Posts Tagged ‘middle east’

Random international school profile stats on International School Community – 1 August, 2012

Using the School Profile Search feature on the main homepage of International School Community, we found the following stats about the 1247 international schools currently listed on our website.  (Updated from our February 2012 statistics)

Age of School:
Schools more than 51 years old: 251 ( 28)
Schools from 16-50 years old: 513 ( 57)
Schools from 0-15 years old: 483 ( 65)

(The top three regions in the world with international schools older than 51 years old are: Western Europe and South American (tied for #1) and East Asia.)

School Curriculum:
UK curriculum: 381 ( 50)
USA curriculum: 414 ( 35)
IB curriculum: 449 ( 37)

(The top three regions in the world that teach the United States curriculum are: 1. Middle East, 2.East Asia, 3. South America. The top three regions in the world that teach the United Kingdom curriculum are: 1. Western Europe, 2. SE Asia., 3. Middle East.)

School Nature:
For-profit schools: 511 ( 84)
Non-profit schools: 763 ( 93)

(The top three regions in the world that are non-profit international schools are: 1. Western Europe, 2. East Asia, 3. Middle East. The top three regions in the world that are for-profit international schools are: 1. SE Asia, 2. East Asia., 3. Middle East.)

School Region:
Schools in East Asia: 178 ( 25)
Schools in South America: 79 ( 8)
Schools in Middle East: 165 ( 26)
Schools in Western Europe: 210 ( 27)

[There are more and more internationals schools being built every year.  The need for international schools has indeed been growing the past few years.  It is predicted there will be over 10,000 international schools in the near future (there are around 6000 international schools now)]

Feel free to make your own searches based on your criteria on International School Community.  You can search using up to eight different criteria (Region of the world, curriculum, school nature, number of students, country, age of school, metro population and kinds of student).  Members with premium membership are able to do unlimited searches on our website.  If you are already a member, you can easily renew your subscription on your profile page.  If you are not a member, become a member today and get 1 month free of premium membership. Hurry up as the 1 free month special will be ending soon!


Free webinar from Teachers International Consultancy (TIC): Help for Teachers Considering Move to Middle East

Are you considering teaching abroad? With over 3,000 international schools in Asia, the Middle East has become an exciting and desirable destination with plenty of teaching opportunities available. All international schools teach in English, meaning there are an incredible number of possibilities for teachers with two or three years experience.

John Hrycak moved from his post in Preston, UK to Amman in Jordan. He’s found a way to combine adventurous life experiences with his career. “I have seen some wonderful sunsets, been to the Dead Sea for a float and visited Petra” he says, whilst adding “I feel like I am getting somewhere [with my career] which would take a long time to achieve if I were in the UK.”

Taking the next step to teaching abroad can be challenging, so Teachers International Consultancy (TIC) is holding a free webinar on Tuesday 15th May entitled Teaching in the Middle East. The half hour session will be hosted by TIC director Andrew Wigford, who has over 20 years experience working in and with international schools. The webinar will include advice on the different teaching opportunities available, explain about salaries and contracts, and include time for you to ask any questions you may have.

Teaching in the Middle East webinar begins at 5pm on Tuesday 15th May. To reserve your place now, visit:

For more information, visit the TIC website or call TIC at +44(0)2920-212-083

As always for almost 5000 comments and information about 1200+ international schools, check out the latest school profile updates on International School Community.

The number of children at international schools reaches 3 million!

The latest figures published by ISC Research show that the number of children attending the world’s international schools has passed three million. This is phenomenal growth in just ten years. In 2002 there were one million international school students. It is this increasing demand for places which is driving the rapid expansion of international schools worldwide; a trend that ISC Research predicts will continue for the foreseeable future.

Ten years ago, the typical international school student was from an expatriate family. Today, that student is from a local family. The number of expatriate children attending international schools has not decreased, indeed there are many more . What has changed is the recognition by local families that international schools are a means of advancing to further education at some of the world’s best universities. “Parents of the next generation are looking towards international schools to satisfy the need for critical thinking rather than learning by rote,” says Clive Pierrepont, Director of Communications at Taaleem which owns and manages 13 schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. “The parents clearly see international schools as a route through for university opportunities.” It is this recognition, coupled with increased income, which is making attendance at an international school a real possibility for the wealthier local families. Today 80% of students at international schools are local children.

