Looking for an exciting country rich in culture, with an energetic social scene for your teach abroad experience? You’ve come to the right place. The United Arab Emirates, is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, and multicultural choice. Teach in a place with a unique culture and earn a good salary all while still being able to find the comforts of home. The United Arab Emirates is the perfect spot to explore your curiosity while pursue a passion for teaching.
The UAE is a made up of a federation of seven emirates, with a total population of around 4.4 million people. The capital of Abu Dhabi is the commercial and cultural center. The country borders the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf between the countries of Oman and Saudi Arabia, and also shares sea borders with Qatar and Iran. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are probably the most recognised of the emirates. Work in Dubai if you want to live in the most populated city in the UAE and live right on the coast of the Persian Gulf.
When considering the UAE for a teach abroad destination to teach, don’t forget to pack sunscreen! Temperatures in the UAE usually get up to 104 degrees in the summer months, April to September. As for the winter months, October to March, it usually stays around 77 degrees; so needless to say, no need to put your sandals away for Christmas.
Traditional Middle Eastern food foods such as hummus, shawarma, and falafel are very easy to find, as are many foreign influenced foods, like Thai, Chinese, and Indian. Shawarma is a local favorite that refers to various meats being placed on a stick and roasted for a whole day. Pieces are shaved off for a delicious serving all its own or placed on a sandwich. The meal is a delicacy and holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for its immense size. With over 20 chickens, and several other fully intact animals, it takes the concept of a turducken to a whole new level.
The culture of the UAE is very diverse and multicultural. Emirati culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam, which plays a prominent role in lifestyle, music, cuisine, and architecture. The Call to Prayer will be heard across the UAE five times a day, directing Muslims to the various mosques across the country to pray. Friday is the holiest day of the week for Muslims, therefore the weekend starts on Friday, and the work week begins again on Sunday.
UAE nationals are tolerant people, and generally respect other religions. In Dubai or Abu Dhabi there are no issues finding a church, or Hindu temple. Contrary to popular belief, women (including Muslim women) are not required to wear a burka or abaya on a daily basis, unless entering a mosque, or during Ramadan. Dress is generally conservative, and women should be conscious of the fact that bare shoulders in public areas are generally not looked highly upon. This does not mean you will be arrested for showing your shoulders in public, it just means that you should be prepared to be stared at constantly.
The UAE has everything: beaches, shopping, cultural centers, concerts, and excellent opportunities to expand a teaching career plus the chance to add a wonderful chapter to any travel journal. We all know the main perk of teaching – summers off! Not only will you get the summer months off, but also several religious holidays (such as Ramadan for example) as well as national holidays. With many amazing countries close by, and airfare being very reasonable, all that free time can be used to explore the beauty of the Middle East.
The UAE is the most modern country in the Middle East, yet still maintains the core values and Arabic culture of its neighbouring countries. The city of Dubai boasts the largest mall and largest waterpark in the Middle East, and is home to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Dubai is also home to the Burj Al Arab, the unique sail shaped hotel on an artificial island just off Jumeirah Beach, which has been dubbed by travel enthusiasts as the world’s only seven star hotel.
There are many considerations when deciding on what school is the right fit for your overseas teaching experience. There are various options available when teaching in a local schools. Some are run by the country, while others are considered international schools with US curriculum. Regardless of the choice of schools, carefully look at the package that will be offered.
Housing is extremely expensive in the UAE, so a package that includes accommodation is basically a must. Most schools will also offer a plane ticket home once a year, which is an excellent perk, and also most include some sort of benefits plan.
To teach English, a TESOL or TEFL certificate would be accepted as proof that you are skilled to do so. However, to teach at an international school, a Bachelors of Education is necessary as well. International schools offer a much more enticing package, which could potentially include: airfare for you, your spouse, and up to two dependants, furnished accommodations, tuition for dependents to attend an international school, full health benefits, and a tax free salary that would normally start at around 10,000 dirhams per month (around $2,700 US Dollars). The salary and package for teaching English as a second language varies drastically. Some schools will offer a basic salary with accommodations and airfare, while others only offer the basic salary.
The UAE really does have it all – whether you are looking for a traditional Middle Eastern experience, complete with history, culture, and religion or a fun atmosphere with a booming nightlife you can truly have the best of both worlds in the UAE.