Best manicures in Dubai

Want perfect nails? Here’s our pick of the best spots for buffing, filing and painting 26 Comments

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N.Bar
Best for:
Professionalism
Ambience: A quiet and intimate space (think white and chrome with flashes of pink).
Colour choice: Essie’s latest, including light greens, lilacs and peaches (we went for ‘Tart Deco’, an intense orange shade).
Entertainment: The Corrs played quietly in the background and there were a few magazines: bring a friend to keep you occupied.
Speed: Despite having two therapists attending to us, we were in the chair for just over an hour – this is a thorough treatment.
Service: It seems to depends on your beauticians, but ours were very helpful.
Extras: We were treated to a thorough foot scrub and painless cuticle cutting. If you’re offered hand cream, say yes – its application comes with a hand and foot massage.
Results: Picture-perfect straight from the salon, but we had chips by day two despite avoiding doing the dishes.
Rating: 4/5
Dhs140 for a mani/pedi. Various locations: we tried the Emirates Towers branch (04 330 1001).

Tips & Toes
Best for: Relaxation
Ambience: Plush and soothing, with dark woods, rich colours and wide cushioned reclining chairs.
Colour choice: We were offered 12 shades of Essie and Orly polishes, including lots of pinks and nudes (very on-trend). We opted for a soft orange.
Entertainment: There’s a small supply of magazines at the door, but we chose to recline and close our eyes.
Speed: The pedicure was far speedier than the manicure. The manicurist took her time over each and every nail: great for an hour of pampering, not so good for a quick in-and-out.
Service: Thorough, friendly staff, although they’re not too chatty (ideal if you’re not into small talk).
Extras: A gentle scrub, massage and cuticle cutting are all part of the deal.
Results: Very neat application, although we discovered a random blob of varnish halfway up our hand. The polish lasted five days with no chips.
Rating: 4/5
Dhs110 for a mani/pedi. Various locations: we tried the Jumeirah Beach Residence branch (04 429 3477).

NStyle
Ambience: The decor is bright and white – slick and professional.
Colour choice: We chose a French pedicure and classic manicure in traditional neutral shades. The green ‘Mint Candy Apple’ (from Essie’s new collection) was the oddest hue on offer.
Entertainment: Friends and Seinfeld episodes on tap, our own set of headphones, a cup of tea and the latest gossip mags. Unbeatable!
Speed: Our mani and pedi, plus extras such as eyebrow threading and a foot mask, took just over an hour.
Service: Excellent. We were given advice about choosing a colour, and the technician offered drinks and asked if we wanted our cuticles cut.
Extras: The standard mani and pedi came with a hand and foot massage: the hand treatment was so thorough we were asked to remove our wedding ring.
Results: The colour chosen for us was gorgeous, although the French tip was too thick and chipped less than an hour after we got home (we should have been advised to spend more time under the dryer).
Rating: 3/5
Dhs140 for a standard mani/pedi; Dhs160 with a French pedicure. Various locations: we tried the Mirdif City Centre branch (04 284 3722).

Nail Express
Best for: Entertainment
Ambience: The feminine yet sophisticated silver and purple colour scheme was rounded off with plush silver armchairs.
Colour choice: Lots of bright fluorescents to suit summer.
Entertainment: You get a personal DVD player with a selection of girly classics – Desperate Housewives and the like. There’s also free water and drinks (good for well-hydrated nails!).
Speed: No wonder it’s called Nail Express: we were in and out within an hour. The fact there were two therapists helped.
Service: Friendly without being intrusive. However, the manicurist wasn’t gentle.
Extras: Our feet got two thorough scrubbings during the treatment (not a reflection on the state of our feet, we hasten to add). We also had our hands and forearms moisturised and massaged.
Results: The quality of both manicure and pedicure were excellent, but the manicurist took to us with the file so vigorously that we ended up with several tiny cuts on our fingers. They still hurt!
Rating: 3/5
Dhs135. Garhoud, opposite Welcare Hospital (04 283 3828).

The Nail Spa
Ambience: Efficient but clinical. The lighting is bright and it’s clean, although a bit frayed around the edges.
Colour choice: A wide selection care of Essie: there are a handful of fluorescents on offer, but the rest of the range is fairly conservative.
Entertainment: There’s a decent magazine selection (mainly gossip mags) and a television on mute.
Speed: Even though we had an appointment, there was a long wait before we was seen by a technician (we’d read most of Ahlan! before one showed up). Overall, the process took just over an hour.
Service: Friendly and efficient. The therapists weren’t hugely chatty, but were sweet regardless.
Extras: The foot therapist shaved, scrubbed and massaged our heels, while our hands were given a massage with divine-smelling lotion.
Results: Our nails looked great at first, although the daily grind of typing and walking started to wear away at the paint the following day.
Rating: 3/5
Dhs140 for a mani/pedi. Various locations: we tried Aviation Club, Garhoud (04 282 1617).

