UAE : India Fixes Minimum Wages for Maids

Excerpts from UAE Media

India fixes minimum wage for maids

UAE - Feb. 21: THE Indian government has fixed Dhs1,100 as the revised minimum wages for housemaids recruited to the UAE.

In a slew of new conditions to govern recruitment of Foreign Household Service Workers, the official description for Indian housemaids employed overseas, the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday announced that individuals recruiting them would have to earn a monthly salary of at least Dhs10,000.

The earlier minimum wage level recommended by the Indian government was Dhs600-650. However there were several cases of non-compliance of this requirement.

As reported by The Gulf Today on Monday, all individuals recruiting housemaids from India must furnish a bank guarantee of $2,500 (rounded off to Dhs9,200). The full amount will be reimbursed at the time of termination of the contract by mutual consent.

However, as reported earlier, the $2,500 security deposit is not required in recruitments made by agencies registered with the Government of India.

Among the conditions laid down by the Indian government is that anyone intending to recruit a housemaid must approach the nearest Indian mission accompanied by an Indian national of good standing who would personally guarantee the character and the social standing of the prospective employer.

India has long since banned recruitment of women below 30 years of age as housemaids. As reported earlier, all Indian housemaids recruited henceforth must also be provided with an active mobile phone on their arrival in the UAE.

Within two weeks of her arrival, she along with her employer must visit the Indian mission where her files are registered. The mission officials will then note down her mobile phone number and residential address for any further communication or welfare check.

While the new norms have come into effect, they also cover those cases in which the papers were processed but the recruits are yet to leave India.

The decision to hike the minimum wages follows the rising cost of living and spiraling inflation in the country.

The new security and verification measures are expected to safeguard the welfare of the recruits, who often face abuses at the hands of their employers with several cases of unpaid wages reported every year.

India was among the first labour-origin countries to tighten recruitment of its nationals in the housemaid category. While Pakistan and Bangladesh do not allow their women to be employed as housemaids, Philippines has of late been strict with handling cases of abuses against its nationals employed as domestic helps.

While the bank guarantee is expected to fix responsibility on individual employers in case of any abuse, their being vouched for by an Indian expatriate is seen as a move to be doubly sure about the employer's character.


Bachelors shown the door in Ajman

AJMAN - FEB. 21: THE Bachelors Housing Committee (BHC) of Ajman Municipality has issued a stern warning to those bachelors who continue to reside in areas designated for families despite previous notices.

Mohammed Abdul Wahab, director of BHC explained: "Various issues pertaining to bachelor's accommodation were highlighted during a recent meeting held between the bachelors committee and the Ajman Police. During the meeting we discussed the implementation of a mechanism to ensure co-operation among the two parties. We mainly aim at ensuring that no bachelors are residing in residential areas."

"A detailed map has been prepared showing the areas where bachelors can live. The map also shows the exact locations where bachelors can live and cannot live in. During the meeting we decided the formation of a committee between the two parties that will aim at conducting regular surprise visits on residential areas to ensure that no bachelors or labourers are living in residential areas as it is prohibited."

Wahab urged the co-operation of various companies whose labourers are residing in residential areas to vacate them immediately otherwise strict action will be taken against them.

"For two month we received 120 reports regarding labourers accommodation and during the last month we disconnected water and electricity services to 65 violating bachelor's accommodation."

He said, while seeking the co-operation of the society members who can immediately contact the Ajman Municipality or Police to report the existence of bachelors' accommodation in residential areas.


GUIDED TOURS Sheikh Zayed Mosque open to all

ABU DHABI - FEB. 21:THE Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is to begin scheduled guided tours of the UAE capital's magnificent Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque in a move to promote greater cross-cultural religious and heritage understanding.

Four tours will be held on Thursday as part of Abu Dhabi's celebration of International Tourist Guide Day staged globally to recognise tourist guides' essential contribution to the tourism experience and, as of next month, daily tours will be conducted from Saturday to Thursday.

"To reflect the true spirit of Islam, a religion of peace, education and tolerance, the mosque tours will allow residents and tourists alike to experience this inspiring addition to Islamic architecture and to receive an insight into Islam and Abu Dhabi's heritage from trained and certified national tourist guides," said the Director of ADTA's Licensing and Classification Division, Nasser Saif Al Reyami.

The mosque is named in honour of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, the man who was known as "The Father of The Nation" for his work as an architect of the United Arab Emirates' Federation.

The introduction of the mosque tours reflects Sheikh Zayed's internationally recognised unifying influence a legacy which is being upheld by the Abu Dhabi Government.

The tours also demonstrate Abu Dhabi's inclusive approach to becoming a global tourism destination with true universal appeal, said Al Reyami.

Set to become a signature building for the UAE capital, the mosque is clearly visible from main approach roads into Abu Dhabi city.

"It stands as a symbol of the warm hospitality and traditions of Abu Dhabi and subtly informs travellers of this message as they approach the capital. The role of the mosque embodies the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Arabic and Islamic traditions," added Al Reyami.

One of the world's largest mosques, covering 22,000 square metres, this landmark architectural statement on the UAE capital's evolving landscape, combines traditional Islamic designs and modern architectural techniques. Abu Dhabi's universality approach also extended to the building of the mosque with craftsmen from all corners of the world commissioned to produce the finest of construction and interiors materials.

These include: the world's largest carpet, at 7,119 square metres, from Iran; the world's largest chandelier from Germany made from one million Swarovski crystals; 28 different types of marble and 24-carat gold throughout.

ADTA manages and conducts training programmes to support the tourism industry for the entire emirate, which includes general tourist guide training, site guide training for museums as well as the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan Mosque. UAE nationals are being encouraged to sign up for training and join the professional team of mosque tourist guides.

"The experience of guiding guests through the mosque is truly rewarding," says Ahmed Al Muhaiby, one of the ADTA guides. "I feel so satisfied when I can answer their questions and see the smiles on their faces when they leave. There is a role for all nationals to be involved in this programme and, as we represent only a small percentage of the population, it is our duty to welcome visitors to our great emirate and make their visit to Abu Dhabi a truly memorable experience."

The ADTA is also urging tour operators throughout the emirate to embrace training and career advancement for tourist guides in Abu Dhabi.

"ADTA has strong commitment to the tourist guide role and is encouraging the private sector to also embrace the need to ensure all guides operating in the emirate are fully-trained, recognised and remunerated in line with the value that they bring to the destination," added Al Reyami.

The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque guided tours, which take between 60 to 90 minutes, will operate at 10am, Saturday to Thursday. Registered visitors are asked to be at the mosque 15 minutes before the tours start.

Visitors need to pre-book the complimentary tours by emailing at "" Visitors will be allowed to take photographs.As a mark of respect to a place of prayer and contemplation, visitors must wear modest, conservative loose fitting clothing with women covering their heads. Long sleeves are necessary and shorts or short skirts will not be acceptable. As footwear has to be removed before entering the mosque, slip-off shoes are recommended.


2 trains to arrive next month

DUBAI - FEB. 21: THE Rail Agency of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has been meeting all its schedule and is on course to have the Metro train up and running in September next year.

The latest on the project is the confirmation from the RTA that two trains that were successfully tested in Japan last December will be in the country early next month. Even though, the trial of the train here may be held in April or even later.

According to the Deputy Director of Planning and Development Department in Rail Agency Eng Mohammed Essa Al Rowaished, "The remaining 42 trains are expected to be delivered by the last quarter of 2008 in preparation for the commencement of passenger service in September 2009."

A source from the RTA said that the first train underwent dynamic tests at speed of up to 60km/h as well as signalling tests for the purpose of driverless operation. "The tests that have been conducted were Functional Dynamic Test, Automatic Speed Control, Emergency Braking and other safety related tests. These were carried out at Mihara Test Track which is located near the historic city of Hiroshima," added the source.

While the second train was at Nippon Sharyo facilities, which is located in Nagoya, went through Climatic Testing.

When the consignment arrives, it will be an added success to the running of the project. Early this month, the RTA declared that the first of the three Main Power Supply (MPS) systems for the Metro located in Jebel Ali was also energised as per the schedule.

The Rail Construction Director at the RTA, Eng Adnan Al Hammadi said that the MPS has a maximum installed capacity of 160 MVA with dual step-down 132/33 KV transformers. "It is fully automated and equipped with advanced protection and monitoring systems in addition to fire fighting systems."

Also credited to the project was the completion of the tunnelling work on the Redline of Dubai Metro project ahead of schedule.
Higher hajj committee takes punitive measures against violators

Abu Dhabi, Feb. 21:The Higher Hajj Committee has decided to cancel the licenses of 12 Hajj offices and warned or fined 37 others over violations as per laws regulating the Hajj and Umrah activities.

The 12 offices, whose names have been removed from the records, will not be allowed to function, while the 37 Hajj offices have been served with warnings and would pay fines in proportion to their violations. Financial guarantees have been returned to the Hajj offices which did not commit any violations.

The higher committee at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf hailed the support from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the authority and the official Hajj mission- a gesture that enabled the committee to render best services to the pilgrims.

Mohammed Obeid Al Mazroui, deputy director-general of the general authority of Islamic affairs and awqaf and chairman of the UAE official hajj mission said while presenting his report that "most of the hajj offices cooperated and followed instructions and regulations of the authority".

He commended the role played by the UAE consulate in Jeddah and the competent authorities in Dubai, adding that the authority would honour those authorities next month.

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, the Youth and Sports Authority-represented by Emirates Scouts and the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf take part in the higher hajj committee.


Air Arabia to start new service to Kozhikode in India

UAE - Feb 21: Air Arabia announced today that it will launch service to the South Indian city of Kozhikode beginning February 26, subject to final approval from Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) India, becoming the first Airline in the Middle East to commence operations to Kozhikode.

'We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of service to our newest destination in India, demonstrating once again Air Arabia's unmatched commitment to the Subcontinent,' said AK Nizar, Head of Commercial Department, Air Arabia, adding: 'Serving the greatest number of destinations in India of any regional airline, Air Arabia provides timely, efficient and cost-effective travel solutions for passengers traveling to and from the world's second-most populous nation.' Roundtrip flights will initially operate three times per week between Kozhikode, the third largest city in Kerala, and Air Arabia's hub in Sharjah. By the end of May, service will be expanded to six times per week.

Air Arabia's tenth destination in India, Kozhikode is also the carrier's third destination in the state of Kerala. Currently, the carrier provides daily roundtrip service to Keralan cities Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

'The addition of Kozhikode to our growing destination network is particularly significant for the Indian expatriate population in the UAE and wider Gulf region, which includes an especially large percentage of non-resident Indians who call Kerala home. We are confident that the launch of Air Arabia service to Kozhikode will prove highly popular with both residents and the increasing number of visitors who seek to explore this historical city on the Arabian Sea,' he pointed out.

Air Arabia, the UAE's Sharjah-based low-cost airlines, commenced operations in October 2003 and currently operates a fleet of 11 new Airbus A320 aircraft, serving 38 destinations across Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia .



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Comment on this article

  • D. D'Souza,

    Mon, Feb 25 2008

    I beleive that the increase in maid's salary is fine considering inflation and living costs in India. However what puzzles me is why is there not a minimum salary for the common construction worker who toils in the hot summer's sun.

    Increasing the salary of the construction worker could affect the economy of the gulf country due to the reasons of higher construction costs. Is the Indian govt being timid in this regard, considering relations with the gulf country?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • kiran pinto, baharain/mangalore

    Sun, Feb 24 2008

    Are our comments written to daijiworld reach the destination or not?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Austin prabhu, dubai-konchady

    Sun, Feb 24 2008

    Tndian govt has made dhs.1100 fixed salary for housemaids...will the visa costs for housemaids being provided by indian govt itself? concerened plz answer.....

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Feb 24 2008

    When they want to fix minimum salary of 1100 Dhs for maids who are provided with food, accommodation, clothing etc., why not there is no minimum salary for workers who work harder than maids and stil paid half of their salary ???

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Philip , Aikala/Dubai

    Fri, Feb 22 2008

    We must appreciate the efforts Indian Government has taken to safeguard the welfare of housemaids. Unlike labourers/unskilled workers, housemaids are vulnarable to physical/mental abuse in the hands of their employers. Giving them a mobile phone is a very good idea. This way government and housemaids family need not worry about thier well being.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Oswald D'Mello, abu-dhabi

    Thu, Feb 21 2008

    I am really concerned about some agencies in India interviewing people and promising a job in five star hotels and finally placing them in a catering company far away in desert area, Even after paying in lakhs to the agent and for 500 Dirhams salary.  This is not fair comparing to maids wages and facilities

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald, Mangalore/ Dubai

    Thu, Feb 21 2008

    I agree with Ronald (Udyavara)comments. I just dont understand why they are behind the maids, its looks like there is some other reason behind this game. There are so many hard working people in Offices and specially on construction sites in Dubai who work so hard and nothing much has been done, would appreciate if Indian Government with Dubai would improve their wages and facilities.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald, Udyavara/Dubai

    Thu, Feb 21 2008

    When they want to fix minimum salary of 1100 Dhs for maids who are provided with food, accommodation, clothing etc., why not there is no minimum salary for workers who work harder than maids and stil paid half of their salary ???

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

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