Teach English in Abu Dhabi

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Despite the existing perceptions of Abu Dhabi as the epicenter of giant oil corporations and the UAE's top government offices, the city is undergoing rapid and influential change. As both a capital city and an emirate itself, Abu Dhabi is now world-renowned for its outstanding modernity. It is home to gigantic, luxury shopping malls and countless gleaming skyscrapers, as well as diverse natural scenery. Explore Abu Dhabi, the up-and-coming urban center of the Middle East, while teaching a variety of subjects!

  • Peak Hiring Times: Spring and Summer
  • Average Monthly Salary: $1,500 - $3,000 (or more) tax-free
  • Average Cost of Living: Abu Dhabi cost of living is relatively inexpensive (if housing is provided)
  • Save or Break Even? Save
  • Work Visa: Residence permit needed in Abu Dhabi; must pass physical and HIV tests, sometimes academic transcript needed (whole process takes 1-3 months)
Public Schools:

Public schools, located in Abu Dhabi, hire English teachers for kindergarten through high school. As part of a joint venture with the UAE's Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi's public schools have undergone major reform. This project, in conjunction with government initiatives, hopes to create a bilingual population.

English, math, and science courses are all taught in English and reserved for ESL teachers. In addition, some local public schools hire those with less teaching experience, which is a great opportunity for younger teachers looking to move to Abu Dhabi.

International Schools:

As an international center of commerce, many expatriate families have relocated to Abu Dhabi. International schools are abundant, either following an American or British curriculum. Instructors are needed in a variety of subjects, including mathematics, science, and social studies. Some examples are the American International School in Abu Dhabi and GEMS Cambridge International School.

Universities/Colleges:

Some colleges in Abu Dhabi hire educators for their English language, Business, Economics, or Finance departments. Professors are required to have prior experience and a master's degree to apply (PhD's are preferred).

When and Where to Look for Jobs:

The best times to apply for teaching positions are during spring and early summer, as most schools begin classes in either August or September.

Qualifications:

Teachers in Abu Dhabi are required to have a bachelor's degree and TEFL/TESOL certification. Those with a master's degree may be able to find jobs with higher pay. In addition, you must be a native English speaker with a minimum of 2 years teaching experience to apply (unless you plan to teach at a local, public school).

If you are planning to teach at an Abu Dhabi university, you must hold at least a master's degree in your area of expertise. Additionally, a minimum of 3 years teaching experience is required.

Salary & Cost of Living:

Most contracts offer free housing or a housing subsidy, along with flight reimbursements and an end-of-contract bonus. Medical insurance is typically covered by the employer, although, coverage does not extend beyond UAE boundaries. Since rent is covered, day-to-day costs in Abu Dhabi are relatively low. Avoid leaving the air-conditioning on when not in the house, as well as eating out often, if you want to save some of your earnings.

Classroom & Work Culture:

Dress professionally, or business casual, while in the classroom. Do not wear jeans, sleeveless tops, or sandals while teaching. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, so conservative dress is recommended while in public.

At most schools, you will work with other expats, as well as local teachers (foreign teachers make up about 10-35% of the staff at public schools).

Why Teach in Abu Dhabi?

Often overlooked in favor of the cosmopolitan and infamous Dubai, Abu Dhabi is aspiring for global city status. With its government focusing more and more on a comprehensive international curriculum, promoting English as the primary language in schools, Abu Dhabi is certainly on its way to global interconnectivity. Aside from the large market for English teachers, the city attracts visitors and residents with its variety of activities that include water sports and desert trekking. Be part of this monumental transformation as an educator in the rising city of Abu Dhabi!

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