Teaching Jobs in Dubai, UAE
Information about teaching jobs in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, RAK, Sharjah, and other places in the UAE, how to apply for a teaching job, recruitment agencies, salaries and conditions. See also the page about teaching in the UAE.
Teaching job scams in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE
- There are many ways to part people from their money, and several companies or organisations have discovered that teachers looking for jobs in the UAE seem to be happy to take an online advertisement for a teaching job at face value, send their personal details and job application, and then when offered a "too good to be true" job package, promptly send several hundred $US to a random person/address (sometimes presented as some sort of UAE government department) for alleged "visa fees" or similar.
- Of course, the job turns out to be bogus, the money has gone, it is impossible to make further contact, and there's little point in complaining to the police since the organisation doesn't operate out of the UAE anyway.
- School names might be made up, for example Mu Idris English School, or a real school's name might be abused for this con, for example British School of Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi.
- Being asked to send money to a recruitment agency to find you a job, to process a visa, or for any other employment related expenses should be a warning sign. The genuinely legitimate schools and recruitment agencies in the UAE will not ask you for money for such items.
- Any website related to your job search that ends in .tk should also be a warning sign (not that .coms or other extensions are necessarily safer but .tk domains are free and appear to be more frequently used for this particular hoax).
- See the Global Recruiters Dubai teaching jobs information for one example of how this works in more detail.
For those teachers who, despite reading the above, are still very enthusiastic about sending money to these organisations, please do the following instead. Keep half, and send us the other half. That way we will both be in a better position financially. Ok, you still won't have a job yet, but you're more likely to find one by reading the rest of this page, and the other related pages, than by sending money to those organisations. And at the bottom of this page, there's a list of recruitment agencies for teaching jobs that we know of, and think are worth using.
Finding a teaching job in Dubai and UAE schools, colleges, and universities
In order of most effective to least effective way of finding a teaching job in a UAE school, especially a good job, try the following (for universities and colleges, the personal approach might be more difficult since they often have stronger firewalls, called Human Resource Departments):
- Research schools in the UAE and make a list of names of schools you might be interested in teaching in. Then adjust your CV to suit each school, and write a letter asking for a job. Don't address the letter with with Dear Sir/Madam. Find out the name of the person in charge. Phone the school to ask, or confirm that a name is up to date.
Make sure the documents are free of spelling and grammatical errors - you are applying for a teaching job after all.
- If you know a teacher or another employee at a school, give them the letter/CV to hand over to the head. Networking (or Wasta as it's often called in the UAE) usually helps, and the adage It's not what you know but who you know is as true in the UAE as it is anywhere.
- If you live in the UAE, you can visit the school personally to deliver your CV/letter. It has happened that people are offered a job on the spot with this method.
- Otherwise, make a direct approach to each of the schools in your short list by sending a fax, letter, or email. Our guess is that fax or letter is more effective than email. Follow up the communication with a telephone call a week later if you haven't heard anything, and expect to be fobbed off. If they want you, they'll usually contact you quickly.
- Many schools have an employment or recruitment section on their websites. Visit the school's website to see if they are advertising teaching positions, and apply if they are. General online job application forms, when no positions are being advertised, are less likely to find a job quickly. Schools have these to filter out teachers they don't want, and have a pool of teachers they can call on if a job becomes available.
- Try one of the specialised education job recruiting agents in the list on this page. Or any others you can find, but make sure they're reputable. There are plenty who aren't.
- Look for teaching job advertisements in specialised newspapers and magazines related to education. The Times Educational Supplement and The International Educator are two that are well known.
- Look for teaching jobs in UAE based newspapers (the Gulf News is probably the only one worth bothering with as of 2010), or contact UAE recruitment agents.
- Try responding to one of the zillions of online job websites that advertise teaching jobs, but really, there are only a handful of Dubai job websites that are even worth trying. Or any other form of online marketing for a teaching job. Remember that schools usually using this method are probably desperate, which is a sign that they might not be great places to work. And chances of falling for some sort of job scam in the UAE are much higher this way.
Remember that in order of effort, the most successful job finding strategy is the most work. That's because it's also the strategy that involves the least effort on the part of the school to find a teacher.
- Schools that rely on the least successful methods of finding a teachers usually have to do that because good teachers (and maybe even bad teachers) don't want to work there.
- If what you're trying isn't working, then try something different to make yourself more appealing as a teacher to a prospective employee - rewrite your CV, rewrite your letter, try a different method, cut your hair, wear different clothes, start studying for an additional qualification.
