Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Please keep an eye on our Job Board for new positions in Saudi Arabia.

If you would like to teach English in Saudi Arabia, please keep an eye on the Reach To Teach Job Board. Apply with us today!

Teach English In Saudi Arabia

Image Source: Elias Pirasteh

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arabic: المملكة العربية السعودية), is the largest Arab nation in Western Asia. Located between the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia is at the heart of the Middle East. With a population of over 30 million people, this desert nation has a growing demand for ESL teachers.

Much like many other parts of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia was once part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the end of World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Saudi Arabia began forming into the country that it is today. While it used to be one of the poorest countries in the world, the discovery of large oil reserves in 1938 has helped to propel it to the forefront of the world’s strongest economies. As the largest producer of oil in the world, Saudi Arabia has subsequently become one of the wealthiest countries as well.


To teach English in Saudi Arabia, you must have:

  1. A full University degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s preferred)
  2. TEFL certification (120+ hours). Click on the link for more information about TEFL courses. Many schools  lean strongly towards classroom based TEFL certifications or combined TEFL certificates that include online and classroom hours. If you are unsure about a TEFL course, go with a TEFL provider that will provide you with a certificate that does not have ‘online’ stamped across the front of it.
  3. One to two years of ESL teaching experience


Teach English in Riyadh, Jeddah or Khobar

Riyadh (Arabic: الرياض‎, which literally means “The Gardens”) is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It has a population of about 5.7 million people and is considered a major economic hub in the Middle East. As such, a large portion of ESL positions are located in this city.

The next two cities with the highest amount of ESL teaching positions are Jeddah and Khobar. Jeddah (Arabic: جدة‎), with a population of about 3.4 million people, is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia and the largest port city of the Red Sea. Jeddah is considered the gateway to Mecca, the most holy city of Islam, and is located just about 70 kilometers away.

Khobar (Arabic: الخبر‎), with a population of just under one million, is also an important commercial hub of Saudi Arabia. This eastern city is just about a 30 kilometer drive away from the neighboring country of Bahrain, and is also a short distance away from Qatar. Its location on the Persian Gulf also situates it as an important commercial hub.


Your Journey to Teach English in Saudi Arabia Starts Now!

Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Image Source: Basheer Olakara

With lucrative compensation packages, high standards of living and numerous exciting things to do and see, most people are bound to look back fondly on their time teaching English abroad in Saudi Arabia.

Saudia Arabia is a huge country with an array of diverse things to do and see. As the birthplace of Islam, there are many different mosques and other beautiful religious sites to view. Saudi Arabia has the largest Muslim pilgrimage in the entire world.

Saudi Arabia may be an arid country with a large part of it being desert landscape, but there are still a ton of different activities to experience while living and teaching there. Whether you want to admire the art and architecture of ancient mosques, go hiking through some sand dunes or mountains, or go snorkeling in the Red Sea, there is an abundance of different leisure activities to enjoy.


Expand Your Horizons in Saudi Arabia!

Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Image Source: Wajahat Mahmood

Teaching abroad allows you the chance to meet like-minded people with similar interests. While teaching abroad in Saudi Arabia, you will be able to experience a new culture and meet bounds of new and interesting people.

While Saudi Arabian culture is quite conservative, if you respect their customs, the people can be very friendly and hospitable. Dressing appropriately and learning a bit of Arabic can go a long way in benefiting a foreigner. It will garner a lot of respect from coworkers and others in the workplace, and help you adapt with your new surroundings.

Although Saudi culture is webbed together by a deep-seeded faith in Islam, culture varies depending on the province. Aspects such as dialect, cuisine, clothing, music and more will differ by area. While some cities are strict with their enforcement of Sharia Law, others are more relaxed and closer to what one would be used to in the West.

Saudis can be quite friendly– they will often want to entertain a foreigner at a restaurant and treat them to food, and as the friendship progresses, entertain them at their homes. Just remember to be mindful of their culture– greet elders first out of respect, take shoes off before entering a home, dress conservatively, try a bit of everything that is served and engage in conversation while being hosted as a guest in someone’s home.


What to Do and See in Saudi Arabia


Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Image Source: Al Jazeera English

Mecca (Arabic: مكة) is in the southwestern part of the country, and is considered to be the holiest city in the Islamic religion. Although this city has a population of about 2 million, this number nearly triples every year during the annual Muslim pilgrimage to the city center.

One of the most famous attributes of Mecca is the Masjid al-Haram (Arabic: المسجد الحرام, which literally means “the sacred mosque”). This is the largest mosque in the world and the end destination for the annual pilgrimage. At the center of the mosque is the Kabba (Arabic:  الكعبة‎, which literally means “the cube”), which is a large black cubic building long considered to be the most sacred site in Islam.

Madain Saleh

Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Image Source: Sammy Six

Madain Saleh (Arabic: مدائن صالح) is a pre-Islamic archaeological site located in the northwestern part of the country. Most of its attributes can be dated back to the Nabatean kindgom of the first century AD. There are also traces of Roman and Lihyantine occupation. In 2008, Madain Saleh was proclaimed a site of patrimony by UNESCO, making it Saudi Arabia’s first World Heritage Site.

The archaeological site features carvings and sculptures made from the stone of the rockface. It has decorative columns and other architectural characteristics carved out of the front, with tunnels and tombs burrowed into the mountain. Due to the structure consisting of sandstone, sand and wind has diminished a good portion of the quality of the outer facades. Regardless of this, the site is still considered one of the more beautiful and impressive landmarks in Saudi Arabia.

Farasan Islands

Teach English in Saudi Arabia

Image Source: Wajahat Mahmood

The Farasan Islands (Arabic: جزر فرسان) are a marine sanctuary located in the Red Sea just southwest of mainland Saudi Arabia. The islands boast the best snorkeling one can do in the area, as well as a top destination for bird watching. This group of islands is perfect for someone who is looking to get away from the arid climate of Saudi Arabia and partake in water-related activities.

The islands are home to an array of different wildlife and ecology. Several species of birds from Europe also migrate to the islands during wintertime. Whether you’re looking to relax by the beach or do some wildlife sightseeing, this destination is definitely a good place to check out.


Reach To Teach Resource List

Looking to do more? Try the Saudi Arabia tourism website.
Looking to get around? Try the “Getting Around” page of the Saudi Arabia Tourism website.

Credit – Eric T. Adams and the International Business Class at University of Northern Iowa.