Teaching in Abu Dhabi International Schools


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 International SchoolsWhat 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 private 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.

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.


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

Indian school teacher salary in UAE from 4,500 AED per month + at India CBSE school nursery, primary or secondary level. 

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

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.


Qualifications to teach in Abu Dhabi for classroom teachers

Teachers require appropriate qualifications to teach, and depending on the position you apply for will ascertain the level of qualification required.


What qualifications do I need to work in an international school 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. Also you need to be qualified to teach at that age level. A teacher’s license/qualified teacher such as PGDE, PGCE, BEd degree, BA Education is a minimum.  This is a requirement of meeting work permit & residency regulations in the UAE.

In addition, the following is common for international school job positions:

  • 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
  • Full medical check
  • 2 or 3 good references from current or former schools
  • KDHA qualifications & teacher approved

No older than 65, this is the maximum age the UAE will issue a residency and work permit.


How do international schools work in United Arab Emirates?

teaching jobs in Abu Dhabi international schools
Abu Dhabi Mosque

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 in UAE

Teaching in United Arab EmiratesSecuring 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       

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.



Benefits of teaching in Abu Dhabi include warm sunny climate all year round

Tax free salary

Career advancement opportunities in many schools as teachers move fairly often

Advantages of teaching in the UAE as a teacher is that you are welcomed for you’re skills, qualifications, experience in teaching and continued need to employ good qualified teachers

Chance to save a large part of your salary each month as basic living costs are already paid



Loss of accommodation if you loss the school job.

Training and development limited in some international schools after a certain career or management level, Example: Does the school provide headship or principal training and qualification or pay for a local course to attend?

Career could be limited for promotion with no or limited access to training/further study for required experience & qualifications, such as teacher to senior leadership position. Depends on the school or company.

Limited right as a foreigner in the UAE.

No pension paid with salary package.

Limited worker rights compared to western countries.


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 9,000+ AED per month rental 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, 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



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


United Arab Emirates facts

Population: 3.4 million

Area size: 83,600 SQ km

UAE Currency: Dirham

Arabic is the main language

+ 3 GMT winter time and summer is +2

Dialing code for international callers: +971

October to May climate is hot & sunny. Rest of the year is hot in the day and not much rain


Useful numbers & city codes

Abu Dhabi: 2, Ajman: 6, Al Ain: 3, Aweer: 58, Dhayd: 6, Dibba: 9, Dubai: 4, Tarif: 88

Police: 999,           Ambulance: 998/999,         Fire: 997,              Electricity and Water: 991        General Information::101,            Telephone Directory: 180 or 181,               Emergency (Abu Dhabi): 344 663,         Municipality Emergency Number: Abu Dhabi: 02 777 929 – Dubai: 04 2232323


Health care in the Emirates

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


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.


2 thoughts on “Teaching in Abu Dhabi International Schools”

  1. 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.

    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.

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