21000 AED and saving

Hi Everyone,

So I got accepted for a post in the UAE's Ministry of Education. Realise that 21,000 is enough to pay rent and live but wonder how likely it would be to send over about 3000 AED a month and still have enough to pay for every day living and social outings. I know that people live there on much much less but I can't see how from here!

I'll be working for the ministry as well I am new to the process and am currently waiting for accreditation of docs.  It's exciting and I'm looking forward to having a big adventure while teaching.
Please share with me what you've learned
Hope you are well
Love name btw

Hey Ms. Eaves, thanks for dropping in! (Sorry couldn't resist)

Yeah. So far it seems like all my documents have been accepted for what they are (I've only sent electronic copies though...). I'm looking forward to it too, but I haven't learned much besides that people seem to think that even 21,000 is merely "ok" or even "too low" for emirates like Dubai - which we probably aren't going to get but does make me nervous!

And glad someone likes the name. I take it you know where it comes from?

Good morning
No I don't know the origin of your screen name, please tell me
This is going to be an interesting adventure for sure
Keep in touch however

Salary for a Teacher is good you, you wouldn't be earning much more than 21k in many places but the only bad point about MOE is you have to find accommodation your self, which I heard could be a bit of hassel getting the right place for the right price. Please do share your experience once you have got there.

When people mention the salary is OK, yes there are other professions who earn alot more than 21k a month but for teacher it is decent. If they provided you with accommodation plus 21k salary a month than you would have been on a good package. Keep in mind you will have bills to pay and probably have to rent or share a car to work aswel.

Yes u can

I don't think it as a bad salary. Once you start living, you will get to know the expenses and how to control it. I suggest you to accept this offer.

Has anyone received their final contract yet? I was also offered a position for this job, originally set to start in August, but the leaving date has continued to be postponed and I still have no idea if and when I am set to leave.

I was told early September and now just relaxing in Asia while waiting for the final word after Eid. Last I was told is that my visa was applied for and currently processed, but the Eid holiday is delaying things. Oh well.

Hi Samantha,

It's nice that you have a date. I have not been given any dates as my visa has not been approved yet, and they are not sure how much longer it will take.

As for accommodation I have also checked that website, but I do not know my placement yet and I will not receive that information until I arrive. Do you know where you will be teaching?


Has anyone received their final contract or flight ticket?

I'm still waiting, but hopefully I will hear something next week.

Hey everyone,

It seems we are all in the same boat about waiting to get the call about going to the UAE. I just got my call from my agency yesterday (Teach Away) and I received word that I will be flying out to the UAE next Friday (9/23)! It felt like a huge weight was lifted off. I can't wait for all of you to feel that :)

I wanted to give you a timeline of events that happened to me, just so you guys have an idea of the process that I went through, starting with when I signed my Initial Contract:

7/20 - Initial Offer Arrived from MOE (thru Teach Away via email)
7/22 - I signed the initial offer and sent it back in (thru Teach Away via email). The email I received on 7/20 gave me instructions on next steps, which were to fill out forms and start collecting necessary documents. 11 documents total. Things like passport, college transcript, pre-employment info, etc.
7/26 - I sent in the last of the documents to Teach Away
***Long waiting period. Feelings of anxiousness, frustration, and hope***
8/23 - Formal Offer arrives from MOE (thru Teach Away via email). I'm happy! In my head, I think "Great! I'm leaving in a couple weeks!"
8/23 - Formal Offer signed and returned to Teach Away (via email). On the contract, I put 9/9/16 as the preferred start date. I start planning for the big move - selling stuff, saying goobyes, etc.
9/7 - I got an email from Teach Away that I needed to Authenticate my:
a) Teaching Credential
b) College Transcript
c) College Diploma
** This was infuriating. Why didn't they tell me to do this when I signed me Official Contract back on 8/23??? I begin scrambling to get these authenticated. I had to wait in line for 4 hours at a California Government building. I overnighted my college stuff to Wisconsin (Go Badgers!!! Perhaps the most stressful part of the process was this). **
9/12 - Phone call received from Teach Away stating I had an initial start date! They tell me 9/16. I'm stoked!! But I tell them I don't have everything ready to go because I am still waiting for my college stuff to be authenticated, and then will have to send to the US Embassy to get attested. Is this okay? They say no. Because of this, my departure date got pushed back to 9/23. I think back to how infuriating it was that Teach Away told me to get documents authenticated so late. I should be leaving this Friday.

