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Why Teach in Vietnam?

United Arab Emirates

Why Teach in United Arab Emirates?
 

It's not all about teaching English in the UAE.

 

Languages like Chinese, Italian and Spanish;

subjects such as math, science, PE, and music;

and Admin roles like school counselors and directors...

They are all in high demand in the UAE. 

You may not be super familiar with the United Arab Emirates, so quick run down: The UAE is made up of 6 emirates or states, with the three most teacher-friendly being Dubai, Ajman, and Abu Dhabi. 

And by "teacher-friendly" we mean cash incentives, incredible housing packagages, flights, and even family visas for teachers with kids. With tax-free salaries, great benefits, and lots of respect for teachers, the UAE should absolutely be a destination for you to consider. 

Outside of school, you've got a rich culture to explore and tons of fabulous food to try. Not to mention, those with wanderlust can fly to practically anywhere from Dubai. Not too bad, eh?

The elephant in the room which needs to be addressed is the lifestyle restrictions that come with living in an Islamic country. While the rules here are different than back home, they are less strict than other Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia. This is a BIG PLUS for the lady teachers out there who are not required to wear the black Abaya. The UAE just expects people in general to wear modest clothing, refrain from getting white girl wasted, and don't be smooching the opposite sex in public.

So, if you're looking for a 'middle east meets west' situation, the UAE is it. 

Public Schools vs. International Schools vs. Universities
 

Do you like options? All of the options? Good.

In the UAE, you have the option to work in international schools, a universities/ colleges, and public schools, which the ministry of education manages with job offers that vary from English to math, science, etc.

 

International schools follow either an American curriculum, British or Australian curriculum. So If you have prior experience teaching at a private school in the USA, you’d not have problems adapting to the program.

Universities and colleges seek for professionals not only in the English department but also, Business-related "professors" are highly isought after.. If you have an MA and some years of experience in the field of marketing, administration, accounting, finance, and economics, jump on the chance to apply for a college or university.

Let's do a quick comparison of these institutions to help steer you in the right direction...

Public Schools

 

Perks

Plenty of jobs opportunities in several academic subjects

Be part of a community of foreign educators in the UEA

Orientation prior to arrival and during first week abroad

 

Pitfalls

Must follow the UAE’s education system

30- 40 hours of work 5 days a week

 

International Schools

 

Perks

Orientation with guided tours

Facilities and resources such as gyms, computer labs, and technology in the classroom

Education tuition for 1 dependent (your child can attend your school)

Pitfalls

Super competitive job pool

Universities

 

Perks

Contracts for up to 3 years

Often Education Tuition for dependents (your child can attend your school)

More freedom in creating cirriculum

Tricky Specifications

Master’s Degree or PhD needed

Arabic is a plus and highly demanded

 
Qualifications Required to Teach in The United Arab Emirates
 

Public School

 

Native Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required

TEFL Certificate, CELTA Degree or Equivalent: Required

Teaching Experience: Minimum 2 years

Experience in the Middle East: Flexible but Highly Recommended

Criminal Background Check: Required

Health Check: Required

 

International School

 

Native Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required

TEFL Certificate, CELTA Degree or Equivalent: Required

Teaching Experience: Minimum 2 years

Experience in the Middle East: Not required

Criminal Background Check: Required

Health Check: Required

 

University/College

 

Native Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: English or TEFL

Masters’ Degree: Required Degree in English or Education

 Ph.D.: Highly Recommended

Teaching Experience: Minimum 3 years at a university level

Experience in the Middle East: Flexible but Highly Recommended

Criminal Background Check: Required

Health Check: Required

 
What's Included in the Job?
 

Public Schools

 

Average Monthly Income: $3,350-$5,500

Housing: Provided

Flights: Provided

Bonus Flights: Provided for spouse and up to 3 children

Medical Insurance: Provided for teacher, spouse, and children

Vacation Time: All national days + Summer vacation (Mid-July to Sept)

Contract Commitment: Up to 3 years

Family Sponsored Visas: Provided

 

International Schools

Average Monthly Income: $2,700 - $3,800

Housing: Provided

Flights: Provided

Bonus Flights: Provided for family

Medical Insurance: Provided for teacher, spouse, and children

Vacation Time: All national days + Summer vacation (Mid-July to Sept)

