 USD (£1,200-1,900) every month. There’s a lot of room to save and at the same time enjoy some of the local delights, but where should you head?
Dubai is a fascinating place with one of the greater populations in the UAE. Located towards the northern coast, Dubai is a true cosmopolitan metropolis – here you can find a fusion of races forming a true multicultural society. Considered to be the business hub in the entire Middle East, Dubai is wealthy beyond its means. Not only known for its oil industry, Dubai’s tourism and real estate are extremely influential as well. Famous for its impressive yet ambitious skyline projects and not to forget its man-made islands and indoor ski resort, Dubai has a high economic turnover thanks to its blossoming tourist industry.
The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is physically the largest out of all the emirates. Here you’ll find the presidential palace of the UAE and almost every foreign embassy imaginable.
With a rich history of energetic souks, trading, camel herding, and pearl fishing, it’s clear that Abu Dhabi has long been rich and ever since the beginning of its time, it’s continued to flourish.
Abu Dhabi’s attractions include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which certainly lives up to its name as being grand. Abu Dhabi is also home to the Emirates Palace and a number of great promenades. Abu Dhabi remains one of the favourite spots of the Emirates for ESL teachers due to its attractive teaching packages and generous holidays.
The smallest of the seven Emirates, Ajman is just 260 km², which is why many people do not know about Ajman and the majority of ESL teachers in the Middle East search for bigger hubs where more expatriates base themselves.
Despite its small size, Ajman continues to keep its old traditions. This agricultural state has very little; however, there are plans to develop it more.
The only one out of the beautiful and modern emirates that does not lie on the border of the Persian Gulf, Fujairah lies on the impressive gulf of Oman.
A relatively small place and not as popular with expatriates, Fujairah is home to the world’s oldest mosque.
There are plans in the pipeline to expand Fujairah and introduce more tourist amenities, which would surely see a surge in ESL teachers and other expats in the future. Plans include building over 1,000 5-star hotels and luxurious villas. If you’re into your water sports, this might be the place for you as this quieter emirate offers exciting activities for the thrill-seeker including waterskiing, diving, jet skiing, and windsurfing.
Located in the northern area of the UAE, this area is one area of the UAE where there’s no oil production. However, still wealthy in its own right, they’ve made their mark in both real estate and tourism. They’re responsible for hosing a number of great cultural events and various festivals which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
There’s plenty to do here, especially when it comes to tourism as this is the place to visit if you’re looking to go on an epic desert safari or sail around the gulf. The need for ESL instructors in Ras Al-Khaimah is increasing almost daily due to the influx of foreigners to the area.
With a population of around 800,000 inhabitants, Sharjah is the only state of the emirates that has its very own constitutional monarchy.
This beautiful and modern city is bustling, and with its constant development and impressive modernity, there are more and more people flocking to this pretty emirate, increasing the future need for English language instructors there.
With its developing tourism, beautiful beaches and palmed-lined promenades, this is a beautiful and very safe area to live. It’s full of life even when it’s not peak season due to a number of popular universities located there. Therefore your students are most likely to be students and those in the tourist industry.
Even though Sharjah is open to expats and English instruction, they are still one of the strictest emirates when it comes to their customs. There’s zero tolerance of alcohol, even in hotels and there is a strict dress code in place, especially for women.
Umm al-Quwain is the smallest emirate in terms of population, but despite this it does have a long history. There’s still evidence of its early settlements and even today ancient artifacts continue to be unearthed.
There’s a lot to do in terms of water sport and locals and tourists enjoy snorkeling due to the diverse marine life.
By far the more popular places to go and teach English in the UAE are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It’s not only because they are the more developed places in the UAE, they’re also the financial hubs, the university capitals, and the most tolerant towards Western customs and behaviour.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are known as the millionaires’ playground and not only are they willing to pay big to hire you, they’ll also look after you well, and if you’re lucky enough perhaps you could even land yourselves a few private English lessons in Dubai – here, you’ll make some serious money with the average going rate being about $100 per hour.
You’ll be able to teach in state schools or universities with a minimum of an MA. When teaching in a public institution, you can expect to earn a whopping $3000 tax-free each month. Add on all the extra fringe benefits such as housing, travel and insurance and you’ll be onto a winner. Private language institutes generally pay a little less, but you’ll get the same perks and the ability to move up quickly in the institute perhaps to a senior teacher’s role or DOS (Director of Studies). Additionally, the UAE is full of expat kids, so you may even get the chance to act as a private English tutor following their home country’s curriculum.
Despite what everybody thinks, Dubai and the rest of the Emirates aren’t that expensive. Your generous salary and all the perks will allow for a very comfortable lifestyle:
- A cheap meal for one: £4.30
- An average priced meal for two: £25
- A pint of beer: £6 *Please note that it’s only legal to purchase alcohol in hotels.
- 0.33l Bottle of water: £0.20
- One-way ticket on local transport: £0.80
- One-bedroom apartment in the city centre: £1,170
- One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre: £740
- Taxi starting tariff: £0.70
The UAE is a completely different world. There’s very little room for culture shock, however, if you can’t bear the intense heat in the summer then perhaps this isn’t the right spot for you.