How To Get A Job Teaching English In Dubai 2019 Guide

    teach english in dubai

    English is a globally recognized language

    English is an international language. Around 55 countries of the world speak English as their official language and many other countries recognize it as a second language. That is why the number of non-native speakers who want to learn English as a Second or Foreign Language is on the rise. People need to learn it for different purposes such as for enrolling into top universities that are located in native English speaking countries or to get better job opportunities. Even the global media or entertainment industry uses English as the primary language for communication, therefore, the reasons for learning are many.

    Can an English teaching career in Dubai be rewarding?

    As mentioned above, non-native speakers want to learn English for different reasons and this has created a huge job market for qualified English teachers around the world. Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that becoming an English language teacher can be an extremely rewarding career option because there is a lot of demand for English language teachers internationally. Even if you can’t find a vacancy for an English language teacher in your home country, there is a good market to explore abroad.

    Most of the non-native countries that hire English language teachers not only pay high salaries but some of them also offer additional benefits and bonuses. Dubai is one such place where the demand for English language teachers in Dubai is quite high and the city has a lot more to offer than just a good teaching job opportunity.

    What makes Dubai a great place to teach English?

    Here are a few reasons why you should consider Dubai as a great option for teaching English:

    • Dubai has a lot to offer – Dubai can be an excellent destination for English language teachers if you want to have an international experience while having the time of your life. Dubai offers luxurious living, amazing beaches, and outstanding food choices from all parts of the world. You can have a great dessert safari experience, shop at the best shopping malls and live a life any modern city can offer while working as a teacher. It is a blend of various cultures and nationalities and you will have students from all over the world. This can not only give you the experience of teaching students from different backgrounds but can also help you learn new things as well.
    • Demand for English teachers is high – Dubai is a popular tourist spot and its trade and economy continue to grow, which is the reason there is always a lot of demand for English language teachers in this city. With multinational companies and businesses in the city, the locals want to improve their English fluency to communicate better with them. Therefore, you can find American and British school systems in Dubai that teach English and almost always have job opportunities available for English teachers.
    • Benefits – Another reason why Dubai can be a great destination for English language teachers is that many institutes offer a lot of benefits and bonuses to the teachers which make the job more rewarding.
    • Salary is high – Schools in Dubai pay high salaries to their teachers. On average a licensed and experienced teacher can earn around $3,811 to $5,717 per month. You can also get accommodation allowance and have health insurance covered by the employer.

    What qualifications do you need to be able to teach English in Dubai?

    In order to teach English in Dubai you would need the following qualifications:

    • A bachelors or master’s degree
    • Teaching certification like TEFL or CELTA – these are not mandatory but having them will help you get more and better job opportunities.
    • Some institutes demand at least three years of teaching experience; however, this is not mandatory and you can still find a job even if you don’t have prior teaching experience.

    What is TEFL or CELTA

    Teaching English as a Foreign Language or TEFL is a certificate course that qualifies you to teach English to non-native English speakers. This certification trains you to teach students from all backgrounds and ages. If you want to teach English abroad than having a TEFL certification can be of great help.

    Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults or CELTA is a teacher training course supported by the Cambridge school system. This certificate trains you to teach English to adults who do not speak English as a first language. Having a CELTA certificate is an added asset for teachers who want to teach in countries that do not have English as their official language.

    Dubai has two school systems

    Dubai has two camps when it comes to English language teaching; American curriculum and British curriculum. Most of the top schools in Dubai follow these two camps and hire teachers accordingly.

    • Schools that follow American curriculum mostly hire teachers who are North American native speakers and are also expected to have teaching certificates like TEFL from a renowned American or Canadian institutes.
    • Similarly, schools that follow British curriculum hire teachers who have certificates from the United Kingdom – schools following the British curriculum prefers CELTA certification rather than TEFL.

    Different teaching opportunities in Dubai

    There are numerous opportunities for English language teachers in Dubai. You can teach starting from kindergarten all the way up to universities. You can also get English teaching jobs in different institutes or give private tuitions. All jobs have their own requirements and offer various salaries and it is up to you to find what works best for you.

