Part of the deal with working here in the UAE was getting a whole slew of documents authenticated. The authentication process is annoying and overcomplicated, but it is necessary. So I bit the bullet and did it.
If you go through a company like Teach Away, they’ll help walk you through the process. It’s not really all that difficult, in truth, just annoying.
Teach Away recommends ProEx Courier Service to deliver and pickup documents from the Embassy in DC. I used them and had no issues at all; they were fast and efficient.
As far as the individual documents go that you’ll need authenticated, that depends on where you’re from and whether you’re married, have children, etc. We needed our marriage certificate done, my highest diploma, and a couple other things. I covered all that before, so I won’t go into it in detail. The irritating part is doing it at three levels, which is where ProEx enters the scene–they’ll deliver documents from the Department of State in DC to the UAE Embassy there, saving you a long trip and a few days in between.
Do the authentication early so it’ll be stress-free, and then just wait.
Once arriving in the UAE, you have to get those authenticated documents translated into Arabic. Bargain, or ask around for the best rate. The place that ADEC uses (Infinity Services) actually increases their fee for ADEC teachers. If you arrive in Abu Dhabi and take documents to them, be sure not to tell them you’re with ADEC. If you do, they’ll say, “Special price!” Yeah, special, alright. We have “sucker” written all over us. It shouldn’t cost more than 60 AED for documents to be interpreted, so be aware. There are plenty of “typing offices” that will interpret for the price I mentioned.
When you get your documents interpreted in the UAE, also have your driver’s license done. If you’ve got any special endorsements, such as motorcycle, be sure to note that and ask that they include that in the translation, or else you won’t get that endorsement on your UAE license (which is good for a full 10 years, by the way).