Dubai maids top wage list
Survey looks at domestic worker packages
Average salaries for domestic workers in Dubai are the highest among the Gulf, according to a new survey.
HelperChoice, an online agency that connects potential employers and domestic helpers online, found the average wage in Dubai was Dhs1,697 and Dhs1,592 for the UAE as a whole.
The global survey of 2,000 job offers by the Hong Kong-based agency found the next highest was Saudi Arabia at Dhs1,582 then Qatar at Dhs1,580.
Kuwait was the lowest at Dhs1,425, the survey found.
Wages variations in the Far East were similar, with Singaporebased employers paying Dhs1,605 on average and in Hong Kong the average was Dhs2,082.
However, HelperChoice founder Laurence Fauchon said the total package paid by an employer is usually significantly more.
She said: “The total cost to employers varies depending on a number of factors, including domestic workers’ nationalities and the fees set by governments in each Gulf country.”
In addition to wages, one-off and annual costs that employers need to pay add up to more than Dhs10,000 in the UAE, including expenses such as agency fees, workers’ airfares, medical fitness tests, visa fees and refundable deposits.
Fauchon said: “Additionally, the packages offered generally exclude benefits and bonuses. Many employers raise wages after a period of employment.” Countries with large expat populations set a minimum wage for domestic staff. The minimum is Dhs750 for a Bangladeshi, Dhs850 for a Sri Lankan, Dhs900 for a Nepali, Dhs1,100 for an Indian and Dhs1,468 for a Filipino.
Dinesh Kumar, First Secretary at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, said there are plans to raise the Indian minimum wage for domestic workers in the UAE.
He said: “The minimum should be higher than what it currently is but it depends on the market and economic conditions.
“The government of India will revise this wage at some point in the future based on other factors, like expenditure, market status, everyday costs and so on.”
1,697 The average domestic worker’s wage in dirhams