English Literature Jobs in Dubai

Thinking about teaching English Literature in Dubai? Unlike other global destinations, teaching standards in Dubai are very-high. You’ll need to have at least 1-3 years worth of in-class experience ─ and hold both a Bachelor’s Degree and PGCE. With that said, the opportunities are endless if you hold the required profile. Most teaching jobs in Dubai come with an attractive tax-free salary, as well as return airfares, paid holidays, and an accommodation stipend.

Teaching English literature (rather than as a foreign language) in Dubai offers a unique opportunity to experience a brand new culture and be part of a growing economy and country that is continually expanding its global presence. You’ll likely enjoy a health salary and a tax-free system that gives you the chance to enjoy a much better quality of life compared to back home.

When in Dubai you should be aware of the local customs, law and cultural requirements. This can include things such as:

  • Women dressing ‘modestly’ in public spaces (covering tops of arms and legs)
  • No public displays of affection (including hugging)
  • Avoiding swearing or making rude gestures in public
  • Being aware of prayer times and when the Holy month of Ramadan is being observed
  • Not living with a partner you are not married to – gay sex is also banned in the UAE

If you are able to adapt to living in Dubai there are many wonderful benefits to enjoy. Aside from the wonderful beaches and year-round amazing weather, its position in the Middle East presents the opportunity to travel and explore neighbouring countries. Being an English teacher gives you the added option of using your skill to work on a contracted basis while experiencing the various cultures and ways of life associated with the region.

Experience and qualifications

The curriculum in many Dubai schools follows the UK model, so you won’t have to start from scratch when working there. Some of the higher end schools may require you to have both an English degree and bachelor’s degree, while others may only need you to be an NQT without any sort of degree. The American curriculum is also taught in some international schools in the UAE, so you will need to be aware of the differences to ensure you are comfortable adapting to a new way of teaching.

Of course, excellent communication skills are a must so you can work efficiently with fellow staff members and with students in the school. This will also require you to have excellent ICT knowledge as education tools in Dubai are becoming increasingly modernised and incorporating use of digital techniques to teach the curriculum.

Salaries for English teachers

In terms of salary, an English teacher can expect to earn anywhere between 9,000 – 15,000 AED per month (approximately £1,900 to £3,200). As with teaching jobs in the UK, the salary will be reflective of experience, job role and the school itself. However, even at the lower end of the pay scale you will still be able to enjoy a wonderful way of life due to there being no tax system in the country and only a 3% annual rent tax for expats.


Teaching in the UK allows for a far more liberal approach to the material you allow students to read. The situation is different in the UAE, with a number of books banned and not deemed suitable for public consumption. This includes books such as “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, which is a popular book used in English literature in the UK, but not permitted in the UAE as it is believed it contains images and text opposite to those held by Islam. “The Gulf Between Us” by Geraldine Bedell is also banned in the country. This requires Western teachers to be able to discuss sensitive issues without contravening UAE culture or the Islamic religion. While some students may be open to learning about some topics, others may not, neither may their parents or the school governors.