Spaces
Ambience: Spaces is quirky-cool, but the interrogation lamps directly over the mani/pedi chairs were headache-inducing.
Colour choice: There were three brands on offer – Creative Nail Design, Essie and OPI – with plenty of blues and shimmers and a great selection of classics (we went for CND’s ‘Tutu Pink’). We’d have liked to see more brights, though.
Entertainment: As we sat down we were delighted to see a personalised TV screen right in front of us, but alas, to actually watch anything you have to bring your own USB stick.
Speed: The mani was thorough and only took 45 minutes (our therapist, Jen, had a hefty eight years’ experience under her belt), but the salon was overbooked so we had to wait 45 minutes for the pedicure to start.
Service: Very friendly and not cloying
Extras: Spaces offers a cool range of foot soaks and scrubs (for extra cost), but we stuck to the basics and were very impressed with the execution.
Results: By day three, there were no chips and our feet still felt smooth.
Rating: 3/5
Dhs120 for a basic mani/pedi. Various locations: we tried Oasis Centre (04 515 4400).

Nails at Home
Ambience: This manicure took place in our own apartment (yes, the therapists come to you!) so the decor was obviously homely yet frighteningly chic.
Colour choice: We were offered a case-full of shades, from neutral to orange (which seems to be the company’s signature colour).
Entertainment: That was up to us – we wish we’d turned the radio on.
Speed: With a pair of technicians to attend to us, our fingernails took 40 minutes, our toes slightly longer (the brochure says 60 minutes).
Service: Friendly, efficient and tidy. They didn’t leave a trace.
Extras: We got an arm and leg massage and full scrub – our feet were super-soft afterwards. They also asked politely before cutting cuticles.
Results: Perfection! No chips, even by day four – they seemed to apply an extra layer of polish to finish and set the colour. The best mani-pedi we’ve ever had.
Rating: 5/5
Dhs150 for a mani/pedi in your home. (04 282 8385, www.nailsathome.ae).

By Nyree Barrett
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: nour on 31 Dec ' 13 at 07:40

I made an appointment with Nails At Home for my sisters birthday and basically paid for nothing. The manicure that they for her did in the evening had completely peeled off one hand by the next morning. It did not even just chip like regular polish but came off her nails in whole pieces one by one. When I called Nails at Home to ask that some one come and fix it, they said that they would have to charge me again for a manicure (75 Dhs) or for polish (45 Dhs) even though it peeled off in a mere few hours. I wouldn't recommend this service to anyone.

Posted by: Fiona on 28 Apr ' 13 at 09:30

I totally second Alice! Nail Point is not expensive and super professional! Ok there are many maybe fancier and bigger places in the area, but it depends on what u r looking for. I just want a good service, and they deliver.

Posted by: Alice on 10 Apr ' 13 at 09:20

I returned to Nail Point in Dubai marina after they have changed the management, and I must say this place is just great. Service and quality at their best. Plus, is an all round salon so you can do also your other treatment all in one go. And plus, they also come home on demand. One of the best places I have tried so far.

Posted by: Linda on 27 Aug ' 11 at 19:57

Give 'The Cure' @ DMC a try - impeccable service, brilliant ambience and value for money..you couldnt possibly ask for more!!

Posted by: fiona smith on 08 Jun ' 11 at 00:19

NStyle Nail Lounge by far offers the best service. With over 9 locations across Dubai and perfectly located across the cities key shopping malls and in JBR and DIFC, it is great to pop in to any of there locations and receive a great service. Simply the best!

Posted by: Lama on 14 Feb ' 11 at 05:08

I regularly visit the Sera Beauty Lounge in Media city and I love the service provided to me. I regularly visit the fitness first and hop down to the salon. Their nails, hair and massage is all super!!! Completely rejuvinated after I'm done

