Abu Dhabi is one of the desired destinations where most aspiring or experienced TEFL teachers are looking to teach. Abu-Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates(U.A.E) it offers a luxurious lifestyle, a combination of both modern and traditional culture, beautiful islands, and most importantly plenty of opportunities for capable TEFL teachers from around the globe with attractive salaries and perks.

However, it may seem daunting to begin a TEFL career in any desired foreign country without having proper knowledge of what to expect and how you can prepare yourself successfully for a smooth transition.

If you are also feeling like this then there’s no need to worry because we have created this blog post which will make you aware of everything there is to know before embarking your TEFL career journey in Abu-Dhabi.

So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

Requirements for Teaching English in Abu Dhabi

To become a teacher in Abu Dhabi you need to meet specific requirements set by the UAE Ministry of Education. These requirements ensure that teachers are well qualified and capable of delivering English language instruction to students. Let’s take a look at the key requirements:

Qualifications and Certifications

Abu Dhabi places a strong emphasis on providing quality education including in the TEFL sector. While specific requirements may vary across institutions having a bachelor’s degree in any field is generally a prerequisite for positions. To teach English in Abu Dhabi you will need to fulfill the following qualifications;

  •  Possess a bachelor’s degree (typically required)
  •  Hold a master’s degree or above (preferred for public schools)
  •  Complete at least 120 hours of TEFL certification (typically required)
  •  Have native citizenship or have native-level English proficiency
  •  Have a B.Ed or PGCE or any equivalent teaching license from the host country
  •  Have at least 2+ years of teaching experience (for public and K-12 schools)
  •  Ensure that you are below 60 years of age

Teaching Experience

Most schools in Abu Dhabi prefer applicants, with prior teaching experience. Having 2 3 years of teaching experience whether within your home country or internationally can significantly increase your chances of securing a teaching position.

However, there are chances for recent college graduates or individuals with limited professional backgrounds, particularly in privately owned language schools or roles related to tutoring.

Language Proficiency

As an English teacher, you are expected to have a high level of proficiency in the English language. Native English speakers are typically preferred, but non-native speakers with a near-native level of fluency and a neutral accent may also be considered.

Visa and Work Permit

Obtaining a work permit and visa is an essential step to legally teach in Abu Dhabi. Your employer will typically sponsor your work permit and assist you in the visa application process. You will need to provide relevant documents, such as your passport, educational certificates, and a medical fitness report. It is crucial to ensure that all your documents receive endorsements from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassy representing your country in the UAE.

Different Teaching Opportunities

Abu Dhabi presents a variety of teaching opportunities for English language educators. Whether you prefer working in a school private school, language institute or as a private tutor, there are options available that align with your preferences and qualifications. Let’s explore the different types of teaching opportunities:

Public Schools

Teaching in public schools in Abu Dhabi allows you to be part of the local education system. The Ministry of Education oversees these schools in the UAE. As a teacher you will follow the national curriculum while collaborating with local educators. Public schools provide employment along with benefits like paid vacations and health insurance. Class sizes typically range from 20 to 30 students and instruction is primarily conducted in Arabic with English as one of the subjects.

Private Schools

Private schools in Abu Dhabi cater to both expatriate students. These institutions often adopt curricula such as British or American programs and may offer additional language programs. Teaching at schools offers exposure to a more diverse student population and grants access, to modern facilities.

Class sizes tend to be smaller in private schools, which enables teachers to provide more personalized instruction. Furthermore, it is quite common for private schools to have a requirement that teachers possess teaching licenses and the appropriate certifications.

Language Institutes

In Abu Dhabi, there are language institutes that primarily focus on teaching English to adults and professionals. These institutes offer language courses that cater to proficiency levels, such as general English, business English, and exam preparation courses.

Teaching at a language institute provides flexibility when it comes to working hours since many adult students prefer evening or weekend classes. To work at a language institute you might be asked to have a TEFL/TESOL certification along with relevant teaching experience.

Private Tutoring

Private tutoring is one of the popular options for English teachers in Abu Dhabi. Numerous families and individuals seek English lessons in order to enhance their language skills. Private tutoring allows for a flexible schedule and gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with students or in small groups.

