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For about the last decade, teaching English in Dubai and other countries of the Middle East has been simple: cheap and simple lifestyle without paying the tax and enjoying the long holidays.
Like all good stories and myths, there is some validity to all of the above, but these days, things are not as they used to be.
So, if you’re planning to go further with this profession in Dubai, or any country in the Middle East, you’d better be prepared and well informed about what you’re getting into before signing the line on the paper.
Generally defined, there are three types of teachers: pre-school or primary school teaching, locally known as K1-K7, K8-K12 teaching in high schools, and tertiary level teaching at universities, community colleges, or engineering colleges. The students will be adults at the Tertiary level, i.e. 18 and above. Some may already be in their workplaces, but some hours of leave will be given for work.
The first paragraph started very intentionally with the words “Teaching English,” and for almost all of your students, English would be a second or even third or fourth language, regardless of what you consider your specialty subject to be: finance, business, engineering and math, art, or music.
Very few English speakers are likely to be something we would refer to as “native speakers”; thus, your performance or otherwise in your chosen field would rely very much on your ability to adapt your delivery of vocabulary and style and materials to the level that enables the real learning.
GET YOUR CREDENTIALS ATTESTED
Unfortunately, a characteristic of the UAE job scene has always been individuals working on fake degrees and certificates. Today, you have to present legally approved copies of all your degrees, diplomas, and transcripts to get your residency visa.
At the moment when they make the work offer, or rather shortly after, most decent employers will tell you to get your credentials attested. This will tell you about the professionalism of the workplace.
You will not get a residency visa if you arrive in the UAE without approved or attested copies and transcripts, and if you are allowed by the school to work anyways, then they are potentially conducting an illegal act. Without the all-important residency permit, many other things can’t be done in the city.
WHAT YOU CAN’T DO WITHOUT A RESIDENCY VISA
Sign an apartment lease, create a bank account, open an electricity and environmental account, link to the internet, get a UAE driver’s license, you are going to need the residency visa for almost all of that.
Got the picture? Now, as mentioned above, good employers will take care of all of that, and you’re going to have a residency visa occupying your passport page pretty easily these days, which is comparatively better than what it was like 15 years ago. You can file all the paperwork in the short duration of a week.
Just to be absolutely clear, you can’t handle the legalities on your own. Your employer is your sponsor and that organization is responsible for you legally, during your stay in the Emirate. A UAE Residence Visa can only be obtained for you through your employer.
If you are told by an employer that a) you should do it yourself or b) send cash in advance to pay for the preparation of the paperwork, very significant alarms should go off in your head. It is important to make sure that you are not being scammed.
Teaching is a respectful passion, it cultivates young minds and fosters a better future. You get to learn different things while teaching the students. Teaching in Dubai is a whole new experience as people are from different backgrounds, so you get to learn much about different countries and nationalities. A good position as a teacher can make you earn a handsome amount and live a luxurious life in the city, as most of the people are already doing. You can buy some property and set your long-term goals in the city. If looking for a spacious apartment then check out the Port De La Mer apartments for sale.