6 Things You Need to Know About Teaching in the UAE

All new countries and schools take a few weeks to adjust into, keep that in mind as you will start to understand and adapt to the local culture, school, students and parents very quickly. The UAE is one of the most relaxed Middle East countries with Emirati’s and other nationalities all living harmoniously together.


Many expat teachers plan on coming for a few years but stay on as they love the laid back lifestyle, weather and tax-free salaries.

    1. 1) Document Attestation

You need to get your documents/transcripts attested. Employment in the Middle East requires formal security clearance from the Immigration Department after which an entry permit and residence is given. Teachers are required to have all the documents presented to the Ministry if they wish to get a clearance to work in the UAE. You will have to pay for the costs for document attestation. The school will not be paying for this.

Remember to use letterhead papers for all professional documents and for all CRB’s and References.

    1. 2) Handling Parents

As a teacher, you must have dealt with parents all the time and would have demonstrated patience when handling parents and students. It is very similar in the UAE. The parents take a keen interest in the performance of their kids in school. They want what is best for their child. Let parents know the ways and techniques of improving their child’s performance. You need to show them, that you care for the child and are going to work towards his/her improvement. This will be well appreciated by parents.

    1. 3) Public Display of Affection and Clothing

UAE has certain cultural and legal constraints on what might be regarded as acceptable behaviour in many western countries. Public display of affection (PDA’s) is disapproved of in the UAE. Kissing, hugging and even holding hands are not taken well. You can shake hands with the opposite gender only if they offer to shake hands first, otherwise, it’s better to stick to the safer option of a nod and a smile.

Homosexuality and sex outside marriage are not acceptable in Middle East countries.

Clothing: Though UAE is very liberal compared to other Middle-East countries, it is advisable to avoid short skirts, shorts and low necklines as much as possible. Men may wear shorts preferably to the knees and can be topless only on the beach. It is best to dress modestly to avoid any potential issues.

    1. 4) NOC

Stands for No Objection Certificate and is needed if you are leaving your job before the contract is over, for health or other personal issues. If you are under your husband’s sponsorship you might need an NOC to take up a job.

    1. 5) Research, read and talk to friends

It’s best to do your own research on the new country or place; you are going to be teaching in. In the UAE, 85% of the population comprises of expats. There are bound to be differences in the culture, food, laws etc.

But that is exactly why you have decided to teach abroad to experience the difference. Talk to friends living here and your recruiter, read books, understand the new country you will be teaching in.

Research and understand the school and curriculum: Schools in the UAE cater to a huge number of nationalities and curriculum’s names though similar will be handled differently in the UAE. If you have any questions, ask your Intelligent Partners recruiter or the school authorities. Prepare yourself to adapt to the curriculum the school follows, go through their website before you start.

    1. 6) Climate

The UAE is warm and sunny as it is near the line of the Tropic of Cancer. The weather is sunny all year round, although the months between June and September are the hottest when the temperature soars up to 113°F or 45°C. It is very hot during the day along with high humidity levels.

The good news is that you will not be teaching in the UAE as you will be on vacation for most of this period.

The coolest months are between November and March when a little bit of rainfall can occur. You will find everyone outdoors enjoying the weather, with barbeque’s, overnight camping, walking around the cornice, picnics, sand dining and more!

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