Primary Teaching Jobs in Dubai

Thinking about teaching Primary in Dubai? The Middle Eastern city offers countless opportunities if you hold the required academic profile. Crucially, you’ll need to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree and a PGCE. 1-3 years of relevant teaching experience is typically asked for, too.  If this sounds like you, teaching Primary in Dubai comes with a highly attractive tax-free salary, year-long sunshine, and a range of perks that includes free accommodation, paid holidays, and return airfares.

Primary teaching vs secondary teaching

The similarities between the curriculums taught in Dubai with the one used in the UK also means there are similarities in terms of structural set up. This can be seen in the way lessons are taught in Dubai schools. Just as in the UK, teachers working at primary stage will focus on a range of different subjects for children, whereas secondary school teachers only hold specialist classes centred on specific subjects they have been trained in. Secondary school days tend to be broken down into two-hour block days, incorporating politics, religious studies, English, maths, history, the sciences and others.

When it comes to exams, UK or US models are the preferred way of testing students, so teachers should be familiar with expectations. However, some private schools in Dubai are beginning to introduce alternative ideas to help students maximise their skills and abilities. Following the development of a new system in Finland, final year-end exams are being done away with in favour of measuring progress over time. This is monitored via a portfolio of work created across the year that will help determine the pupil’s final grade. Pupils can either complete the set challenges by writing an essay or creating videos to produce their answers and show how they reached their conclusions.

Average working week

For both primary and secondary schools the day starts early – between 7-8am due to the hotter temperatures, which also means an earlier finish in the afternoon compared to UK schools. Arabic and Islam lessons feature prominently in the typical week, which would require primary teachers to be able to provide these lessons too. Working in secondary school on a specialist subject won’t require you to have the same broad set of skills.

There will be a mid-morning break and lunch earlier than in the UK – somewhere in the region of 11am – before returning to lessons in the afternoon. Other subjects you can expect to teach at primary level include reading, writing, I.T., arts and P.E. Primary class sizes are capped at around 20 students with a wide range of nationalities all sharing the classroom.

School expectations

In terms of qualifications, much will depend on the role being advertised. There are typically a variety of jobs available at any one time, from new QTS teachers, to qualified and more senior level roles. Entry roles will require you to hold QTS status, while standard primary teacher roles will look for a combination of experience and qualifications such as a PGCE or B.Ed. On average, a primary school teacher in Dubai can expect to take home £22,000 a year – which will also be tax-free. At the higher end of the scale the salary on offer could reach as high as £40,000 per annum.

Legal requirements

To work in Dubai you will be required to have a work visa which can be organised by the school for you and your family. These last for two years and will need to be renewed before you can take up a new contract, which will also be taken care of by the school. Entry into the country also demands that you undergo some blood tests for HIV and hepatitis, both of which are mandatory. Also be sure to have your original school certificates available to confirm your qualifications as the school employing you are likely to ask for proof to confirm the job.