Things to consider when hiring maid agencies in Dubai
Hiring a cleaning lady is not a rare practice here in the UAE. Here, women from different nations gather to earn their living as domestic servants, doing household chores and saving enough to send money to their families in their home country.
Having a housekeeper may seem like a luxury for many, but it can be a boon, especially when juggling work, children and housework. It’s wonderful to have an extra pair of hands to help very young children, or to cook a meal, keep the house safe from sand or dust, or host your friends.
Hiring a good one can be a difficult process and laden with paperwork. Fortunately, there are many organized maid agencies in Dubai today that take care of checking out the good girls.
Choosing a service company can be a bit difficult though, so we suggest you have this mental checklist while going about it:
Check their credentials
Although the cleaning service agencies are shoveled, the industry in Dubai is not very regulated and you have to be careful not to be taken care of. Understand what certifications service companies have. You can check if they are ISO certified or registered with the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Also check their website in detail to see how many employees they have, how long they are working, whether they have a uniform, etc. – such details can help you determine if they are really experienced. Find a suitable physical address with a landline number. If possible, go.
Also beware of testimonials on their own website – especially if they have generic names and non-specific places, such as Sam Smith, Jumeirah. You can search for comments on popular forums such as Expat Woman or use comparison sites. Friends and other members of your community or apartment with secure villa are also very useful for referrals.
Check which cleaning services they offer
Different service agencies offer different services. Most of them offer cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, dishwashing, laundry and ironing. Some agencies also have nannies. Some offer full-time housekeepers, others part-time and others offer both. You can have housekeepers on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Many UAE-based agencies also offer special services for occasional cleaning, such as after-party celebrations, or for deep cleaning, which is more like spring cleaning, as opposed to lighter daily cleaning. You can even bring maids for punctual tasks such as window cleaning. Some also send extra staff to help you organize parties (a boon because socialization is part of life in the UAE!)
Check their rates
There is not much choice with respect to service rates in the UAE, but there will be minimal differences that you can take advantage of. Usually, the rates are charged per hour and you must call a maid for a minimum number of hours, which can start at 3 hours a day, or 4 hours, depending on the agencies. Hourly rates start at 30 AED (Dirhams) and can range from 5 to 10 AED. Some agencies will charge more if they have to bring their own equipment.
Full-time housekeepers are billed differently. Housekeepers from different countries of origin are entitled to different minimum wages, as stipulated by their respective embassies. In addition, if you hire a nanny, you may have to pay a one-time registration fee and a processing fee, which will vary from agency to agency. The agency may also ask you to sponsor the maid yourself, which will result in costs. Some agencies, however, have a list of sponsored maids that you can hire to live with you full time, but for shorter contracts of about a month.
Above all, keep an eye on bargains. Maid agencies in Dubai may offer discounts for long-term bookings or lower rates for deep cleaning services or one-time services if you are a regular customer.
Check if they are doing background checks
The big worry about letting a stranger into your home is to make sure he does not leave with the family money. Or even worse, abuse your children, as has been the case in Dubai many times. Talk to the service agency to understand the type of filtering she has done on each candidate. Usually, good housekeeping agencies are thorough in checking their background because they have a reputation to protect. The fear is that you hire a housekeeper on your own.
Check which warranties or conditions they offer
So, you paid or you signed. Especially if you have blocked dates in advance, you will be worried if your housekeeper does not show up. Beware of cleaning services that wash your hands of any responsibility. Check with them if they will send a replacement in case your housekeeper gets sick or does not show up and how fast. With full-time housekeepers, the agency will usually replace a housekeeper for you during the contract period (usually a year), at no cost. At the same time, if you are happy with a part-time timekeeper, see if he can arrange sending the same person. Check if they have an after-sales service in place – some agencies will call you periodically to make sure you are happy with your maid and vice versa.