Posted by: Jan on 03 Jul ' 10 at 06:00

Along with my friend and two children, I had my first experience of Spaces in Oasis Mall yesterday. Suffice to say I will never go back and would certainly never recommend their service to anyone. Unlike typical establishments in Dubai, only one Technician attended to each of us, thereby immediately making me think the experience would take double the normal time. Having completed a less than impressive manicure, my Technician asked me if I was also "booked in for a pedicure"; I said yes, and she disappeared without a word. After waiting for 20 minutes I removed the 'shelf' which was placed over my chair for the purpose of executing the manicure (smudging 2 nails in the process) andwent to reception (where disappearing Technician was sitting chatting to some colleagues) to ask what was happening, politely explaining that we had a lunch appointment and were now running late. I was told to go back to my chair and someone would come and do my pedicure - after waiting (impatiently) for another 10 minutes I returned to reception, where 3 techncians continued to stare at the PC screen, totally ignorning my presence, until I asked them "how long they intended to ignore me for" - "the problem is Madam, the receptionist has not turned up and we don't know how to use the software system and we are technicians who have appointments". Eventually the (very pleasant) Technician who had completed a kids mani-pedi for my daughter agreed to do a 'short-cut' version of a pedicure; she did this (badly) and then as she was helping me into my shoes, managed to drop a damp towel over one foot, causing all nails to smudge and require repolish!! My friend had a similar experience in reverse, as she had the 'short-cut' manicure coupled with an un-necessarily lengthy pedicure, which failed to include the exfoliating process (which other customers were receiving). The children were left 'trapped' in their seats by the manicure shelf over their chair and the damp towels, tissues etc, left at the work station around them. The service started as badly as it ended with another 10 minutes at reception while the technicians pondered the wonders of the computer system, trying to find a way to to calculate our bill and take our money; they never did, instead we gave them the cash and left without a receipt. No apology, no discount for incomplete service and no way we're ever going back!!

Posted by: Larysa on 07 Jun ' 10 at 18:08

I go only to Nail Moda at Wafi. The best service, super massage equipped chairs, always new movies to watch, the girls are so nice and caring, each month they have great offers. For quality above other nail bars they charge competitive prices. Being a client of Nbar, Nstyle, Nail Spa, I am so happy to find about Nail Moda. Now I am their client for 2 years. Really recommend to try. You will be addicted.

Posted by: Jacqui on 05 Jun ' 10 at 10:12

I find ALL the nail salons in Dubai POOR, perhaps Nail Spa is all I can say that us decent. I am spoilt from the nail services in Abu Dhabi, e.g Nails who are very professional, offers services like french manicure using brush, and perfect tips and polish! Also the smell is great with a vapouriser going all day long!

Posted by: Farrah on 01 Jun ' 10 at 05:32

N Style Lounge is absolutely horrible. For such a nice atmosphere, they hardly have any staff. I recently went to the the DIFC branch and was so bored cause they took so long to do my mani/pedi - One person to do the hands and when theyre done, work on the feet.
Now in Dubai -its soo hard to find a decent place that gives excellent service - imagine paying extra to have them use a foot scrub?
I used to luv the Honeymoon salon in Satwa - But parking / traffic made me switch to the ones in malls.
Word of advice - dont do ur eyebrows at N Style Lounge either - Save the AED 40 for something better

Posted by: Amanda on 28 May ' 10 at 08:27

Last time I went to The Nail Spa in Dubai Mall I was told by the therapist that I look ugly wearing hijab (after seeing my ID picture without my headscarf). She also asked me how much did I earn as a cabin crew, and if I could help her with the interview.What else can I say??

Posted by: siham on 26 May ' 10 at 06:11

hi

i had a very bad experience in spaces Oasis Center. the trepasist was unprofessional, she didn't seem to know what to do, the lady in the reception was actually kept me waiting for 75mins. after still waiting all this time, i didn't get my pedicure completed, its was like half done. it was so ugly.i had to drive to dubai mall Nspa who actually done my nails perfectly.

Spaces actually charged me for incomplete pedicure, can you belive it.

regards

siham

Posted by: Emirati on 22 May ' 10 at 16:21

Try Gloss at Mirdif and Comfort Beauty (in house service)

Posted by: Ava on 19 May ' 10 at 13:27

I think Hilda has made a good point on salon staff that essentially 'serve themselves not the customer.' The sort of service Hilda describes is rife across Dubai where therapists give you the eye and then comment on you. I find this happens at MAH in DIFC.

Posted by: RACHEL ROBSON on 19 May ' 10 at 08:29

In my experience with getting my nails done, I find the Nail Spa in Dubai Mall to be good & professional & more importantly hygienic. Tthe nail polish seems to last quite long. On making the appointment the receptionist takes the trouble to ask if I prefer a particular technician. I have also tried the N Style Nail lounge in the same mall & was very disappointed.I would say their service is rubbish inspite of their fancy interiors & will never go back there. Right from the time I made my appointment, the receptionist was in a hurry to put the phone down & the nail polish application was not professional. The lady attending was in a hurry to finish & rush off for the next appointment. Inspite of me making an appointment for threading as well, they inform me that no one was available at the time.

Posted by: Sana on 18 May ' 10 at 17:19

I feel that The Nail Spa has proved itself to on the top of all the manicures as compared with the other spas. I have experienced from almost all the major salons and The Nail Spa is the STAR!!!!! I will not agree The Nail Spa to be rated as above as its the PERFECT and the number ONE!!!!!