Contract Commitment: 1 year or more

Family Sponsored Visas: Provided

 

Universities/Colleges

Average Monthly Income: $3,500-$5,500+ (based on qualifications)

Housing: Provided

Flights: Provided

Bonus Flights: Provided for family

Medical Insurance: Provided

Vacation Time: 48 working days of vacation

Contract Commitment: Up to 3 years

Family Sponsored Visas: Provided

How to Find a Job in the UAE

 

The economy is booming and the international community is growing. That being said, the demand for teachers is on a steady rise with no signs of slowing down soon. Teachers of all subjects and levels has a decent shot at finding a job in Dubai, Ajman, and Abu Dhabi. 

Option 1: Apply Online

There are several websites where you can apply directly to the job listings posted by the schools themselves. The post will have a full description of the job, requirements, and benefits. With this option, you decide which offer suits your CV and your salary expectations.

Where to Look

ABU DHABI (UAE) vacant jobs for EXPATS

Teach Away Abu Dhabi

Teach Away Dubai

Seek Teachers

Option 2: Use a Recruitment Agency

 

Recruitment Agencies have a wide range of contacts. In other words, they seek, contact and become the link between the applicant teacher and the school. You just have to apply in a recruitment agency website, upload your CV and they will find the perfect match for teachers and schools.

Where to Look

Alderwood Recruitment

m2r Education

Black Pearl

Option 3: Contact Schools Directly with your resume

 

Seek out the big schools and apply directly. International schools, language centers, and universities typically have employment page where you can upload you CV and apply for a teaching position.

Where to Look

Khalifa University

Sabis

Abu Dhabi University

Higher Colleges of Technology

Visas for Teachers

 

Once a school or university hires you, you will have to start gathering your documents to issue a work visa. The company should take care of all the formalities to assure you a work visa. Be careful because you can only work in the UAE with the company that sponsored you. After your arrival to the UAE, you must apply for a labor card and a residence visa. Let’s check step by step all the procedure!

​​

  • A written job contract from the sponsor company

  • Medical test (Especially for HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis)

  • Two passports sized photos

  • A valid passport with at least 6 six months of remaining validity

  • Certification of your studies ( Bachelor’s Degree, CELTA, etc)

 

 

Step 1:  After you've landed your dream job, you'll sign an official contract with your school and begin to gather documents above, including a medical check in your home country to check for diseases like HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis. 

Step 2:  Send your education documents to your school and they will start with the visa application for the UAE on your behalf and pay any fees required.

Step 4: The United Arab Emirates immigration department will contact you to verify the information.

Step 5: Get a visa number that will allow your to apply for a UAE  

Step 6: Submit your medical check report with two passports sized photos and your passport to obtain the visa approval

Step 7: Prepare your language and travel to the UAE.

 

Heads up: The work visa is valid for 2 months, meanwhile you must apply to obtain the residence visa

  • Work visa approval.

  • Several passports sized photos.

  • A valid passport with at 6 six months of remaining validity and a copy.

  • Job contract.

  • Health certificate issued in the UAE.

  • Application form

  • Educational qualifications properly authentic by the UAE embassy or consulate in your country of origin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.

 

 

Step 1: Once you arrive in the Emirates, it’s time for another super fun health check! Your school will direct you or take you to a hospital or clinic authorized by the government where you'll have a complete medical and blood test. Those with HIV positive or any incurable disease will not be eligible for a residence visa.

Step 2: Turn your clean medical check into your school.

Step 3: Your school will apply for your residence visa at Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs on your behalf.

 

 

Now referred to as the "Labor Contract", this will give you the green light to teach and work in the UAE.

  • Passport sized photos.

  • Valid passport with at 6 six months of remaining validity.

  • Health certificate issued in the UAE upon arrival.

  • 3 copies of the job contract.

  • Educational qualifications properly authentic by the UAE embassy or consulate in your country of origin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.

  • Copy of Employer’s labor license

  • Residence Visa

 

 

 

Step 1: Gather all the documents and your employer will apply for the Labor Card at the Ministry of Labor.

 

Step 2: Wait about 48 hours for processing.

 

Step 3: Upon pick-up, double check your name spelling!

 

Step 4: Relax. It's all over! 

