Employing domestic staff is common in Dubai because of the convenience and general low cost. Employing a domestic helper involves a certain amount of responsibility, as the employer is legally responsible for the actions of the staff member as their sponsor.
To hire a full-time helper, you will need to provide sponsorship or use an agency that is licensed to provide full-time, live-in helpers. You can legally employ the following nationalities as full-time helpers: Filipino, Sri Lankan (with additional agency fee), Indonesian, Ethiopian, Ugandan and Indian (with additional agency fee). It can be very costly and complicated to hire nationals from other countries and in many cases may not be possible. Bachelors are not eligible to sponsor domestic staff.
Full-time helpers often work six days a week and salaries vary between AED1500 to AED 3000 per month, depending on the hours and duties you require, size of the house, number of children, evening babysitting, and whether the helper holds a valid driving license, as well as whether you are providing food and accommodation or not.
In accordance with the UAE Labour Law, domestic staff is entitled to free accommodation, medical insurance and a return ticket to their home country once a year. It is also advisable to make a clear list of house rules and expectations to avoid later disappointments with your helper including expectations around hours of work and holiday provision.
It is illegal to employ any domestic staff that is not sponsored either by you or supplied by an agency.
Many families, particularly without children, may choose not to have full-time staff, but rely on part-time help. It is quite easy to arrange part time help via an agency. The current hourly rate is approx. AED 30-40 per hour.
Gardeners often come with a villa. Part-time gardeners can be easily arranged. They will use their own equipment, including lawn mowers. The cost for this is on average between AED 200-600 per month depending on the size of the garden and frequency of visits.