For those considering sponsoring a domestic worker

If like many expatriates in Dubai you choose to have a domestic worker at home, below is some information that you may find useful

 A residence visa for a domestic worker has to be applied for by the head of the family or sponsor. A single male cannot sponsor a domestic worker.

The sponsor must have a minimum monthly salary of AED 10,000

Currently, only nationals of the following countries can be employed as domestic staff: India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Ethiopia, Bangladesh (only possible to renew existing visas) and Indonesia. There may however, be exceptions made on a case by case basis, for other nationalities.

What are the key facts when sponsoring a domestic worker?

The domestic worker must have accommodation in a separate room within the home.

After completion of 12 months of service, an airline ticket to their home country must be provided every year.

If the sponsor terminates the contract he must pay for an airline ticket to the employee's home country (unless the employee finds a new employer).

If your employee decides to terminate the contract, the ticket to his home country will be at his expense.

The contract / work permit is valid for one year (with a few exceptions) and must be renewed every year.

From 2016, all employees, including domestic workers, must have medical insurance, paid for by the employer.


There are specifics to each country regarding salary and they have their own regulations for their nationals employed as domestic workers. It is advisable to clarify these with the Consulate or Embassy of the country for the latest information.


How to find the gem?

There are recruitment agencies that specialise in household staff, where the cost is variable. However, it is possible to find one independently and often the best way is by personal recommendation.

Many families leave Dubai each year and if they were happy with their domestic worker they will often seek to place them with a trusted family.

Schools are a good way, groups and Ads (Mrs. Dubai, Dubai Home, ExpatWoman). It is important to try to get recommendations from other families (but beware some families leaving the Emirates try to quickly find a new family for the employee to avoid paying an air ticket).

Each family has its own requirements and each person has a different character so nothing can be guaranteed until they actually work with you and your family.

Some advice:

  • Be clear in what you ask your employee to do, provide a list of tasks in writing
  • Be precise from the start on what will be provided
  • Give clear information about hours of work and rest
  • Keep copies of all ID papers: passport, visa or visa cancellation, marriage certificate if married,
  • Specify at the outset if they can have visitors
  • If it is to take care of pets, dog or cat, check that they are comfortable with them
  • Ask for references from previous employers and check with them directly
  • Do not leave jewellery or money in sight to remove any temptations
  • Arrange for First Aid training, particularly if they will be taking care of your children
  • Check also if she has allergies (dust mites, food, dogs / cats).

To assist your domestic worker:

  • Provide a separate bedroom with A/C, bathroom, furnished with a bed, dresser and / or wardrobe, fridge
  • Give a sum of money in addition to salary for food because often she does not eat the same food as us
  • Buy toiletries
  • Provide TV channels preferably with their mother tongue
  • Supply a mobile phone, with a small amount of monthly credit, which will allow her to contact her friends and acquaintances

If having an employee living at home does not suit you and your family, you can always opt for one-time assistance via a specialized company. There are many maid agencies in Dubai some have existed for many years and you will fond that people will recommend theirs.


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