Many families residing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (or any other city in the United Arab Emirates) employ domestic help in the form of a maid, nanny or driver. To many people this is seen to be an advantage of living in the UAE, particularly because of the general low cost of hiring help, in comparison to many other countries in the world.
Some people have part time help, whilst others opt to have a full time live-in maid to reside in their home. The choice comes down to personal needs and is also dependent on family circumstances – not everyone is entitled to sponsor a domestic helper and there are certain rules to follow, as detailed below.
Once you have made the decision to employ help, it is important to weigh up your options and not rush into making a decision, particularly if deciding to hire a full time live-in maid who will reside in your home permanently. Selecting the wrong maid can be a costly mistake and will be disruptive to your family.
How do you choose between full-time and part-time domestic help?
Typically families tend to have full time maids/nanny’s but it’s not necessarily the right path for everyone! If you’re not sure which way to go, we’ve put together a list of advantages and disadvantages for each, to help you to decide!
Advantages of having a full-time live-in maid:
If only part-time help is needed, make sure you use a licenced agency that provides helpers for hire on an hourly basis. Having a maid in your home who isn’t legally sponsored is an offence, which you can be heavily fined for.
Advantages of having a part-time maid:
Dis-advantages of having a part-time live-out maid:
What other options do I have?
Full time live-out maids can also be hired. The maid will still have a visa under your sponsorship but will live outside of your home. This can be ideal if you want a full time maid but are not comfortable with her living with you. Salaries are more expensive – usually a minimum of AED 2500 – AED 3000, as the maid will pay for her own accommodation, food and transport.
In the case of a live-out maid, you will still hold the same responsibilities as the employer (and sponsor).
Approximate Costs of hiring a maid:
The above are approximate costs and can change. The visa must be renewed annually, as previously mentioned. The deposit will be carried over each year.
There are rules to follow and regulations to abide and we strongly recommend you make yourself aware of them before employing domestic help. Fines are severe if rules are broken (between AED 50,000 and 70,000) and a risk of prison for the sponsor. Maids also face fines, prison and deportation.
Read about Domestic help laws set by General Directorate of Resident and Foreign Affairs Dubai (DNRD) covering maids, nannies, male house helpers and drivers.
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