Hiring a Maid in Qatar | ExpatWoman.com

Hiring a Maid in Qatar

How to find and hire a maid in Doha. Our guide to the visa and sponsorship process, salary, hours, maid agencies, and nannies.

Posted on

22 July 2013

Last updated on 11 December 2017
Hiring a Maid in Qatar

If you are looking to employ a full time or part time maid in Doha you're in the right place. Here we take a look at the rules, regulations, visa process, expected salaries and live in versus agency maids.

How To Hire A Maid In Qatar

It can be hard as an expat not having family and friend support close by and hiring a maid or a nanny can be a great help to you and your family. Having a live-in maid or using a maid service is very popular in Doha. There are many reasons for this - people don’t have family here so they need help, villas are very big, people work hard and don’t have the time to clean, etc. Whatever the reason, you do have options available to you.

Hiring A Maid On Your Personal Sponsorship

The rules for hiring maids can change quite frequently, so do keep an eye on local news for updates.

  • A man cannot sponsor a female live-in maid for his family. Only a woman can and she needs to have a residence permit (RP).

  • Single men cannot sponsor a female maid.

  • You cannot sponsor a live-in, full time maid until you have worked/ lived in Qatar for 6 months.

Documents and Procedures

  • You have to show 6 months of bank statements to get approval to hire a live-in maid.

  • You will need a no objection certificate (NOC) from your employer to hire a maid. If obtained from the husband's company, this can only be done after the wife has gotten her Residence Permit.

  • You will also need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate, copies of both of your Qatari IDs, passport photocopies with Residence Permits of all the family members.

  • You have to submit an application for approval to the Immigration Department to hire a maid. Afterwards, you will be told whether you are eligible to sponsor a maid and what nationality of maid your family will be allowed to employ. Don't line someone up until you have been told which nationality.

  • Applications can be rejected for various reasons, such as size of family, whether one parent will be working or at home during the day.

  • Once you have received approval and have found a candidate, the residence visa procedure can start.

SEE ALSO: Pet care services in Doha

  • You can bring a maid from outside of Qatar or find someone who is already in country with a transferable visa. You must make sure that her visa status is legal and the current sponsor has no issues with the transfer to save yourself any headaches.

  • The maid will have to undergo medical testing to check for HIV, TB and pregnancy as well as fingerprinting.

  • If possible, see if the 'mandoob' or PRO of your company can help you process all the paperwork.

  • There are also Maid Recruitment Agencies that can handle the whole process for you. They have potential candidates on their books and they will do the flights, visa, etc. This can be a much easier, if slightly more expensive, option.

  • Agencies tend to offer 2-year contracts with a 3-month trial period. If you are not happy with the maid or she is not happy with you during this time, a replacement maid will be arranged free of charge.

  • It can take a month to three months for all your maid's paperwork to be processed so take this into account when making the applications.

Calculating maid costs

Nationalities and costs

  • It costs approximately QR 8,500 to process the necessary visa and medicals for a Filipina maid and around QR 10,000 for an Indonesian maid through an agency. Doing the process yourself costs approx half this amount but double the work and no guarantees if anything goes wrong.

  • The minimum wage for maids is set by the government and varies between nationalities. Some people pay more than the minimum.

  • Live-in maids' monthly salaries tend to vary between QR 900 and 2,500 with a flight home every 2 years.

  • India does not allow its nationals to be employed as maids in Qatar. Approved nationalities for maids include Nepalese, Indonesian, Phillipina, Ethiopian and Sri Lankan. However, as of June 2017,  there will be no Indonesian domestic workers allowed in the UAE. This ban only applies to new ones, not ones already working in the country. 

  • Once the visa has been approved, you are then legally responsible for the conduct of the maid in Qatar.

  • If you decide to terminate the maid's employment, you are liable for all repatriation costs.

Using a Maid Agency in Qatar

Here is a list of some of the agencies you could use to get a maid in Qatar full time housemaid and some offer part time services too:

  • Qatar Maid Agency: 4427-1197

  • Qatarmaids.com:  7736-2999 (Al Shafi Road)

  • Qatar Maid Service: 4441-3462 

  • Swiss Label: 44319990 or 44420238 or 66704333 (Al Rawabi St, Al Muntaza)

  • Golden Man: 442-4487 (Sofitel)

  • East Asia Manpower: 3345-3306

  • Eurabia: 445-80668 or 5556-1227 (Salwa Road, Near Qatar Islamic Bank)

Part Time Agency Maids
Another option is to use a part time maid who would come to your house a set number of hours and days a week to help you with your cleaning. Some agencies also offer babysitting services. The average rate is QR 35 - 45 an hour. This can be a much easier arrangement than employing a live- in maid for some. Make sure that the agency is registered and legal. Word of mouth recommendations are also good. You can ask on our Forum for feedback and recommendations. Take Me There>>

How to hire a maid in Qatar

There are many companies set up to provide this service. Basically you enter into a contract with one of the companies and they will send a maid to your villa or apartment at set times arranged with you and your home will be sparkling clean!