    • Public Schools – Getting a teaching job at a public school can be a little competitive; however, a Bachelor’s degree, teaching license, TEFL certification and a few years of classroom experience can help you qualify you for the job.
    • Public schools offer salary packages depending on the teacher’s experience and qualification. You can earn anywhere between 12,300 to 20,400 AED per month which is equal to $3,300 to $5,500 per month.
    • Additional benefits include accommodation and health insurance. Public schools also offer a bonus at the end of the contract, which is equal to a month’s salary. All these benefits are for the entire family.
    • Private International schools – International schools can be a great way to start a teaching career as there are many International schools in Dubai. This makes it easier to find vacancies, however, securing these jobs may require you to meet strict standards. These schools usually have children of expats studying there, as people from different nationalities try to enroll their children in schools that follow the same curriculum as their home country.
    • To be able to teach in a Private International School, teachers are expected to have a Bachelor’s degree, a teaching license along with TEFL certification. Teachers are also required to have at least 1 to 2 years of prior teaching experience. A higher degree and more experience will work in your favor.
    • English language teacher can earn 9,000 to 15,000 AED while working at an International School which is almost equal to $2,400 to $4,000 per month. Along with the salary, these schools also offer shared accommodation, visa assistance, and health insurance and covers flight expenses for the teachers. The benefits are only offered to the employee and if you want to bring your family, you have to pay for them yourself.
    • Language Schools – Dubai is a hub for expats and because of their growing number, English is fast becoming the primary language for communication. This has created a huge demand for English language teachers especially in different Language schools found in the city. Teachers with TEFL certification can easily find a job at these language centers. Even though it is not mandatory but you may need to have a bachelor’s degree and even a TEFL certification in some cases. Not all but a few schools may also require you to have some teaching experience.  
    • Language schools pay according to your experience and qualification and the salary packages can vary from school to school. On average, an English language teacher can earn somewhere between 12,300 to 20,400 AED per month which is equal to $3,300 to $5,500 per month.
    • All Language Schools offer accommodation allowance to their teachers while flight tickets and other bonuses would vary from school to school.
    • Vocational Schools and Colleges – Vocational schools are regulated by the government and, therefore, they have set salary packages and benefits. Teachers working at Vocational schools or colleges are required to have a Bachelor’s degree along with TEFL certification. Usually, these schools are looking for teachers who have experience working with students learning various trades and skills. However, you don’t need that kind of experience to be an English language teacher.
    • On average, the English language teachers at Vocational schools or colleges are paid a monthly salary of around 11,000 to 15,000 AED which is equal to $3,000 to $4,000 per month. Additional bonuses include accommodation allowance, flight expense, and health insurance. These schools also provide assistance with your visa process.
    • Teach private families – If you want flexibility in your working hours and don’t want to be associated with any teaching institute then working as a tutor with private families is a great option. You can work with royal families and teach English to their children in a private setup. Salaries would vary from family to family but you can be assured of getting decent pay. In order to be able to teach private families, you would have to go through recruiting agencies that will help in finding the right job for you.
    • Teach English through British Council – The British Council of U.A.E recruits teachers to work at their teaching centers in Dubai, Abu-Dhabi and Sharjah. These centers cater to students of all nationalities and backgrounds. To be able to work as an ESL teacher through the British council you are required to have a CELTA certificate, an undergraduate degree and at least 2 years of prior teaching experience.
    • You will either be teaching adults, young adults or children based on your previous experience and your salary will depend on what classes you get and the number of hours you work for.

    What is the Visa process for teaching English in Dubai?

    In order to legally teach in Dubai, you will require a residence visa and a labor card. Your employers usually assist with the visa application so all you need to do is follow their instructions. There will be a lot of paperwork to do but you will be provided with all the instructions from your workplace. Once your visa is applied it may take 1 to 3 months for the process to materialize.

    Once your residence visa is approved you can enter the country. When you land in Dubai, your employer will most likely take your passport to get the work visa validated. Meanwhile, you will have to undergo a complete medical checkup. If you get a clean chit from the medical unit and your residence visa is validated, you will be given a labor card. You are supposed to carry the labor card with you at all times as it will serve as your ID card in Dubai. Residence visa is valid for 3 years and it can be renewed if needed.

    What kind of accommodation can you find in Dubai?

    There are many options to choose from while looking for a place to live in Dubai. You can find apartments, villas, and townhouses in various parts of the city. Although independent villas would sound tempting and luxurious they can be quite expensive. If you are on a budget it would be better to look into apartments or townhouses.