9/13 (today) - My authenticated college stuff will be coming back in the next couple hours (The self-address return envelope I used was also overnight). I will then scan all documents and use ProEx courier service to have those documents attested by the US and UAE Embassy. I talked to someone at ProEx and they told me it's going to take 8-10 days.

Long process, but now that I know when I'm leaving, I feel TONS better. Some recommendations for those of you still in the process:

1) Even if you haven't been told to do so, if you don't have your college transcript, college diploma, and teaching credential authenticated, DO THIS IMMEDIATELY. I'm from the United States, so I don't know what the policy is in other countries, but if you're a U.S. citizen, do this now.
2) Alison is correct when she says to be patient. In the meantime, start looking for apartments or used cars on www.dubizzle.com so you get an idea of how much things are going to cost (if you haven't already). And spend as little money as you can. $6 footlong subs can be split for both lunch and dinner!
3) If you're mailing anything, USE OVERNIGHT DELIVERY. It does cost more (I paid $80 to send my college stuff overnight to Wisconsin - $40 for the overnight envelope there, and $40 for the return overnight envelope). I understand this is in direct contradiction to "spend as little money as you can," but tt was worth it. If I didn't, I probably wouldn't be leaving until 9/30.

I hope this helps and good luck out for those of you waiting! The wait is truly worth it!!

Hello all!

My post above is a reply I gave to an MOE forum about a week ago. Hope it helps!

Thanks for the response.
It's nice to see your process was a lot quicker. I received my initial offer in March and I still do not have any further information about visa approval and leaving date.
I have my college diploma authenticated by my state, but I was not informed about the transcripts needing to be authenticated. I know I will need  to get my diploma authenticated by the department of state and then the UAE embassy. I was told I need to wait until I have my official contract for that step.
It's been frustrating waiting this long, but I am really hoping I hear something next week.

It will be nice to hear your first impressions over the coming days once you arrive. Safe travels.

Wait... you mean I need to apostille my documents?! No one has told me this as of yet and I'm not currently in the US. I've only sent the scanned documents.

Not apostille, that's different from authenticating. I'm not sure what your country's policies are, so maybe you don't have to worry about it. I would call someone to make sure

I'm an American and have had to have various types of authentication through the countries I've lived in. Do you just mean go to a notary at a consulate or something then?

Fortunately I was informed by a coworker in Saudi that I will not need this step due to Reasons. Yay

I'm still waiting for my contract- my agency emailed on Monday to tell me that there was 32 teachers waiting for their contract but I think there are a lot more waiting. My agency were saying that there was a 2 week delay and that was the 3rd of September! I feel so disheartened and worried about this job. I know of some who are waiting just for their flights since May and I haven't received anything! I am a Business teacher and was really excited to move to another country but now I am looking up other jobs!! Anyone in the same boat?

Yep. I'm still waiting and getting pretty discouraged myself. It seems there is some.method to the madness and we could be asked to leave anytime soon now...

My recruiter gave me a Facebook group to connect with. One individual responded and suggested I look for other employment because she said if it's taking this long, six months+ in my case, she said it's possible that my job is lost. So I started looking for other work here in the States and I'm starting to believe  I will never  be in UAE.
Hope it works out for you all.

Can I ask you what subject were you supposed to teach? Did you receive any contracts? I've been waiting 3 months but I couldn't afford to go six months. I feel so disheartened because my agency never said any of this at the start of the process and they are actually taking in more applicants which I don't understand!!

cams96 wrote:

Can I ask you what subject were you supposed to teach? Did you receive any contracts? I've been waiting 3 months but I couldn't afford to go six months. I feel so disheartened because my agency never said any of this at the start of the process and they are actually taking in more applicants which I don't understand!!

