The Guide To Teaching English in Dubai, United Arab Emirates


If you are looking to make money teaching English and live in the comforts of modern society, the United Arab Emirates might be your next stop. Nestled in the Middle East, the UAE is an affluent state and the 7th largest oil exporter in the world. There are plenty of business professionals eager to learn English and they will pay good money to do so.

The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven emirates with Dubai at the heart of it all. Not surprisingly, Dubai is generally where the best English teaching jobs can be found. However, there are well-paying positions throughout the country.

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Basic requirements to teach English in Dubai

You must have a bachelor’s degree and either a TESL, TEFL or CELTA certificate to teach in the UAE. If you want to work at a university, you will need to have at least a master’s degree and something in TESOL, English or linguistics will definitely serve as an advantage.

Getting a work visa for the United Arab Emirates

Unlike some other countries, it is advisable that you do not fly into the UAE on a tourist visa and try to find a company to sponsor a work visa. It is always better to find a job and process your work visa before traveling there.

Therefore, you will most likely need to go through a recruiter to get a job in the UAE, but it may be possible to get hired directly by a school as well. Doing a quick Google search on finding a job there should provide all of the information that you need. After you find a school that is willing to hire you, the next process is to have your work visa processed. Plan ahead as the visa process can take up to three months.

Job opportunities

Like other countries, there is a wide array of teaching positions in the UAE. If you have a teaching license, it’s possible to work in public schools, which provide generous paid vacation time. Many teachers are placed in the private language institutes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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How much money can you make teaching English in Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

Generally, teachers can expect to make between $3,000 to $4,000 in the larger cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. University teachers make between $3,500 to $5,000 per month. Keep in mind that salaries are tax-free and most schools provide housing allowances on top of salary, great health care and ample paid vacation time.

While Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be expensive, teachers that know how to live reasonably can easily save  $25,000 to $35,000 in one year. Many schools also pay for airline tickets and offer generous bonuses upon completion of two or three-year contracts.

The cost of living

The cost of living in the Dubai or Adu Dhabi is on par with any affluent country. Expect to pay back home prices or even more for everything. A one bedroom apartment in the center of Dubai goes for about $1,500, but many schools will cover that cost. A meal at a cheap restaurant cost $5 to $11 and expect to pay $20 to $25 at a mid-range establishment. An imported beer can cost $8 at a bar and a cappuccino will set you back $4 or $5.

There are also plenty of fun and world-class attractions for adults that will take a toll on your wallet. Nevertheless, those who are frugal enough will have an easy time saving money in the UAE and enjoy all the amenities of an ultra-modern society.


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About James Soller

James Soller taught English for four years in Japan and traveled throughout Asia and South America. These days, he spends most of his time building Wordpress sites, blogging and teaching others the nuances of digital marketing.

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