Henna tattooing in Dubai

Traditional henna tattooing has long proved popular in India and the Middle East. Comments

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If you’ve ever fancied the thought of your body as a canvas, but haven’t the money, endurance or commitment to go under the needle, a henna tattoo could be the solution. An ancient practice in India and the Middle East, the trend has recently spread as far as the fingertips and toes of Hollywood celebrities hoping to work a little Eastern mystique into their look – Madonna, Rihanna and Jessica Simpson have all been photographed showing off their statement swirls and patterns. And despite the henna tradition being largely one for the ladies, Aussie boxing champ Michael Katsidis made the ultimate statement of masculinity by rocking a huge henna sun on his back. We guess this is the body-art equivalent of wearing a pink shirt – you have to be a real man to pull it off.

Standard tattooing is forbidden under Islamic law because it permanently alters the body. However, henna is not inserted under the skin in the same way as conventional tattoo ink, and does not harm or alter the body, meaning the technique is permitted among Muslims. According to scholars, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is even said to have used henna to dye his beard and is believed to have been a fan of the leaf for medicinal purposes, too.

In more recent times, it has become a popular and stylish way for Middle Eastern women wearing abayas to decorate their hands and feet, particularly for weddings. Indian henna designs are generally the most intricate: the lacy, dense patterns cover the entire hand, as well as arms and feet. Block colours are sometimes used too, particularly on the fingertips. In contrast, Arab designs are simpler, often comprising flowers and leaves. Those searching for edgier designs can look to Africa for bold geometric patterns, or Egyptian styles, which often feature fire dragons, pythons and lions. The most fashionable styles right now are extensive henna tattoos that sprawl right across the back, dipping down over the shoulder and curving around the waist. These alluring designs are particularly popular with brides.

Yet even these more extensive tattoos only take about an hour to create. Henna comes in various shades of reddish-brown, applied using a paste made of henna powder and water through a cone that looks
a lot like something a chef would use to pipe icing onto a cake. Advice for henna newbies: if you’re having a tattoo on your feet, make sure you wear flip flops when leaving the salon to avoid smudging your new design, and try not to get the area wet (this includes sweating) for a few hours afterwards, or you’ll end up with a sludgy green mess. You have been warned.

By Helen Elfer
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: siba on 17 Dec ' 11 at 09:34

hi,
kindly advice where i can have a henna tatoo in jumeirah lake towers area dubainthank you

Posted by: saima on 13 Oct ' 10 at 16:19

very very nice beautiful design..i like also ,,arabic designs

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