Teaching In Dubai: What You Need To Know

Written by Dan

Last updated

Are you thinking of teaching in Dubai? It’s an exciting opportunity to experience a different culture, gain new skills, and have unique experiences. But it can also be a daunting move if you don’t know what to expect.

That’s why we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll provide all the key information you need to prepare for teaching in Dubai – from pre-departure necessities through to settling into life there once you arrive.

Get ready for your journey by brushing up on immigration regulations, job application requirements, cultural considerations and more!

Related: For more, check out our article on Teaching English In Japan  here.

Five Tips When Teaching Abroad

Understanding Dubai

Dubai is more than just its impressive skyline and shopping malls; it’s a melting pot of cultures where tradition meets modernity.

With over 200 nationalities living harmoniously, this city offers an incredible diversity that is reflected in its food, music, art, and lifestyle. From the historic alleys of Al Fahidi neighborhood to the contemporary design district, Dubai’s culture is a fascinating blend of old and new.

However, while it’s a global city, traditional Emirati customs and Islamic values are deeply ingrained. Respect for these traditions is crucial, particularly during holy Ramadan. As a teacher, you must also understand the local customs around modest dress, public behavior, and social etiquette.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the educational system in Dubai.

Education is highly valued in the UAE, with the government investing heavily in creating state-of-the-art facilities and implementing advanced curriculums. The system is divided into public, private, and higher education institutions.

While public schools primarily cater to Emirati students and follow a national curriculum, private schools cater to the large expatriate population and offer various international curriculums like American, British, and International Baccalaureate.

Teaching in Dubai, multicultural classrooms give you a unique opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds.

The emphasis on education innovation means you’ll likely be working with the latest teaching tools and methodologies, making it an enriching experience professionally.

Teaching In Dubai

Pre-Departure Preparations

Understanding Immigration Regulations for Teachers

Immigration regulations can seem daunting, but don’t worry – we’re here to help you navigate this process. As an educator planning to work in Dubai, you will require a work permit and residence visa, which your employing school will typically help you obtain.

The UAE government also mandates a good conduct certificate, authenticated academic credentials, and a health check clearance. Remember that these requirements can change, so it’s essential to verify the current regulations from official UAE government sources or consult with your employing school.

Job Application Requirements

When applying for teaching jobs in Dubai, you will need to meet certain qualifications and experience criteria. Most schools require a Bachelor’s degree in Education or the subject you plan to teach, along with a teaching qualification such as a PGCE.

In terms of experience, many schools prefer candidates with at least two years of teaching experience. Some may also require proficiency in English. You’ll also need to provide documents like your CV, academic certificates, passport, and reference letters during the application process.

Financial Planning Before Departure

Moving to a new country entails several initial expenses, like flight tickets, visa processing fees, and accommodation deposits. Therefore, it’s essential to plan your finances carefully.

Start by creating a budget, considering one-time costs and ongoing expenses like rent, groceries, transportation, and leisure activities. Researching the cost of living in Dubai can give you a realistic picture of how much money you’ll need.

Also, consider potential delays in receiving your first paycheck and plan for a financial cushion to cover expenses during this period.

Preparing to move abroad for a job is no small task, but with careful planning and preparation, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new life as a teacher in Dubai!

Finding a Teaching Job in Dubai

Are you ready to take your teaching career to new heights in Dubai? The city offers diverse teaching opportunities to suit various skills and preferences. Let’s explore the different teaching jobs available, the resources that can aid your job search, and the application process to secure your ideal role.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Dubai

Dubai boasts a variety of teaching positions across public schools, private international schools, and language institutes. But what’s the difference between these options, and which one might be the best fit for you?

  • Public Schools: These are government-run institutions primarily catering to Emirati students. They follow the UAE national curriculum and typically use Arabic as the medium of instruction. However, there’s an increasing demand for English-speaking teachers as part of the country’s educational reform initiatives.
  • Private International Schools: These schools cater to the large expatriate population in Dubai. They offer various international curriculums such as American, British, and International Baccalaureate. English is usually the medium of instruction, and these schools often seek experienced educators from overseas.
  • Language Institutes: These establishments offer language learning classes to students of all ages. If you specialize in teaching languages like English, French, or Mandarin, a position at a language institute could be an exciting opportunity.

Job Search Resources

Ready to start your job hunt? There are several resources you can tap into:

  • Online Job Portals: Websites like Teach Away, TES, and Bayt.com regularly post teaching vacancies in Dubai.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Many schools in Dubai hire through recruitment agencies specializing in international teaching jobs.
  • School Websites: Check the careers page of school websites for direct applications.
  • Networking: Connect with teachers already working in Dubai for insights and potential job leads.

Application and Interview Process

Applying for a teaching job in Dubai typically involves submitting your CV and a cover letter, followed by an interview process. This could be conducted online or in person, depending on the school’s preference and your location.

During the interview, be prepared to discuss your teaching philosophy, classroom management style, and how you would handle the cultural diversity of students in Dubai.

Remember, it’s not just about your qualifications and experience; schools are also looking for adaptable, culturally sensitive teachers committed to delivering high-quality education.

Accommodation and Cost of Living

Moving to Dubai as an expat teacher involves finding a comfortable place to call home and understanding the cost of living in this dynamic city. So, let’s delve into the available housing options and the costs you’ll need to factor into your budget.

