Private tutoring is a common feature of the educational landscape in many countries. However, private tuitions are illegal and banned in the UAE. Tutors or organizers may have to pay a hefty fine of up to AED 50,000 when found guilty. In the UAE, all tuition centers are required to seek approval from the Ministry of Education or local economic regulators.
There has been a potential rise in private tutoring in the UAE in the last decade. However, it was mostly restricted to educational institutes and commercial establishments. It came to a complete halt in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In April 2020, the UAE Ministry of Education banned all types of private teaching lessons, including in-home and educational institutes, as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The announcement was made public by UAE Public Prosecution. The public prosecution department stated that under the new table of violations and fines associated with the Resolution of the UAE Attorney-General no. 38 for 2020 (amended upon Resolution no. 54 for 2020). According to this resolution, all private tutoring sessions involving personal contact through in-person meetings in public or private places, with or without fees for all academic years are banned.
Realizing the rise in the Covid-19 cases in October 2020, the Department of Public Prosecution again warned the people from conducting or participating in private tuition.
What does the law say?
Private tuition seems like a trivial matter, and many expats in UAE do not understand the legal complications associated with it. Unfortunately, not just the tutor but any party involved needs to worry about the consequences.
For example, if you send your son or daughter to your neighbor’s house for tuition, you, your neighbor, the tutor, and even the landlord of your neighbor may invite legal penalties.
Let’s simplify things and understand the violations that may incur because of private tuitions in the UAE.
When you hire your neighbor or any other tutor for your ward, it may be considered illegal employment. This is in accordance with Federal Law No. (6) of 1973 and which is later amended by Law No. (13) of 1996. According to Article 13 of Labour Law, non-national cannot be recruited without the prior permission of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) and without getting a work permit in accordance with the regulations and procedures set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).
Law also states that the permission must be granted only if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- The employee must possess the educational qualifications and professional competence required by the state.
- The employee must lawfully enter the country and must comply with necessary conditions stipulated by the Immigration Law.
According to Federal Decree-Law No7 for 2007, which was the amendment of certain provisions of Federal Law no. (6) of 1973, the employer may have to pay a fine of AED 50,0000 per employee they hire illegally. In the event the MOHRE finds out or receives a complaint regarding any individual employing another individual without the approval or work permit, it can prescribe the employee to pay the fine.
Based on the provisions mentioned above, whosoever employs a private tutor (without a work permit) without the prior approval of the MOHRE or any free zone authority in the UAE shall be committing a punishable offense.
In the event where your tutor is under the sponsorship of others in the UAE, you (employer) may face a jail term of six months. Any company or individual that employs illegal workers may face a fine of up to AED 50,000 on the first offense and AED 100,000 on the second offense.
According to the table attached to Ministerial Resolution, no. (851), upon repeated violations, individuals (if expatriate) who employ the individuals illegally can be deported and banned for life from entering the country.
Violation of Tenancy Contract
One more legal issue can arise because of the venue where the private tuitions are conducted to further complicate the matter. If you are conducting private tuition at home, the landlord may seek eviction because a residential apartment is used for commercial reasons.
Under Article (25) (1) (c) and (f) of Law No. 33 of 2008, amending Law no. (26) of 2007 governs the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai. The landlord has all the legal right to seek eviction from the tenant before the expiration of the Tenancy term under following circumstances:
(c) when a tenant uses the real property or allows someone else to use it for illegal purposes that violate the public order or morals.
(f) when the tenant uses the real property for reasons other than that for which it was rented.
Consequence: Anyone who has rented the property may have to evict prematurely. The landlord is in full right to request eviction if you utilize the property for illegal purposes.
In the current scenario, by conducting private tuition at home, individuals can be violating the pandemic protocols of the UAE. All types of private tutoring became illegal because of Covid-19 precautionary measures. It doesn’t matter if it is held in public places, private places, houses, or educational institutes, or whether it is free or paid for, it still remains a punishable offense.
Officials in the UAE are constantly inspecting commercial establishments to check if people adhere to current Covid-19 guidelines. However, it doesn’t mean residential places are immune to inspections.
Consequence: Anyone involved may receive a fine of AED 30,000 for being present or organizing private tutoring lessons. Moreover, those who own, manage, or responsible for the venues may be fined AED 20,000.
Defying the laws, many individuals and tutors still continue to participate and conduct private tuition. Many believe if no financial transaction is involved, there is no violation of the law. However, it is not true. As previously mentioned, all types of private tuitions are banned with or without fees. Our legal experts recommend that people avoid being participants or facilitators in private tuition activities. Not just it saves you from being on the wrong side of the law, but it provides you an opportunity to respect the law of the land.