Posted by: Lama Farekh on 18 May ' 10 at 09:27

I have an issue with your rating scheme you gave Nstyle a 3 yet the description of your experience was far superior on aspects of speed, comfort, quality of service and add on services to that Nbar and Tips and Toes to whom you gave a higher rating. Having said that i believe Nstyle on all counts is superior to both and their service is consistent across all their branches.

Posted by: Sue Williams on 18 May ' 10 at 08:03

I would always go to Reflections beauty salon on Al Wasl Road for my hair and beauty. The girls there are so friendly and efficient - the chairs are relaxing and the whole place is welcoming so much so that you feel part of the family in the nicest possible way. Tina who runs the salon and is a fabulous hairdresser and colourist always makes having your hair done a relaxing and enjoyable experience. I have now left Dubai and I realise even more what I am missing for hair, maincures and pedicures. Thank you Tina and all the lovely girls there for such superb treatment and relaxation that I enjoyed there.

Posted by: Holly O'Sullivan Jones on 18 May ' 10 at 07:38

I can't belive 'The Cure' (based in the BBC world building by Knowledge Village) isn't on here! By far they are the best all round. The staff are extremely professional and friendly. The ladies there create a lovely intimate experience. The ambience is fabulous and the quality of the treatments, they are all completed to perfection. All this and they have competitive prices!

Posted by: Linda Hopwood on 18 May ' 10 at 06:23

You have missed Queen Bee.. which i would rate PERFECT all the time. just likes nails at home, Queen bee is offered at home but with more friendly staff... i luv them

Posted by: Noody on 16 May ' 10 at 12:38

I completely agree with Hilda. I dont feel comfortable at the N bar, specifically the Palm Strip mall branch. All of the reasons she mentioned are very true, and i have seen them happen eveytime i go to get my monthly manicure/pedicure.

Out of all the nail places i prefer Nail Spa, it feels professional and the therapists know what theyre doing. Also, management seems to be watching the day to day activities at the salon, therefore the therapists perform to their best.

Posted by: anne on 15 May ' 10 at 06:31

In my 6 years in Dubai, I have tried all of the major nail salons, and I always end up going back to the N Bar at the Emirates Towers. I don't mind if the girls speak their language, denying them that right would be unthinkable! They are always nice, professional, and what's more important, my nails, hand and feet always look perfect after a visit to them. For me, nothing beats the good old N Bar!

Posted by: anita on 14 May ' 10 at 15:36

Try the Nail Spa @ the Ibn Battuta branch....simply,the best.

Alwayz ask for Beth for a pedicure,she'a amazing & doesn't need to be told to do anything,'coz she pays so much attention to your feet!

To top it,subscribe for the loyalty card(for free),collect points on every visit,which can later be redeemed for a free treatment worth 120 bucks(i think that happens when u have 1400 pts).

Posted by: angela robinson on 13 May ' 10 at 11:29

I went to lilly pond in old town burj dubai today for a polish change after having a mani/pedi last thurs and guess what they forgot to book me in and was busy. very poor service.

Posted by: Bhawna Sehra on 13 May ' 10 at 11:22

Thanks for presenting this collection. ''Nails at Home'' sounds like a great option. I know that several of the above salons also offer home service but it usually comes with an extra service charge which topples the budget. But, NAH is competitive on rates and service. Great!

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

I am very surprised and sorry that you have said N bar is 'professional'! Far from it, though perhaps that’s because you reviewed only the one at the newly opened Mirdif City Centre.
I used to be a regular at the Palm Strip Mall branch (as it’s just next to work), going there 3-4 times a month. However, that didn’t endear me in any way at all to the ladies there, especially the ones at the front desk. They come across as arrogant, and are often rude and do not pay attention to you. And they never inform you of the ongoing promotions.
Unlike the Nail Spa, there is really no one to oversee the business, and you get a strong feeling of mice being at play. The women sit around in a group, chat and eye everyone walking in. This last bit is especially discomfiting, and happens every time: they look you up and down, and then quite obviously comment on you in their native tongue. (I have been informed by one of their staff that the management has specifically instructed staff not to talk in their native tongue while on duty. That certainly is not the case.)
The treatments themselves depend on the therapists. They are usually alright, and chat and laugh with you, but should you happen to smudge a nail, their faces immediately crumple in obvious irritation. A manicure and pedicure takes around 45 minutes together. (I have found Tips and Toes to be much more thorough and efficient. They take around 60-75 minutes and are cheaper.) I would gladly pay for great service. After all, every woman knows a salon visit is all about feeling special. But Dhs 140 for mani-pedi is way too much for the shoddy service and poorly-trained staff at the N bar.
The Ibn Battuta branch is no better, I’m afraid. I’ve once had one eyebrow threaded to noodle-width hours before I was to go out for my birthday dinner, no less! Suffice to say, I left in tears and never went back.

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