With the UAE government is giving a two-month amnesty to illegal residents to exit the country without incurring any fines, many law-abiding residents of Dubai have stopped employing illegal car cleaners and maids.
A Sri Lankan car cleaner in The Springs area complained that her husband has lost several jobs in the past week. “Many people told me that Emaar has given notices that there will be random checks for illegal car cleaners and maids. They don’t want us anymore,” she said.
Residents agree that getting illegal workers is cheap but it can be very risky. “I rather clean my own cars or take them to the petrol station. I’m not interested in paying the fine,” said an Indian resident in The Springs.
While refusing to hire such workers, many residents are also discouraging such workers themselves and counseling them to find proper employment. “Some days back, a woman knocked at my door and asked me if I was looking for a part-time maid. I told her to stop doing this as she may land into trouble,” said another resident in Springs 11.
Emaar Security Group has issued a circular to its residents warning them that officers from Dubai Department of Immigration could visit their community as part of a crackdown on illegal workers.
“Please be advised that the Dubai Department of Immigration will be conducting random checks within the community and should they find persons working illegally in your home (e.g. housemaids, gardeners, drivers, etc.) you could face possible time in jail, and substantial fines from the Department of Immigration,” the circular said.
Even as some workers argue that they have valid residence visas, the fact that such visas are not sponsored by the people they work for means that they are on the wrong side of the law.
“Ensure all household staff are employed by a licensed and approved Emaar Community Management ‘household staff company’ and that all staff personnel are on your visa,” the Emaar circular clearly states.
“All household staff should be registered with the Community Security Office. You may find the listing of these approved companies on your community website,” it added.