I hope your situation will be different than mine!
I was hired as the Teacher Trainer for ESL. I received my initial offer March 24th. I had my interview in London in March. They told me that I would receive the official contract once my work permit was approved. My recruiter has told me many times that they expected the contract to come before Ramadan back in July, then I was told I would definitely fly out in August, so I quit my job in July, and then they told me that I would fly out in September and they gave me specific dates, and that didn't happen. Then they told me definitely after the last holiday, Al Eid that I should expect to fly out, and a few more weeks have passed and nothing. So, I have tried to wait and be patient as long as possible, but I just can't anymore. I am trying to plan a wedding, but it's been difficult not knowing if I will be in UAE or not and when I will have vacation time, etc.  I don't mean to scare you, but I am just honestly sharing my experience.

Here's the name of the Facebook group if anyone's interested:
UAE: Teachers 2016-2017: ADEC, MOE & Private School Educators

You must be so disappointed!! Do you mind me asking- did you look for work somewhere in the UAE or did you stay in England? My agency are all over the place- they told me that I would be gone by September but I'm still waiting for contract! Such a pain not sure what to do! thank you for your advice appreciate it!!

Hey everyone,

This is Justin again. I am just about to complete my second week working at a Middle School in the United Arab Emirates. For those of you still waiting, I'll describe what the experience has been like:

1) Things are unorganized. You must expect changes, you must be flexible, and you must come in with a good, lighthearted attitude. If you come with anything less, you will not enjoy it. One person from our cohort has already quit because she thought it was so unorganized.

2) The first week is exactly like the MOE website says it will be. A medical exam (very short and painless), pay to get an Emirates ID card, open up a bank account, and induction. What they don't tell you? The hotels I've stayed at have been some of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at in my entire life (although this is my first time stepping foot outside the United States). The MOE will pay for at one meal at the hotel, and you are responsible for other meals. I was able to get by on breakfast (provided by the hotel) and dinner. I've had subway everyday for the past 10 days. There are some choices here that they don't have anywhere else, and considering I wanted to spend as little as possible, I'm not complaining.

3) Your entire experience will depend on the school and city you get assigned to. You will find out on the third day your assignment. It's the moment everyone waits for. However, many people will get re-assigned. I was re-assigned schools on two separate occasions, although I did not actually work at the first two schools. Things just changed along the way. This goes back to point #1. 

4) I feel extremely lucky because I am male, but I am assigned to an all-girls school. Part of the reason is because I teach Math. There is a new education initiative for Math and Science, so if you teach any of those subjects, you might get placed in a better situation than others. I have "ASP" (Advanced Science Program - although it covers both Math and Science) students, which is the equivalent of an Advanced Placement track (or if you're from the UK, similar to the Grammar School track that was once in place). So students get bused in from nearby cities. And these are the top students from each of the schools. Basically, my school is poaching some of the top students from local schools, and placing them all in one school. While you may have some philosophical differences on this idea, you (or I) are not here to tell a country how to run their education system.

4) I am placed in a small town called Dadna. It is near Al Aqah beach, and it is filled with expatriots from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. I just got an apartment, and it was a bit stressful, but one of the administrator's husbands owns the apartment building on the same block as my school, so I had access to see it. I committed to it today, and will be paying 14,000 Dirhams/year (comes out to $317.89 US dollars per month). The place comes completely unfurnished, so I will have to buy a Air Conditioning unit, a refrigerator, a washing machine, and a bed. I'll probably buy a desk and other things too. Considering I am getting paid $5700 per month, this is pebbles. However, things are different out here than in the UK or US. Here, you pay for rent 3 months at a time. When you give them your first 3 months rent, you actually give them 4 checks that are the same amount, but 3 of the checks will be post-dated. So you never have to see the apartment owner again. The first payment will most likely include a commission fee, and this varies depending on where you live and how much your accomodation is. Mine was 1000 dhs.
A reminder: I live in a small town. The building isn't nice, but it's not crap. For me, the best part is that I can walk to school every day. It's literally a 3-minute walk. Other people in my cohort have chosen to live as far as one hour away, so it just comes down to a personal preference. The point is, you can make 21000 work if you want to. Easily.

