Monday, March 27

A career you can have while traveling in Dubai

Dubai is considered by many to be one of the most liberal cities in the UAE, and coupled with the attractive salary, Dubai is ideal for experienced ESL teachers looking to set up a house for a while. Here, teachers must commit to more than just a year before heading off on their next adventure. And this is precisely what sets it apart from other English teaching hotspots.

With career growth and travel all rolled into one, these are the steps you’ll need to take to stand a chance at landing yourself a sought-after teaching position in this cosmopolitan metropolis.

Get TEFL Qualified

The most important qualification to get under your belt before applying for any English teaching position is a TEFL certification. The industry standard for these courses is 120 hours, though you can also opt to take additional courses on how to teach online and exam preparation.

Courses can be taken either at your local training center or online, and are flexible, so you can complete them at your own pace. While you’ll have 6 months to complete your training, the average time needed is around 10 weeks.

Your tutors will be qualified and experienced ESL teachers and will help you through the process. Don’t be shy; pick their brains when it comes to insight into the realities of ESL teaching. They may even have some contacts or suggestions as to how to go about landing your first job in the industry.

Get experience

With the promise of higher-paid teaching positions in Dubai, expectations of teachers are in turn higher. You will be expected to create engaging lessons that foster conversation in the target language and promote fluency. With this in mind, getting enough experience is vital.

A great place to start when it comes to getting a foot in the door is volunteering. Look into organizations that operate in your local area to put your qualifications to good use. Alternatively, if you can’t help out in your neighborhood, RefuNet relies on volunteer English teachers from across the world to teach refugees via online lessons. So long as you have a decent internet connection, a webcam, and some headphones, you’re good to go.

Once you’ve gained enough experience, there’s no reason not to start sending out applications to schools to get your first full-time taste of teaching. It also shouldn’t interfere with your volunteering. RefuNet only asks for a commitment of an hour of your time a week, and any additional hours of volunteering are at the teacher’s discretion.

Be organized

Traveling to the UAE for work is a complex process. You will need to have your visa sponsored, and the paperwork can take a while, so it should always be done as far in advance as possible. However, before that even begins, you will need to land yourself a work contract.

Teaching contracts typically last for 2-3 years, making it a big commitment compared to other teaching gigs out there. Before entertaining any offers, do your research. Figure out what kind of schools you’d like to work at, what age group you enjoy teaching, and the requirements of the schools you’re interested in. English is generally widely spoken across Dubai, nonetheless, some schools may request a basic level of Arabic.

Once you’ve decided what it is that you’re looking for, apply ahead of time. As the academic year runs from September to June, spring is typically the best time to send your applications. Remember not to put all your eggs in one basket; competition is fierce and you may not be offered your first choice.

Upon receiving and finalizing your contract, you can then start giving more thought to the logistics of moving for such a long period. For more information on how to go about shipping your things and other useful tips, check out melodyjacob.com.

Be culturally sensitive

Regardless of how much you’ve been reading up on life in the UAE, unless you have lived there before, brace yourself for a culture shock. Dubai may be more liberal than other cities in the emirates, but a conservative undercurrent remains, and there are laws and rules that you should respect while there.

One of the most important rules to adhere to is that you cannot eat or drink in public during Ramadan. You’ll still be able to find places to do so in private, but this is something that all non-muslim visitors and ex-pats are expected to follow out of respect for the holy month.

For couples, although it is now possible to live together unmarried as of November 2020, public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum, and kissing in public is illegal. Additionally, women will be expected to dress modestly. But don’t fret too much about getting it wrong.

As a woman, so long as you avoid anything cropped and tight and keep your shoulders and knees covered, you’re good to go. Packing a light jacket or jumper just in case is never a bad idea, though.

Enjoy financial freedom

With so many additional perks in addition to the already high salaries, teaching in Dubai is also a financial opportunity like no other. Most job offers will include housing and health care, as well as paid flights, and even a travel allowance. This results in more disposable income to do with as you please, free of the typical expenses you’d budget for in your own country. That could mean exploring all there is to see in the world during your time off or putting money aside for a mortgage deposit.

Salary-wise, positions in private schools are generally higher paid than those in the public sector, with teachers earning anywhere from $2,200 to $2,400 per month on average. The best-paid positions average $6,000 per month and are normally offered to teachers with years of experience under their belts.

Overall, whether you’re planning to settle down or are simply enticed by the competitive salaries, Dubai promises experienced ESL teachers the space to continue making strides in their careers by investing in them. To learn more, take a look at the definition of teach English in UAE on TEFL.Org which includes information on requirements, job prospects, and cultural considerations for prospective teachers.


  1. Dubai is such cool and interesting cisty, should be pretty nice to live and work there!

  2. This is a great post Melody. I had no idea that kissing is illegal in Dubai! You have great info here xx

  3. Information I dind't know about that particular corner of the world!
    Great post!

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig