5 TEFL destinations in the Middle East worth considering
While many a budding TEFL teacher will look straight to the tried-and-tested destinations of Southeast Asia, China or Europe for their first gig, others might want something a little more off-the-beaten-track. Cue this mystical, magical region of the world, where shifting sands meet groaning camels and cumin-scented souks. There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to come here to teach, from fascinating culture to some of the highest pay grades on the globe. If that’s taken your fancy, read on to see some of the top TEFL destinations in the Middle East.
Oman crowns the very tip of the Arabian Peninsula. A place slashed through by the rugged Al Hajar Mountains and carved by endless wadis, it’s a truly beautiful land. The main cities pop up on the coastline along the Oman Gulf, where throbbing Muscat and its all-new Corniche boasts gold bazaars and historic pearl-diving depots. Majestic mosques are likely to be the backdrop to your teaching, while glistening beaches also beckon up and down the coast. Meanwhile, the southern side of the country is given over to the monsoon-splashed lands of Salalah, which turn a verdant green each year with the coming of the rains. Oh, and the best part? TEFL teachers can expect salaries upwards of $2,200 USD/month!
Kuwait is another stalwart choice among the major TEFL destinations in the Middle East. It’s small but packed with character. Shimmering skyscrapers and UFO-like spires line its sun-scorched promenades, most of which were built by big oil money back in the boom days of the 00s. These days, Kuwait is slowly making the transition to a more tourist-based, service economy, which means there are plenty of opportunities for teachers between the souks and desert swathes.
Of all the TEFL destinations in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is certainly one for the more adventurous and intrepid among us. Why? Well, the ruling regime here is noted for its strict adherence to Islamic law, and you’re going to have to get used to a totally different lifestyle that you’re probably used to back at home (or in other TEFL spots for that matter). However, if you can bring yourself to dispense of alcohol and don’t mind entering one of the world’s more pariah states, you can look forward to tax-free earnings of up to $4,000 USD/month! Oh, and you get to see the wonders of Mecca, encounter bustling Jeddah, and wonder at the great building projects of Riyadh, the capital.
The UAE is right up there with the most coveted TEFL destinations in the Middle East. Packed with soaring skyscrapers and lined with shimmering white beachfronts along the Persian Gulf, its cities – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah – are real melting pots of multiculturalism and worldly energy. You’ll be able to tour sprawling shopping malls and see mighty mosques on your weekends off, or break out to hike and 4X4 across the shifting sand seas of Arabia. The salaries aren’t bad either, with a chance you could earn as much as $3,900 USD/month for working here.
Most all intros to Jordan start by extolling the wondrous beauty of UNESCO-tagged Petra. But that carved city of the ancient Nabateans is just one of the treasures of this beautiful land on the edge of the Levant region. Jordan also has access to the salt-bobbing waters of the Dead Sea, ancient Roman ruins and the Mars-like landscapes of Wadi Rum. It’s also something of a beacon of stability in a region so often plagued by political problems and social strife, meaning it’s open to travelers and globetrotters and TEFL teachers alike.
If you’d like to add anything to our list of the top TEFL destinations in the Middle East, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Or, if you think it’s time you got TEFL qualified and teaching around the globe, be sure to take a look at our range of courses.