Many expatriates in the UAE hire maids to help with the running of their households and to help with looking after their children. For example, many maids positions are advertised in the supermarkets in Sharjah by expatriates leaving. This has become a grey area with the introduction of new "transfer laws" between sponsors. Maids are not allowed to be transferred according to these laws and must be sent home by their present sponsor. Where after, you can then bring her into the country.
In Sharjah, a full time maid sponsored by you will cost approximately Dhs 5,200 per year payable to the Government and medical agencies and between Dhs 800 and Dhs 1,200 per month. You will also pay an airfare home every two years. These maids usually come from India, Sri Lanka or the Philippines. They usually live in. Most family accommodation has servants' quarters.
Note: Often a 2-bedroom apartment given to couples with one child do not.
Maids are also available without sponsorship by you because they are usually, married women on their husband's sponsorship. These maids tend to work part-time and do not live in. Often because of this they are paid on an hourly basis and because of the nature of employment in the UAE may not be around for a long time. Sometimes these couples live in the servants' quarters in return for part time work for one of them whilst the other works. Again usually it is the male with the sponsored position while his wife will work part time.
Cleaning services do exist. They are privately run and bring cleaning staff to your apartment/villa as often as you are willing to pay (usually around Dhs 20/hour).
With maids, experience has shown that you get what you pay for. Go cheap and you suffer the consequences.