In a number of cities, this demand from both expat and local families, is outstripping supply. Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha all have significant problems. So much so, that many relocating expats with families are now demanding security of their school places before accepting new placements. In certain locations, it is the availability of good school places that is driving job decisions by expats rather than salaries and destinations. As a result of this demand, a number of countries are actively encouraging the growth of international schools including China, India, Malaysia, Korea, and the UAE.

International schools are typically fee-paying schools that deliver the curriculum wholly or partly in English (outside an English-speaking country). The good quality of learning at international schools is recognised the world over. Many of these schools follow, to a large extent, the English National Curriculum. Others deliver such highly respected international curricula as the International Baccalaureate and the International Primary Curriculum. Others deliver alternative national curricula such as American or Dutch. The best international schools have extremely good reputations, are accredited, and are used as models by national schools the world over.

ISC Research, the organisation that researches and analyses data on international schools worldwide predicts that the number of students in international schools will reach six million in another ten years and that the number of international schools will increase from 6,000 today to 10,000.

Managing Director of ISC Research, Nicholas Brummitt, says “The international school market has become big business. There are now a number of highly respected, multinational groups of schools driving growth forward. Examples of these are Taaleem with schools throughout the UAE and partnerships in other Middle East countries, WCL with schools in the US and Qatar, Nord Anglia with schools in China and Europe, Cognita with schools in the UK, Europe and Asia, ESOL with schools in a number of Middle East countries, Yew Chung Education Foundation with schools in Hong Kong, China and the US, and GEMS with schools in many parts of the world.  Most of these groups are expanding aggressively, either by buying existing schools, expanding current operations, or building new schools. There are also schools with campuses in several countries. These include a number of UK private schools with international operations such as Harrow (in Beijing, Bangkok with a third school in Hong Kong  opening in September this year) and Dulwich which has schools in China and is opening several more in Asia over the next few years.”

For more information about the international schools market visit ISC Research is the only organisation that supplies data and market analyses covering all the world’s English-medium international schools; data that it has been tracking for over twenty years. The latest market updates plus individual school information, news, statistical overviews, and country reports are all available from ISC Research.

For more information about what it is like to work at many of these international schools, make sure to visit

International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #2: Middle East

#2: International Schools in Middle East

“The Arab Spring caused much uncertainty in the beginning of 2011 and it now feels like a distant memory in many ways. International schools in this region continue to grow and thrive, and state school reform projects in Abu Dhabi are continuing on but in a different way (more on this at the end). The Licensed Teacher programme in Abu Dhabi added new grades and has now expanded to include western Head Teachers to step into principal and vice principal roles. We expect this to continue strongly into next year and beyond. Very exciting!

International schools in the UAE and Qatar in particular have never stopped hiring, and most feel cautiously optimistic enough to start expansion plans in 2012 and 2013. Because of the Arab spring, many teachers in the Middle East (especially UAE) decided to stay put last year so I expect a good amount of movement and when combined with natural growth it means lots of opportunities.  Qatar in particular is one to watch as the Qataris continue to invest their considerable wealth into infrastructure and technology projects.  This will continue to be a bright spot for the Middle East in the next few years which is one of the reasons the whole team visited it last month.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also looking to hire a number of teachers in both state schools, private state schools and international schools.  Salaries are usually quite high in KSA and the cost of living is low, so the savings potential here is huge. For many teachers it is considered more of a hardship post, but for others it’s a down-payment on a house.  It should be noted that South Africans are highly sought in KSA – there is an educational affinity  here- opening up lots of options for degree educated South Africans who want to earn a large amount of money in a relatively small amount of time. After many years of schools saying ‘no thanks’ to South Africans, it’s nice to see this.

Now in the Middle East there is such a range of schools  from really top notch schools to schools that we flatly refuse to work with,  and it’s understandable how teachers can get confused.  How can you tell? Certainly not by the school website.  It’s amazing what you can discover with a school visit and feedback from teachers already placed. I would recommend that teachers interested in this region work closely with their consultant and understand both A. What schools will consider you based on your CV and personal situation and B. What you can expect at schools that will consider you.”

Taken from the “Teach the World with Teachanywhere” blog written by General Manager by Diane Jacoutot.