5) Workload. I believe all schools have the same schedule. Here is mine:

8:00-8:10 - Assembly. I believe students sing the national anthem, or something along those lines.
8:10 - 8:55: 1st period
9:00 - 9:45 - 2nd period
9:50 - 10:35 - 3rd period
10:35 - 10:55 - Break
10:55 - 11:40 - 4th period
11:45 - 12:30 - 5th period
12:35 - 1:20 - 6th period
1:20 - 1:30 - Break
1:30 - 2:25 - 7th Period
2:25 - 3:05 - 8th Period

Boys school are basically the same, but they start at 7:15. Out of a possible 40 periods in a week, I only teach 18. The maximum amount of periods you can teach is 24. I only know what teaching is like in the U.S., but compared to my old teaching job, this is such a lighter load! Here in the UAE, students stay in the classroom while teachers move around, so you will forever be a roaming teacher.

6) This experience is what you make of it. I know how frustrating it is to be in the waiting period, but now that I'm here, I couldn't be happier. I've had some luck go my way, but you'll need some of that. My personal situation is better on every aspect than was my old job: Better pay, students who respect teachers and don't give attitude, and I'm really enjoying talking to the locals and other expatriots. Again, I feel like I have a very unique situation, but from the things I hear from other people in my cohort, they are enjoying things at their school as well.

If you're stuck in a limbo, some words of encouragement

1) The MOE is not as organized as you might think. Be slow to blame your agency, because they might be at the mercy of the MOE. In fact, when you come out here, you should assume things aren't going to go as you planned - they are going to be much worse. So overprepare - bring more money than you think you'll need (I won't give you an amount, just bring as much as you can. I myself took out a credit card advance of $4000, on top of the $2000 that I drained from my savings. Every financial guru out there says to never take out a credit card advance, but it was totally worth it).

From what I've heard from other people, some of the agencies out there just aren't very good. I went through Teach Away, and they have been great.

2) Someone just today told me that they're going to hire 28,000 teachers in the next year. Teachers are needed!

I hope this gives you some peace of mind. I'm sorry if some of you are stuck waiting. It sucks, and I was in the same boat as all of you. Getting the phone call to receive your departure date was seriously the best day of my life....this year. I'm excited to see how these next two years unfold, and hopefully our paths will cross!

Good luck!

Thank you so much for this post! Really appreciate the effort you went to,  can I just ask a few questions

1)  Did you get your first choice of place? Was Dadna the location you were hoping or did you have another preference?

2) With the accomadation, did you find it difficult to find a place before leaving the hotel or did you need to stay their longer at you own expense?

3) I am waiting to go out and I am a Business teacher, were the guys that were training with you only Maths and science or were they all mixed subjects? And also were they all from one agency teachaway?

4) Is it easy to change schools?

5)Did the MOE give any idea of when all teachers who interviewed would be out by?

Thank you!! Really appreciate your feedback!

1) In order, my preferences were Sharjah, Ajman, and Dubai. I didn't get anywhere close to my first choice of location, but it's turned out to be a blessing.

2) Finding a place can be a challenge. I talked to everyone I could - workers at the gas station, at the subway, at my school, the hotel receptionist - and asked if they knew of anything. I even walked around on my own to some apartment buildings near my school. This is how I eventually found my place as I ran into some locals and asked if they knew anything, and they did. It may be difficult for a single female, and I'm hearing this from my fellow teachers that were in my cohort.

3) I did not get any training. I believe that's how it will for any Math teacher, as there is a short supply. I'm not as sure about the science teachers. All other teachers went through the regular training during the first week (those teaching English, business and Design Technology).

4) I'm not sure how easy it is to change schools, but it has happened. Our school is getting another male teacher because he didn't like the boy's school he was working in (which was in Ajman). Apparently, he had to do a lot of yelling at the students and didn't like that.

5) I didn't hear anything from the MOE before I moved out here. I wouldn't count on any timely response. From anyone.

