Private tutors and tuition in Dubai and the UAE
Information about private tutors and tutoring in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and UAE.
Note that under most circumstances, giving private tuition lessons is illegal in the UAE. That doesn't stop many teachers offering private tuition, or parents paying for it, including parents in positions which remind us that Dubai is a land of irony. This page is not intended to be advice to criminals wanting to break the law, it is our observation of how things are in the UAE and should be treated as opinion only, not advice (legal, moral, or otherwise). A legal way of offering private tuition is either to be employed (legally) by a company offering such services (legally), or establish your own private tuition company (legally). One legal issue is that in the UAE, most workers and employees are not permitted to take on a second job or any sort of additional employment with a sponsor or employer other than their primary one.
- Many parents are keen to supplement their children's education with extra lessons. Many teachers (especially the underpaid ones) will enthusiastically supply such a service. Therefore it would seem that the supply and demand equations balance out and all is well with the world. Except for the grumpy student who would probably prefer to hang out with his or her classmates somewhere else.
- However, the UAE government appears to support the grumpy student perspective so private tuition is officially illegal (with the threat of severe penalties ...) in Dubai and the UAE. This ruling apparently arose as a result of complaints that teachers weren't teaching classes properly to more easily persuade students they needed extra (paid) tuition.
- Not surprisingly, one tends to find that there is maybe an element of truth in that claim in schools where teachers are paid very low wages.
- However, should you want to find a private tutor for one of your eye's apples, it is relatively easy. And teachers willing to offer their services should find an ample supply of students, especially in areas like Maths, Science, English and other languages.
- Going rates amongst western expats for private lessons and tuition are about 100-200 dhs per lesson depending on level and subject, or as much as
anywhere between Dh100 to Dh1,000 for hourly sessions, according to a Khaleej Times report 24 August 2010. The high end figure of AED 1,000 sounds very unlikely to us - that's about what lawyers in the UAE charge. Maybe they're the ones paying the higher tuition rates for their children.
- At the other end of the scale, the American International School in Dubai introduced in 2010 a scheme called the
Study Support Program where students can stay behind after school and do extra classes for AED 50 per hour. Teachers stay behind to teach them. Unknown if the fees paid go to the teachers doing overtime, or to the school.
- As many as 60% of senior students in some schools are taking on some private tuition according to a report in the Khaleej Times 24 August 2010. And that 27% of Emirati families spend AED 1436 per month on private tuition according to the Abu Dhabi Department for Economic Development, which sounds like an odd combination of numbers to report.
- The report also reminded readers that Private tutoring is banned in the UAE.
- Irony will rear its unlikely head on occasion, and lift your eyebrows, when you discover who some of the clients for private tuition are.
Private tutors in Abu Dhabi
- 08 Sep 2011 - news reports said that teachers caught giving private lessons in Abu Dhabi would be fired. The reports quoted Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), as saying "Teachers should not engage in private lessons for money ... the Council's new work contracts deprive all teachers from doing so and any one proved to be giving private lessons will be sacked."
Finding a private tutor in the UAE
- UAE newspapers, especially the Gulf News, will carry advertisements for tutors looking for students, and students looking for tuition.
- Try dedicated classified advertisement websites such as Dubizzle.
- Supermarket noticeboards often have ads from teachers advertising their services.
- If you're a student looking for tuition, ask your teacher. They will usually know someone looking for extra work.
- Teachers looking to supplement their income could let fellow teachers know, often word-of-mouth is an effective way to match students with tutors (and hopefully helps filter out time-wasters, be they useless tutors or uninterested students).
And when it does go wrong ...
- 28 Sep 2013 - A Gulf News report said that a resident of the Muhaisnah area in Dubai was fined AED 800 by the property developer of the housing area where she lived, for giving lessons to up to 10 students in her home.
- The fine was because the developer did not permit commercial activities to take place in residential areas (a common restriction in Dubai). It was unclear under what legal authority the developer was able to enter the tenants home, pass judgement, and issue the fine though.
- The report quoted Engineer Jaber Al Ali, Building Inspection Department Head at the Dubai Municipality, as saying "We visit buildings, villas and compounds in cooperation with representatives of the property developers because they could knock on someone’s door and enter. We do not have the authority to enter a person’s home without a warrant from the Public Prosecution, even if their door is open. And our inspectors have been well trained to abide by the rules. But we cannot stop property developers from issuing fines because it is in their right to do so."
- The name of the development or property developer was not mentioned in the report.
- According to a different property developer, it is not the activity that is the problem, but the exchange of money. An unnamed representative from Wasl property development was quoted as saying "Tenants that rent out flats for residential purposes have to strictly abide to the tenancy contract, and under no circumstance can they use it for commercial purposes. There is no problem if people want to carry out classes in their homes, but once money is exchanged the gravity of the situation is different and the property developer has the right to step in and stop them, particularly if they received complaints from other tenants".
- Babysitting probably doesn't count as private tuition but might be regarded as a commercial activity by property developers, especially if they are looking for different ways to collect money from their tenants. Apparently some residents train their babysitters not to open doors to strangers (or even answer them), but if asked, to say they are looking after a friend's baby for a few minutes while the parents pop out to the grocery store, and no they are not being paid, they are just doing a favor for a friend while they do their homework.
Last update Monday 30-Sep-2013