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30 January, 2007

Maid in Dubai

Maids: just because you sponsor them, it doesn't mean you own them. They're not serfs, they're not in indentured labour, they're not children with a curfew or soldiers going awol. If they leave, they leave:

[Brigadier Mohammad Al Merri, Director-General of DNRD] warned the public not to employ a runaway housemaid. "She could be suffering from an infectious diseases or she may have committed a crime or she is involved in some other dangerous issues," he said.

Or maybe she was ill-treated and abused by the family? Or maybe the 24/7 workload and minimal pay was not enough? Or maybe she just changed her mind?

The problem is that it costs Dh15,000 to sponsor a domestic worker, which creates an uneasy sense of bondage between the worker and the employing family. There's no way the average domestic worker could ever compensate the employer if he or she leaves early. And yet he or she is still a free individual who should be able to leave at any time.

A better solution would be to employ domestic workers through a centralised agency that acts as their sponsor, rather like Tecom. The agency brings in x number of domestic workers every year. Families pay the same effective fee to this agency to hire them. But if the worker is unhappy or unsuitable, the agency provides a substitute at no extra cost. The agency also monitors the welfare of domestic workers, and arbitrates in cases of dispute or abuse.

If it costs a bit more to provide these services, then so be it. If someone can afford Dh10,000 a year they can easily afford an extra Dh2,000 or so. And if not, they can hire a part time worker instead and spend a day a week scrubbing their own damn floors.

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27 Comments:

Blogger marwan said...

Scrub your own floors? How wildly inappropriate.

30 January, 2007 11:30  
Blogger Harsha said...

it'll help save on gym fee too

30 January, 2007 12:32  
Blogger nzm said...

SD: your suggestion of a centralised agency is a good one. It would just have to be better run than the ones who bring in the labourers and sting them with high fees for visa and paperwork administration.

30 January, 2007 16:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have hired a part time worker so I DON'T have to scrub my own damn floors. Her agency gets paid for her time, she gets a generous tip, and I get clean floors. What in the hell is wrong with that?

30 January, 2007 16:51  
Anonymous rosh said...

""She could be suffering from an infectious diseases or she may have committed a crime or she is involved in some other dangerous issues," he said."

Oh the nerve of some people!!

It's bloody cruel to treat less fortunate souls this way. Nobody deserves this.

My folks have had a maid for 20 years in the UAE. She is part of the family. We all pitch in to keep the house clean and with the cooking.

She does this for a living. She has two daughters back home. She works hard and saves for their education and future. It is incredibly hard for her to stay away from her family and home, but she has never complained.

Shame on others, who treat people ill.

30 January, 2007 18:44  
Blogger CG said...

SD, the cost for a foreigner to sponsor a maid is higher than a local. But then most expats here earn more than locals ( real ones I mean) and get better allowances etc etc, so I think they should just cough up and stop hiring part time illegals. I know plenty of housemaids who were treated more than fairly and then run away when Jumeirah Jane offers her a nice cushy number.

30 January, 2007 19:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is known as SLAVERY. Oh,sorry, Modern slavery. "Maid cannot runaway, she must suffer every kind of ill treatment and keep her mouth shut". May I vomit?

30 January, 2007 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when you became kind and caring about others?! Has your website been hacked by someone?

30 January, 2007 20:56  
Blogger Frances said...

You are soooooooooo naïve
when it comes to house maids. Surely when you pay to sponsor a person, that
person is entering into a contract with their employee, which is to work
for a year as a maid! Cleaner! Domestic!  Whatever……However they see it
as a free ticket to get into the UAE and then they don’t like it, when they have
to work for a living!!! That’s why they leave!!! As for the cleaning agencies
I have actually worked as a CRO for a company  and out of the twenty domestic
workers that were employed  13 absconded because they didn’t like the workload
and  furthermore the majority were earning more money on the game after working
hours and more often than not they would get themselves pregnant, to get out of
that predicament  they would say that a member of their family had died and that
they had to go back home, there they would have their abortion and then come
back to the UAE. (To start again)So, as for your so called
better solution, I really don’t think so!
BTW I have not got a
domestic help, they are more trouble than they are worth. Yes, I will scrub my own
floors……………………

30 January, 2007 21:31  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Seeing as I'm new here (hi) and don't have much of a clue as to how paid labor works in Dubai (definitely a Western girl here), what's the possibility of private companies doing the same thing? I think a centralized agency is a good concept too . . . anything to protect the rights and dignities of people.