Currently (as of 18 March, 2012), on, we have 146 international schools listed in this region of the world.  That makes this region rank #5 in terms of the regions of the world with the highest number of international schools listed on our website.  According to the article and to what we see happening in our community, there are many new international schools being founded each year in the Middle East.  The expat communities there seem to be growing and thus the need for more international schools is also growing.

Out of the 14 countries that we have listed in the Middle East, the top four countries with the highest number of international schools listed on International School Community are the following:
1. United Arab Emirates (39)
2. Qatar (20)
3. Kuwait (19)
4. Saudi Arabia (14)

Some more facts about these Middle Eastern international schools:
• 53 teach the American Curriculum, 45 teach the U.K. curriculum and 7 teach the IPC curriculum.
• 67 are less than 15 years old, 63 are between 16 and 50 years old and 16 are more than 51 years old.
• 76 are For-profit schools and 70 are Non-profit schools.

The following schools have had comments and information submitted on them:
Bahrain Bayan School (12 Comments)
Al Hekma International School (9 Comments)
Naseem International School (Bahrain) (19 Comments)
Ihsan Dogramaci Bilkent Erbil College (14 Comments)
Amman Baccalaureate School (8 Comments)
Dubai International Academy (10 Comments)

American International School of Kuwait (20 Comments)

American Bilingual School (14 Comments)
American International School of Muscat (13 Comments)
Al Batinah International School (9 Comments)
Awsaj Institute of Education (11 Comments)
Dhahran Ahliyya Schools (14 Comments)
American Community School at Beirut (16 Comments)

There are many more!  Check out the rest of them here.

Many of our members currently work at international schools in the Middle East:
Falustein Shoman (Al Ittihad National Private School in Abu Dhabi)
Adam Barash (American International School of Jeddah in Jeddah)
Jane Evans (The International Academy (Amman) in Amman)
Craig Delery (Universal American School in Dubai)
Krista Wolfe (International School of Elite Education in Egypt)

There are many more! Check out the rest of them here. If you are interested in working at an international school in the Middle East that one of our members currently works at, feel free to send these members a private message with the questions and concerns you would like first-hand account answers too.

So, we will just have to wait and see then how the “International School Community” in the Middle East actually pans out for the year 2012.

Random international school profile stats on International School Community – 10 February, 2012

Using the School Profile Search feature on the main homepage of International School Community, we found the following stats about the 1097 international schools currently listed on our website.  (Updated from our November 2011 statistics)

Age of School:
Schools more than 51 years old: 223 ( 26 )
Schools from 16-50 years old: 456 ( 44)
Schools from 0-15 years old: 418 ( 72)

(The influx of new schools continues to be increasing!  I read somewhere that most new international schools in the world will be for profit schools.  East Asia still continues to be the area that has the highest number of “new” schools, but instead of the Middle East area being the second highest (like during the last ‘stats’ blog entry), now the second highest is in SE Asia.)

School Curriculum:
UK curriculum: 331 ( 50)
USA curriculum: 379 ( 29)
IB curriculum: 412 ( 34)

(The UK curriculum schools are now slowly catching up to the USA and IB curricula, but the IB international schools still continue to dominate our website.)

School Nature:
For-profit schools: 427 ( 91)
Non-profit schools: 670 ( 51)

(Non-profit schools are still in the lead for international schools represented on International School Community.  For-profit schools are still on the increase at a higher rate than non-profit schools though.  Soon they just might catch up and be on par with for-profit schools.)

School Region:
Schools in East Asia: 153 ( 24)
Schools in South America: 71 ( 1)
Schools in Middle East: 139 ( 21)
Schools in Western Europe: 183 ( 16)

(The clear winner still Western Europe, but East Asia is creeping up. It seems as if there are limited options really if you would like to work at an international school in South America as there just aren’t that many international schools there; the ones that are listed in South America on International School Community haven’t increased in the past few months like the other regions have.)

Feel free to make your own searches based on your criteria on International School Community.  You can search using up to eight different criteria (Region of the world, curriculum, school nature, number of students, country, age of school, metro population and kinds of student).  Members with premium membership are able to do unlimited searches on our website.  If you are already a member, you can easily renew your subscription on your profile page.  If you are not a member, become a member today and get 1 month free of premium membership.

Blogs of international school teachers: School21C – Conversations about 21st Century Education

Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Our 14th blog that we would like to highlight is called “School21C – Conversations about 21st Century Education.”  Check out the blog entries of this international school director who is currently working at International School of Prague.

