1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Some advice from anyone working or having worked in Dubai please!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by anniee, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Hi, thinking of a change in my teaching career and wondering how life compares teaching in Dubai. I have seen a few vacancies and wondering if anyone would recommend teaching in international schools here and how the salary compares to Scottish pay scale?
    Any help or advice with this would be great.
  2. Hi,
    I have just accepted a late teaching position in Dubai. I couldn't find any permanent teaching work in the UK. I was fed up with paying rent, council tax demands and threats. My last 2 winters were cold and miserable and it was always a struggle and expensive to keep the flat warm.
    Food prices are going up, all of our old traditional shops have gone and the Chavs are growing in numbers. The rail network is outdates and the prices a disgrace. Bus prices in my city are also too high. If you choose to drive then petrol costs a fortune. Last option is cycling which is dangerous and when I tried it my bike was stolen and the police didn't care.
    Due to the debt teaching salaries have been frozen and spending cut. In Scotland the Curriculum for Exccellence promises to deliver but it will take years of suffering for teachers before things go smoothly.
    Dubai is a comfortable place for expats. There is obviously no tax and I will have free accommodation and I will be teaching international and generally well-behaved children. I hope to save a lot more in Dubai than in the UK.
    The sun will shine every day which is an altogether healthier environment to live in. I don't like the idea of going everywhere by car or not being able to walk around much but I'll do that on visits back to Europe or elsewhere.
    I don't plan to cut my ties in the UK. I will keep an address and bank account and keep paying NI contributions.
    I think that teaching in Dubai is better than teaching in the UK at the moment. It does of course depend on your own personal circumstances.
    Best wishes


  3. Hope you have landed at a good school with a decent package. If you have, hunky dory, if you haven't...

  4. Dubai! Awfully dry place, Mainwaring, ol' boy. For chaps like us, it's best to steer well clear!
  5. rednelly84

    rednelly84 Occasional commenter

    I'm flying out to Abu Dhabi next week, as like the second poster, I am fed up wasting my time here.
    You don't say whether you are primary or secondary however I thought I would make you aware of the different schools out there.
    I am about to teach in a private British run school for local children in a wealthy suburb. So this is one type of school known as a local international. Another is the expat schools (the kind you always think of) for expat populations and a third is a mixture of pupils and staff from all over known as broadly international. Each school has very different requirements from teaching staff and very different employment packages.
    My package, I am led to believe is rather reasonable with one paid return flight home each year, fully paid one-bedroomed fully furnished apartment, transport to and from the school each day, health care and a tax free salary of 8,500UAE Dirhams per month. I have the option to tutor or run after school clubs to children and can earn anything up to an extra 4,000UAE Dirhams each month doing so. For this reason I am hoping to save my monthly salary and live off my tutoring/club money. I only have to pay to live, ie food and broadband access. I have a 2 year contract initially, but can make this a permanent job by renewing my contract each year if I so wish. I also have an intial 3 month probation period so if I don't like it or they don't like me I can come home. Tbh, I will make it work as I don't have any other option.
    I am currently on Point 2 on the pay scale here and my salary in real terms is way less but due to it being tax fee it is around £100 more a month. I obviously am only speculating as to the cost of living and will find out soon enough if I can save the amount I am hoping to save.
    I can strongly recommend speaking to Lisa Davenport, the Middle East expert from teachanywhere.com - she is very, very helpful and got me my new job.
    Good luck with your decision :)
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I am sorry rednelly84, but whoever led you to believe your salary was reasonable is leading you on.
    8,500 AED is pretty lousy as salaries go. In fact it would be pretty lousy in most countries.
    At the moment the exchange rate is good, but the rate can fluctuate quite wildly. Your salary will start looking a lot worse when the rate goes pear shaped.
    Get some decent experience and in a couple of years apply to another school which offers you probably close to twice what you are on now.
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I also get the teachanywhere.com mailer. The amount of money they offer for positions is laughable. They just appear to be after making a quick buck and placing anyone anywhere.
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Good to see you young Dazzler. Dubai isn't dry in the alcofrolic sense. I've had many a small hours libation at the Irish Village en route to and from the Far East. Memorychip will tell you that it's a great icon of culture but frankly it's more like Hell on a wet Christmas Eve.
  9. i would not have accepted a position for less than 12000 a month.
    for an NQT 11000 is ok but that salary mentioned above is low.
    Teachanywhere disreputable in my opinion.

  10. rednelly84

    rednelly84 Occasional commenter

    Karvol, I appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
    I suppose I took the job because I don't have one here and after filling out 50+ application forms for right across Scotland this past year alone, I was getting increasingly downtrodden at being rejected almost everytime.
    I only have 2 years experience, the bare minimum, and needed to do something like this to hopefully stand me in good stead to get a job here. I honestly do not know what to do differently or what I have to do to get even an interview. I realise I am not alone in this situation but I had simply had enough.
    Perhaps what you say is true but I was and still am desperate to teach.
    I hope it works out for me and the experience is worth it. I don't want to leave Scotland and everyone I hold dear but I am out of options.
    *Trying to smile positively*
  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    The salary is lousy by Western standards and what you should accept as a Western trained teacher.
    8500 AED a month with accommodation beats signing on in Scotland hands down!
    Don't get too upset. Stay a couple of years, get that all valuable experience, then go elsewhere.
    Good luck!
  12. rednelly84

    rednelly84 Occasional commenter

    Thanks again. I'm glad you were honest enough to say! Now that I have a chance to think, I'm not too upset with the salary issue as it is the experience (personally and professionally) I want more. Can't deny the tax free lifestyle didn't sway it though!

