More than 700 teaching jobs on offer as UAE schools recruit for next academic year

Clear increase in demand for educators looking to work in the Emirates, recruiters say

Teachers are in high demand across the UAE. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
Powered by automated translation

There are more than 700 teaching jobs on offer at schools in the UAE as they prepare for the next academic year, which starts at the end of August.

Most of the roles are in Dubai, with several also on offer in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

According to job site Tes – formerly known as The Times Educational Supplement – there are almost 500 roles advertised in Dubai, more than 150 in Abu Dhabi, and several dozen in Sharjah.

Snapshot of jobs on offer

Gems Education, Taaleem, Bloom Education and Aldar are among the school groups with a wide range of vacancies to fill.

Dubai British School Emirates Hills needs a music teacher, a sports coach and a head teacher, Sunmarke School is looking for a head of creative arts, while Gems Wellington International School is searching for a director of performing arts and a director of sport.

To find maths and science teachers is difficult. Specialist subjects are tougher to hire for, obviously, but they're really worth their weight in gold
Talat Goldie, HR director at school operator Taaleem

Elsewhere Gems Metropole School has a vacancy for an assistant head of primary, while Arcadia Global School has an opening for an assistant head of secondary school.

In Abu Dhabi Al Rabeeh Academy needs a head of maths and Noya British School is recruiting a head of early years foundation stage.

There are several openings at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, which hopes to hire an art teacher, a Spanish teacher and a director of performing arts, among other roles.

In Sharjah, Victoria International School is looking for early years teachers.

The application deadline for many of these roles is the end of January.

Maths and science challenge

There are openings for physics teachers at many schools, including Dubai British School Jumeirah Park and Gems Wellington International School, while Arcadia Global School is looking for a secondary science teacher and a secondary maths teacher.

Talat Goldie, HR director at school operator Taaleem, said finding experts for specialist subjects is often problematic.

“To find maths and science teachers is difficult. Specialist subjects are tougher to hire for, obviously, but they're really worth their weight in gold,” said Ms Goldie.

Most schools typically struggle to find talented educators for maths and science, with many graduates in these subjects choosing more financially lucrative careers, and fewer opting for the teaching profession.

The National previously reported that maths and science teachers are in high demand and some schools will pay up to Dh3,000 a month more for staff who can teach these subjects.

More teachers looking to move to the UAE

School operator Taaleem is aiming to hire between 450 and 500 teachers for the next academic year, Ms Goldie said, with 2,800 currently employed.

She has noticed higher interest than previous years from teachers looking to work in the Emirates.

She explained that this is the time when teachers sign their contracts for the following year, so it's important to get the best talent by starting the recruitment process early.

The school group advertises vacancies online, and will be holding recruitment fairs in Britain and the UAE.

“We're going to have our teachers and our principals going to the UK at the end of this month to recruit,” said Ms Goldie.

“Apart from that, we also have local recruitment fairs and we've planned one for February, where we're going to be doing a local fair at one of the hotels in the UAE.

“We like to conclude and have people signed on with contracts for the next academic year by the end of March or April. That's really our target.”

Ms Goldie put the higher demand for teachers looking to work in the UAE down to cost-of-living issues in other parts of the world.

“If you look globally at what's happening and if you look at the teacher conditions, say even in the UK, with the cost of living and so on, there is talk about how there are fewer and fewer people wanting to become teachers in the UK, because they feel underappreciated,” she added.

“We find it easy to attract people. The branding of the UAE itself, what we offer and the packages we give are very competitive in the market.”

Best tips for teachers moving to the UAE

Ms Goldie's best tip for teachers moving to the UAE is to manage expectations.

“From the outside looking in, it feels like everything is going to be great and we're going to be making a whole lot of money, but it's a tough job being a teacher here as well,” she said.

“Expectations are very high. The inspections are tough, and school days do not end when children's days end. Most teachers are working well into the evening, so it's really hard work.

“But then the rewards can be pretty awesome here, and probably faster than anywhere else.”

John Mayes, Chief People Officer at Gems Education, has also witnessed an increase in demand.

“As you'll be aware, there's a continued influx of people coming into the Emirates, not least Dubai,” he said.

“The population growth adds an additional requirement in terms of demands on economic services, one of which is education.

“From a teacher recruitment perspective, we can see consistency in the same themes.”

What kind of salaries can teachers earn?

Most schools offer competitive tax-free salaries, accommodation or housing allowance, free or discounted schooling, private medical insurance, annual air travel to the teacher's home country and an end-of-service gratuity, but individual schools may have different offerings depending on the role.

Salaries vary from school to school, but typically teachers can expect to make between Dh9,000 and Dh14,000 per month ($2,450-$3,800) depending on experience and qualification.

Top-end schools tend to pay between Dh16,000 to Dh17,000 a month – plus a monthly housing allowance of up to Dh6,000. These tend to be British curriculum schools rated “outstanding” or “very good”, as well as American schools.

At the other end of the market, teachers at some Indian schools, where fees are lower and competition among applicants is intense, can be paid Dh3,000 a month.

Updated: January 17, 2024, 12:45 PM