    Most employers offer accommodation to their employees, however, some might give housing allowance. If you are looking for a place on your own it is highly recommended to search the market thoroughly before making a decision as rents or lease can get quite expensive despite the housing allowance.

    What is the average cost of living in Dubai?

    Dubai can be an expensive place as the cost of living is on the higher side. The basic expenses, like rent, groceries, transportation, and utilities can take quite a chunk of your salary.

    On average, the monthly rent in Dubai can range between $1,700 to $3,000; depending on where you choose to live. Utilities can cost up to $205 per month. The cost of groceries will depend on the number of people in your family. Also, there are overhead expenses that need to be taken under consideration, like transportation, nightlife, dining out and schooling if you have children.

    Although Dubai can be expensive if you work there as a teacher, chances are that your pay will be decent enough. A little mindfulness about your lifestyle can help you in living comfortably.

    How is transportation in Dubai?

    Dubai is a busy city and moving around is a bit if a hassle there. Although, there are metros and buses all over the city, however, the commute can take a long time and you can be stuck in public transportation for hours. There are many taxis running in Dubai and they are quite reasonable, however, if you are planning to live in Dubai it is better to have your own car to move around with ease. Dubai recognizes the license from most countries of the world and all you have to do is get it converted. The license conversion only takes about 30 minutes and is a smooth process.

    How hot are the summers in Dubai?

    Dubai is a dessert and certainly hot like one. You cannot avoid the heat in Dubai, so you have to get used to it. The summer can get extremely hot and the temperatures can go over 40 degrees. All the activities are restricted to air-conditioned malls, clubs, and restaurants. The evenings, however, can get slightly better and more bearable. The winter may not be too cold but it is quite pleasant and a nice change from the scorching summer heat. If you cannot tolerate heat at all Dubai might not be the right place for you.

    How to teach English without traveling abroad?

    If you are an English language teacher who is looking for international teaching experience but does not want to move to a new country, then you can consider teaching online. The online job market for teachers is growing and offers plenty of job opportunity that helps you earn some extra money.

    One of the best ways to teach online is to go for an online language school and when it comes to that then nothing is better or larger than VIPKID.

    What is VIPKID and how can you start working on it?

    VIPKID is the largest online platform currently providing English language classes to around 500,000 Chinese students. As of now around 60,000 ESL teachers are working with VIPKID and getting paid.

    In order to work with VIPKID, you are required to have a Bachelor’s degree and at least one year’s prior experience of working with children.

    Why choose VIPKID?

    Following are some of the reasons why VIPKID can be a great option for ESL teachers:

    Convenience – English language teachers who want to gain international teaching experience without having to move to another country can conveniently teach with VIPKID. You will not have to worry about leaving your house or applying for visas or finding a job. Getting hired by VIPKID will save you from all the hassle and, after getting hired, you can start working as soon as you want.

    Pay is high – VIPKID pays on hourly bases and you can earn between $7 to $22, which is a competitive salary for online teachers. It is a great option for those who have regular day jobs and want to supplement their primary income.

    Flexibility – With VIPKID you can work as much or as little as you want. here is no compulsion of how many hours you have to work. You choose your own timings and your own hours. It makes it very easy to balance your first and seconds job and your personal life.

    Immediate payment method – VIPKID has its own payment method and you get paid online as soon as your class is done. You don’t have to wait until the end of the month to get your payment.

    The material is given to you – VIPKID provides the teachers with the curriculum and you do not have to spend time looking for teaching material for your class. All you have to do is prepare for your lesson and deliver.


    If you are an ESL teacher who is looking for international teaching experience, then Dubai is a great place to look for a job. The city has many English teaching positions available, which will give you a chance to live in one of the most happening cities in the world. The salary packages and benefits are quite good in Dubai, however, the living cost is also high and you need to keep that in mind before deciding to move there. Another thing to take under consideration is the weather because Dubai can be really hot especially in the summers. If you are someone who cannot tolerate heat, then Dubai might not be the ideal place for you.

    Moving to a whole new place can be daunting and scary. If you think you are not ready to take that leap in your life yet, then consider working with VIPKID. VIPKID can get you the international teaching experience you need and you can gain that from the comfort of your home at your own convenience.