Want to find a teaching job in Dubai? Here's what you need to know.
To teach in a Primary or Secondary school, Elementary, Middle or High school you normally need the following qualifications:
At Secondary and Middle/High School level, they will want to make sure that you have enough University coursework in your teaching subject, meaning if you are a Physics teacher, you will need to have a Bachelors degree in Physics or closely related, or significant University coursework in Physics.
At Primary (Elementary) level, most schools prefer you to have a Bachelors of Education or a degree in an academic subject taught at Elementary level (such as English, Mathematics, Geography, History, Science etc) plus teacher training such as a PGCE or Certification.
There is an international shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teachers worldwide, so experienced STEM teachers who can teach up to the highest levels (A level, Advanced Placement, Leaving Certificate, IB Diploma etc) are always in demand. Physics, Chemistry and IT/Computer teachers are usually in higher demand than Biology, General Science or Middle School teachers. Primary/Elementary teachers and English teachers are needed as well, though most schools in Dubai get inundated with Primary/Elementary teacher applications so the competition can be fierce. We find we often have shortages of Music, Drama, Female PE and Early Years especially later in the year.
Niche subjects or those taught in only one type of curriculum are often in less demand, for example Food Technology (UK), Home Economics (US), US History (US), Religious Education (UK), CAS (IB), Model UN (IB) and Theory of Knowlege (IB) have fewer openings.
There is no set salary scale in Dubai for teachers, so your salary will vary based on the school and curriculum. Most schools have a set scale based on experience and education, though in some of the lower tier schools you might be able to negotiate a bit if you have lots of experience. Salaries are usually quoted in a monthly figure, in local currency. As a rough guide, salaries will be higher at a school with higher fees for parents, so an elite IB school that charges $20,000 per year in tuition will pay a higher salary than a modest Indian curriculum school that charges $2000 per year.
Salaries are tax free in Dubai and most of the Gulf, meaning you do not pay income tax to the local government. You need to check the policies on Foreign Earned Income in your home country to make sure you won't owe any money back home.
In Dubai very few schools offer free tuition for the children of teachers. Most provide only a discount. If you have dependent children you need to factor school fees and all the extra costs (uniform, books, transport) into your calculations.
You can read more about how to understand an international salary and package here
Dubai, the UAE and most countries in the Gulf have a legal requirement to pay an end of service gratuity. This is money, on top of your normal salary, that you get upon completion of your contract and final service to the school. If you renew your contract, you get it at the end of the last contract renewal. It's normally a percentage of your 'basic salary' so look for this figure on your contract- it might be a smaller amount than you get every month because your monthly payment is broken into 'allowances' and 'salary'. In Dubai, for instance it's 23 days of 'basic salary' per year of service.
There are visa-related age restrictions throughout the Gulf, including Dubai. After age 60 it becomes more difficult and expensive for a school to sponsor you for a visa. Therefore, many schools prefer teachers who are younger than 55 so that they can get two contract renewals before this deadline.
There's no standard but most schools ask for 2 year contracts with an option on both sides to renew. A small number of schools offer 1 year contracts, or 3 year.
You'll need a CV or Resume that lists the following information at a minimum:
Your Edvectus consultant can send you a CV template or give you advice on how to improve your CV.
If you apply directly, you should expect to make dozens of applications before you get an interview. Jobs in Dubai are very competitive. If you work with an agency like Edvectus, we will only direct your applications to schools that hire teachers with your experience and education so we can save you time.
If the school like your CV /Resume you will be contacted for an interview, which is normally online using Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet. There may be a second round interview and your references with previous employers are checked. Then, the school will ask to see copies of your degrees and teaching qualifications, and will also require 'experience letters', and a current criminal record check.
Schools in Dubai and most of the Middle East will first give you an 'offer letter' which indicates the job, start date, basic employment package with salary, and benefits such as flights and housing. You sign and return it with the documentation needed (as above) and you will then get a full contract to sign and return. You will likely need to provide attested documents so that your visa is processed. Once your visa is ready, your school will give you your flights and start date.. and away you go!
No. Dubai is probably the most famous because it's known for tourism, but an hour away are other emirates such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al Khamah and more. Furthermore there are amazing opportunities in places like Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Kuwait is also popular for newly graduated teachers and those looking to save alot of money. Further afield there are so many places you can go from Thailand to Ecuador. For an experienced international teacher, the world is your oyster.