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Situation in Dubai

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Timetofly, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Timetofly

    Timetofly New commenter

    Is it as dire as people make out? I’ve heard from colleagues that schools are unwilling to consider teachers with dependents. I’ve got 4 years experience in a [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions] school, 2 in full time and 2 on full time supply as well as 2 years experience in UK. I have 2 children but none in school as yet and my husband is not coming with us. Am I not a desirable candidate? I’m committing to another year in current country so not applying until next year. Some people at my school have applied for positions in Dubai (UK teachers with 5+ years experience) and had no interviews!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2019
  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    There are plenty of other countries out there
     
  3. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    Simple answer is ‘no’ - in as much as I know plenty of people employed this year with families.
    The more thorough answer though is that times are tough, so it most certainly does come into the reckoning for employers - given two pretty equal candidates, even the top schools will look at dependents now. This does make it tougher for an interviewee with two or more children - they have to really stand out!
    The lower ranking schools have always been the same - priority 1: will the candidate accept this comparatively lousy pay and terrible accommodation... only if they are young and single!
     
    Mr_Frosty and Timetofly like this.
  4. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I received an email from one of the agencies I have registered with in the past the other day, and they were highlighting the specific problems in UAE:

    "Salaries are continuing to flatten or drop in the Gulf as more mid-range schools are being licensed. Fewer schools are family friendly than ever before."

    "We are getting about 50 times as many applications to Dubai schools compared to the positions available. These jobs are very competitive and if you don't have significant experience in the curriculum of the school (eg IB, US, UK) then you may be boxed out. Try looking elsewhere."

    If an agency is emailing this to its candidates, that would suggest to me that it's actually worse!
     
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  5. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    Most schools won’t offer 2 free school places to “single” teachers only one.
     
  6. Timetofly

    Timetofly New commenter

    Is this situation unique to Dubai?
     
  7. Timetofly

    Timetofly New commenter

    I’ve lived in the Middle East for 6 years so I’m aware of this.
     
    lottee1000 likes this.
  8. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    I think things are not what they were 6+ years ago but I know of schools (including my own) that are taking on teachers with dependents. The salaries and other benefits might not be as high as the were or what some would consider worthwhile.

    I can't speak recently but i do know 3 or maybe 4 teachers who have more than one child who get child places but they've all been here at least 4 years (and are in Abu Dhabi rather than Dubai, although I guess it's a similar situation).

    I guess you'll have fewer schools to consider but it's probably not a bad thing as from what I hear you probably wouldn't want to work at some of the schools with stingier offers.
     
    Timetofly likes this.
  9. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would say it is a contributing factor in many schools around the world. If the school has full enrollment and the lower primary classes are always full, it requires fee paying students to be replaced with free school places. Tuition fees even for primary can hit 20,000USD

    For various reasons schools are looking for young, inexperienced, cheap, docile and expendable staff. Most schools now are run for profit and cheap single staff keep a spreadsheet in the black.
     
  10. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    It kind of depends though. If you are looking for stability in staffing, taking on a teacher with kids means that they are less likely to move, especially in the upper years of school as IGCSEs etc kick in. It also means that if the kids settle, then the teacher again is less likely to move. It might be an expensive option, but it's by no means a poor decision.
     
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, february31st is right, on the whole. Some of the scummy schools are not so keen on hiring teachers with two or three offspring. When I was in Qatar, I heard some horror stories about teaching couples and one salary was going on paying the school fees.

    For some strange reason, Doobuy still seems to be very popular with young(ish) teachers. If some teacher recruitment agencies are now warning teachers against applying for jobs there, then I suppose that the situation really must be difficult. This popularity pushes down the salaries. As for the better and more reputable schools in the UAE, there are going to be fewer vacancies if the teachers at those schools want to stay there longer.

    In some ways it is rather sad that for so many UK teachers "international education = teaching in Dubai". As dumbbells66 notes, there are one or two other places in the world. And what is so wonderful about sand, motorways and shopping malls?
     
    JL48, desertestrella7 and ed717 like this.
  12. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    “And what is so wonderful about sand, motorways and shopping malls?”

