Many expatriate families in the UAE employ domestic workers to help them in the home.
Maids can be hired from cleaning companies or agencies. Part-time help is less expensive than a live-in maid and can be more convenient: if your regular maid is unable to work, the agency will send another. It is illegal to hire a maid who is sponsored by someone else. There are stiff penalties (up to Dh50,000) for hiring a maid who is on another person’s visa.
If you decide to hire a full-time live-in maid you must sponsor her. The process of sponsorship can seem lengthy and is not without risks. However, the benefits of having help whenever you need it can prove invaluable.
One of the easiest ways to find a maid is through an agency, which should be up-to-date with current employment laws. However, you will be subject to an agency fee, which can be as high as Dh6,500.
Typically, the agency should provide you with CVs of prospective maids. Once you have made your choice the agency will contact the maid in her home country and tell her to prepare to come to the UAE. The agency should also help you with the paperwork required for the visa.
Maids’ salaries start around Dh1,500 a month and you must provide suitable accommodation and food.
As the current law stands, the maid is entitled to at least 15 days’ leave per year and you are required to provide her with an air ticket to her home country every two years.
The total cost of processing a visa for domestic help can be as high as Dh5000.
The law governing domestic workers is subject to change. If in, doubt contact the Ministry of Labour for information.
Your maid will need to obtain a health certificate before you can begin the visa process, which is the same as the process for expatriates.
The maid will undergo an iris scan, a chest X-ray and a blood test at an approved medical centre. These include Sheikh Khalifa Medical City or New Medical Centre.
Once the medical certificate has been obtained you can apply for your maid’s visa at the Ministry of Labour.
A visa application from the Residency and Naturalisation Department of your emirate
Two copies of your passport and two copies of your visa
Two copies of the maid’s passport
Four passport photos of the maid
A contract of employment between you and the maid
You may also require a letter of no objection from your own sponsor, depending on your employer. It is advisable to check with the Ministry of Labour.
Abu Dhabi Maids: 050 926 4074, abudhabi-maids.com
Delight Cleaning Services: 02 678 9216
Clean Plus Services: 02 645 6800
Solutions: 02 641 9227
Wilson International: 02 667 1200
InterCare Cleaning: 02 633 0293
Ministry of Labour 02 878 1134, www.mol.gov.ae
Sheikh Khalifa Medical City: 02 610 2000
New Medical Centre: 02 633 2255