I went to HCT with a plan to stay there for about 10 years. After my first week in classes I abandoned that plan, and after a month there I questioned whether I'd make it through the initial 3-year contract.
I found the daily stress there to be untenable. Not only was I on mandatory overtime (22 contact periods per week - ridiculous in a "collegiate" environment – though some colleagues were working up to 25), but they emphasize paperwork/professional development/meetings at the expense of doing a quality job in the classroom.
There were mandatory office hours - 8-5 Sunday to Thursday. In fact, when I arrived the mandatory hours were 8-4, but then we got a new director and assistant director. The ‘Supervisors’ would roam the massive faculty room to ensure all their teachers were at their desks until 5.
All faculty (approx. 70 at FWC) are relegated to one huge room in which they are assigned a workstation with absolutely no privacy. It was noisy as well. Administration insisted that such an environment promoted communication, collaboration, and coordination (the infamous 3 C's of HCT). They push "teamwork" ad nauseam.
Some students were OK, while many others were nightmares in abayas. Basically, HCT focuses on increasing the student population (thus bringing in more money from the government), resulting in "students" who shouldn't be there, young ladies who view college as a means of providing a social network. Often classes were out of control - several teachers walked out of their classes during my last semester there, including me (twice).
The curriculum went from bad the first year I was there to ludicrous the second year. They switched from an integrated skills curriculum to strands, requiring us to teach language skills in separate classes. That curriculum proved to be a debacle.
If you like meetings, then HCT is the place for you. As a rule, I hate them. I believe that, with few exceptions, meetings are a waste of time. At a previous college in Saudi Arabia we had one mandatory meeting per month, and I found that marginally acceptable. At HCT I had two mandatory meetings per week. That was simply insane.
And the conferences - mandatory, mandatory, mandatory. And they would punish you if you didn't attend them.
They pushed professional development ad nauseam as well - PEP, goals, meetings, seminars, etc. They even went so far as to hire a PD company from the USA to impose PD activities on us. At the first staff meeting for the new year we found ourselves playing in "teams" with pieces of rope for about 30 minutes. Again, it was insane, and a colossal waste of time considering the formidable teaching schedule and new curriculum for which we needed to prepare our lessons.
My first week in the classroom I was observed by my supervisor - and get this, it was also my first time with one of the classes. Insanity again!
I got little relief from the stress as work when I went home to my apartment. An Emirati family with two small children lived directly above me, and the noise would extend into the early morning hours. I complained to them, the apartment manager, and HCT for nine months with NO relief.
When you arrive they "give" you 30,000 dirhams and one week to buy all the stuff for your dwelling. You have to buy everything, including kitchen appliances, washer, etc. Keep in mind that this is a LOAN, and it's amortized over the course of your 3-year contract. If you resign early, you pay back part of that loan. It's not so easy to sell your stuff, either, unless you happen to be there when new teachers arrive.
I will give them credit for paying me on time every month and for providing me with a decent annual travel allowance (for me about $2800). They were also generous with the gratuity when I left. But that's all the credit I can give them.
Basically, HCT was a major disappointment for me. I don't consider them a college. The environment there, especially the behaviour of many of the students, reminded me of a middle school setting. With HCT it's all about window dressing, smoke, and mirrors.
Don’t go there.