Dubai's best massages

Time Out’s spa sleuths find 15 of the world’s best massages, all right here in Dubai Comments

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Thailand

Thai massage was developed by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago and, despite monks’ peaceful reputation, this is not for the faint-hearted – expect knuckles, elbows and other pointy parts prodding and poking your tangled tendons. Your limbs will also be flailed around the room (imagine yoga, but with someone else doing all the work for you).

Budget
Thai oil massage at Relax, Dhs130 for an hour
Best for un-knotting muscles

Experience: As you’d expect, this was not the most soothing massage in the world, but it was nowhere near as invasive as some Thai massages – any yelps were met with startled apologies from our therapist and a gentler touch. The harder pressures were mixed with softer moments, with oil soothing the discomfort.

Verdict: Well worth the occasional jolt of pain, we were left feeling thoroughly unwound and loose-limbed.
Relax, Umm Al Sheif St, Jumeirah 3, next to Sasha Salon (04 394 8500)

Luxury
Traditional Thai massage at Thai Privilege Spa, Dhs350 for an hour
Best for modesty; ladies only

Experience: The massage at Thai Privilege Spa is oil-free, so we kept our kit on: after a great back rub the focus moved to our legs, feet and hands for diagnostic Thai reflexology. Then there was a lot of stretching before an odd yet comforting stomach massage to stimulate the organs. The treatment ended with a head massage that cured our clicking jaw: respite!

Verdict: The masseuses here are trained in Thailand and it shows. The massage was at times toe-curling, but we left limber and satisfied.
Thai Privilege Spa, Al Wasl Road (04 348 9679)

By Nyree Barrett
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: Julian on 14 Jun ' 12 at 09:47

Hi,
House of Chi is closed. did they move somewhere else?
I think it was the best place for massages in Dubai.

Any ideas where the place went or the staff went to?

Posted by: Cambo on 11 Jun ' 12 at 14:31

House of Chi is no longer open...

Can anyone suggest a good, proper, well-trained Shiatsu in Dubai??

Posted by: Meens on 23 May ' 10 at 02:51

I agree with Hilda...I have tried Aroushi too, and the lady is good...Feet First I had tried...but I was thoroguly disappointed too! I agree with her, the training + technique is very important...it is important that the lady asks you how you find the massage and improve it...according to the customer's requirements...

Posted by: Hilda on 13 May ' 10 at 11:31

I must say that I love the massages at Aroushi Beauty Salon on Al Wasl Road. There are two ladies who do this, and both are good. i usually have a Thai/ Swedish combo done for around Dhs 230. Admittedly, the decor is not out of the world, but definitely relaxing and they play the music you want. Always dependable, and much better than ones I've had in many five star hotels.

Also, I do not think the staff at Feet First are any good. I've tried them twice at differnt locations and they've not failed to disappoint.

Generally speaking, spa owners need to really understand the importance of proper training. If your staff have the right technique and manner, the rest will follow. Small tweaks can hugely change your service. Like using warm oil or lotion, having a nice bowl of flowers to look down into when you're lying on your belly, the right kind of music, dimmed lights, wiping the soles of your feet first..the list is endless. But surprisingly most 'regular' spas fail to identify these opportunuties for improvement, and that's what separates the great from the mediocre.

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