You can also work independently as an individual tutor or join tutoring agencies that connect teachers with students. Private tutoring can be quite lucrative especially if you possess knowledge or experience in specific fields.

Salary and Benefits

Teaching English in Abu Dhabi offers salaries and appealing benefits packages. The exact salary and benefits may differ based on factors such, as your qualifications, experience level, and the type of institution you are employed by.

These are the salary and benefits you can expect:

  • Monthly salaries usually range from AED 8,000 to AED 25,000 approx based on qualifications and experience.
  • Accommodation allowance or provided housing.
  •  Health insurance coverage.
  •  Annual return airfare to your home country.
  •  Paid vacation, usually during the summer months.
  •  End-of-service gratuity or annual bonus.
  •  Opportunities for professional development and career advancement

It is important to negotiate and clarify the terms of your contract before accepting a teaching position. Consider the cost of living in Abu Dhabi along with your financial goals when evaluating salary offers.

Finding Teaching Jobs in Abu Dhabi

To find teaching jobs, in Abu Dhabi, it is crucial to adopt an approach while utilizing various resources available. Here are some suggestions to assist you in your pursuit of employment:

Online Job Portals

Utilize online job portals such as Naukrigulf, Ed Arabia, Indeed, and Bayt to search for teaching positions in Abu Dhabi. These portals often have a dedicated section for education and teaching jobs in the UAE. Create a compelling resume and cover letter tailored to the specific requirements of each job application.

School Websites

Research and visit the websites of schools in Abu Dhabi. Many schools post their job vacancies on their websites. Follow the application instructions provided and submit your application directly through their online portals or designated email addresses.

Recruitment Agencies

Consider registering with recruitment agencies that specialize in placing teachers in Abu Dhabi. Agencies like Search Associates can help you find teaching positions and guide you through the application process.


To connect with teachers, expatriates and professionals in Abu Dhabi try networking. Attend events, participate in online forums and communities, and build connections with potential employers on LinkedIn. Building relationships and receiving recommendations from others often lead to job opportunities.

Popular Teaching Destinations in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi offers teaching destinations within the city. Here are some known areas where you can find teaching opportunities-

Abu Dhabi City Centre

Located at the heart of the city, Abu Dhabi City Centre is home to numerous schools, language institutes, and tutoring centres. Teaching in this area grants access to amenities, cultural attractions, and a lively expatriate community.

Al Ain

Situated 160 kilometres from Abu Dhabi City Al Ain is known as the “Garden City” of the UAE. Al Ain provides a relaxed lifestyle with an emphasis on preserving cultural heritage. It houses universities and schools, which make it an appealing destination for teachers.

Al -Reem Island

Al-Reem Island is a developing area, in Abu Dhabi known for its modern infrastructure and waterfront living.

There are international schools and language institutes situated in this region, which offer teaching prospects for teachers who are living abroad.

Khalifa City

Khalifa City is a locality in Abu Dhabi that is known for its residential communities and family-friendly facilities. It provides a residential atmosphere while also granting access, to educational institutions.

Additional Tips and Resources

  • Research and familiarize yourself with the local culture, customs, and laws of Abu Dhabi before your arrival.
  • Join online forums and communities for expatriates in Abu Dhabi to connect with fellow teachers and gain valuable insights.
  • Consider learning basic Arabic phrases to enhance your cultural integration and communication with locals.
  • Stay updated with current events and news in Abu Dhabi through local newspapers and online publications.
  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as workshops and conferences, to enhance your teaching skills and network with other educators in Abu Dhabi.

Make Your Dream a Reality of Teaching in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is one of the desired destinations for most of the aspiring ESL teachers who have pursued courses like ESL teacher training courses in UAE.  Abu Dhabi offers a vibrant culture, eye-catching infrastructures, exotic beaches, and most importantly huge opportunity for aspiring or experienced TEFL teachers.

Before embarking on your TEFL career in Abu Dhabi, go through this comprehensive guide, which will definitely to gain clarity and help you to become well-informed about every minute detail of what to expect and what preparation is required from your end to have a smooth TEFL career journey in Abu Dhabi.

So, start pursuing courses like online TEFL course in UAE and begin your successful TEFL career in Abu Dhabi!