An entry that we would like to highlight:

Journey to Jordan

“I recently visited Amman, Jordan to attend a board of trustees meeting of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) in my capacity as board chair and Director of the International School of Prague.

It was the first time I had visited Jordan and having read and heard so much about the “Arab Spring” and upheaval throughout the region, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am happy to report that upon my arrival and during my entire stay, I encountered a peaceful, open and welcoming people and society. I found everyone I met to be friendly, warm and happy to discuss any topic, from art to politics.

Ahliyyah School for Girls

While the tour of Amman was spectacular, our visit to the Aliyah School for Girls (ASG) was inspiring and moving. The Ahliyyah School for Girls is primarily for Jordanian girls from kindergarten through high school. The ECIS board was treated to a very warm welcome during an assembly in which ASG high school girls spoke with pride about their school, danced in traditional costumes, presented a theatrical performance and soulfully sang for the audience. After the performances, former graduates of the school spoke about their unforgettable experiences as students at ASG and how the school prepared them well to enter the world as confident women and leaders.

The time spent in Amman and at ASG was a moving experience personally and professionally that I will always remember. While my stay was short, I promised our hosts that I would return one day, to fully experience this special part of the Middle East.”

There is so much we can learn when we visit other international schools around the world, especially international schools that are similar to the one that we are currently working at in our career.  It is also nice to have another co-worker/s to come along with you to bounce ideas off of.  Another perk is that you also inevitably learn more about the host country and culture as you are visiting there, which will help to broaden your cultural understanding of the world…which in turn you can infuse into your teaching practice as you interact with your international students.

Check out the Ahliyyah School for Girls profile page on International School Community.  Currently, there are 8 international schools listed in Jordan on our website, with 7 of them being in Jordan.

If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

Looking for Work? Willing to Move to the UAE? Many Americans (including teachers) are looking to working abroad.

With the jobless rate in the United States holding steady at 9.1 percent and the market showing no signs of near-term recovery, many Americans are considering looking abroad to combat their unemployment problem at home.

The Middle East could be the newest hotspot for jobs, according to a new report entitled “Going Global Employment Outlook: United Arab Emirates,” by Mary Anne Thompson, founder and president of Going Global.

It is clear that with this new influx of foreigners to the Middle East, there will also be a high need for their children to attend an international school.  In turn, many teachers are also trying to find jobs teaching in the Middle East, namely in the UAE.  Currently there are 125 international schools listed in the Middle East region of the world on International School Community.  There are presently 34 international schools listed in the UAE, far above the second highest number of schools of 18 which are in Kuwait listed on our website.

Thompson’s thesis states that “despite the continuing volatility in the region, the UAE, with almost no corporate taxes, no income taxes and a relatively low import duty of 5 percent, remains a favorite of multinational companies, expats and would-be expats. As its economic recovery from the global recession gains strength and its stability remains intact, business confidence in the UAE is slowly improving, which should help accelerate economic activity and with it, employment.”

As expats search for jobs abroad, and specifically in the UAE, the questions are where are the high growth sectors, and are the opportunities diverse enough in the UAE to attract expats. Traditionally, job seekers have thought that only oil- and energy-related positions present growth there, but that assumption might not necessarily be accurate.

“UAE experts predict oil and gas production will remain the backbone of the UAE economy for years to come. While this is true, the non-oil sector of the economy is expanding rapidly. Major growth areas include aircraft and parts, security and safety equipment; IT equipment and services; medical equipment, services and supplies; architecture, construction and engineering services; building products; air conditioning and refrigeration equipment; and environmental and pollution control equipment. Because of the UAE’s increasing demand for water and electricity, water and power projects continue to offer opportunities for growth.”

“Nearly 60 percent of businesses in the UAE are looking to hire at managerial and professional levels, up from 46 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to a survey from Antal, an international recruitment company with an office in Dubai. Sixty-eight percent of companies also expect to hire staff for various middle and senior-level positions in the near future,” Thompson explained.

The prospects sound promising, but an important consideration is the local landscape and competition in the UAE. If jobs are abundant, skeptics may ask, then why does the UAE have an estimated 12 percent unemployment rate—one that’s believed to be even higher among its youth? With a large number of Emirati university graduates flooding the market, why may expats be sought to fill the available positions over local candidates? The answer to those questions comes down to skills and training, something that the UAE and the rest of the Middle East struggle with.