- But don't lie, don't buy fake or bogus qualifications, and don't beg or whine. Any of those strategies might help you to obtain job offer in the short run but in the long run they usually result in more trouble than they're worth. Apart from the moral and ethical issues to do with using deception as a strategy to succeed.
Best schools for teachers in the UAE
- This list is our very subjective opinion only. By "best" we mean relatively professional working environment, administration for the most part is supportive of teachers in a professional capacity, resident visas are organised promptly, salaries and benefits package are decent to good (roughly AED 15k-20k per month in 2010-2011), salaries are paid on time, and teachers should suffer from minimal or no bureaucratic hassles on arrival, during employment, or when departing.
- If a school is not in the list below, that doesn't mean it is necessarily bad (although there are plenty that are), but it's not regarded as one of the best ones, or we don't have enough information to add it to the list. The list is deliberately kept short.
- Jobs at schools in this list are usually hard to come by. You're unlikely to find them advertised on job websites. Best approach directly to the school early in the academic year, and/or keep an eye on the specialist teaching recruitment agencies and publications. You'd be expected to have at least 2 years experience, be properly qualified, and have achievements that make you stand out from the crowd.
- Many schools (and companies in general) in the UAE often make things particularly difficult for departing teachers, attempting to withhold gratuity and/or other payments that are due to them. Before whining and jumping up and down, teachers should at least check the UAE labour law since confusion over contracts and other employment related matters is common in the UAE.
- Schools in this list are usually western or international curriculum. Even the better Asian curriculum schools still have relatively low salary scales.
- Schools in this list usually coincide with schools that are also the best for students, in the opinion of parents.
Best schools for teachers in Abu Dhabi
Schools worth trying in Abu Dhabi if you can't find a job at one of the best ones
Best schools for teachers in Dubai
Schools worth trying in Dubai if you can't find a job at one of the best ones
Best schools for teachers in Ajman, Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain
- None that we can think of that compare to the ones listed for Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Teacher job satisfaction in Abu Dhabi - mid 2011 survery
- A WAM news report 15 August 2011 had the headline Teachers' professional satisfaction rate in Abu Dhabi Schools is as high as 78.3%. The conclusion was the result of a survey conducted during June and July 2011 whereby 5022 public and private school teachers completed a questionnaire on the ADEC web portal. It wasn't clear from the report how random the survey was or how participants were chosen.
- There was a confusing line in the report about overall job satisfaction (the first question) which said ... related to the teacher's salary and as predicted, the levels of satisfaction were relatively low, in both public and private sectors, with 31.9 in the public sector and 43.8 in the private sector (but didn't say who made the prediction or when it was made). Presumably referring to a component asking about pay and salaries. Whereas the first paragraph of the report said A recent survey conducted by Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) on teachers' job satisfaction in Abu Dhabi Schools showed a satisfaction index in public schools of 77.7% while in private schools, it reached 78.9.
- The National had a slightly different slant on the survery, with a headline on 16 August 2011 that said Teachers criticise apathetic parents, and highlighted that In a survey of 5,000 teachers, carried out by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) last month to gauge job satisfaction, it was found that 76.3 per cent of public school teachers and 67.3 per cent of private school teachers were unhappy with behaviour in the classroom.
- The actual results of the 12 questions are summarized in the table below:
||Overall job satisfaction
||Satisfaction with salary and pay (not clear which question)?
||Teaching profession satisfaction
||Satisfaction within school environment
||Professional development (PD) progress2
||Self assessment of progress towards personal PD goals2
||School support towards professional development
||Self-assessment of teaching abilities and strategies2
||Self-confidence in performing their job as teachers2
||Coherence between education system and life in general (or something)
||Moral and psychological support from school to the teacher
||Student behaviour in classrooms (higher means participants think behaviour is worse)
||Independence of teacher
- Not clear from report if figures apply to public, private, or both.
- There appears to be significant overlap between some pairs of questions - 4 & 5, 7 & 8.
- Male : female response split was 37% : 63%.
