Prospects Country by Country Guide - Middle East

Oil wealth has meant that many of the countries of the Middle East have been able to pay high salaries to attract the 'best' and most qualified teachers. As a result there are not many opportunities for the recently qualified teacher. Turkey is the exception where thousands of newly qualified teachers find employment. The lifestyle and strict conditions found in some of the oil rich nations may not appeal to all. Recent political events in the region may ultimately create more demand or reduce it. Time will tell.

Capital City Manama
Language Arabic
Currency Bahrain Dinar
Typical TEFL teacher salary $1,500 tax free per month
major TEFL location Nationwide

Bahrain TEFL job prospects

Bahrain is among the more liberal of the oil states, and one which attracts foreigners, including women, because of its tolerance to women in the workplace. Opportunities mainly exist in companies, colleges or private language schools.

Capital City Jerusalem
Language Hebrew
Currency Shekel
Typical TEFL teacher salary  
major TEFL location  

Israel TEFL job prospects

Due to the large number of native speaking Jews who have settled in Israel, almost all positions are filled from the local population and there is no active recruitment of foreign teachers.

Capital City Kuwait City
Language Arabic
Currency Kuwait Dinar
Typical TEFL teacher salary $30,000 per year
major TEFL location Nationwide

Kuwait job prospects

The general consensus seems to be that the glory years of extremely high, tax-free salaries are over in Kuwait.

While that may be true the salaries offered are still higher than most other countries. Opportunities usually only exist for the highly qualified and experienced.

Capital City Muscat
Language Arabic
Currency Rial
Typical TEFL teacher salary $30,000 per annum tax free
major TEFL location Muscat

Lebanon TEFL job prospects

Lebanon is only just emerging from its turbulent past, and job opportunities are presently limited to placements through voluntary agencies. A teacher 'on the spot' may well be able to arrange work for a local salary. Hopefully the future will bring with it a greater variety of possibilities in this tiny but fascinating country.

Saudi Arabia  
Capital City Riyadh
Language Arabic
Currency Riyal
Typical TEFL teacher salary $3,000 per month tax-free + other perks
major TEFL location Various

Saudi Arabia job prospects

Like Kuwait the days of wonderfully high salaries are probably over. However, the salary package usually compares favorably with almost every other country. Teachers are usually required to have the highest qualifications and substantial experience. Not many women are employed and some teachers find the rules and regulations of life in Saudi Arabia rather too restrictive.

Capital City Damascus
Language Arabic
Currency Syrian pound
Typical TEFL teacher salary $400 per month
major TEFL location Damascus

Syria TEFL job prospects

Syria is not a wealthy country and salaries are considerably lower than those offered in oil rich countries. There are a limited number of opportunities in the private language schools in Damascus. Teachers should arrange teaching positions and contracts before arrival.

Capital City Ankara
Language Turkish
Currency Turkish Lira
Typical TEFL teacher salary $1,500 per month
major TEFL location Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir +++

Turkey TEFL job prospects

There is an enormous demand for English teachers in Turkey, particularly in the larger cities. Salaries are reasonable and most teachers are able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Opportunities primarily exist within the private educational sector. Most teachers seem to find teaching and living in Turkey an enjoyable experience. A university degree is essential for working in Turkey.

United Arab Emirates  
Capital City Abu Dhabi
Language Arabic
Currency UAE Dirham
Typical TEFL teacher salary $3,500 per month plus benefits
major TEFL location Dubai, Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates job prospects

As in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, reasonably well-paid jobs exist for those with prior teaching experience. Salaries are a bit lower but so are the educational requirements. Many teachers find the UAE less restrictive than some of the other gulf states.

Capital City Doha
Language Arabic
Currency Riyal
Typical TEFL teacher salary $3,500 per month
major TEFL location Doha, Al Wakrah and elsewhere

Qatar TEFL job prospects

In 2010, Qatar had the world's highest GDP per capita, and their recent strives forward financially show no signs of slowing down. There's a huge need for qualified TEFL teachers in Qatar, from language academies to call center training and teaching English in banks.

Countries Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Jordan etc
Language Various
Currency Various
Typical TEFL teacher salary Various
Major TEFL locations Capital cities

Others TEFL job prospects

At present there are no real teaching opportunities in other Middle Eastern nations. However, in the light of recent events it is possible that some voluntary positions may arise in the future.