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UAE Academic Calendar working conditions
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shibainu69



Joined: 08 May 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:16 am    Post subject: UAE Academic Calendar working conditions Reply with quote

Can anyone write out the following for the UAE at a uni heres the example from Japan.

Working conditions at most unis:

1. 4 days a week, 6-10 90 minute classes a week with one day off for "research".
2. Most unis expect you to be there 38 hours a week but this can be flexi time and most profs dont put in this time.

Holidays: Feb, March 2 months off, but as a full timer you can only take off 1 month due to graduations, entrance ceremonies etc...
August- 20-25 Sept 1.5 months off again as a full timer you can only take off 1 month
Winter 2 weeks off
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Eisenhorn



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: HCT Land. UAE

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

right...

1. usually teaching 5 days a week, with between 16 and 24 contact hours (depending on which uni you are with, and what your qualifications are)
2. you won't get time off for research, professional development or anything else. (unless you are local, then they give you semesters off to get MA's etc... and they give you half time to complete degrees.. but not for foreigners)
3. Generally you are expected to do a full 40 hour work week, even if you only teach 16 hours. YOu have committee work, you have outside work, office hours, etc... Many teachers will slag that off as much as possible, but in general you will still be on campus 32+ hours per week.

4. here are your holidays for 2013/2014 school year

15-Oct-2013 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
04-Nov-2013 Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)
02-Dec-2013 National Day
2014
01-Jan-2014 New Year's Day
13-Jan-2014 Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad)
And there is usually a spring break somewhere in here... late march early april.
27-May-2014 Lailat al Miraj (Night of Ascension)
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shibainu69



Joined: 08 May 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks
what about winter holiday from when to when and how long is that?
same for spring and summer holidays can you tell me the approximate dates and how many weeks those holidays are?
how do you kill that extra 10-15 hours week in the office, do you have your own office as a full timer or is it an open plan one?
cheers
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15934
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of your questions depends on employer. Private offices are rare... could be a shared office or open plan. Extra hours are wasted in whatever activity you like... some do preps, or correct papers... and nowadays surf the net.

Never heard of a winter holiday. Eid al Adha can be anywhere from 3-10 or so days depending on the employer, day it starts, and last minute decisions by the government as to the length. Same with National Day... number of days and start/end dates can be last minute. New Years Days and the Mawlid are usually only a day.

There is usually a couple weeks break between semesters. Because the Eid breaks are no longer in the 2nd semester, most places have added a break somewhere in the middle of that semester - could be a week.

Summer break will be part of your contract. It can range from 1-3 months depending on employer. The most common is 50-60 days and start/end dates are often rather last minute - depending on whether your employer has summer school, whether you have to teach it or not... plus the problems of working around Ramadhan which is now in the summer mix.

So... it is not as predictable as Japan. Much depends on whether you are working for government universities or private universities.

VS
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shibainu69



Joined: 08 May 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks sounds absurd though, not fixing dates until the last minute it would simplify things for everyone.

so there is a summer vacation for 2 months and thats it?
no other long vacation?? no 2 weeks for xmas?
no 3 weeks for easter??
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3800
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shibainu69 wrote:
no 2 weeks for xmas? no 3 weeks for easter??

Semester breaks depend on the university. But don't expect to see universities close specifically for Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter---the UAE is strictly a Muslim country. However, if there's a winter break that just happens to coincide with Christmas, then it's just that---a coincidence.

The 2013-2014 academic calendars for Zayed Uni and UAE Uni are available. Google them if you want to check out their semester breaks.
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shibainu69



Joined: 08 May 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, are we free to travel during the breaks?
Im googling zayeds now.

It looks like work starts on the 1st Sept until 19th December

Then a 3 week winter break.
Then a a 2 week inter semester break in late jan-feb
Then a 1 week break in late march-april
Then summer is from 23rd June -1st September.

Is that correct?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3800
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just go by the dates indicated on the university's calendar. As for traveling during breaks, there's no reason why you couldn't.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12140
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in KSA but the mindset is similar to the UAE At KFUPM I shared an office with a colleague. Outside teaching times I was expected to be avaialable to students for my daily "Office Hour". At other times I was free..

