Eighty-six percent of Irish teachers have stated that the quality of life they are leading in the UAE is better than their homeland. And 93% would suggest a career as a teacher in the Middle East to others.
The online survey by the Irish embassy in the UAE also pointed out that 76% of respondents moved to the region i.e. the UAE because of the financial opportunities, ensued by lifestyle change (40%), unemployment in Ireland (35%) and career development (30%).
A total of 1,002 Irish teachers in the UAE answered to the survey. Over half stated that they were certainly planning to return, while 10% stated that they would not return to their homeland, with the remainder of them being not sure. 59% of the responders had been living in the Gulf for less than three years, with another 25% for between three and five years. Over two thirds of respondents were female and over three quarters were aged 25 to 34.
The results of the survey came at a point, as Joe McHugh, Ireland’s Minister for Education, commenced on a two-day ‘fact-finding’ mission in the UAE, with meetings prepared with Irish teachers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He further stated that there are over 2,000 Irish people working in education on the UAE. They are a huge resource to the schools and the education system in the region and they are extraordinary ambassadors for our nation.
A crucial part of the trip would be a meeting with Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, to talk about links between the Irish and UAE education systems and methods of deepening relations.
McHugh is also scheduled to visit Brighton College, where he would be meeting Irish teachers, and Khalifa University. In Dubai, he would visit the local Choueifat School.