Housing Options for Expat Teachers: Available housing options

Regarding accommodation in Dubai, you’ll find various options to suit different budgets and lifestyle preferences. Here are some possibilities:

  • School-Provided Accommodation: Many international schools in Dubai provide their teachers with housing. This could be a significant perk, relieving you of the hassle of house hunting and saving you considerable money.
  • Rental Properties: If your school does not provide accommodation or if you prefer to find your own, there are numerous online resources for renting apartments or villas in Dubai.
  • Shared Accommodation: For those looking to cut costs or desiring company, shared accommodation could be an ideal choice. You can rent a room in a larger apartment or villa, often with shared common areas.

Remember, wherever you live, ensure a comfortable space suits your needs and budget.

Cost of Living in Dubai

While Dubai offers an enviable lifestyle, it’s essential to understand the associated costs. Here’s a breakdown of some critical expenses:

  • Food: Whether shopping at the local supermarket or dining out, food costs can vary widely depending on your habits and preferences.
  • Transportation: Public transport in Dubai is affordable and efficient with its metro, bus, and taxi services. If you plan to drive, consider the costs of fuel, parking, and car maintenance.
  • Utilities: The cost of utilities such as water, electricity, and internet can increase. Remember that these costs can be higher during the hot summer months due to increased use of air conditioning.
  • Leisure Activities: Dubai is known for its endless entertainment options. Whether it’s visiting one of the city’s many attractions, enjoying a beach day, or exploring the desert, factor in these costs to enjoy all that Dubai has to offer.

Settling into Life in Dubai

Moving to a new country can bring a mix of excitement and apprehension. Settling into life in Dubai as an expat teacher involves more than just adapting to a new job; it’s about embracing a new culture, building connections, and discovering all the fantastic experiences this vibrant city offers.

Socializing and Networking

Dubai is home to a large and diverse expat community, making it a fantastic place to meet people worldwide. But how can you tap into this network?

  • Join Social Groups: There are numerous social clubs and organizations in Dubai that cater to diverse interests, from sports to arts and culture. Joining these groups can be a great way to make new friends and pursue your hobbies.
  • Attend Networking Events: Regularly attending events and meetups can expose you to various professional and social circles. Websites like Meetup and Internations frequently host gatherings for expats.
  • Connect with Fellow Teachers: Your colleagues at school can be a valuable resource for advice and companionship, as they’ve likely been in your shoes before.

Exploring the City and CountryFujairah’s serene beaches or the Empty Quarter’s sweeping dunes

Dubai is a city that never ceases to amaze, with its stunning architecture, vibrant shopping scene, and rich cultural heritage. But what are some ways to truly immerse yourself in the local culture?

  • Visit Local Attractions: From the towering Burj Khalifa to the historic Al Fahidi District, make sure to explore the city’s many attractions.
  • Try Emirati Cuisine: Dining at local eateries offers a delicious introduction to Emirati culture.
  • Explore Beyond the City: Plan excursions to other parts of the UAE, like Fujairah’s serene beaches or the Empty Quarter’s sweeping dunes.

Dealing with Homesickness and Culture Shock

Adjusting to a new culture can be challenging, and it’s natural to experience homesickness or culture shock. Here are a few strategies to help you cope:

  • Stay Connected: Regularly communicate with friends and family back home via calls, messages, or video chats.
  • Create Comforts from Home: Surround yourself with familiar items or foods from your home country.
  • Practice Self-Care: Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate rest can significantly impact your mood and energy levels.


Remember, moving to a new country is a significant step, and feeling a mix of excitement and apprehension is perfectly normal.

Remember that preparation is key; understanding what to expect will make your transition smoother. Use the resources available, connect with fellow expats, and take the time to explore and appreciate your new surroundings.

As you embark on this incredible journey, remember to embrace the unique experiences, learn from the challenges, and celebrate the successes. Dubai is a city full of opportunities and adventures waiting for you to discover.

So here’s to the start of an exciting chapter in your teaching career and personal growth. Welcome to Dubai, your new home away from home!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of teaching jobs are available in Dubai?

Dubai offers a wide range of teaching opportunities in public schools, private international schools, and language institutes. Each offers a unique teaching environment and caters to different student demographics.

2. How can I find a teaching job in Dubai?

There are numerous resources available to aid your job hunt. You can leverage online job portals, recruitment agencies, professional networking sites, and the career pages of individual schools.

3. What does the application and interview process involve?

The process typically involves submitting an application with your CV and cover letter, followed by one or more interviews. Some schools may also require a teaching demonstration. Preparation is key to making a good impression!

4. What are the accommodation options for expat teachers in Dubai?

Many international schools provide their teachers with housing. However, if you prefer to find your own, there are various rental properties available, from apartments to villas. Shared accommodation is another cost-effective option.

5. What is the cost of living in Dubai?

The cost of living in Dubai varies based on lifestyle choices. Major expenses include food, transportation, utilities, and leisure activities. Remember, budgeting is crucial to manage your finances effectively.

6. How can I socialize and network in Dubai?

Joining social groups, attending networking events, and connecting with fellow teachers are excellent ways to build your social and professional network. Dubai’s diverse expat community offers plenty of opportunities to make new friends.

7. How can I explore the city and country?

From visiting local attractions and trying Emirati cuisine to planning excursions beyond the city, there are countless ways to immerse yourself in the local culture.

8. How can I deal with homesickness and culture shock?

Staying connected with loved ones, creating comforts from home, and practicing self-care can help you cope with homesickness and culture shock. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help and take time to adjust.

9. What final tips do you have for expat teachers moving to Dubai?

Preparation is key! Understand what to expect, use available resources, connect with fellow expats, explore your surroundings, and embrace the unique experiences. Most importantly, remember to be patient with yourself during this transition.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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