One last note - if this is your first time teaching, you will struggle. Classroom management issues are the same here as with anywhere else. I get the sense that the students just see me as a "foreigner" and shouldn't get the same level of respect as a local teacher would. While most are willing, respectful, and quiet learners, there are a handful of students that can be....a handful. If you do not have classroom management down, you will struggle. Even as a 6th-year teacher, I made the mistake of thinking students out here would be different because of the conservative culture here, but that has been a mistake, and I find that I will have to reset my classroom next week. Students are children, and they will behave as such...everywhere in the world. Structure and having a stern demeanor are key. This is especially true if you are a male and will be teaching at an all-male school. I've met a male teacher who is 22 years old and in his first year teaching. He is struggling mightily with classroom management. I've also met a 55-year old male who came from the corporate world but decide to give teaching a try. He is also struggling because of classroom management. I know how draining it can be to have rowdy kids, and it can be really disheartening. It can really make your life miserable.

The #1 skill you can bring in as a teacher is strong classroom management.

I hope you are not looking at this opportunity as a vacation or just something to "experience." You may like exploring the UAE - it is a beautiful country - but you will not like your job. As I'm sure most of you know, being unhappy at your job will make everything else unsatisfying. Have correct expectations on this aspect and you will enjoy it. You will still have bad days, but I believe I will be able to do great things with my group of students.

Hope this helps

Thank you for that! Really appreciate your info! Hopefully I'll have good news soon!!!

Hi everyone
I am really happy for you justin, my husband is a PE teacher, and a professional basketball player, we are from Algeria ( north of Africa )
and I'm asking about the agency Teach Away if they ask for certain nationality ?
And for English, because here our first language is Arabic then French...so English is optional and we are trying to improve it  ;)
Good luck for you Cams96.
And for you too justin.


Hi Cams96,

I'm also in the same position. I'm going with Teach Away and they have just informed me that I've passed the pre-employment check and my entry visa has been applied for. I've been told to get all my qualifications, teaching council registration etc. attested by the 28th of October. No word on when I'll actually be leaving but I'm assuming it will be after the 28th.

Are you with Teach Away too? Hopefully you hear something soon!

Lucky you! You must be excited?? I'm still waiting on my contract! 😭😭 do you mind me asking- how long have you been waiting for?

I had my interview in London at the end of July and submitted everything to the agency by mid August. I only received my security clearance in the last couple of days. I've signed my initial contract but I'm still waiting on my final contract too. Really hoping they send that soon!

Are you with Teach Away too? If you are they might be sending Irish teachers together so you could hear early next week hopefully! The waiting is a killer!

Miss_Wiggles wrote:

Hi there,

I too received my pre-employment security check clearance a couple of weeks ago . I have been told that contracts are being drawn up now, & that when these have been signed visas will be processed. Not yet received final contract.


Your labour contract can be signed after joining and that will be drafted in Arabic. Now, MOL is not issuing the copy. So, don't worry.

Hi all well I am not a teacher I applied for a bartender position I'm female. I received my offer letter from etihad airways in july 22 all signed was told to do medicals all documents was sent by the 28th july. The agency (waitred) keeps intouch but keeps saying departure date is soon visa security check is almost done. I was told october would be long gone and im still here. Seems this visa issue is every where, I'm located in south Africa cape town. Its about 13 of us here waiting in visa and flights help would be great.

Miss_Wiggles wrote:


So I'm not clear on the next step; if pre-employmenr checks are done, what comes next ?

You have no role in employment visa processing and it's the responsibility of your employer to issue the visa for you. Which means you are not the applicant, your employer is. So, don't worry :)


Miss_Wiggles wrote:

Sorry, I'm going to be working for the Ministry of Education (public sector teaching) so the process is not identical to working in private sector I believe.


The delay in security clearance is for government sector.

yes your employer will apply for the visa on your behalf and until they get it back to you...you are kinda at their behest.
good news is that when they take your passport they put you up in a nice hotel...while you get used to living here

Hello, I will be moving out to work in the UAE as a teacher too and I was wondering whether it is sociable? I am moving out alone and really excited about the job just  worried about making friends and having things to do on the weekend. Is there any opportunities to mix with other people?