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Lede: Ever dreamed of teaching in Dubai? The city offers a dynamic and exciting environment for educators. But before you pack your bags, it's crucial to understand the requirements for obtaining a Dubai teaching licence from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). 

Here is a breakdown of the requirements and procedures you need to follow.

How do I become a teacher in Dubai?

To become a teacher in Dubai, you require an ‘initial appointment’ or a ‘teacher appointment’, which will enable you to teach at a school. According to KHDA, after a private school in Dubai selects a teacher for an available teaching position, the school applies for the 'Initial Appointment' for the teacher.

Educational qualifications

For the initial appointment, a teacher must have a degree from a specific field, depending on whether the teacher is a class teacher or subject teacher:

•A class teacher must have a recognised Bachelor's Degree in Education (B.Ed) or postgraduate certificate/diploma in education or Master's Degree in Education (M.Ed).
•A subject teacher must have a recognised bachelor's degree relevant to the subject taught.

Once the 'Initial Appointment' is made, the teacher at a Dubai private school must register on the Educator Permit System. This is done by the school's administration.

Language proficiency

Besides having a bachelor's or master's degree, you must also have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate or any other language proficiency certificate as needed. For example, a teacher teaching English language as a subject must have an IELTS Band Score of at least 7 (IELTS “good user”) or equivalent.

A teacher using English as the language of instruction must have an IELTS Band Score of at least 6 (IELTS “competent user”) or equivalent.

A teacher teaching a language other than English must have evidence of language proficiency as specified by appropriate authorities and curricula.

Courses required for teaching English as a foreign language

If you are teaching English Language as a subject, it is a must to additionally have a qualification in teaching English Language as a second or foreign language. These are some of the examples of the qualifications that are accepted:

• Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)
• Diploma in teaching English to speakers of other languages (DELTA)
• Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Courses required by KHDA

Another requirement is to complete two mandatory courses from KHDA, these are:

Teacher preparation qualification – you must have this qualification at the level of a higher diploma or above.

If you have completed these qualification courses or their equivalent from a regional branch in the UAE of an international university or a university in the UAE, it will be accepted by KHDA. You just need to make sure that the college or university is recognised by KHDA or accredited by the Ministry of Education (MOE). KHDA provides a list of higher education institutions that are recognised by KHDA to provide these courses.

If you do not have such a qualification, you can take the course at a KHDA-approved training provider for teacher preparation qualifications. The list of approved providers is also available through KHDA. However, if you do take such a course, the cost will have to be covered by you and the course fees vary depending on the training institute.

Mandatory professional development

This course is only offered by KHDA-approved training providers and must be taken with them. The list of approved providers is also available through KHDA.

Legal requirements

Every teacher going through the process to complete registration with KHDA must have:

• A UAE police clearance certificate
• A letter from the school confirming the teacher is in good standing
A declaration of fitness certificate – which is essentially a medical screening for employment in the UAE