    LOL! An excellent summary of working practically anywhere in the Middle East, Dubai included.
     
    JL48, Sdave34 and desertestrella7 like this.
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, binaryhex, I have to be honest and say that I rather liked the fish in the huge aquarium at Atlantis.
     
    desertestrella7 and Sebbenn like this.
  14. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    Well... I’ve been in Abu Dhabi for 5 years. Sand? Hardly ever see it - unless I choose to drive my 4x4 out with my family for a desert night of bbq and beer - which are great fun. Day to day my environment is lush and green. Motorways? Yes - everywhere I drive is at least a three lane highway (one section of my 18 minute commute has 6 lanes each way) until I get to the block where my school is, where it is a dual carriageway... and you know what - there are virtually never any traffic jams - yes, some people drive poorly, but there is NEVER road rage, and as long as you are mindful that someone could move lanes at any time without notice, it is fine. Shopping malls? Absolutely - the most dazzling, futuristic, huge, clean, safe, hoody-less places you could find... I go to watch the cinema or eat mostly - but the best brands from the UK, USA, Europe, and The East all converge here and seem to satisfy my wife.
    I spend my time playing golf, boat trips, brunching on a Friday - if you’ve never lived here, that is a verb like nothing the UK has (and even though there are often people so drunk they can barely walk, I have never, ever seen any anti-social behaviour)! I sit on the beach for a few hours every weekend for around 8 months of the year. I waste my time at ‘The British Club’ - https://www.the-club.com/ looks awful, huh? My colleagues are amazing and have become my best friends, and the school facilities incredible.
    Oh yeah - and I teach bloody amazing kids - eager to learn, huge desire to do well, and are full of respect and genuine fondness for their teachers.

    The Middle East must be a terrible place to live.
     
    deen30, MissM797, LCass and 9 others like this.
  15. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    @Powergnome3 - all that water being used, oil being burnt...... Guess you're not a Geography teacher then!
     
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  16. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    And all that's fine - if you're on the salary that can afford it. The problem is that many schools in the UAE aren't paying that now, but the story in the UK is still the same. So there will be teachers moving out expecting to live the traditional life of the expat, but finding that they can't. There seem to be also a lot more scuzzy schools now than there were even 3 or 4 years ago when I last seriously considered it. To me, if a major agency (and it was one of the bigger ones which sent me the email) is warning against moving to UAE even in a coded way, then that's really something to sit up and notice.
     
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  17. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Although that club does look nice....
     
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  18. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    100% correct Amysdad. That is why I give the advice to people on here that knowing the schools you apply to is absolutely crucial in the ME, and I have helped many people with just that. Although, there are (at least) two different types of ex pat teacher out here - you are an early to mid twenty year old with no ‘baggage’ and simply wants a couple of years of fun, it is possible to do that on 10,000-12,000dhs per month, so the tier of school you go for is not so important (and although some are a nightmare, I know of a few where people are extremely happy - for me, that is down to the leadership of those school)... but if you have dependents (particularly if you are the main, or only, bread-winner), or need to save money, then 15,000 is the bear minimum as far as I’m concerned - and there are a much smaller cluster of schools that will provide that.
    However, these schools are amazing! Although even within that there is a ‘top of the shop’ collection of truly world class schools within that... around 4 or 5 in Dubai and a little less in Abu Dhabi... And yes, I am fortunate to be in one of those.
     
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  19. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    Oops. bare minimum. No bears in the ME!
     
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  20. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    I'd agree with that if you have kids I think a married couple could save and have a great time on 12k maybe even 10k depending on their lifestyle. And there aren't many schools paying 15k+ in AUH but I'm lucky enough to be above that and even as a single guy there are months when it's hard to save as much as I'd like.

    Also well said about what the UAE offers - not many places I could teach where i'd be living in a high floor apartment, with marina views, a private gym and 2 pools and still taking home over £3k a month on top of that. Plus I rather like eating in nice restaurants, drinking in nice bars and enjoying the leisure activities on offer. The Club is too expensive for me though, but it is great when a friend signs me in.
     
    Powergnome3 likes this.

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