There are five things that a family needs to know before deciding to bring in house-help like maids, cook, gardener and driver from abroad, according to a social expert.
Maryam Salam of the Research and Development Authority, has conducted a study titled 'Housemaids: Necessity or Luxury?' She presented her research at the Fifth Family Forum in Abu Dhabi.
Maryam said the first thing for a family to decide is whether they really need a housemaid or not.
Though it is true that most families employ housemaids these days because both parents are working, making housekeeping help necessary, there are people who bring in more housemaids than necessary to impress others of their wealth and status.
This is wrong and could create problems for themselves, Maryam added.
Secondly, if the family decides to employ a housemaid, it must select an educated one.
The family must also not ask the maid to look after their children.
It is also important for the couple to gain the trust of the maid by respecting her.
And fifthly, the couple must help out the maid with the chores around the house.
The researcher pointed out that according to a study made by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Abu Dhabi, a total of 268,000 household workers were brought into the UAE last year.
The cost of bringing in house help is about Dh3 billion per year which includes visa and administration fees.
According to Abu Dhabi Police, 80 per cent of the housemaids in the emirate come from Indonesia and the Philippines.