Teaching in Abu Dhabi International Schools Requirements & Salary

Opportunities for jobs teaching in Abu Dhabi international schools & UAE from Al Ain, Sharjah, Ajman. Discover diverse education & school teaching in United Arab Emirates at one of the many private international schools in the emirate.

Qualified state school teachers looking for a position in the (UAE) can teach in Dubai or other parts of the country.

The UAE is made up of several different areas with Dubai and Abu Dhabi being more well-known cities internationally.

Teaching in Abu Dhabi, UAE schools

Teaching in Abu Dhabi, UAE schools

What is it like teaching in Abu Dhabi? Private fee paying schools in the UAE are where many teachers look to teach. International school jobs can be secured to educate local Emirate, and the large expat community of foreign children from countries around the world.

UAE school teacher jobs at nursery/kindergarten, primary/elementary and secondary/high school level are advertised throughout the year to attract qualified teachers to the country. Teach as a single teacher, couple or with a family.

The international school year for students and teachers starts mid August to June the following year.

Teachers work approximately 35 to 40 hours class contact time, preparation, marking, teacher duties including cover lessons or extra curricula activities,.

Normally you receive 2 days off each week (Friday & Saturday) holidays: 6 weeks summer, 1 week October, 2 weeks December and 1 at Easter.

Abu Dhabi, UAE international school teacher salary

Salaries for a classroom teacher in 2021 at an international school in Abu Dhabi, UAE start around 9,500 up to 18.000 AED per month tax free depending on qualifications and experience. In addition a salary package is payable.

Abu Dhabi teacher benefits salary package includes for overseas recruited teachers:

  • Basic salary every month paid into a local bank you choose
  • Annual return flight to home country
  • Health insurance, you should check level of medical cover provided
  • Free accommodation with utilities paid or allowance
  • Free school tuition for one or more children or discount
  • Gratuity paid at contract end date

What is a good salary in Abu Dhabi for expat teacher? With 4 years teaching experience around 13,500 per month plus additional benefits in 2021 for primary & secondary school.

Average wages are paid for years of experience and qualifications. Higher basic salary is possible teaching stem subjects such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry as you’ll be a teacher in demand by many schools.

Heads of department in the top schools are on around 20,000 AED per month basic wage.  There is no teacher or leadership pay scale in the UAE, all depends on each schools salary structure.

How much do teachers earn in the UAE?  Depends on teacher experience, age level and if a top school in the country.

Dubai & Abu Dhabi international school and government schools pay the highest salaries from 9,500 to 20,000 + for class teachers.

School teaching assistant salary, school or nursery in United Arab Emirates is around 4,500 – 9,500 AED per month.

Indian school teacher salary in UAE from 5,500 AED per month + at India CBSE school nursery, primary or secondary level. 

Qualifications to teach at international schools in Abu Dhabi

  • To teach 3 to 18 year’s olds at an international school in UAE you must have a degree in that subject.
  • Qualified to teach at that age level. A teacher’s license/qualified teacher such as PGDE, PGCE, BEd degree, BA Education.
  • Police clearance from Scotland or a DBA Check England & Wales or USA FBi certificate or a background check from your home country. Must also be certified and apostatised required for legalisation process at the UAE embassy or immigration.
  • You must have all qualifications certified, apostatized and legalized to obtain a working visa and residency. Some employers will advertise this with people that have qualifications ready, takes time and money to arrange.  You pay for the documents yourself.
  • Masters in education degree and above or a school leadership qualification for head of secondary/primary or school leadership positions.
  • Native English speaker applying for positions delivered in English. This is another requirement that many international schools ask.
  • 2 + years experience teaching at the age level.
  • Medical check.
  • 2 or 3 good references from current or former schools.
  • KDHA qualifications & teacher approved.
  • Under 65 years old, this is the maximum age the UAE will issue a residency and work permit.

How do international schools work in United Arab Emirates?

How do international schools work in United Arab Emirates?

International school student teaching for each school is split into different age groups from nursery, primary and secondary sections. School students are taught in male/female mixed classes or girl or boys’ schools.

Teaching and education jobs cater for children from a mixed background of nationalities.

Although each school is fee paying they choose a certain curriculum to teach from countries including; France, USA, UK, India, Philippines, Canada and Australia. 

School age levels are kindergarten, elementary and high school from year/grade 1 to 13.

Choose a teacher job role from: Classroom teacher, head of department, curriculum leader and deputy head teacher to school principal.

Popular subjects taught include: History, Arabic, Islamic Studies, mathematics, physical education, chemistry, physics, biology, computing, and business.

What do international schools look for in teachers in Abu Dhabi schools?

  • A successful track record of teaching the subject and age level preferably assessed as an outstanding teacher
  • A person that is committed to the role
  • Willing attitude to take part in school events and activities
  • Professional teacher with a positive outgoing personality
  • In good health
  • Offer extra curricula games, learning or other club for school students
  • Willing to sign and complete a contract of 2-3 years and possibly renew
  • Take part in school training courses
  • Honest and reliable
  • Good time keeper

What makes a good international teacher? Is an educator that continues to improve as a person, teacher and helps others. School teachers continued professional development is never ending as new teaching & learning strategies can help students achieve better understanding and grades.