In her report, Thompson says, “a recent Middle East Job Index Survey conducted by and YouGov Siraj found those with a degree in business or engineering-related fields have an edge over other job seekers in the region. Twenty-seven percent of employers in the UAE are looking to fill positions with graduates and postgraduates in business management, and 26 percent would like to see engineering graduates and postgraduates join their organization. The survey found that commerce degree holders are also in demand, with 22 percent of companies seeking them to fill positions.”

Meanwhile, many expats never consider seeking job opportunities abroad because they don’t possess local language skills. But Thompson says that non-Arabic speakers shouldn’t assume that language skills will be their Achilles heel.

“While the job index indicates that graduates with certain degrees and Arabic-English speaking skills are in high demand, job seekers who don’t meet the criteria should not be discouraged. Industry experts said getting the right person for the job is crucial, so employers always look beyond formal qualifications when recruiting a new member of the team. Experience and professional achievements count for a lot when seeking the right employee.”

And of course there is the question of salaries; are paychecks in the Middle East competitive by Western standards?

“Salaries in the UAE are high, and they are tax free. GulfTalent predicts UAE salaries will increase 6.3 percent this year…CEOs’ salaries in the UAE are not increasing these days, and the lack of salary hikes may be causing a shortage of candidates,” Thompson said.

(Highlighted article from the CNCB website)

Great resource: Want to work at an international school in the UAE?  has some excellent insight on the ins and outs of teaching at international schools in the UAE.

There are for sure a fair amount of “international schools” in the UAE.  When that is the case for a country, there usually are a lot of differences that are very important to keep in mind as you are interviewing with some of them.  That is surely the case with the many “international schools” all over China.

Sections International School Community would like to highlight:

They came up with a list of schools that were deemed the “best” in UAE.  They first explained though a bit about how they came up with the list.

– This list is our very subjective opinion only. By “best” we mean relatively professional working environment, administration for the most part is supportive of teachers in a professional capacity, resident visas are organised promptly, salaries and benefits package are decent to good (roughly AED 15k-20k per month in 2010-2011), salaries are paid on time, and teachers should suffer from minimal or no bureaucratic hassles on arrival, during employment, or when departing.

– If a school is not in the list below, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily bad (although there are plenty that are), but it’s not regarded as one of the best ones, or we don’t have enough information to add it to the list. The list is deliberately kept short.

– Jobs at schools in this list are usually hard to come by. You’re unlikely to find them advertised on job websites. Best approach directly to the school early in the academic year, and/or keep an eye on the specialist teaching recruitment agencies and publications. You’d be expected to have at least 2 years experience, be properly qualified, and have achievements that make you stand out from the crowd.

– Many schools (and companies in general) in the UAE often make things particularly difficult for departing teachers, attempting to withhold gratuity and/or other payments that are due to them.

– Before whining and jumping up and down, teachers should at least check the UAE labour law since confusion over contracts and other employment related matters is common in the UAE.

– Schools in this list are usually western or international curriculum. Even the better Asian curriculum schools still have relatively low salary scales.

– Schools in this list usually coincide with schools that are also the best for students, in the opinion of parents.

Best schools for teachers in Abu Dhabi

– American Community School (ACS-Abu Dhabi) – US curriculum (not related to the American International School of Abu Dhabi)

– Al Khubairat British School Abu Dhabi (BSAK)

Schools worth trying in Abu Dhabi if you can’t find a job at one of the best ones

– Al Muna Primary School

– Al Yasmina School

– Aldar Academy schools

– Al Raha International School

Brighton College Abu Dhabi (new in September 2011 so we’re not sure yet)

Best schools for teachers in Dubai

– American School in Dubai (not related to the American International School of Dubai)

– Dubai College

– DESC (Dubai English Speaking College)

– DESS (Dubai English Speaking School)

– JAPS (Jebel Ali Primary School)

– JASS (Jebel Ali Secondary School)

– JESS (Jumeirah English Speaking School)

– JESS Arabian Ranches

– JPS (Jumeirah Primary School)

Schools worth trying in Dubai if you can’t find a job at one of the best ones

– Dubai American Academy

– Dubai British School

– Dubai International Academy (maybe)

– GEMS World Academy

– Jumeirah College (maybe)

– Kings School Dubai

– Repton School Dubai (maybe)

