x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 September 2017

Your Money blog: The cost of hiring a maid in the UAE

While full-time domestic help costs at least Dh32,000 a year, part-time help comes in around Dh5,040 a year for a once-a-week service.

While full-time domestic help costs at least Dh32,000 a year, part-time help comes in around Dh5,040 a year for a once-a-week service. Source: movesouq.com
While full-time domestic help costs at least Dh32,000 a year, part-time help comes in around Dh5,040 a year for a once-a-week service. Source: movesouq.com

It’s not surprising to discover that half of UAE households use outside help to clean their home.

But what is surprising is that according to the UAE Cleaning Habits Report, released this week by the home services portal Movesouq.com, the annual cost of hiring a full-time maid is at least Dh32,000.

The figure factors in the salary, insurance, annual flights and sponsorship costs. While many assume that domestic help is affordable in the UAE, it probably costs far more than most of us realise.

The analysis was based on an online survey of 200 UAE residents and more than 1,000 requests placed through MoveSouq by UAE residents.

So let’s break that total a little more.

The annual cost of a full-time maid: at least Dh32,000

This includes:

– Sponsorship and visa costs: Dh5,500

– A monthly salary

– Medical insurance: Dh700 to Dh800

– Annual flights Dh2,000 to Dh4,000

Note that the monthly salary paid to maids in the UAE is typically between Dh2,000 and Dh4,000, depending on experience and duties and what the employer feels comfortable paying. It’s also important to note that this annual cost is slightly higher in the first year of employment as Dh10,000 is needed for a first-time residency, plus there is a recruitment fee (Dh 15,000 or more) payable to the agency you select to bring your maid into the UAE.

Sounds a little on the high side? Then perhaps a part-time helper will be more cost-effective. The monthly rate for part-time help is between Dh360 and Dh420 (for a three-hour, once-a-week service). Most UAE cleaning companies charge between Dh30 and Dh40 an hour, excluding cleaning materials.

Take the upper Dh420 figure from that range and that equates to Dh5,040 a year, versus the more costly Dh32,000 for full-time domestic help.

So how many choose the full-time option over part-time? Well, according to MoveSouq, one in ten (9 per cent) respondents have full-time help at home, while two fifths (41 per cent) have help on a part-time basis.

It’s understandable why part-time is more popular. It’s cheaper and while you may have less assistance in the home, there is potentially less hassle too. You’re not responsible for sponsoring the maid and if relations get strained, you can ask the agency for someone else.

pf@thenational.ae

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