Cairo - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

We pay a housekeeper to come once a week for 5 hours at $5/hour. That's a bit cheaper than most Americans but significant more than other expats or Egyptians. Most people with children have full-time help. - Mar 2023

Many people employ housekeepers, drivers, nannies, etc. Cost ranges but is often around $1,000/month for full-time household help. - Aug 2022

Extremely affordable and wonderful. Our nanny is the absolute best thing about life here - she's more than a nanny, she's a house manager. She helps us with so much and she adores our child, and is teaching him Arabic! Many people employee housekeepers or nannies. Some also employ drivers. Cost is very reasonable and the cost of living in general is low here, plus the hardship pay from the U.S. government is very good, so it's easy to save. - Aug 2022

Household help is widely available and most people employ cleaners, nannies, drivers, etc. Depending on the service (and the nationality of the employee), the pay is between $6 - $8 per hour. - Mar 2022

I didn't have any but several people hired a nanny, housekeeper, or driver. Some people hire both a nanny/housekeeper and driver. Seemed they weren't very expensive. - Dec 2021

I have heard it's very reasonable, but I don't have personal experience with household help. Dust builds up VERY quickly in homes, so if you don't have a helper you will be dusting a least once a week. You can "write" in the dust on surfaces after two days. We have hired a gardener for our tiny yard and he does a poor job of maintaining it, but it's $20 a month. I've seen other expat yards and their gardens are so lovely! - Feb 2021

Widely available and fairly cheap, though I can't speak to this as I don't have any household help myself. - Jan 2020

Household help varies in cost. Expats on the local economy often employ undocumented domestic help which can be as inexpensive as $2-$3 an hour. For Embassy staff, most of us pay in the $5-$6/hr range for legal domestic help. Many domestic workers come from the Philippines or Sudan but there are also Egyptians in the mix. Lots of people here employ a nanny/housekeeper and a separate driver. - Jun 2018

Household help is fairly cheap, about $4-8 per hour. It is widely available. Having a part time housekeeper is fairly common, though not everyone (such as me) has one. If both parents work, having a full time nanny is common. If one is at home, people might have a part time nanny a day or two a week to allow time for running errands, as it's not very easy to do with kids.

Some people have drivers, though many people drive themselves, use Uber or walk. Some household help is Egyptian, but many are Filipino, Sudanese or other foreign nationalities. This typically means sponsoring a visa for them. Local staff is cheaper than foreign staff. - Jan 2018

It varies based on factors such as the maid's nationality. Among the embassy community, Filipino women seem to have a monopoly for providing maid and nanny services and they charge more than Egyptians. The overall cost for domestic help is very affordable compared to what you will pay in Washington. - Sep 2017

There is a large Filipino expat community; many Filipinos fill domestic helper roles. Some people employ Egyptian domestic staff. My helper came twice a week, and I paid US$200/month (on the higher side). - May 2017

I have a cleaner. Plenty of availability but quality can be questionable. Other expat recommendations are a good idea. Help is cheap compared to the UK. - May 2017

It goes by ethnicity. Filipina maid/nannies cost about US$5/hour, and Egyptians are about US$3/hour. You will have no problem finding someone - since the revolution, there are fewer expats, so the people who worked for them are desperate for employment. The quality of work seemed to be adequate but not as good as in some other places we have lived. - Jan 2016

Not super cheap. The going rate is about US$5/ hour for a Filipino maid, less for an Egyptian. - Jan 2016

We have a part-time Fillipina housekeeper. She is fantastic at US$5.00 per hour. It's a little more than we paid at previous posts but many people here go with the Fillipino community because of their work ethic. - Oct 2014

US$5-6 per hour, usually paid monthly. During Ramadan (if help is Muslim), 1/2 month bonus before and 1/2 month bonus after. Also, another 1/2 bonus during Eid in October. For each year of service, 1 month of severance upon termination. - Aug 2014

