Living and Working in Abu Dhabi
Each year, thousands of teachers travel to Abu Dhabi to work in the Abu Dhabi public school system, take part in an exciting educational reform program, and experience life in the Middle East.
Banking in Abu Dhabi
When and how will I get paid?
Teachers working in Abu Dhabi public schools are paid by direct deposit at the end of each month. Each teacher will be responsible for opening a bank account at a bank of their choice within the UAE. Salary will be deposited in UAE dirhams.
Is it difficult to open a bank account in the UAE?
No, setting up a bank account in Abu Dhabi is very simple once teachers have the proper paper work.
Can I send money home?
Yes, there are many places that teachers can use to send money home safely and efficiently.
How much money should I bring with me to Abu Dhabi?
Teachers are encouraged to bring approximately $1000-$3500 USD to help with settling in, depending on the teacher’s family situation and spending habits. Teachers should budget as if the first pay check will arrive 6-8 weeks after arrival in the country, although it is scheduled to be paid at the end of the first month of employment.
Is Abu Dhabi a cash society?
Yes and no. While teachers can use foreign credit cards in most places within the UAE, cash is also widely used and is very convenient. Teachers are encouraged to carry cash with them at all times.
Transportation in Abu Dhabi
How far will my school be from my accommodation?
Teacher accommodation in Abu Dhabi can be up to a 45 minute commute. Teachers are responsible for all commuting expenses to and from work, although commuting costs in Abu Dhabi are relatively low. Car leases and second hand cars are fairly easy to come by and are affordable.
What type of transportation is available in Abu Dhabi?
The typical method of transportation in Abu Dhabi is by automobile. The majority of teachers in Abu Dhabi lease or purchase second hand cars during their placement. Taxis in Abu Dhabi are also used frequently and are not very expensive.
Accommodation and Living Expenses in Abu Dhabi
Is teacher accommodation in Abu Dhabi provided?
Yes, teachers working for public schools in the UAE through this program will receive free housing in Abu Dhabi. The size of the apartment will depend on whether the teacher is arriving single or with a family.
Typically, a teacher will be given a furniture allowance unless their apartment comes furnished. Utilities are a teacher’s responsibility. In Abu Dhabi, utilities usually amount to no more than 300 AED per month.
Is internet available in Abu Dhabi?
Yes, internet is available in Abu Dhabi. Teachers will be responsible to set it up on their own if they wish.
What is the cost of living in Abu Dhabi?
Daily expenses in Abu Dhabi vary depending on the teacher’s lifestyle. Typically, teachers should plan on spending money on food, utilities, clothes, and entertainment. Ethnic restaurants or fast food costs approximately 20-30 AED per meal, while hotel dinners range from 60-200 AED for a high-end meal.
How much money can I save in Abu Dhabi?
Depending on their lifestyle, teachers can expect to save between 60-70% of their monthly salary.
Marriage & Family in Abu Dhabi
Is common-law recognized in the UAE?
Teachers planning to come to the UAE with a partner will need to be married, and the marriage certificate will need to be authenticated from the appropriate offices.
Where will my children go to school in Abu Dhabi?
There are approximately 150 private schools within the emirate of Abu Dhabi offering global curricula. All expatriate children will need to study at a private school. Costs for private schools vary tremendously depending on the school and the facilities that are offered.
Women in Abu Dhabi
Are single women travelers to the UAE safe?
The UAE is a very safe country, and single women should not have any problems. As with any country, however, women should practice common safety procedures. Women are not encouraged to walk alone late at night, or to attend gatherings alone with groups unknown to them.
Do women in the UAE need to wear head scarves?
No, women in the UAE are not required to cover their hair.
What is the dress code in Abu Dhabi schools?
All teachers working in UAE public schools should dress professionally while at work. Business casual is usually required. Jeans, shorts, and flip flop sandals are not permitted at work. Outside of work, teachers are free to wear whatever they would like, but it is recommended that all teachers are conscious of and respect the fact that the UAE is a Muslim country.
Religion in Abu Dhabi
Are teachers permitted to practice their own religion in Abu Dhabi?
Freedom of religion is provided for by the Constitution of the UAE, although Islam is the official religion of the country. Abu Dhabi has many churches, temples, and mosques, where teachers are free to practice their respective faiths.
Entertainment in Abu Dhabi
What are the options for entertainment in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is a large, international Gulf city of 1.6 million that hosts theatre, cinema, fine dining, water sports, and world-class public and private beaches. Teachers will have ample opportunity to explore Abu Dhabi and the surrounding areas during their time in the UAE.
Are alcohol and partying permitted in the UAE?
Yes, alcohol and partying are permitted with discretion. Public intoxication is illegal, and alcohol is only sold in some hotel restaurants/bars and at the liquor store to those with permits. Alcohol permits from the government are available upon application.
For the answers to more questions, please check out our Abu Dhabi FAQ
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