Building life as an EFL teacher in modern Middle East

If you are dreaming of a flourishing career as an EFL teacher in the Middle East, then you must definitely take up a TEFL course from a well-known provider. Nevertheless TEFL, in the comparatively conservative Middle East (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), is meant for onlythose who can showcase great patiencealong with an understanding and acceptance of the “culture shock” that they may face due to the many cultural differences that an outsider or those new to the region,are bound to face. That being said, the challenges of working and living in the Middle East are not as overwhelming or difficult as it may sound at first, and the rewards, both in terms of lifestyle and experience are immense than other nations.

To be employed as a TEFL teacher in the Middle East, an accredited EFL certification is a must (some schools also prefer experienced candidates over those new into the profession). For busy professionals, instead of the classroom courses, you can also opt for a TEFL certification online course to become a TEFL certified educator.

Teaching salaries in here are mostly tax-free with most schoolsprovidingaccommodation as part of the package; which can be extremely expensive in here. Teachers can also expect their teaching packages to include a yearly return flight reimbursement to your home country, as well as yearly bonuses. A single teacher can expect to live fairly comfortably on a monthly wage of £1000/$1550/€1150 per month, with the average TEFL wage above this,further making TEFL teaching in the Middle East financially rewarding.

However, Teaching English in the Middle East may not suit those looking for short term arrangements, or for the frequent travelers looking to move from school to school, country to country. Schools contracts typically is for 2 or 3 years in length, which is due to the high cost involved in recruiting and work permit fees. Nonetheless,short term contracts can still be found to be beneficial for all TEFL educators.

A huge territory and a fascinating region is the Middle East with a conglomeration of different cultures; it’s a hard and daunting task trying to figure out just where to start your career from.We have shared here the 4 best countries in the Middle East for you to teach English as a foreign language:


One of the most popular locations in the Middle East, Dubai has long been the most preferred destination for new teachers trying to make a career in teaching in the Gulf States. Dubai has seen a great economic boom over the last decade, so has its education system; teaching jobs in Dubai are now plentiful, which has also led to a lot of competition in terms of job hunting.

In this scenario, teaching in local schools can often be your best choice, especially if you are a less experienced teacher.

Whether you teach in international schools or the local schools, Dubai is meant for those who are more socially outgoing; attracting them with its year-round warm weather, infamous shopping, profligate buildings and a lively mixed population.


Jordan can be termed as one of the most relaxed and laid-back countries of the Middle East, with its schools reflecting this attitude. Schools here in Jordan also tend to be multi-cultural who are more willing to integrate locals with expats than their neighbours. Also, with more relaxed visa rules in comparison to other Gulf States, Jordan attracts a more diverse group of teachers to the country.

A great destination for explorers, Jordan has a great many Greek and Roman ruins, biblical sights, breathtaking sceneries and landscapes – comprising of the deep valleys, vast open desert, massive mountains, and lively wildlife reserves.


Kuwait is one of those Middle Eastern countries that can very well match up to Dubai. Best known for its international schools, the schools in Kuwait comprises of both international and bilingual curricula. Because of this, they are quite warm and hospitable with all TEFL teachers in the country. There are genuinely plenty of opportunities for new and inexperienced teachers alike, making it a one of the topmost countries to look for opportunities for TEFL candidates.

Though a bit conservative, Kuwait is also quite luxurious with large fancy hotels, huge skyscrapers, shopping malls with big brands, and many other modern amenities. The country also has a lively expat community where you can get involved in lots of activities and socializing.

Saudi Arabia

Considered to be the most traditional Arab country and not very easy to integrate into local life, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is perhaps less appealing in terms of the exotic experiences found in other parts of the Middle East. However, the salaries in Saudi are typically higher than most other ME countries. You can lead your life comfortably and save well, even on the average teaching wage. As English has become the most prominent language for communication, TEFL teachers use this as an opportunity in this Arab country to build up some savings and focus on teaching, teamed with a much slower pace of life.

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