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Teaching and living in Dubai: what you need to know


Have you ever wondered where the best salaries for TEFL teachers can be found?

One of them could very well be Dubai. Teachers in Dubai can expect to earn lucrative salaries and competitive benefits packages. Teaching in private international schools across the emirate of Dubai, teachers will join multinational staff and teach in schools offering state of the art facilities and excellent resources.

Teaching jobs in Dubai range from nursery and primary school right through to secondary school positions. Moving to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) might not be the ideal destination for many, but for some teachers, finding work in Dubai, otherwise known as the “City of Gold”, can prove highly lucrative.

Teaching jobs in Dubai offer a competitive salary, typically ranging from 9,000 – 15,000 AED/month (approximately $2,400 to $4,000 / €1,900 to €3,100). Administrative roles may offer a higher salary based on qualifications and experience.

According to one source, as many as 200,000 people move to the UAE from the UK each year, lured by the prospect of high wages and absent income tax laws. And this is a sentiment that is shared throughout the world, as only 16.5% of the country’s population are Emiratis.

As you might imagine however, there are some strings attached with moving to Dubai and the UAE, as although the country is thought of as one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, it is important to realise that it still adheres to Muslim culture.

Like any city, there are also a few myths and tall stories surrounding Dubai, so if you are planning a move any time soon, it is best to know what to and not to pay attention to.

A little on the laws

A recent survey found that British people are far more likely to be arrested in the UAE and Dubai than anywhere else in the world, so it is important to get your facts straight if you are moving from the UK.

Possibly the most noticeable law that could get you caught out is the swearing ban. By simply swearing or making a rude gesture, you could be jailed or deported and you should take particular care in regards to the police and other officials.

Similarly, public displays of affection are often frowned upon, with arrests having being made in the past for things such as kissing. Holding hands is okay, but you may well attract disapproving looks.

Additionally, electronic cigarettes are illegal in the UAE, and will be confiscated upon arrival, but it is best to get the matter out of the way and simply leave any electronic cigarettes in the UK.

A little on alcohol

A topic that needs a section all to itself, alcohol can be a dangerous thing in Dubai. This is because alcoholic drinks can only be served in licensed hotels and clubs, and it is a punishable offence to consume it or be under the influence of alcohol in public.

Non-Muslims however, can get a liquor licence to drink alcohol at home.  A permit must also be obtained to drink in licensed venues.

For those wishing to partake, it is advised to enter a taxi straight from a bar or hotel, and not to go off wandering while inebriated.

While we’re here, the UAE also imposes highly strict laws concerning drugs and the penalties are severe – the country also counts the presence of drugs in the blood stream as possession.

A little on properties

If you plan on buying a property in Dubai, it is advised that you seek professional advice, much in the same way that you would in the UK. You can actually find a list of trust lawyers for Dubai and Abu Dhabi on GOV.uk.

It’s also worth hiring a trusted company for removals to the UAE to ensure that everything is done professionally and with a great deal of care.

Is teaching English in Dubai up your street?

Would you like to experience life in Dubai as a TEFL teacher?

To find out if teaching English as a foreign language is for you, take our quiz here

To begin your career as a TEFL teacher, sign up to our Trinity Cert. TESOL course here

For information on the culture and cost of living in Dubai, take a look at the infographic below.

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