Abu Dhabi: Sri Lankan housemaids have more opportunities in the UAE due to the shortage of housemaids in the market.

Now more Sri Lankan housemaids are coming to the UAE, a Sri Lankan official told Gulf News.

Of an estimated 300,000 Sri Lankans in the UAE, 55 per cent of them are in lower rung jobs- many of them are housemaids, said the official who did not want to be named.

Sri Lankan Government has imposed a minimum salary of Dh800 for female domestic helps in the UAE. The employers have to make a non-refundable deposit of $400 (Dh 1,470) with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBE) at Colombo. Although the Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate in Dubai were processing the formalities related to the housemaid recruitment, they stopped it when the UAE introduced a unified contract in mid-2014 for domestic workers leading to the suspension of the embassies’ role in verifying and attesting contracts.

“Now the employers who recruits a housemaid directly from Sri Lanka has to send the documents and security deposit etc. directly to SLBE,” the official said. Otherwise they have to do it through authorized recruitment agencies. Recruiting a Sri Lankan housemaid costs around Dh10,000 (ten thousand).