30 January, 2007 21:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a clue SD - this is not a democracy and people do not have the same rights. No matter how much you howl about it, sponsorship DOES mean servitude to some extent. Sorry but it's true. It may be middle ages type shyte, but that's how it works here. Go back to Britain if you don't like it. Or, let's get you and your real identity to the front of the stage to fight for these rights. Scared? You should be. You'd be the first to go to jail.

However...just because YOU can't afford a maid, don't be such a silly jealous cow over those of us who can. It probably takes you all of 5 minutes to scrub your miniscule apartment...my large villa which houses myself, my wife, and our 3 children and maid...takes hours. Thanks for the suggestion, but I'll hire some help if I damn well please.

31 January, 2007 00:04  
Blogger CG said...

Also, please do not forget that there is a clear difference between a housemaid and a servant. I will not go into it for those who do not understand (they never will), but I will say that the people who are new to this 'domestic' concept are usually the ones who try to ruin it for the others (in many ways from salary to working hours etc). Anyone who comes to work for me under a contract, and then starts looking for a higher paid job upon arrival in this country will find themselves quickly shipped back to where they came from.

31 January, 2007 10:45  
Blogger CG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January, 2007 11:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 00.04

GROW UP!

You're the type of person that gives expats such a bad name.

If you actually READ (yes, I realise that's a difficult skill beyond the capabilities of some) SD's post you'd realise that she's not saying you need the give up your precious maid.

You're exactly the kind of person that would benefit from occasionally scrubbing your own sh*t off of your loo.

03 February, 2007 08:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i second rosh's comments...towards the end of the day she is still a human being. Pepole should first learn how to treat each other with respect and gain their trust,this way u can avoid all these troubles.

We've had three maids from the same family and always considered her as part of our family too...and we never had trouble with them.

04 February, 2007 09:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with what you say. I feel as if maids are mistreated by their employers.

06 March, 2007 09:36  
Anonymous Sharon said...

Great article, i think it is a difficult topic to tacle

Everyone has a different opinion on this topic.I agree with SD I do think it would be better to have a centralised agency like tecom. With a central agency, if the maid quits the agency should provide you with another maid. Although if you sponsor a maid and they quite it will be difficult to get another one. I do think a centralised agency could help most people who have problems with sponsored maids.

07 March, 2007 17:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. Sometimes maids are mistreated but overall we have ladies who are willing to work as maids and number around 50. They are educated to the level of high school and are fluent in english. They have tested for diseases like HIV and they are negative. So if want maids and are not going to mistreat them, get back to us at:
mfams@london.com

19 March, 2007 12:33  
Blogger Akash said...

Are there any agancies in Dubai who can help in recruitment of Domestic help.
Please write to me at akash@thegandhis.net

I have been considering aponsoring a maid but find the process and cost prohibitive especially if the maid comes here and decides to quit or wants to go back in a couple of months.
I don't see any sense in forcing her to stay. The last thing you want in your house is someone who dosen't want to be there and obviously will not care for the job.

16 April, 2007 10:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for Akash
Contact Dubai Nannies

http://www.dubainannies.com
They can help you find a live in maid.

21 September, 2007 17:47  
Anonymous sweetheart said...

i think everyone should scrub their own floors and donate your so called "maid allowance" to charity. i know of some people who come to dubai, suddenly earn significantly higher than they would in their own countries and decide to have maids (treated mo like slaves)just so that they can feel like princesses....BRATZ!! If you need one and can pay for one, then treating them like you would yourself would go a long way.

25 September, 2007 00:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have sponsored a full time help but most of the time I find myself scrubbing my huge villa on my own. I have a knee problem so it gets very difficult for me at times. When my maid was on her trial period on her own visit visa she would do everything diligently, but as soon as her visa got stamped her attitude changed. Now she gets up at 10.30 in the morning, has a nap in the afternoon and is on the mobile phone most of the time and ofcourse she has to watch TV in the evening. And this is not the first time this has happened the earlier one was more or less the same. I can't stand her excuses and forgetfulness anymore. If she is told to do anything her facial expressions are worth a sight. It is so TRUE most of these maids just want to enter the country and they want to jump from one job to the other at the cost of the sponsor. I won't be surprised if one weekend she doesn't turn up. I was so much happier with part timers. I really don't know what to do?

