UAE | Visa

Ban to stay on Arab domestic workers

Ministry of Interior official says it will help prevent misuse by sponsors.

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter, Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 October 28, 2009
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The ban on recruiting Arab domestic workers will not be lifted soon because sponsors put them in jobs other than those specified in their visas, said a senior Ministry of Interior official.

A circular was recently issued to all residency departments in the country banning recruiting Arabs as domestic helpers or personal drivers.

Brigadier Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Director General of the General Naturalisation and Residency Department (GNRD), told Gulf News in an exclusive interview that Arabs cannot be recruited to work as domestic help such as maids, cooks, personal drivers and other similar jobs.

"Many Arab residents and Emiratis sometimes try to recruit an Arab domestic helper which is not allowed," Brig Al Menhali said.

He said Arabs usually come to work in specific job categories in the private sector, but cannot work as domestic help according to the UAE residency law.

Brigadier Al Menhali said there are citizens of specific nationalities who can be recruited as domestic help such as Filipinos, Indonesians and certain other Asian nationals but not Arabs. He said some sponsors apply for domestic helper visas for an Arab national, but they make the person work elsewhere in different jobs.

Brigadier Al Menhali said some Emiratis married to Arab women try to bring the relatives of the wife on domestic helper visas and let them work elsewhere. "Such practices affect the job market and it also lead to illegal residents who work for somebody else other than their sponsors," he said.

Brigadier Al Menhali said Arabs come to work in professional jobs not as domestic helpers.

Many Arab nationals and Emiratis object to banning recruiting Arabs as domestic helpers. They believe it is an unfair decision.

Samar, an Egyptian pharmacist who lives in Sharjah, said, "We cannot employee someone from a different world who knows nothing about us."

Gulf News
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