A helping hand
I am NOT a domestic Goddess by any stretch of the imagination. I do like stuff to be tidy-ish and in its place, but I hate housework. We (our family) have always had servants to help with the housework (more like do all of it). So the fact that we live in a place like Dubai is a boon. I like the idea of a person coming in and doing all the chores I hate having to do. I hate the idea of having someone live in though. And since I live in flats (or even when I did have a part of a villa), it's not really practical. It's an invasion of space. Its also a bit of a pain with all the labour and immigration laws surrounding having a maid. There are maid services around town and I have had very hit or miss experiences with them. First, they insist on a minimum of 4 hours (why?). Then they don't train their maids properly or have the same person attend your place regularly so you don't have to keep training or giving them instructions or on time or reliable. I had one service where the driver decided what time he would drop the maid off to my building - go figure. So, in this scenario, Helping.ae, is a boon. It is an online platform to book home cleaning services. It is currently live in more than 170 cities in 10 countries across 4 continents and now present in the UAE.
It was quite easy to book the service. Very simple interface. You do have to register your details and then customise and book the service. The service is like a portal for various cleaning services so you don't have to scroll through a myriad of sites and vet and make several calls to get the cleaner to come to yours. According to their press release, they vet the services and make sure they are legal, reliable and though they do take the payment from your card, it is not actually charged until the service is completed. I booked it for a Saturday afternoon (you get a calendar with available times) according to your own personal schedule, and then it is up to them. They do maintain email updates when they have allocated a cleaner to you and what they call a "Helpling", your personal assistant in the Helping team as your point of contact in case of problems.
The cleaner arrived from a company called HomeMaids. She was clean, spoke English, so communications was easier. And she just got on with the job. I guess if I had instructions - you do post it when you do the booking - I could have told her like where to stash the various things. She was thorough and found her way around the house. 3 hours is more than ample time to clean my place. At AED 35 an hour, its a bit steep for regular bookings for a lot of people since you can get moonlight maids at 25 but they're not always reliable.
- Reliable service and the cleaner was thorough
- Easy to book and pay for - also have the credit card payment option
- A minimum of 3 hours, which is quite a lot of time for smaller flats and considering it does not include ironing, balcony cleaning or oven cleaning - 2 hours would have been better
- The maid was a half hour late but considering the time keeping with other services, it was not a biggie
- No special options for monthly rates or recurring (or at least I did not check if there was one)
I would, however, go back to them because it is a convenient service.