  13. Rednelly84, I currently live and work in Abu Dhabi and what Karvol says about the salary you've been offered is quite true... but having just spent the last 7 weeks back in the UK with the terrible weather, the depressing sights of the empty shops along the high street, and listening to everyone moaning about work/money/the government, well I'd say it's worth it for the change of scene if nothing else!
    If you want to know anything specific about Abu Dhabi, email me and I'd be more than happy to help! [​IMG]
  14. Yes, good to hear you are about Dazzler. Dubai is Dubai. There are many that want to better themselves and rub shoulders with Jim Davidson, Freddie Flintoff, Carlton 'first touch' Palmer and other famous lovers of the once gorgeous (about 88 to 96ish, then all the bling arrived...people and buildings) little Emirate. Some go and get positions at good schools and rake in some decent cash, have a good life and enjoy the place. Others end up at less than even 'ok' places and struggle just so they can say that they 'live in Dubai'. You can't knock people for that; for having their own goals, aims and desires and to be flash.
    I just think Dubai's sh7t.

  15. I agree. I lived and worked in Dubai for 2 yrs. I would need 14,000AED a month, + a nice unit to move back there. And i am a 3rd year teacher. Abu Dhabi is offering around that figure, but they are public school positions. Dubai is pretty cool, but damn hot in summer (too hot) - you will turn into a raging shopaholic, and good quality food is going up and up in price. Life is fairly easy there, although often appears fake, materialistic and the local people can be difficult to meet/mingle/deal with depending on how u adjust to the culture.
  16. Hi, I just thought i'd drop you a message to see how things are working our for you? I am still thinking about teaching in Dubai, every summer break I do, just never been brave enough to go for it. However, maybe this year!
    Just wanted to know how you are getting on, how it is working in an international school and what your provided accomodation is like?
    I hope all is going well, would be great to hear your views now you have been there for a few months.
  17. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    Don't expect to save anything on this salary! It is simply not enough to enjoy a full life on in AD as you have not factored in transport! Running a car is essential which you can hire until you get your visa and work permit - this will cost you in the region of £400 per month so AD2300,00 - assuming you want one that will be reliable obviously you can get cheaper but...?? If you are off island there are simply no options other than taxis and this will add up eventually. Also do you know what the quality of your accommodation is like. I was lucky with mine but the location was a 20 minute drive from the Corniche. I've heard cases of some schools housing their teachers in accommodation well away from school and in very undesirable areas (yes the UAE has slum areas!)
    I was on AED15500 per month and managed to save AED 7000 per month and did not have a lavish life style on the remainder but spent everything! Expect to spend on average AED300 per week at Lulu (supermarket); AED150 towards utilities; broadband AED 200 per month; Cable TV 450 per month. Just going out for a meal and drinks is not cheap eg: Fish n Chips at the Ship (I think that this is what it is called??) AED 200 plus drinks.
    I'm not saying don't move there but be prepared for it to be expensive. Personally I would recommend the Far East but not China (very expensive for the Expat dream) maybe Thailand or Malaysia!
    Good luck
  18. The better-paying jobs do exist. I've just been emailed about avacancy in Dubai that pays 15,600AED per month plus the usual benefits.
    Pity I don't teach Yr2.
  19. I work at the same school as rednelly and want to add a few points. Our salary did go up by about 10%. (And having taught for more years, I do have a higher starting salary of 11,000) Still not as much as other schools, but we finish alot earlier than most other places, so most of us tutor and add quite a bit to that salary. Mine was about 15000 dirhams some months with tutoring money, and I was still home by 4pm each day.
    I have to disagree with some of the prices of things that you state. Our school paid for our apartment and utilites, and TV, internet and land line were only about 400 dirhams a month, not 650. We had transport provided to take us to school and back each day, so used taxis to get around. As we lived right in the city, most places were no more than 10-20 dirhams taxi ride away (or up to 50 for some out of the city - but that is still less than 10 pounds and far far cheaper than UK for a 30 min taxi ride). You do not need a car if you live in the city. You can get very reasonably priced food and drinks, especially if you use the Entertainer book or groupon vouchers, and free drinks in some places if you are a lady. Of course there are expensive restaurants, like there every where. But 200 dirhams for fish and chips - where on earth did you go for that? (Ship??) - most places are about 60-70 ish for fish and chips - Captain's Arms, Coopers, etc. And if you eat in local places you can get a meal for a couple pounds.
    I have saved alot of money this year on my salary, and will continue to next year.
  20. I'm a secondary teacher of ICT or for others IT> I would love to teach somewhere other than the UK> who do you know that has jumped the boat>done this? From a fellow teacher working in London

Share This Page