About Teaching English in the Middle East

Schools in Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern nations all seek certified English teachers. In many Arab nations, university classes are taught in English and the region’s location at the crossroads of East and West has made cities like Dubai major hubs of commerce and leisure where English is often the norm. In the wealthy Gulf states, in particular, most positions are offered to experienced teachers with bachelors’ or masters’ degrees in education, in addition to a TEFL certification.

Middle East ESL Jobs are somewhat easier to come by for those with just a four-year degree (or even less) and a TEFL/TESOL Certification in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, and Turkey, where the pay is considerably lower, but the cost of living is low and the opportunities for immersion in one the world’s great regions for culture and history are innumerable.

National Day - Rak al Khaimah - UAE - Katie Ayers


Highlights of TEFL Jobs in The Middle East

  • The vast majority of ESL positions in the Gulf Countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman) are obtained through interviews in advance.
  • Teachers should expect to adhere to local cultural norms, which can vary dramatically from what you may be used to in the West. Within the region, restrictions on personal freedoms like the style of dress and the right to consume alcohol can vary widely from country to country, or even from region to region within a particular country.
  • Experienced teachers with a bachelors’ or masters’ degrees in education, in addition to a TEFL certification, that qualify for teaching jobs in the wealthy Gulf states will enjoy some of the highest salaries in the field as pay can range from $2,500 - $6,000 a month, plus free housing and flights to and from the teacher’s home country. To learn more about salaries, please read What Are Salaries for English Teachers in the Middle East?
  • The presence of large expatriate communities, where teachers can socialize with other westerners makes the transition for newcomers to the region much easier.

Download Your Middle East TEFL Resources

Check out our library of TEFL resources including webcasts, guides, ebooks & downloadable offers.

Where Can You Teach English in the Middle East?

TEFL Certification Options for
Teaching English in the Middle East

Hiring standard for  teaching English in the Middle East can be high, but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and a key qualification you need to get hired to find ESL jobs in the Middle East.

Because schools and recruiters interview prospective teachers in their home country in advance, most Americans and Canadians take their TEFL certification class online or in North America.

All International TEFL Academy TEFL students receive lifetime worldwide Job Search Guidance.

Here are recommended options:

Online TEFL Courses

Full-time/Part-time 💻

ITA offers two Online TEFL Courses that are taught by expert professors & incorporate live practice teaching. These 2 courses enable you to get certified at home in just 4 weeks, or in 11 weeks while working full-time or going to school.


USA TEFL Courses

4-Week, Full-Time 🏫

Take a 4-week TEFL Course in the U.S. prior to heading abroad.


Worldwide TEFL Courses

4-Week, Full-Time 🏫

International TEFL Academy offers accredited TEFL certification 4-week courses in 23 locations worldwide. 



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ITA Alumni Teaching English in the Middle East

Eric Schenck

Taught English in Egypt

Eric Schenck

I decided to go with ITA for my TEFL certification because they were the most professional and forthcoming with information. The course was awesome. My teacher was extremely helpful and the course material was quite relevant to the job I ended up getting. By the time I moved to Cairo, I was already in the mindset of “being a teacher,” which is half the battle. The practicum which I completed gave me great experience which I later applied to my job.

Taylor Karnilaw

Taught English in Israel

Taylor Karnilaw

I decided to get TEFL certified to give myself an avenue to get abroad and contribute positively. I more specifically chose ITA because it is an established program and the admissions advisor that I spoke with was very informative and supportive. The live practice teaching was a valuable experience that I appreciated. I am Jewish and have been wanting to come back to Israel and experience the culture a little more; this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Edward Bassett

Teaches English in Iraq

Edward Bassett

ITA's advising staff were accessible, enthusiastic, and provided lots of helpful information when choosing a TEFL provider. It was a very easy decision to make! The course material was rich, engaging, challenging, and illuminating. It gave me a well-rounded preparation for TEFL instruction and introduced me to key elements of cultural sensitivity and integration I have relied on in many ways since arriving in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Visit the Middle East section of our blog & our video library for more stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in the Middle East.