At A Glance: Status quo of maid deployment in UAE

The pool of nationalities available to work as domestic workers in the UAE is dwindling. Some traditional labour-sending countries have temporarily shut their doors with the current conflicting laws over maid employment.


The Ethiopian government in 2012 issued a temporary deployment ban on its citizens looking for work as domestic and blue-collar staff in the UAE. The Ethiopian government was alarmed by the increase in people illegally recruited and trafficked to the country.


Effective October 15, 2013, the Indonesian government temporarily suspended deployment of its nationals to work as domestic workers to the UAE. The aim was for both countries to sit together and produce a memorandum of understanding that will ensure the protection of its nationals.


On June 1, Philippine missions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai stopped verifying maids’ contracts due to conflicting policies with the UAE that introduced a unified contract for domestic workers in the country. There was no deployment ban but because of the differing policies, the Philippines said it will follow its own rules — no contract verification, no deployment.


Heera Devi Paudel Ghimire, labour attaché of Nepal, said Nepal stopped sending maids to the UAE around three months ago to implement changes in the employment of maids abroad. “We expect to open the market again in one to two months,” she said.


There are no noted changes in the recruitment of maids from these countries.