Some truly constiptaed employoers require your preence 8 hours a day. i had to suffer that nonsense in the Training Center at Saudia Arabian Airlines.
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Eisenhorn



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: HCT Land. UAE

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shibainu69 wrote:
thanks sounds absurd though, not fixing dates until the last minute it would simplify things for everyone.

so there is a summer vacation for 2 months and thats it?
no other long vacation?? no 2 weeks for xmas?
no 3 weeks for easter??


You are looking at it from a western point of view, with a western (solar based calendar). In the middle east, the countries here use a lunar calendar for their holidays (holy days) and so they shift from year to year. And those holidays don't start until the first clear glimpse of the moon is available. So those dates I posted could (an have in the past) shifted up to 3 days. As such, the working schedule needs to be flexible.

Winter break is a new thing in the Emirates. Last year was the first year that the Uni calendar coincided with the Grade school calendar with a Winter Break.

Generally, the winter break starts on the 22nd or 23 of December and you are off until about the 7th of January.

As for the spring break (there is no easter break, that is a christian holiday, not a muslim one) there usually is one to two weeks in the end of march/april. But that shifts depending on when the offical start date is.

the official start date can shift due to Ramadan... this year it looks like the start date is the 7th or so of September.

as for the summer holiday... it can be a full 2 months, but agian depending on when schools start it determines when they end. A friend of mines school won't end until July 4th next year. (they teach high school), and they have to be back on the 24th of August... so they will get about 6 weeks off.

Because of the lunar calendar (and the requirements of seeing the full moon), holidays shift. That is why they say approximate.
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shibainu69



Joined: 08 May 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so how do you book flight tickets 3 months ahead to get cheap rates?
or are flight tickets paid by the unis?
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Eisenhorn



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: HCT Land. UAE

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shibainu69 wrote:
so how do you book flight tickets 3 months ahead to get cheap rates?
or are flight tickets paid by the unis?


That isn't the uni's problem, or the government's problem. It is your problem.

Generally you book for several days (or a week) after the holiday is supposed to start.

You are using a western point of view which doesn't work here. As soon as you get that through your head, you will be better able to handle the fluid situation. This is NOTHING like Japan. It isn't ordered (in any western way), it isn't orderly (in any western way/japanese way) and often (to us) it doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to make sense to us... it isn't our culture. They don't/won't bend over backwards for you. As soon as you get that through you head, it makes doing things here easier.

It is never straightforward, it is very rarely efficient and often it requires lots of trips to random places, to get random things.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15934
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave up trying to travel during any religious based breaks in the Gulf. Making reservations was just too much hassle when there was a 1-3 day window of when it would start and end... as we waited for moon sitings... or the rulers to decide how many days we would get off. On Tuesday the government would declare that it would be 3 days for National Day or the Eid... and then someone might feel expansive and in the next day or two, it would suddenly be 6 days... or 10 days. (this is for government institutions - private would stay at the 3 days)

I am wondering whether as Ramadhan moves forward towards spring, whether the "winter break" will end up being the same as the semester break. When I was working in the area, semester break was usually somewhere between the last week in December into mid Jan. Christmas, Easter, and Sunday were and mostly still are normal workdays. These are Muslim countries.

Flight tickets for summer leave are normally paid for by the employer with the better employers. I don't know if they make the reservations any longer or not, but it is a round trip ticket (or the cost in lieu) to the place that you list on your application as your "home." Then you are usually able to change it to a route that you prefer and pay any difference. (they were hopeless at planning routes and I would invariably end up with 3-6 plane changes - each with a 5-6 hour layover from their planner which I would have to change).

One must be verrrry flexible...

VS
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 346
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re:flight plans:

The employer found a good deal to fly from Abu D. to London. Viet Nam airlines, fly to Hanoi, stay overnight, then fly from Hanoi to London. Cheapest ticket available.

Are you getting the picture now of the mentality here, as I explained in my original post of June 5 on another thread.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3800
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto what the others have posted. Working and living in this region means lowering your expectations---not being nit-picky about things. Plus, there's no sense in making comparisons to Japan---it's like apples-n-oranges.

Anyway, you haven't yet received an interview (if you even applied), much less found out if you actually qualify for a university position in the UAE. So you're really jumping the gun at this point. As suggested in your other threads, plan to attend TESOL Arabia next year to see what your prospects are. But for now, head to the numerous UAE expat forums for a variety of info on life and work in the Emirates.
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