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March 29, 2023
10 min read

Navigating Teaching Requirements Across the Emirates

Navigating Teaching Requirements Across the Emirates
Written By
Aashita Pillai

Aashita Pillai

Aashita is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher Mentor for a couple of years. She wields words like weapons to help readers get clear and concise information.


Did you know that the UAE has one of the world's highest rates of international teacher recruitment?

According to UNESCO, nearly 40% of teachers in the UAE were recruited from outside the country, compared to a global average of around 13%.

This eye-opening statistic shows the country’s openness to hiring talented teachers worldwide. Be a part of this diverse community of teachers shaping the future of the UAE’s education system!

To land a teaching job in the UAE, it is essential to understand the specific eligibility criteria for each of the seven Emirates. Before we get to the eligibility criteria, let’s understand a few common classifications/categories of teachers in the Emirates.

  1. Classroom Teachers: These teachers manage a specific classroom and are responsible for teaching multiple subjects in KG and primary grades. They can also be called Home Room Teachers or Mother Teachers in different schools.
  1. Subject Teachers: These teachers focus on a specific subject (or more in related fields) and are usually responsible for teaching students post primary section. They are responsible for developing lesson plans, delivering classes and evaluating student work related to their particular subject.

    Note: Schools might give preference to teachers with a Master’s degree to teach specific subjects in the higher grades.
  2. Special Education Teachers: These teachers have a background in special education. They teach students of Determination and those with special educational needs. The UAE recognises students with disabilities as ‘ people of Determination’ in recognition of their achievements in various fields.

Now, let’s look at a comprehensive breakdown of the specific requirements for teaching in each Emirate. Let’s begin with the requirements for the capital of the UAE - Abu Dhabi!

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a popular destination for teachers looking to gain international exposure. The city boasts of a strong commitment to providing quality education to its students and is home to various private and public schools.

To teach in Abu Dhabi, you must fulfil the requirements stated by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). The department has classified teachers into different categories based on their level of expertise and experience. Some of these categories are:

  • Lead teacher
  • Master teacher
  • Interim teacher
  • Teacher in training
  • Coordinator of special education needs

Each teacher category may have specific eligibility criteria* based on their qualifications, experience, skills, and achievements. To learn more about these, click on the button below:


Dubai is a cosmopolitan Emirate city known for its high-quality education and state-of-the-art school facilities. As a teacher in Dubai, you have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from around the world while enjoying an exceptional work-life balance. The best part? You get an additional bonus of a tax-free salary!

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) regulates education in Dubai and has established eligibility requirements for teacher appointments in Dubai. 

Specifically, they’ve categorised teachers as follows: 

1. Class Teacher

Must have a recognised bachelor's degree in education
Postgraduate certificate/diploma in education
Master's Degree in Education

2. Subject Teacher

Must have a recognised bachelor's degree relevant to the subject taught.

To learn about the teacher eligibility criteria* in Dubai, simply click the button below:

KHDA states that a teacher must complete a set of mandatory professional development (MPD) courses to be eligible to teach in Dubai. 

About the 6 Mandatory Professional Development  Courses: 

MPD courses bridge the gap between the culture of Dubai and your home country. They are meant to educate you on topics such as Diversity, Moral Education, Sustainability, Dealing with People of Determination, Well-being, and Child Protection. They are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in a new teaching environment. These courses can be completed via any of the KHDA-Approved providers. (Check the list of approved providers here. )

What's Even Better?

Our comprehensive MPD course is available online, allowing you to complete it at your convenience and pace. With Suraasa, you can easily meet the mandatory requirements and start your teaching journey in the UAE with confidence. You can check out our course here.


The city of Sharjah has been recognised as the "Cultural Capital of the Arab World" by UNESCO. Sharjah's emergence as a centre of cultural activity makes it an excellent place for teachers to integrate cultural experiences into their teaching.

Schools in Sharjah offer family-friendly policies such as flexible work schedules and on-site childcare facilities, making it an attractive destination for teachers with families.

Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) is a local government entity mandated to regulate teacher appointment in the private education institutions- schools, nurseries, training centres and institutes in this emirate. 

To gain a better understanding of the steps required to complete your teaching profile and fulfil other SPEA requirements*, please click on the button below. 

This will provide you with comprehensive information and guidance to help ensure that you meet all of the necessary criteria.

Other four Emirates

While the remaining emirates offer similar benefits like competitive salaries, high standard of living, and diverse student population, here are some of their unique focal points: 

1. Ajman

Ajman is known for its focus on promoting inclusive education. This teaching approach aims to provide equal opportunities to all students, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Special education teachers can find a lot of potential for their career in Ajman with resources like assistive technology, personalised learning plans, etc.

2. Ras Al Khaimah

This Emirate focuses on environmental education, emphasising ecological awareness, sustainability, and conservation. Schools have implemented recycling initiatives and field trips to natural areas to help students and teachers engage and learn with nature. This ‘environment conscious’ emirate offers you a high quality of life and opportunities for adventure and relaxation beyond work.

3. Fujairah

Fujairah strongly focuses on preserving and promoting local culture and heritage. This can be seen through various cultural education programmes that teach about local traditions, customs, and heritage. This allows teachers to learn new skills and engage with the locals meaningfully.

Also, the cost of living is much lower here than in the other emirates, so it is an excellent place to save money and have a comfortable lifestyle.

4. Umm Al Quwain

One interesting fact about school teaching in this emirate is the intense focus on technology in education. Most schools have implemented technology in the classroom to enhance the learning experience for students and provide new opportunities for teaching and collaboration. For example, interactive whiteboards allow teachers to project lectures on a large screen and allow students to interact via touch or a pen.

Teaching requirements for these four Emirates

All these four Emirates follow regulations set forth by the Ministry of Education of the UAE.  To view the eligibility requirements*, simply click on the button below:

Aspiring Teachers must have:

  • a minimum qualification of a bachelor’s degree or a 4-year university degree or higher in the required field
  • a criminal clearance record
  • a medical fitness report
  • attested certificates in case the teacher has graduated from a university outside the UAE
  • original of educational certificates

Disclaimer: Please note that specific requirements may vary depending on the specific Emirate, institution, subject area, and level of teaching. It's recommended to research the particular requirements for the institution or position you're interested in before applying.


This brings us to the end of this blog about the eligibility requirements for starting your teaching career in the United Arab Emirates. It is important to bear in mind that government criteria are subject to frequent change. We, therefore, advise you to monitor the official websites listed in this blog on a regular basis to stay updated with any modifications.

But wait, there's more! Don't forget to explore our previous resources on teaching in the UK and teaching in the USA for more exciting insights into the teaching profession. 

We hope this blog has been valuable in guiding you towards achieving your teaching goals in the UAE. Thank you for reading!

Still feeling unsure about your eligibility? Don’t let your doubts hold you back! 

Book a 20-minute call with a Suraasa Mentor and get your doubts resolved! Simply click on the button below to schedule your session!

Government processes are subject to change at any given time. The information provided here is intended to serve as a general guideline and should not be considered a substitute for official guidance. It is advised to read through the official government website or resource to obtain the latest information about the current processes before proceeding with your application.

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Written By
Aashita Pillai

Aashita Pillai

Aashita is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher Mentor for a couple of years. She wields words like weapons to help readers get clear and concise information.

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