Teaching English in Abu Dhabi
Considering a teaching opportunity in the Middle East? Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), beckons educators with its dynamic blend of rich culture, rewarding salary packages, and advanced infrastructure. From kindergarten to high school, the city is a hotspot for teaching English and other subjects. Dive into our guide to explore more about teaching English in Abu Dhabi.
Prime Cities for Teaching in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi City | As the capital and second-largest city in the UAE, Abu Dhabi City is situated on a T-shaped island jutting into the Arabian Gulf. With year-round sunshine and a vibrant ex-pat community, it’s a top choice for many educators.
Al Ain | Nestled adjacent to Oman, Al Ain, the UAE’s fourth-largest city, is fondly referred to as the Garden City. Its lush landscapes and cultural richness make it a serene location for teaching.
Al Gharbia | While not mentioned in detail, Al Gharbia is another region under the Emirate of Abu Dhabi that hosts several schools.
Most teachers find themselves in urban or suburban locations within these cities, with commute times often under 45 minutes to their respective schools.
Requirements for Teaching in Abu Dhabi
Academic Qualifications: Teachers must hold a valid teaching license from their home state or province. An undergraduate degree without teaching credentials won’t suffice. Moreover, while Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or equivalent certifications are advantageous in bilingual settings, they cannot replace a formal teaching license.
Background Check: Before getting on board, all teaching applicants should provide a criminal background check during their face-to-face interview.
Visa Process for Teachers in the UAE: Acquiring a work visa is essential for foreign teachers in the UAE. Schools usually facilitate and sponsor this visa, ensuring a smooth transition for incoming educators.
Contract duration when teaching in Abu Dhabi
Teachers working in the UAE are contracted to teach for at least a year, and usually up to three years. Teachers who successfully complete the contract will be offered an option to renew their contracts.
Criminal Background Check
All Teach Away applicants to this public school program must provide a criminal background check at the time of their in-person interview.
Cost of Living and Salaries in Abu Dhabi
Teaching in Abu Dhabi isn’t just about a fulfilling career; it’s also financially rewarding. With a high standard of living, teachers can expect lucrative salary packages inclusive of great benefits. While the exact cost of living varies based on individual lifestyles, Abu Dhabi offers a comfortable life with modern amenities.
The cost of living for a foreign teacher in the UAE largely depends on lifestyle choices and location, with many schools offering housing allowances or accommodations. Excluding rent, monthly living expenses can range from $600 to $1,200 or more, factoring in utilities, transportation, food, and leisure activities.
Living in UAE as a Foreign Teacher
Navigating life in the UAE as a foreign teacher offers a blend of cultural immersion and modern comforts:
Cultural Respect: While the UAE is more liberal than other Gulf nations, respecting Islamic customs, like modest dressing and understanding Ramadan practices, is paramount.
Multicultural Cohesiveness: The UAE is a diverse mosaic of cultures. You’ll collaborate with colleagues globally, enriching your professional journey.
Quality Living Standards: UAE provides top-notch facilities from healthcare to transport. Many teachers benefit from housing allowances or even furnished accommodations.
Leisure Activities: Desert safaris, pristine beaches, historical sites, and vibrant festivals ensure you’re never bored during downtime.
Climate: Expect hot summers and mild winters, with air-conditioning being a standard relief.
Language: Arabic is official, but English is widespread. However, a few Arabic phrases can be handy for daily interactions.
Financial Upsides: Attractive salaries combined with no personal income tax allow for substantial savings.
Community: Expatriate-led social groups help in quick assimilation and connection-building.
Safety: The UAE boasts low crime rates and a general feeling of security.
Travel Gateway: Centrally located, the UAE is perfect for exploring neighboring countries during school breaks.
In essence, while adapting to the UAE’s cultural nuances might require effort, the rewards, both professional and experiential, are plentiful.
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Abu Dhabi at a glance
Currency: UAE Dirham
Government: Constitutional monarchy
Major religion: Islam
Climate: Hot desert climate
Size: 972.45 km²
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of UAE and is the second most populous city.
The Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi is the world’s furthest leaning man-made tower, leaning at 18 degrees -- four times greater than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The origin of the name "Abu Dhabi" is uncertain. Meaning "Father of the Gazelle", when literally translated from Arabic, it probably referred to the few gazelles that inhabit the emirate.