SEE ALSO: Chat with other expats living in Qatar

The service is charged for at an hourly rate with the minimum usually being 4 hours per week. It’s up to you how often you want a maid. For an apartment, 4 hours per week is probably long enough. For a villa, 8 hours a week should do it, but you can have someone every day as most services are fully flexible. It also depends on what services you want- floor cleaning, washing, ironing, tidying, dusting, cooking etc. 

A basic house cleaning service will normally cover the following:

  • Floors: Thorough mop and vacuum as needed.

  • Kitchens: Clean surfaces, dust appliances, wipe cupboards, clean oven and fridge, and wash floors.

  • Bathrooms: Sanitize sinks, baths, toilets, floors and counters.

  • All Rooms: Vacuum and mop throughout, replace bed linen, clean lampshades, furniture, and light fittings.

How to Find a Good Maid Service
You will be expected to provide all cleaning materials and tools. However, you can request them to be supplied, at a cost. It is probably best to supply your own, based on your personal brand preference. A supervisor would normally visit you to go through all your requirements and make a task list for your home for the maid and perform an orientation.

A lot of companies also offer a babysitting service, pet sitting, party hosting, car washing, grocery shopping and could also provide you with a full time live-in maid.

Research is key to this process.  You really need a professional, reliable and trustworthy company to be providing this service for you. You can ask for feedback on our Forum for peace of mind too.

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Note: you will probably see both good and bad comments about all maid services. I t always seems to be a very contentious subject! The best thing to do is trust your gut instinct. See how the service is from the initial contact. If you are not happy, don’t use them. When you do get your maid, spend some time orientating her. We are all from different places and have different levels, standards and ways of cleaning. You may not always get the same maid every week due to circumstances but most companies do try and give you the same lady each week.

Look to use a company that has trained its personnel in the various tasks they will need to perform and are professional and swift in their dealings with you.

Remember - your maid may need some pointers to help her along the way, so try and build a rapport with her. Most are from the Phillippines and English is their second language, so there may be teething troubles - be gentle!

Agency Maid Service Pros:

  • Reliability - If your maid is sick or on holiday, you will still have your services performed.

  • Economical - You can control how much you spend based on your need and there are no visa/sponsorship costs.

  • Privacy - Some people do not like the idea of having someone else living in their home.

  • Controlled - There is someone to discuss issues with at the service headquarters if need be.

  • Flexibility - You have an element of flexibility and can change the hours up or down if need be and the days.

Agency Maid Service Cons:

  • Consistency - Maids can be changed, which means you have to re-train.

  • Security worries - Just make sure you lock or hide all valuables away for your own peace of mind.

  • Limited Time - You may find you need more hours than you have anticipated.

  • Vacation - You may find that some companies you sign a contract with may still charge you and service you while you are away.

Illegal Maids
Don't be tempted to use an illegal maid, although many do. Illegal maids are not on your or an agency's sponsorship. They don't have the correct residence permit to be working for you. If caught, they can be deported and you can be fined around QR 50,000. Also, if anything goes wrong, you have no legal comeback and can't do anything about any theft or the like.

Embassy-Set Salaries 

How much you should pay your full time maid in Qatar is a frequently asked question on our Forum and is often a contentious issue.

It really depends on how much you can afford, what the size of her job role is and whether she will just be cleaning or whether there is child care involved, but also you should see this as a way to empower someone from a poorer country and make sure you are paying them a fair wage in order for them to improve their life and the life of their family too.

Maid salaries in Qatar

Certain embassies are trying to protect their overseas workers and have set minimum wages. We do feel that these are still very low though:

Embassy Set Minimum Salaries:

  • Indonesia: QR 800

  • Sri Lankan: QR 825

  • Filipina: QR 1,400

We highly recommend a salary of around QR 2,000 - 3,000 per month. This seems to be the average and you should include some allowances on top of this for food, toiletries, clothes and phone.

