For... Masochistic, wannabe bronzed beach gods.
What to expect: ‘Will this hurt?’ I ask. ‘Yes it will, sir,’ my technician replies. And with that, an agony surely only equivalent to childbirth begins. It’s a short, sharp pain, but repeated a hundred times so there
is little respite.
The result: The therapist talcs and moisturises along the way, dabbing up specks of blood as she goes, but you’re going to be sore afterwards (not to mention pink and blotchy).
Is it worth it? Shaving is far easier. With waxing, you’ll only stay smooth for about a week, at which point the very itchy regrowth starts. We now respect women all the more – they do this stuff all the time.
Try in Dubai: H20 The Male Spa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers (04 319 8181). Dhs195 for 60 minutes
Wet shave and a haircut
For... Dapper Dans after a quick grooming fix.
What to expect: On the hair front, our barber succeeds where many have failed, and the shave includes a soothing face mask and energetic head and back massage.
The result: With a flash of the eyes, our barber promises his customer a ‘fresh head’, then works his magic quickly and (here’s the key) silently – just the way we men like it.
Is it worth it? In a word, yes. Time Out has a fresh head indeed.
Try in Dubai: Man/Age Spa, The Walk, JBR (04 435 5780). Dhs80 for a haircut, Dhs50 for a shave
Manicure and pedicure
For... Shaking lots of hands while wearing sandals.
What to expect: No man ought to know what a manicure or pedicure involves – next thing you know, you’ll be admitting to ownership of Kenny G’s back-catalogue.
The result: Having clipped, cleaned and trimmed our cuticles, the therapist then moves on to rubbing the knackered skin off our feet with a pumice stone. Meanwhile, we wrestle with the TV remote control, unsure what else to do with our spare hand.
Is it worth it? It must be said that the experience is long and tedious (though these fingers do look awful dainty).
Try in Dubai: 1847, Grosvenor House (04 399 8989). Dhs150
For... Sorting out those troublesome post-workout aches.
What to expect: Our masseuse looks meek enough, but looks can be deceiving. She soon gets to work pummelling our pasty body like a chef tenderising a particularly stubborn beef fillet.
The result: We wimp out and opt for medium strength; anything stronger and our previously inaudible screams would have shaken the gold leaf off the ceiling. We can’t argue with the results, though: after an hour of vigorous beating, we feel reborn.
Is it worth it? ‘Stick a fork in me, I’m done.’
Try in Dubai: California Chiropractic and Sports Medicine, Al Razi building, Block A, Dubai Healthcare City (04 429 8292). Dhs400 for 60 minutes
For... As intense a facial as you’re likely to find in Dubai.
What to expect: The Kaya advanced facial is more about results than relaxation. It begins with a dose of microdermabrasion, which feels rather like having your face lightly sandpapered. This is followed by
a facial massage and a rather brutal blackhead scraping before the mask goes on. No wonder they advise you not to do this more than once a month.
The result: We look a bit blotchy afterwards, but nothing too drastic. However, you’re advised to moisturise frequently, not to wash in warm water for the next 12 hours and to stay out of the sun afterwards.
Is it worth it? It’s not fun, but it gets the job done. Just look at the delight on the therapist’s face as he shows you what he scraped out of your skin.