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21 April 2024

Bargains abound for those recruiting househelp in Dubai, Abu Dhabi

By Bindu Suresh Rai

Even as the rising cost of living in Dubai has residents revising budgets, bargains are abound aplenty, also when recruiting house help from a local agency.

In recent weeks, media reports have quoted sources saying that commission fees charged by these official agents have increased as much as Dh15,000, with the minimum salary requirement averaging Dh1,400.

However, such high prices are not always the case.

When 'Emirates24|7' contacted a few agencies based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, commission fees quoted ranged from Dh10,895 at the high end of the tier to Dh7325 at the lower end, depending on the nationality of the hired help.

Speaking to Mohammed Al Hamshi from Najnes Services, he quoted a commission cost of Dh8,500 in fees for hiring a Philippines national, saying: “Aside from the fees we charge, the cost of the maid’s visa, local medical test and National ID falls on the sponsor.

“Plus, the minimum salary is Dh1,450. And if you are dissatisfied with the hired help, we can find you a replacement.”

Meanwhile, Al Ahlia Services in Dubai saw the cost fluctuate between residents of the Philippines, Indonesia and Kenya.

Maryam from the company explained: “If you hire someone from the Philippines, it will cost you Dh9,025 with a salary of Dh1,500; an Indonesian maid will cost Dh10,995 in recruitment fees, with a minimum salary of Dh800.

“However, if you opt for a Kenyan maid, it will only cost you Dh7,325 and a minimum salary requirement of Dh750.”

Dubai-based Al Lujian Recruitment Services also quoted Dh8,000 in commission fees, above and beyond the Dh7,500 that is spent on immigration cost and refundable deposit.

For most of these recruitment agencies, the placement fee includes process the documents and a one-way airfare to the UAE.

It excludes all kinds of visa charges, which is to be paid by the sponsor.

Dubai resident, Anmol Chedha, who hired house help from the Philippines recently said: “We were initially looking to hire someone from my home country, India, or possibly someone from Sri Lanka.

“However, the placement costs for these nationals can sometimes peak to Dh12,000, while our budget was much tighter.

“After making several calls, we decided on a Philippines national who we current pay Dh1,400.”

Chedha, however, added that while his is a dual income household, he understands how taxing it would be for someone with a limited income to afford help in the UAE.

“Costs are only increasing every year and its understandable that the average middle class resident cannot afford to sponsor someone.”

If you add the visa cost, including deposit, the local medical cost and the cost of registering them for the Emirates ID, the total average cost of hiring house help is Dh16,000 or Dh1,333 across 12 months.

Add to that the average salary of Dh1,400 and the burden on Dh2,733 is what the employer pays per month.

“For someone on a Dh8,000 salary, they simply cannot fork over this much,” Chedha added.