Need a pick-me-up? Find the city's most popular treatments
The Middle East has long had an obsession with grooming, from the men’s well-cultivated beards to the artfully shaped eyebrows of the region’s women. Add to that the city’s penchant for luxury and it’s no wonder Dubai has become something of a ‘spa town’ in recent years, housing more than 100 pampering spots. With the masses flooding back to Dubai now that the summer holidays and Ramadan are over, September is set to be a busy month for the city’s therapists.
With this in mind, we contacted spas across town and persuaded them to divulge their most commonly booked treatments of 2011 so far, and now we can reveal the top 20.
Unsurprisingly, massages turned out to be the city’s favourite treatment, closely followed by ritual packages, then facials. Read on to find out what your neighbours have been treating themselves to, and find inspiration for your next spa session (all are unisex unless otherwise stated).
Massages Amara Spa Most popular treatment: Amara massage
Why? This deep massage uses the spa’s signature oil, a blend of frankincense, amber and sandalwood, to soften and soothe.
They say: ‘This treatment combines different techniques to focus on the guest’s areas of concern. It’s the epitome of relaxation and healing.’ Joao Pedro De Freitas Silva, 25, Portuguese, spa therapist. Dhs460 for 60 minutes, Dhs640 for 90 minutes. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1234).
Armani Spa Most popular treatment: 50-minute Classic Collection massage
Why? Armani’s oil of jasmine is used alongside warmed aromatic silk eye pillows and herbal compresses. The slow technique delivers a deep, relaxing massage.
They say: ‘50 minutes is the perfect treatment time for people who work a lot and don’t have much free time, but still want to relax when they finish work.’ Joanna Collins, 24, British, senior spa therapist. Dhs490 for 50 minutes. Armani Hotel, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3888).
Retreat Spa Most popular treatment: Sea Holistic massage
Why? This therapy starts with the application of self-heating mud for toxin elimination, followed by a massage of long, flowing strokes for complete relaxation.
They say: ‘The mud is great for detoxifying and helps reduce tension. It creates a bubbling feeling and the results can be felt immediately.’ Winadi Ni Nyoman, 30, Indonesian, spa therapist. Dhs410 for 60 minutes. Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 8888).
Why? Using long strokes and a combination of patchouli and vanilla oil, this massage helps relieve stress and improve circulation.
They say: ‘This treatment is mainly requested by in-house guests, many of whom are frequent travellers. It helps them relax, relieve stress and revive energy.’ Ni Putu Yus, 21, Indonesian, spa therapist. Dhs325 for 60 minutes. Pullman Dubai, Mall of the Emirates (04 377 2000).
Why? This deep-tissue treatment helps stimulate circulation and is designed to help you relax and unwind while also working out muscle kinks.
They say: ‘Our clients like that we consult their concerns before starting the treatment, and they can choose which aromatherapy oil they want.’ Ammy, 27, Thai, spa therapist. Dhs310 for 60 minutes. Various locations including Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills (04 417 9820).
Why? A medium-pressure massage using essential oils and special techniques such as friction (rubbing the muscle against the bone using the thumbs). It’s also one of the most reasonably priced treatments on our list.
They say: ‘The Swedish massage is a light- to medium-pressure full-body massage that’s suitable any time for anyone.’ Saman Kumara, 30, Sri Lankan, spa therapist. Dhs200 for 60 minutes. Radisson Blu, Dubai Media City (04 366 9111).
Why? Warm roasted leaf bags and ayurvedic oils are used to relieve muscle stiffness and strengthen the spine. The massage also claims to enhance circulation and expel toxins.
They say: ‘This is our most popular treatment among male guests, as it helps muscles, aches and stress.’ Mohammed Aslam, 26, Indian, senior ayurveda therapist. Dhs750 for 75 minutes. Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates (04 341 0000).
SpaDunya Most popular treatment: Harmonising colour massage
Why? This uses Altearah Bio organic aromatherapy oils to improve your mood, relieve stressed muscles and generally soothe.
They say: ‘We use the colours your body needs, thus it is tailored to the client’s requirements.’ Nok, 41, Thai, senior therapist. Dhs396 for 60 minutes; Dhs580 for 90 minutes. Ladies only. Shams 1, Jumeirah Beach Residence (04 439 3669).
Talise Spa Most popular treatment: Talise signature massage
Why? Using medicated oils, this treatment takes techniques from the world’s best massages and focuses on pressure points.
They say: ‘It reduces stress and relieves aches, both common among business travellers.’ Nelsa Summayo, 31, Filipino, spa therapist. Dhs385 for 55 minutes. Jumeirah Emirates Towers (04 319 8181).
