The United Arab Emirates is composed of seven emirates, each governed by their own emir, or ruler. The most famous emirates are Abu Dhabi, where the capital of Abu Dhabi City is located, and Dubai, the hub for all things luxurious in the Middle East. The UAE is a diverse nation, with hundreds of thousands of expats living in its multicultural cities. Shopping addicts will find that there is no shortage of markets and malls, and outdoorsy types will discover waterfalls, deserts, lakes and oceans.

Along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE offers some of the very best TEFL salaries in the world. If you work here for a decade you should be able to buy a nice house outright back in the West. But that’s if you can handle living in such a place for such a length of time. As with all Gulf States, the ultra-strict Muslim way of life is not particularly compatible with other belief systems and therefore many Westerners will require considerable time to adjust to what can be a stifling and rigid cultural environment. For example, even playing music in public is forbidden.

Besides the generous tax-free salaries, the other positive points include the excellent cuisine and opportunities to explore the desert and coastline. Experience is essential and many employers require at least three years. Many teachers complain of a culture of entitlement by rich Arabs who lack motivation to learn and feel they deserve to pass exams with no effort whatsoever.

Despite the large expat community and great salaries, life here is hard for Westerners and the rigid laws make it quite difficult to enjoy yourself in your spare time. Western women may finds things especially difficult. It is undoubtedly a great place to save money though, and if it weren’t for that single fact then the number of TESOL teachers in UAE would probably be much lower than it is.

Average Monthly Salary
US $1500 – $4500
Average Monthly Cost Of Living
UAE cost of living is notably higher than in neighboring countries
Peak Hiring Times
Spring / Summer
Visa Requirements
UAE residence permit needed; must pass physical and HIV tests, sometimes academic transcript needed (whole process takes 1-3 months).
Australian Government Travel Advice
Exercise normal safety precautions

Government regulations regarding work visas as well as the websites that we list all change with the passage of time. It is your responsibility to check and verify any information quoted here. We collate information from the public domain (and we update as often as possible) and we supply this in good faith. However we accept absolutely no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

References / Further Reading
Related Projects