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Employment Contracts and Legalities in the UAE

The following is for general information purposes only, and before entering into any teaching contract please consult an expert!

You have just successfully interviewed with the Abu Dhabi Education Council hiring committee or one of our other clients in The UAE and have received your letter of offer, signed it and returned it back to Footprints Recruiting!

Congratulations! But, you are not there yet. The letter of offer issued by ADEC or our other clients is not an employment contract and is not legally binding. It is a promissory note stating that if you are able to successfully acquire a work VISA to the UAE, there will be a teaching employment contract waiting for you when you land in Abu Dhabi with the same terms as on your letter of offer.

Please note that if you are changing between positions within the GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) there can be restrictions and bans in place if you do not follow the appropriate regulations and stipulations within your current contract. We’ve had cases where teachers that left their contracts in other countries in the improper way ended being unable to teach in the UAE due to not being able to receive a VISA.

Once you have arrived in the UAE and have been greeted by ADEC they will first get you settled at a hotel and then on the next day take you to your teacher orientation. This is when you will be presented with your official employment contract. It should be noted that no contract can be legally issued to anyone not in possession of the correct sponsored VISA. The Contract should be presented in both English and Arabic, and will be regulated under the authority of applicable UAE labour laws. These laws govern all people working within the UAE be they Emiratis or expats.

It should be noted like all contracts you cannot sign away your legal rights, and laws within the Emirates will always supersede any contract within. The teaching contract you will be signing will likely be of fixed term ending at the end of a school year (Aug), will govern the hours of work and  salary as well as other terms such as housing and insurance. It will also lay out the period of probation, and terms of termination, and mutual consent to end the contract, as well as number of vacation days and required hours of work, as well as end of service gratuity.

So in essence, you get the letter of offer, and with that you process your VISA, and once you have your VISA, you can enter the UAE and then sign your contract.

With this information in your hand, we hope you are better prepared to take your career on a field trip and live the experience of a lifetime.