Many ladies who come here as maids are supporting an extended family back home. Therefore, the money you pay them will be going to put food in mouths, clothes on backs, school fees for children and pay essential rent. It can be very tough for the ladies who come here, as the family members will be asking for money from them, seeing them almost as the "better off" one and the main provider in some cases. So, some of the ladies can be under immense pressure.

Paying them an extra QR 500 - 1000 a month above the average rate can make a massive difference to their lives and the welfare of the family they have left at home. After all, that is just one less meal out a month for example and you would be helping a poor family. You could always save up an extra amount each month to give your helper as a bonus when she eventually leaves you, if you would rather she had a lump sum.

How To Settle Your Maid In

If you’ve sponsored a housemaid, there are some things you can do to settle her into your home and ensure a long lasting working relationship. For some, it may be strange to have another person, not from the family, living in your home and you are experiencing this for the first time. For your maid, this  may also be her first time away from her home country and family. Your maid may suffer from homesickness in her first few weeks and feel quite lost.

Here are some top tips to help your maid settle in:

  • Make sure her room is fully kitted out with everything she could need.

  • Have an orientation of your home with her so she knows where everything is, such as the different rooms, storage spaces, kitchen equipment, gardens, garage etc.

  • Make sure you have a mobile phone with a SIM card ready for her. Most people find the pay-as-you-go kind of contracts are better and easier to manage as it prevents huge phone bills being racked up.

  • Have a clear task list drawn up for her so she knows exactly what her duties are.

  • Talk to her about her working hours and days off and holidays so she is really clear when she will be working.

  • Have a chat with her about the laws in Qatar so she knows how not to get in trouble.

  • Introduce her properly to your children, if you have any. She may or may not have had child care experience and you may have to provide training in this area too. Don’t leave her alone with your baby or children, until you are both comfortable with that.

  • Talk to her about what your eating arrangements will be. Does she eat with the family, can she cook her own meals, etc. Some nationalities really like to eat or prepare their own familiar food.

  • If you want her to cook for your family, she may not have a knowledge of the dishes you would like her to cook, so you need to arrange some cooking lessons time with her.

SEE ALSO: Budgeting Tips

  • Some nationalities do things different to how you would, so you may have to spend time training your maid to do things a certain way.

  • Take the time to train your maid and you may learn a top cleaning tip you didn’t know either.

  • If you have pets, make sure you introduce her properly to them as some people can be scared of dogs and cats until they get to know them.

  • Try and let her have access to a computer or laptop regularly so she can email or Skype her family. This will help her feel in contact with her family still and help any feelings of homesickness.

  • If you have provided a TV set for her, you could try and get her channels in her mother tongue to make her feel at home.

  • You can help her to make some friends with other maids in your neighbourhood. If you now your neighbours or have a friend nearby with the same nationality maid, see if you can arrange for them to spend some time together to help your maid get settled.

  • Your maid may wish to go to worship with her fellow compatriates and they quite often organise buses together to achieve this or trips to supermarkets that sell their specialised food.

  • Let her know that she can come to you about any issues or problems and that you will talk to her and try and help her as much as you can.

You have invested a lot of money in sponsoring a maid and she is your responsibility in the country. Think how she must feel and that if you spend the time right at the beginning to settle her in, you will both be clear about her position.

SEE ALSO: All of your questions, answered about life in Qatar

At the end of the day, she is your employee, but she is living in or near your home, so there is some blurring of boundaries. How you deal with her induction will set the tone for her employment period. Open and clear communication is the key and a lot of patience and understanding. You will both reap the benefits if you take the time to manage this period properly.

What to provide your maid with in Qatar

What To Provide Your Maid With

What you should ideally provide for your helper. These will be written into your contract with your maid, along with a list of duties and working hours:

1. Own room, fully furnished with bed, linen, curtains, wardrobe, drawers, towels.
2. Own bathroom, if possible. If your villa has a proper maid’s quarters, they can have a separate cooking area too.
3. TV with their local channels, if possible.
4. Food allowance (your maid may not eat the same food as your family).
5. Minimum a day off per week.
6. Basic toiletries, such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste.
7. Air ticket home and month’s leave yearly.
8. Mobile phone. Most opt for pay-as-you-go and give a fixed monthly allowance to buy credit.
9. Dental and health treatment. Most would be covered through their Health Card but there may be extra medicine required that do not require a doctor’s trip.
10. Access to internet to keep in touch with family. You may want to allow your helper to use the internet sporadically at set times to send emails home.