- Public : private sector response split was 80% : 20%
- Regional response was Abu Dhabi 46%, Al Ain 40%, 14%
Teaching qualifications in Dubai
Teacher training in Dubai and the UAE
Salaries for teaching jobs in Dubai and the UAE
There is supposed to be a minimum teacher salary of 2,000 dhs/mth in the UAE according to the UAE Ministry of Education (for most jobs in Dubai there is no minimum salary) but some schools try to pay less than that, at least according to several press articles. See the teacher salaries in Dubai discussion. Update (16 June 2010): the minimum might be higher - Gulf News reported that Asian schools teachers are among the lowest paid in the market with the minimum salary fixed at Dh2,500 by the Ministry of Education. Figure unconfirmed. Update again (22 February 2011): the minimum is apparently still AED 2,000 per month - Emirates Business 24-7 reported that Currently, most teachers in schools with Indian curricula earn less than Dh2,500 – just above the UAE Ministry of Education's minimum wage cap of Dh2,000.
Salary range for classroom teachers is 1,000-6,000 dhs per month for most government schools and 1,000-20,000 dhs per month for private schools. Schools with IB, UK or US curriculums usually pay the highest - the better ones are 10,000-15,000 dhs per month (with accommodation, flights etc included), at the top of the range secondary school teachers could get over 20,000 dhs per month. Indian schools pay about 2,000-4,000 dhs per month. Other Asian schools are similar, other European schools are closer to UK/US curriculum schools with their packages.
- For example, a British curriculum school in Abu Dhabi (unnamed) was advertising in August 2010 for a primary school teacher to KS1 with salary range of AED 11,000-15,000. Benefits included family housing, flights, medical, free schooling for 2 children (presumably if they attend the same school as the employee, not clear if fees paid to send them to another school). School claimed to be offering one of the top Abu Dhabi international school teacher salaries.
- The ADEC was offering Abu Dhabi teaching jobs in their Abu Dhabi PPP schools program which started in 2006, with salaries advertised up to AED 20,000 per month from some providers. But that's a maximum. Range is probably something like AED 5,000 to 20,000 per month.
In the list of Dubai schools, if there is no teacher salary information, the school fees will give an indication of the salaries on offer. Divide the annual secondary school fee by 3 to get a very approximate monthly salary figure, or divide the primary school annual fee by 2. Reduce the result by 25% for profit-making schools. This should give you a mid to high point on the school salary scale.
- Teachers should check carefully what the salary package includes. Most overseas hire packages will include accommodation (which can vary from very good to slum), medical (which can also vary substantially - a government health card is only regarded as a bare minimum), return flights once a year (if the school insists on making bookings for you, this can be an aggravating experience). Some will include allowances for transport and utilities, and free or reduced tuition charges for children attending the same school.
- If a school offers an accommodation allowance instead of accommodation, it is likely to be insufficient for good accommodation - assume it will cover about 50% of your rental costs (which are normally paid one year in advance in full). Especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and until 2009 at least, it's difficult to even find properties for rent.
- Teachers on local contract hires will normally not be offered any of the above and may find it difficult financially if they have to cover their own accommodation costs - rental properties are very expensive in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
- Check also the policy for salary increments. Some schools do not move teachers up a salary scale irrespective of years of service or additional qualifications gained.
Salary scale for UAE public (government) school and kindergarten teachers and principals (UAE Federal Law number 11 of 2008 - Human Resources)
||Basic Salary (AED)
||Total (monthly, AED)
||Total (annual, AED)
|Emirati teacher (starting salary)
|Expat teacher (starting salary)
|Emirati principal (starting salary)
|Emirati principal (maximum)
- Salaries might have been amended in 2011 or 2012 when a revised law was issued (November 2011 or January 2012?).
- Note that these salaries are for government schools and kindergartens, not private institutions.
Teacher Recruitment Agencies and Finding Jobs for Teachers and Teaching in Dubai
The local UAE recruitment agencies and newspapers are not the best source of teaching jobs. The better options are (see end of page for links to relevant websites).
- ECIS - European Council of International Schools - organise teacher recruitment fairs. The main one is London in Jan/Feb but there are others.
- Search Associates - another teacher recruitment agency with job fairs in Dubai.
- TES - Times Educational Supplement - UK weekly newspaper with good listings of international teaching jobs.
- TIE - The International Educator - a US based publication with many international teaching jobs. Comes out infrequently (quarterly?).
- One not so promising option seems to be Global Recruiters (name changed to Global Recruiting Resources), which claims to be a Dubai employment agency but you should confirm anything from them independently. For example, we've seen teaching job offers from them for several different schools and colleges in Dubai, none of which appear to exist, including Deira Homeland School, Atika Language School, Zafirah Language Institute. They also charge job-seekers a fee, a practice which is not allowed according to UAE labour law.
This section moved to the Dubai private tutors page
Last update Saturday 28-Apr-2012