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Saudi housemaid fees reach $13,300 in the buildup to Ramadan

Saudi housemaid fees reach $13,300 in the buildup to Ramadan

The black market trade for housemaids flourishes in the buildup to the holy month

Saudis looking to recruit a housemaid in time for Ramadan will face fees of up to SAR 50,000 ($13,337) and be forced to pay a SAR 6000 ($1,600) monthly salary, according to local reports.

The black market trade for housemaids flourishes in the buildup to the holy month, when household chores, guest stays and social events increase.

Saudi Gazette cited the director of a recruitment office in Jeddah for the fees, which were revealed in another publication on Sunday.

The director Abdullah Al-Nashmi was quoted as saying the steep hike in housemaid prices was normal with Ramadan fast approaching.

He also warned that social media was active with black market addresses for housemaid brokers and messages offering housemaids were spreading on WhatsApp.

But the director warned families these were often a scam.

“These brokers are only after embezzling money from Saudi families, who should be very vigilant to their machinations,” he warned.

Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s recruitment committee chairman Yahya Al-Maqbool was quoted as saying brokers could be charged with human trafficking and would face severe punishment.

He cited new rules put in place by countries that used to send workers to the kingdom and the inability of recruitment offices to provide housemaids on short notice for the shortage of domestic staff.

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