Universal American School

Teacher job satisfaction in Abu Dhabi – mid 2011 survery

  • A WAM news report 15 August 2011 had the headline Teachers’ professional satisfaction rate in Abu Dhabi Schools is as high as 78.3%. The conclusion was the result of a survey conducted during June and July 2011 whereby 5022 public and private school teachers completed a questionnaire on the ADEC web portal. It wasn’t clear from the report how random the survey was or how participants were chosen.
  • There was a confusing line in the report about overall job satisfaction (the first question) which said … related to the teacher’s salary and as predicted, the levels of satisfaction were relatively low, in both public and private sectors, with 31.9 in the public sector and 43.8 in the private sector (but didn’t say who made the prediction or when it was made). Presumably referring to a component asking about pay and salaries. Whereas the first paragraph of the report said A recent survey conducted by Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) on teachers’ job satisfaction in Abu Dhabi Schools showed a satisfaction index in public schools of 77.7% while in private schools, it reached 78.9.
  • The National had a slightly different slant on the survery, with a headline on 16 August 2011 that said Teachers criticise apathetic parents, and highlighted that In a survey of 5,000 teachers, carried out by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) last month to gauge job satisfaction, it was found that 76.3 per cent of public school teachers and 67.3 per cent of private school teachers were unhappy with behaviour in the classroom.

Salaries for teaching jobs in Dubai and the UAE

There is supposed to be a minimum teacher salary of 2,000 dhs/mth in the UAE according to the UAE Ministry of Education (for most jobs in Dubai there is no minimum salary) but some schools try to pay less than that, at least according to several press articles. See the teacher salaries in Dubai discussion. Update (16 June 2010): the minimum might be higher – Gulf News reported that Asian schools teachers are among the lowest paid in the market with the minimum salary fixed at Dh2,500 by the Ministry of Education. Figure unconfirmed. Update again (22 February 2011): the minimum is apparently still AED 2,000 per month – Emirates Business 24-7 reported that Currently, most teachers in schools with Indian curricula earn less than Dh2,500 – just above the UAE Ministry of Education’s minimum wage cap of Dh2,000.

Salary range for classroom teachers is 1,000-6,000 dhs per month for most government schools and 1,000-20,000 dhs per month for private schools. Schools with IB, UK or US curriculums usually pay the highest – the better ones are 10,000-15,000 dhs per month (with accommodation, flights etc included), at the top of the range secondary school teachers could get over 20,000 dhs per month. Indian schools pay about 2,000-4,000 dhs per month. Other Asian schools are similar, other European schools are closer to UK/US curriculum schools with their packages.

  • For example, a British curriculum school in Abu Dhabi (unnamed) was advertising in August 2010 for a primary school teacher to KS1 with salary range of AED 11,000-15,000. Benefits included family housing, flights, medical, free schooling for 2 children (presumably if they attend the same school as the employee, not clear if fees paid to send them to another school). School claimed to be offering one of the top Abu Dhabi international school teacher salaries.
  • The ADEC was offering Abu Dhabi teaching jobs in their Abu Dhabi PPP schools program which started in 2006, with salaries advertised up to AED 20,000 per month from some providers. But that’s a maximum. Range is probably something like AED 5,000 to 20,000 per month.

In the list of Dubai schools, if there is no teacher salary information, the school fees will give an indication of the salaries on offer. Divide the annual secondary school fee by 3 to get a very approximate monthly salary figure, or divide the primary school annual fee by 2. Reduce the result by 25% for profit-making schools. This should give you a mid to high point on the school salary scale.

  • Teachers should check carefully what the salary package includes. Most overseas hire packages will include accommodation (which can vary from very good to slum), medical (which can also vary substantially – a government health card is only regarded as a bare minimum), return flights once a year (if the school insists on making bookings for you, this can be an aggravating experience). Some will include allowances for transport and utilities, and free or reduced tuition charges for children attending the same school.
  • If a school offers an accommodation allowance instead of accommodation, it is likely to be insufficient for good accommodation – assume it will cover about 50% of your rental costs (which are normally paid one year in advance in full). Especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and until 2009 at least, it’s difficult to even find properties for rent.
  • Teachers on local contract hires will normally not be offered any of the above and may find it difficult financially if they have to cover their own accommodation costs – rental properties are very expensive in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  • Check also the policy for salary increments. Some schools do not move teachers up a salary scale irrespective of years of service or additional qualifications gained.