About US$5/ hour. - Aug 2014

Help is relatively expensive for poor work, in my opinion. We came from Asia, where the cost is super low and you can have live-in help 6 days/week. None of those apply here. A decent, full-time Filipina maid is about $700/month. An Egyptian equivalent is $350 and is much slower and less skilled in cooking, reading recipes, thinking on her feet, taking initiative, not ruining your clothes in wash or by ironing. We always have full-time so there is always someone at home - child care, after school, house repairs, errands, etc. Ours takes care of dry cleaning, shoe repair, grocery shopping, payments, etc., in addition to regular cleaning, dishes, laundry etc. some food prep and occasional cooking. - May 2014

The going rate for a good Filipina maid is US$5-6/hour. Egyptian domestic help is cheaper, though. - Apr 2014

Expensive! With the economy in the tank, only domestic help seems to be profiting. It's completely crazy; they are all paid by the hour. - Mar 2014

Variable depending on the nationality. Egyptian, Zimbabwean and Phillipino mostly. Egyptians are the cheapest and Phillipinos are the most expensive. - Jul 2013

We paid $300/month for a three-day-a-week housekeeper, but everyone thinks we paid too much. A combination of Egyptians and Filipinias available, with the latter being more expensive. - Jul 2013

Very available and costs are reasonable. - Jun 2013

Very cheap. Between $3 - $5/hour, depending on if they are Egyptian (cheaper) or Filipina (more expensive). - Jun 2013

Plenty of domestic help. Egyptians are cheaper than Filipino or Sri Lankan maids. I pay 400 USD for a part-time Sri Lankan maid. She cooks and can read and write English. An Egyptian maid would run about 250 USD. - May 2013

Easy to find - Filipinas work for about $5/hour; Egyptian help for about $3/hour. - May 2013

Expensive. Workers from the Philippines can command $600 a month or more. We had a part-time Egyptian maid (3 partial days a week) and paid her $250 a month. I know a decent maid from Uganda who charges US$5 an hour for cleaning. - May 2013

Domestic help is available and affordable. Prices seem to range depending on the origin of staff, with Philippina staff being the most costly and Egyptian and Sudanese being the least. - Feb 2013

Varies. I do see a fair number of Filipinos working as housekeepers and nannies; they generally cost significantly more than Egyptians. I know some expats hire Egyptian drivers to avoid the stress headache of dealing with the traffic, but I'm not sure about their level of satisfaction. - Feb 2013

It is widely available, but you pay for what you get. - Mar 2013

Available and fairly inexpensive. $120 per month for 2x weekly. - Mar 2013

Quality can really be poor, so be very careful and don't jump into this too soon. There is some quality help available, but it takes some careful screening. Prices are reasonable. Our maid is good, but we got her from another family leaving the country. Sometimes that works, but sometimes people just want to pawn off bad help on an unsuspecting newcomer. - Feb 2013

Available and cheap. - Jan 2013

Very large pool of help available. For a maid working 20 hours/week, we pay $400 (US) per month. - Nov 2012

Highest hourly rate you will pay is equivalent to 5 USD/hour, and that is usually only for a Filipina nanny/maid. - Sep 2011

We pay $5/hr for part-time help. - Aug 2011

plentiful and not too expensive. - Aug 2011

This is something that is changing. Only diplomatic families can sponsor a visa for a household helper that is not Egyptian. You are responsible for either proving they are working for another diplomatic family or cancelling their visa and providing them a ticket home at the end of your stay. Local help is available, of course. It is harder to find an English speaking Egyptian household helper, because English speakers will usually be able to find a more prestigious job. You may have to try several before you find a good situation, so if you need childcare right away, try to have someone help you with referrals before you come. - Jul 2011

Domestic help is plentiful and very affordable. Some people will have a cook, maid, gardener and driver for the price of one in Europe! They are usually reliable and some come with certain requirements if not native. - Jun 2011

Lots of very affordable domestic help. You certainly can't live so well in Europe. - Sep 2010

There are lots of Filipinos here. Also Egyptians, Sudanese, Zimbabweans, etc. It is very affordable. Everyone has somebody working in their home. - Jun 2010

Domestic help is readily available. Egyptian maids and nannies are generally cheaper than Filipina maids and nannies, but the latter are reputed to provide better quality work. - Dec 2009

We pay US$5 an hour for a Filipina maid/nanny who is extraordinary. She cooks as well. I understand that Egyptian help is cheaper but not as reliable. - May 2008

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