Documents and processing for teachers visa/permit UAE

Documents and processing for teachers work visa/permit UAE

Securing a work visa before relocating abroad, means you require submitting documents and undergoing a full medical also for you and all family members.

Teaching contracts from 1 to 3 years that you sign in Arabic, as this is the only legal contract.

Your employer will inform you of the documents they require and request you to bring. Just remember, when you inform an employer the date you can start.

Some documents such as the police clearance take time to process in the UK or other country outside the UAE. Apply for the right criminal record check.

When you arrive in the UAE to teach you can arrange certain documents to be processed at your embassy.

Much easier and better to have your documents required ready before flying out. Good idea to start document processing 2-3 months before leaving.

Pro’s and con’s teaching in Abu Dhabi       

Pro’s Teaching in Abu DhabiCon’s Teaching in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi’s warm sunny climate all year roundHigh expectation of outstanding teaching and examination grades
Schools welcome skills, qualifications, experience teaching and good teachersRequired teacher qualification & degree in subject, higher barrier to entry
Career advancement opportunities in many schools as teachers move fairly oftenExpensive international city and area to live on a teacher salary
Chance to save a large part of your salary each month as basic living costs are already paidTraining and development limited in some international schools
Always a good selection of teacher jobs available each yearCareer could be limited for promotion with no or limited access to training/further study
Well resources classrooms and school facilitiesNo teacher pension paid with salary package
Tax free salary Limited rights as a foreigner in the UAE
Students eager to learn for a better futureLoss of accommodation if you loss the school job

Is it worth teaching in Abu Dhabi? Only you can decide if it is the best option for you at the present, future and career aspirations.

Where can I find a list of teaching jobs in Abu Dhabi/UAE?

Should you decide on one of the teaching jobs in United Arab Emirates is for you, then the first place to look is on job boards from the Middle East, UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

You’ll see a good number of international schools teaching vacancies in UAE.

Living in Abu Dhabi

What is it like to live and work in Abu Dhabi? International schools provide single or shared accommodation.

You’re employer also could pay an apartment allowance if asked for, although is generally not adequate to cover rental costs in any part of the emirate.

Abu Dhabi residency permit & ID card

In the first 2 weeks of arriving in United Arab Emirates the school will arrange all necessary documents and appointments you attend for a residency & ID card applications. Make sure and ask the school if they can sponsor you and entire family or partner.

You’ll require a medical check and finger prints taken as part of both processes.

Teacher accommodation & renting in UAE

The UAE can be expensive with villas attracting some of the highest rents per month.  

Finding and paying for an apartment yourself could set you back in excess of 5,000+ AED per month rental in 2021 for a one bedroom apartment with 12 months rent payment in advance.

Should you rent an apartment or villa you require waiting until you are resident in Abu Dhabi with a valid ID card.

You’ll not be far from sandy beaches to swim or relax and then head back to your apartment for dinner after stopping at local supermarkets for fresh food. 

Western driving licenses are generally exchangeable for Abu Dhabi license to drive a car, although you need to pass an eye test first.

UAE people are friendly and accommodating and the country has a very low crime rate. 

Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the British Embassy in the region reminds people that they are in a foreign country where they should respect others, culture, beliefs, laws and religion acting appropriately at all times.

Retail banks in Abu Dhabi

National Bank of Abu Dhabi Mashreq Bank
RAK Bank Dubai Islamic Bank
Barclays HSBC

The school will help you to open a first bank account enabling for salary to be paid in. A bank employee will come to the school during teacher induction week.

Once you have a Abu Dhabi residency and ID card you can walk into another bank and apply for an account, which must be face to face.

Health care in the Emirates

Private medical facilities are of a very high quality but can be expensive.  School employer should provide a medical card for free medical care.

Useful numbers & facts Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi currency: dirham Abu Dhabi area code 2 + 3 GMT winter time and summer is +2Arabic is the main language
Police: 999Ambulance: 998/999Fire: 997General information 101
Electricity and water 991Telephone directory 180 or 181199 different kinds of dates grown in Abu Dhabi1958 oil was found in Abu Dhabi

2 thoughts on “Teaching in Abu Dhabi International Schools Requirements & Salary”

  1. Educationtay

    This information is written for prospective school teachers looking to relocate to ABU Dhabi from abroad.

    Here in the UK it takes up to 28 days to obtain a police clearance and then requires authenticated and legalized.

    Property and land ownership for expats in any of the five Emirates in the UAE I will leave that to property websites.

    No doubt numerous opportunities for professional development in any school exists, although to what extent, and what level? An outstanding teacher that would like to go on a headship or principal training course over 1-2 years is that course and training available for each school? Who pays for the course? Here in the UK the school pays.

  2. Hi
    Thank you for this informative website. However, the article reported some misleading statements. The police clearance takes about one hour to be obtained using the ADPolice app. Second, you can own a property in any of the five Emirates in the UAE. finally, you will have numerous opportunities for professional development in any school you work for and teacher usually complain about the long sessions they have to attend.
    I hope you edit the article to present a more transparent account of teaching in the UAE.

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