There’s no question that recently opened SpaDunya has one of the most original spa concepts in Dubai. It offers all the classic spa treatments, but customises each one using the client’s colour preferences. Haircuts, facials, massages and healing baths are all determined by which hues a customer feels drawn to. Naturally, when presented with the opportunity of trying out SpaDunya’s colour harmonising massage, I couldn’t resist. Oddly, though, as I approached the spa in a taxi, I found myself suffering from a kind of colour anxiety. What if I didn’t pick the right colour? What if I was unduly influenced by my cabbie’s scarf? I tried to really feel what colour I was drawn to, but it was tricky. In my head I wafted through a rainbow, and was having difficulty choosing what shade reigned supreme.
Upon arrival I met with Maneerat Piachor, who explained that as colours have different wavelengths they also have different energies, and what you’re drawn to represents what you’re craving. She showed me a colour palette, and asked me to pick four. I settled on blue, pink, royal purple and indigo.
The first colour seemed to represent what I craved immediately. Blue, apparently, is the colour of tranquillity, achieved best, I was told, through communication. Piachor glanced at my black dress in disapproval.
‘You’ll feel better if you wear blue,’ she told me. ‘It will make you feel more at peace.’ She sprayed my hand with an essential oil that represented blue and told me to keep inhaling. Pink, she said, represented more of a grand desire, a deeper need, which apparently was unconditional love, but not for another person, so much as for me. It sounded infuriatingly vague. She spritzed my palms with the pink scent – a sickly rose smell that mingled oddly with the blue. The third colour, the deep purple, would tell me what I needed to do to achieve the profound pink love I so obviously craved. Deep purple was a family colour. It represented a returning to my inner child, the joys of youth and the closeness of my family. The corresponding smell, also poured on my palm, was of cinnamon. It was an intense scent that I felt roll down my throat and into my belly.
‘What does the smell remind you of?’ she asked. I thought. Well, it’s cinnamon, so… apple pie? Which reminds me of baking with my father. She gave me that world-weary look of hers. Apparently I needed to rebuild my familial roots – perhaps do a family tree. Doing so would make me capable of this profound love I was craving. I could easily picture the person this described. I could write her into a story: a woman desperate for her parents’ approval, perhaps, and, never getting it, drifting through life desperately searching every corner for a love that would never be fulfilled. I felt sorry for this girl, but she didn’t sound like me. I’m close to my family, and they’ve always been encouraging and supportive. She eyed me sadly.
‘Smell this,’ she said, spraying me with a yellow-themed perfume. ‘What do you think?’ I didn’t think much of anything. There were so many smells fighting and cloying for my attention that I was starting to feel overwhelmed. ‘It represents joy, which I don’t think you have much of in your life.’ I started to feel defensive.
‘But I do feel joy,’ I assured her. She watched me carefully, then sprayed me with indigo.
‘Indigo is clarity, it’s a very spiritual colour.’ The accompanying oil was clarifying all right – it smelled exactly like Vicks Vaporub.
The oils associated with each colour were to be incorporated into my 60-minute massage and in this way it would be relaxing and would balance me. While I can’t say I was really convinced by my colour consultation, I will say that the massage was amazing, and the spa set up as whole well thought out and overall, deeply soothing. The spa’s theme strikes me as somewhat gimmicky, which I guess is understandable. I imagine it must be difficult for a new spa to stand out in a city so ripe with them. If it takes a gimmick to pull in customers, so be it – the massage alone is worth it.
SpaDunya, Jumeirah Beach Residence, The Walk, Shams one (04 439 3669). Open Sat-Thu 8am-8pm, Fri 3pm-8pm. Dhs390 for 60-minute colour harmonising massage.