 

If you are traveling with your family, check for the visa documents and procedure here

Step-by-Step Work Visa
Documents for Residence Visa
Step-by-Step Residence Visa
Labor Card Documents
Step-by-Step Labor Card
Work/Employment Visa Documents
Cost of Living in The United Arab Emirates
via wikimedia
 

As your school takes care of your biggest living expenses such as rent, and sometimes tosses some extra amenities like transportation and gym memberships in there, your cost of living will be relatively low depending on how much you spend on entertainment, travel, and eating out. Hard life, right?

Most teachers are able to save up a nice chunk of change in the UAE, while teachers with student loans find it very easy to pay off their debt with such a hefty salary- and still have money to play with.

Here is an idea of what you'll be spending...

(Prices are in USD roughly according to numbeo.com and individual research– Updated August 2017)

 

Day to Day
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare your current cost of living to UAE cities here

Utilities: Basic $154.99

Taxi (1km): $0.54

Local Transport 1-way Ticket: $1.36

1 Dozen Eggs: $2.54

Chicken Breast (1kg): $6.36

Loaf of Fresh White Bread: $1.21

Coca Cola: $0.49

Restaurant Meal: $8.17

McDonald’s Combo Meal: $6.81

Cinema- International Release (1 Ticket): $9.53

 
The Low Down on United Arab Emirates
 

Language: Arabic (though English is widely spoken)

Currency: Emirati Dirham; (AED rate here)

Type of Government: Constitutional Monarchy

Crime: Very Low! Dubai is the 2nd safest city in the world! Check out the data here

Safety Concerns: Breaking religious law. Otherwise, walk safely around the city.

Public Transportation: Convenient to get around with efficient bus systems, Taxis, metros, trams, and water transport. 

Gay Friendly: Being openly gay is a punishable crime

 
What's it like Living in...
 

Dubai

Teaching in Dubai offers the best of both worlds. Thanks to country’s economic growth, Dubai has one of the most amazing landmarks of the world with the tallest skyscraper in the world, The Burj Khalifa. Sightseeing is just one of the many things you can do over there. Dubai is the country’s largest city with the biggest mall, second largest man-made marina, and the world’s largest aquarium, so do not waste this amazing opportunity to go around the city. But beyond the landmark, you can find the roots of Dubai’s culture. Places such as Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood are full of history and tradition. Also, don’t miss the camel races at the Al Marmoum track. Dubai has a notable blend between the Middle East and the West. It also offers you a high quality of life with breath-taking views

 

Abu Dhabi

Being the country’s capital has its advantages, and Abu Dhabi has a lot to offer. Surrounded by luxury resorts, shopping malls, and incredible beaches, Abu Dhabi’s development has grown rapidly. During your free time, you can go to Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, enjoy the beach, diving and watch dolphins. Also, you can rent a bike by the beach so you can ride and enjoy a sunset. Abu Dhabi hosts plenty of world events such as F1 race, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and big concerts. If you feel adventurous, you must try some water sports such as parasailing, diving, waterskiing, etc.

 

Ajman

Seeking for a peaceful, small but yet breath-taking place to live? Ajman is the best option then. It’s one of the smallest Emirates, which is an asset if you love walking and hate traffic jams. Cost of living is lower than Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so with your tax-free salary, you can save some money. Everything is accessible, due to the city size. In fact, imagine you are cooking dinner but you forgot to buy some ingredients on the way home, well don’t worry you just have to call the neighborhood grocery and they’ll deliver it to your doorstep. So Ajman is the perfect getaway from crowded places. You can relax by the beach at any time and simply enjoy the view.

 
What's to Love about United Arab Emirates?
 
  • Women don’t have to cover their head or faces

  • Alcohol is allowed at restaurants and bars

  • Tax-free salaries with tons of benefits. It’s a save-money opportunity!

  • Huge international community of expats in Dubai

  • A range of restaurant prices with varying types of cuisine

  • Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world!

  • Due to its geographical position, you have plenty of travel opportunities to Europe and to other countries in the Middle East

  • Luxury resorts, incredible beaches and views

 
What's to Dislike about United Arab Emirates?
 
  • It’s an Islamic based culture, so certain behaviors are not allowed. It’s not gay-friendly and women still face some restrictions

  • Cost of living is higher than the US and other countries, so you better find a job with housing accommodation and bonus benefits

  • Stay hydrated! The weather gets extremely hot in the summer