Why? Techniques such as gentle stretching, acupressure and aromatherapy stimulate the flow of blood, oxygen and Qi energy.
They say: ‘It’s relaxing but firm. Guests who book this treatment are looking for an authentic, traditional experience, and a lot of our therapists come from Bali.’ Are Lembari, 28, Indonesian, spa therapist. Dhs450 for 55 minutes. The Address Dubai Mall (04 438 8025).
Why? A heated compress relaxes the back muscles, then aromatherapy relaxes tired muscles and reinvigorates the body and mind.
They say: ‘This is one of our signature treatments, and therapists are able to adjust the massage to suit guests’ needs.’ Nadine Morel, 22, South African, spa therapist. Dhs420 for 55 minutes; Dhs525 for 85 minutes. The Westin Dubai Beach Resort & Spa (04 511 7901).
Why? A fruit enzyme peel with a hot paprika mask is used to get rid of dead cells. A deep hydrating machine then hydrates the skin, and a herbal calming mask closes pores.
They say: ‘This has a long-lasting renewing effect, and our beauticians remove blackheads and whiteheads by hand.’ Lilla Homorodi, 27, Hungarian, leading beautician. Dhs795 for 120 minutes. Ladies only. Jumeirah (04 349 4942).
Saray Spa Most popular treatment: Milk and honey immersion facial
Why? The skin is gently exfoliated using oatmeal and black seed oil, followed by a warm massage of milk, honey and rose oil for relaxation and serenity.
They say: ‘This is popular with both men and women as it is suitable for all skin types, improves skin texture and removes dead cells.’ Rhey Julio, 29, Filipino, spa therapist. Dhs400 for 90 minutes. Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites (04 319 4630).
Why? An ultra-moisturising treatment for plumped skin and a radiant complexion, starting with a 15-minute back massage.
They say: ‘It’s relaxing and includes a massage with warm boluses containing Gigartina, famous for its hydrating properties.’ Nadia Kokoshkova-Mansour, Bulgarian, spa assistant manager. Dhs420 for 60 minutes; Dhs550 for 90 minutes. The Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, JBR (04 318 2406).
Packages & rituals Al Asalla Spa Most popular treatment: Moroccan hammam
Why? A deep cleanse using Moroccan black soap, followed by exfoliation with a traditional kassa. Different body and face masks can be combined with a massage.
They say: ‘This is a no-nonsense scrub done the traditional Moroccan way.’ Nadia Agouzal, 36, Moroccan, hammam therapist. From Dhs280; length of treatments vary. Ladies only. Dubai Ladies Club (04 344 9445).
Why? A full-body massage is followed by exfoliation using special ingredients. Complete the ritual by soaking in a bath filled with scented oil and red roses.
They say: ‘It’s a unique treatment that’s popular in Indonesia, where the royal family use it as a pre-wedding ritual.’ Kartika Ni Wayan, 30, Indonesian, spa coach. Dhs710 for 120 minutes. Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 7700).
Why? Body brushing and exfoliation is followed by a massage using essential oils and warmed stones, plus gentle stretching to bring body and mind into balance.
They say: ‘This all-encompassing treatment addresses the needs of blood and lymph circulation. It’s ideal for men and women.’ Trish, 25, South African, senior therapist. Dhs850 for 120 minutes. One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Road (04 399 9999).
Raffles Spa Most popular treatment: Arabian Ceremony treatment
Why? Guests are cleansed using black eucalyptus soap, followed by several steams and an invigorating exfoliation. A hydrating rassoul mud mask is then applied to the body, followed by a massage.
They say: ‘It’s a real treat for your body. Your skin becomes soft as we remove toxins.’ Wayan Wirati, 24, Indonesian, spa therapist. Dhs879 for 120 minutes. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).
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Asima Nahlah Jan 14, 2015 07:00 am
Spas are indubitably one of the most surprsing treats. I love to visit as much as I can assure to get pampered. However my latest spot had been Mind and Sense at DIFC. Loved their affordable services. Highly recomeded I must say esp if you are residing near DIFC.
Donna Yates Oct 21, 2011 11:54 am
In one of your previous issues, one of your employees tried and tested a procedure that involved tinting and reshaping of eyebrows where she could choose the desired shape. Can you please tell me the name of the place?
Danny Sep 06, 2011 04:55 am
Thanks for updating regarding spa's services in Dubai I visited some of the spas suggested by you but I always worried about one thing in some of the spas the massager are ladies I am not sure whether this is allowed in Dubai or not. Can you confirm that massage by ladies is allowed in Dubai.
It will hep us in relaxing while in Spas.