10 October, 2007 13:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have to say that i feel sorry for you since you have to clean your own damn things, it kills you to know that we have servants to clean up for us. why don't you go back to your own country and stop bothering with others. i know its hard to see people living their life, but hay, life is unfair. so go and scrub your own damn floors, we know that you would rather kill people and save your dogs.looool

08 January, 2008 22:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi mga kababayans...musta ang life?i would like to know if anyone know MRS Lilibeth languing can u please contack me at rachelle_quimba@yahoo.com...she needs to know something..thanks ingat po lgi

27 January, 2008 09:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please please po!!!

27 January, 2008 09:38  
Anonymous Jane- Jumeira DH said...

hi..i worked in JUMEIRA as a DH..for 4 years and 5 months..to a good arab family..i dont have any comments for them because they are so good to me. They don't look at me as a maid but as a sister to them..but some of the agencies are taking for granted about the salary..they get some extra..which is..that extra is a big help for our family.The problem is...some of the employers..same my employer are abusing me,like they don't even tell me,if i eat or no?because they want me to stay all the time with the kids,or tell me to go and sleep just for 30 minutes.you know 5 minutes closing my eyes it's like 1 day of sleeping for me,or i can't even go to the bathroom living the children because they are just very busy of talking the phone from morning until evening,instead,i would find way, how to go and make a release,or i went to some places which is so class or social places without changing my clothes for the reason that she forget to tell me,while i'm so shy and felt embarassed with my kabayan.You know, just uttering those simple words without action is very hard for them while they're doing nothing. Working from 6:00am to 11:pm,sometimes 2:00am or 3:00am is optional when have parties or weddings.Tell me, who is not tired of working and can't have even a nap just for a minutes.They know that i am good and i do all the works and taking care of children is really important which is the big factor for them.And they don't even want to find another until i become old.I'm talking about my efforts,they took out from me because they think i'm always ok even they saw me with their eyes that i'm tired everytime.They don't mind me because they think they gave me good salaries which is 700Dhs. for 4 years and 5 months without day-off. And i spent with my own money buying those necessary things even they knew that it is their obligations to buy for us. What you expect from it? How much is left from my salary?As long as they can get benefits from me..they don't mind me at all..just because i'm so good to them while they are taking for granted.Mostly, the problem with arab people are being a LAZY. Machines will sometimes not function or shutdown reading all the datas ,how much more the human?

10 October, 2008 10:26  
Anonymous Jane- Jumeira DH said...

hi..i worked in JUMEIRA as a DH..for 4 years and 5 months..to a good arab family..i dont have any comments for them because they are so good to me. They don't look at me as a maid but as a sister to them..but some of the agencies are taking for granted about the salary..they get some extra..which is..that extra is a big help for our family.The problem is...some of the employers..same my employer are abusing me,like they don't even tell me,if i eat or no?because they want me to stay all the time with the kids,or tell me to go and sleep just for 30 minutes.you know 5 minutes closing my eyes it's like 1 day of sleeping for me,or i can't even go to the bathroom living the children because they are just very busy of talking the phone from morning until evening,instead,i would find way, how to go and make a release,or i went to some places which is so class or social places without changing my clothes for the reason that she forget to tell me,while i'm so shy and felt embarassed with my kabayan.You know, just uttering those simple words without action is very hard for them while they're doing nothing. Working from 6:00am to 11:pm,sometimes 2:00am or 3:00am is optional when have parties or weddings.Tell me, who is not tired of working and can't have even a nap just for a minutes.They know that i am good and i do all the works and taking care of children is really important which is the big factor for them.And they don't even want to find another until i become old.I'm talking about my efforts,they took out from me because they think i'm always ok even they saw me with their eyes that i'm tired everytime.They don't mind me because they think they gave me good salaries which is 700Dhs. for 4 years and 5 months without day-off. And i spent with my own money buying those necessary things even they knew that it is their obligations to buy for us. What you expect from it? How much is left from my salary?As long as they can get benefits from me..they don't mind me at all..just because i'm so good to them while they are taking for granted.Mostly, the problem with arab people are being a LAZY. Machines will sometimes not function or shutdown reading all the datas ,how much more the human?

10 October, 2008 10:28  

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