Teaching English in the Middle East

Teaching English in the Middle East


As a teacher, you generally don’t have to pay any salary taxes in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, the jobs in these countries would be the best paying in the world even if you did have to pay tax. Contracts often include generous accommodation packages that are suitable for housing the family of the teacher. Flights from/to country of origin are usually paid for by the company. It is extremely lucrative here and there is a strong demand for teachers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The downside is that it isn’t always easy living here. Most native English speakers find the very conservative laws stifling and repressive. Teaching materials need to be carefully adapted accordingly. As a result, teaching positions in the Middle East are perhaps not suitable for first-timers. Those more mature folk who already have a few years of teaching experience elsewhere – and are aiming to save some money – stay here for several years before returning home to buy a house with their substantial savings.

Most countries require a BA, a TEFL certificate, and 1 or 2 years of experience. The top positions require an MA and/or PGCE (or equivalent). See below for country by country breakdowns and the typical requirements and salaries.

Locations and Salary

CountryMain Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
AfghanistanKabul$500 – $1000
AlgeriaAlgiers$600 – $1200
BahrainManama$1500 – $3000
EgyptCairo$800 – $2500
IranTehran$500 – $1500
IraqKurdistan$500 – $2000
IsraelTel Aviv$1000 – $2500
JordanAmman$800 – $2500
KuwaitKuwait City$2000 – $3000
LebanonBeirut$500 – $2000
LibyaTripoli$1500 – $2500
MoroccoRabat, Marrakech$800 – $2000
OmanMuscat, Sur$2000 – $3500
PalestineRamallah$500 – $1000
QatarDoha$1500 – $3000
Saudi ArabiaJeddah, Riyadh$2500 – $5000
TunisiaTunis, Sousse$800 – $2000
United Arab EmiratesDubai, Abu Dhabi$2500 – $4500
YemenSana’a$800 – $1200

Typical Job Requirements

CountryDegree?TEFL Certification?Experience?
BahrainYesYes3-5 Years
EgyptYesYes1-2 Years
IraqYesYes1-2 Years
JordanYesYes1-2 Years
KuwaitYesYes1-2 Years
LebanonYesYes1-2 Years
LibyaYesYes1-2 Years
OmanYesYes1-2 Years
QatarYesYes1-2 Years
Saudi ArabiaYesYes3-5 Years
TunisiaYesYes1-2 Years
United Arab EmiratesYesYes3-5 Years

Fun Fact About the Middle East

One interesting fact about the Middle East that might intrigue an English teacher is that the region is home to a rich literary heritage. Many famous literary works were written in the Middle East, including “One Thousand and One Nights” (commonly known as Arabian Nights), which is a collection of folk tales from the Islamic Golden Age. These tales have had a significant influence on Western literature and continue to captivate readers with their fantastical stories and cultural insights.