Observing Local Culture While Teaching in Dubai

Observing Local Culture While Teaching in Dubai

What's the very best thing about travelling around the world?

For some, it's the sights – buildings, temples, and landscapes they would never see at home. For others, it might be the food, or the warm weather when it's cold in their country of origin. For some people, it's just simply the chance to get away from the day-to-day routine of life. But for many, the absolute best thing about travelling the world is that no two places are exactly the same. You could visit every country across every corner of the map, and you may see some similarities, but you're never going to have the same experience twice.

Teaching in Dubai is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the United Arab Emirates, one so very different from our own. But before you visit a recruitment agency to find a teaching job, you should take the time to familiarise yourself with some of Dubai's customs. While different is good, it also means that an innocent gesture to a foreigner could be considered very offensive to an Emirati.

In the United Arab Emirates, Islam is the principal religion practiced, and many of the nation's cultural practices are based around this central religion. For example, while teaching in Dubai, be very mindful of the holy month of Ramadan. During this month, Muslim people are required to fast during daylight hours, with the exception of children or the elderly, and then feast at dusk. While visiting, you will not be required to fast; however, it will be considered rude to eat, drink, or smoke in public. Fortunately, many tourist destinations have designated areas where you may eat, and you may also eat in private.

When eating with others, always accept and eat food with your right hand, and always accept seconds if you can. Be mindful of your feet – if they are pointing directly at another person, they may take offense. Whenever an important person enters the dining area, stand and welcome them.

While there is no official dress code in Dubai, certain styles of dress will be considered more or less appropriate in certain contexts. For example, revealing swimwear is perfectly acceptable at the beach. Other times, however, modesty is highly encouraged while in public. Hospitality is a highly valued quality in the United Arab Emirates, but in exchange it is only polite to respect their culture and how it is different from ours.

This is just a taste of what to expect while you're teaching in Dubai, and your local recruitment agency will likely fill you in on even more! If you want a chance to experience the culturally unique city of Dubai and everything that it has to offer, considering a teaching position is a fantastic opportunity, and you should contact your local recruitment agency today!