For those residents unable or unwilling to sponsor a full-time maid in the UAE, the option of hiring part-time helpers from numerous maid agencies in the country was a reasonable one.
However, hiring part-time maids is now becoming an unnerving task for many residents as most agencies have introduced a stipulation of minimum four hours per day, making it rather expensive for some.
While numerous maids agency claim to offer part-time cleaning services at affordable rates, they are unwilling to compromise on certain ground rules.
Although the services are charged per hour, they offer the services only for a minimum of four hours.
“I’ve tried hiring a maid for just an hour, but can’t find any. Every agency I’ve called insists that I must hire for a minimum of four hours,” says Sreelatha, a resident of Al Qusais in Dubai.
“I live in a two-bedroom apartment, with no balcony. While I do need help, I don’t need it extensively, and a thorough cleaning of my house can be done in at most two hours. Why should I pay for an extra 2 hours?”
Sreelatha also tried to negotiate for a monthly deal, but even that didn’t work out. “They claim that they can give me a discount on the hourly rate if I opt for their monthly package, but can’t reduce the minimum number of hours,” she added.
Maid agencies charge anywhere between Dh35 and Dh50 per hour, depending on location and the type of accommodation.
So, for Dh35, a one-time service will cost residents Dh140.
Rashmi, a Bur Dubai resident, claimed they have no option but to sign in.
“It’s a monopoly. We are at their mercy. And we have to put up with the conditions that they lay down.”
When this reporter called many agencies in Dubai, posing as a prospective client, to cross-check this claim she too landed the same answer.
“We can’t send anyone for an hour,” informed a receptionist at a local company. “Our minimum is for four hours.”
While some agencies charge extra for cleaning equipment, others merely use what is available at the resident’s house.
There are, however, exceptions to the rule.
“Although you might not find them online, I know of an agency that offer help per hour,” informed Lakshmi, who lives in Silicon Oasis.
“They are legal and highly efficient. But, if they have to go outside the Silicon Oasis area, they put the minimum three-hour clause.”
With local authorities warning residents to not hire illegal workers as part-time cleaners, residents are struggling to find cleaners that are affordable and fit in their weekly schedule.
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