What to expect as a teacher in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is many things - it is both a city and an emirate. It is the capital of the UAE and also a budding tourist destination. Teaching in Abu Dhabi can also take many forms. Some teachers choose to work in international schools with small class sizes and very academic requirements. Others choose to make their mark by teaching in state schools throughout Abu Dhabi with the Licensed Teacher programme. Still other teachers work in private schools that serve a mainly local population. Whatever the case, teaching in Abu Dhabi is exciting and challenging. Find out why thousands of expatriate teachers live and work in this fabulous destination.
Salaries, like that of all Gulf countries, are tax free in the country of origin, and benefits packages include furnished housing - which may or may not be shared with another teacher and thus not suitable for teachers with spouse/dependents- this varies by school, flights yearly, and an end of contract bonus, called gratuity, which many teachers use in lieu of a pension payment. Medical insurance is provided but it may or may not extend beyond your host country or cover travel. Utilities may or may not be part of the package but in our experience utilities in the Middle East are very inexpensive. A budget of 300-500 AED per month is usually adequate for most teachers provided you have eco-friendly practices such as turning off your air-conditioning when you are not at home.
"Ruwais is indeed very rural, but it's also coastal. There's a lovely 5- star resort nearby where many of us use the pool and beach there. There's a golf club for people who are into golf. There is a small recreation center for sports and fitness. I spend a lot of my spare time there. It's very family oriented. There are playgrounds all over the Ruwais Housing Complex and the entire UAE is a very safe place to live. Ruwais does not have much shopping or infrastructure, but there are a few "ma and pa" places to buy what you need and there are plans to build a shopping complex. There's also a fish market and places to go fishing. From what the engineers tell me, there are plans in order to make Ruwais a big city in the next few years."
LT, American teacher in the Middle East
About Abu Dhabi
Capital: Abu Dhabi city
Population: 1.9 million
Abu Dhabi is the UAE's up and coming city. It is quickly making its way out of Dubai's shadow and is becoming its own. Abu Dhabi has a vibrant expatriate community and is a great cultural introduction to the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates in the UAE. Abu Dhabi is a vibrant and happening city with a great mix of shopping, 5 star hotels, beaches and mansions. Whereas Al Ain is much greener with plenty of parks and gardens. Both of these cities within Abu Dhabi offer a great expatriate lifestyle and are not too far from each other.
Abu Dhabi city is located on an island less than 250 metres from the mainland and is joined to the mainland by three bridges. Most of Abu Dhabi is located on the island, but it has many suburbs on the mainland. It borders Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Oman.
Abu Dhabi is continually growing, and this growth is expected to continue at a fast rate with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Urban Structure Framework Plan. This plan will see Abu Dhabi transforming into a major urban city with major developments involving the tourism industry, art galleries and museums, restaurants, major infrastructure changes and so much more, all while keeping its cultural and traditional roots.
Abu Dhabi enjoys warm weather all year round, with the months of June - September experiencing the hottest temperatures which are usually range between 44-48 degrees C.
Eating and Drinking
Traditional Gulf cuisine is fairly simple, with rice as the main ingredient cooked together with beef, mutton, goat, chicken or fish. The meat is roasted, grilled or baked after marinating in a variety of spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, pepper, turmeric and saffron.
With a great location on the coast and on the edge of a huge desert, Dubai offers a range of exciting activities attracting the adrenaline junkies for dune and wadi bashing, sand-skiing and dune buggying, not to mention climbing, abseiling and hiking in the Hajar Mountains. And for those who are at home in the water there is diving, snorkeling, para-sailing, jet-skiing and fishing.
A majority of the travel with Abu Dhabi is with cars and taxis. There is a bus system, which is becoming more reliable
The currency in Abu Dhabi is the UAE Dirham or AED.