For a spa that delivers
This beauty home delivery service offers the whole caboodle – full body massages, reflexology, facials, waxing, and mani-pedis. Book online or by phone and the therapist will bring everything she (and you) will need, including scented candles, spa music and gossip mags. For those who can’t bear to leave their Blackberry in a locker, a hot stone massage to promote relaxation and open up energy pathways is just the ticket. Feeling de-knotted and delightful, we went the whole hog and added a wonderful mani-pedi, but, push it too far, and humdrum home life soon intrudes. Chez Toi is great for a quick beauty blast, but make sure you can banish the family/housemates/dog for a full morning.
Chez Toi (04 339 7117, www.cheztoibeauty.com). Covers all areas within Dubai. Open Sat-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri 11am-9pm. Massages from Dhs100, waxes from Dhs15, body treatments from Dhs350
For lunch hour facials
Receiving an express treatment in the Dermalogica shop, where all that separates you and your therapist from the other customers is a beaded curtain, is a curious experience. The usual spa soundtrack – plinky plonky music, bird song – is replaced by screaming children. But on the other, treatments relax you so well that returning to the office when lunch hour is over proves even more painful than usual. Of Dermalogica’s various 20-minute fixes for skin, we recommend their flash exfoliation. A cloud of steam is blown in your face for a few minutes before a cocktail of vitamins and conditioners are massaged soothingly into problem areas. The result is a face that feels fresh for days afterwards.
Dermalogica (04 339 8250). The Dubai Mall, Level 1. Open Sun-Thur 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. Dhs175
Twenty minutes may not seem like much time, but it’s plenty at Shiffa Express Spa. The spa, a low-lit backroom tucked away in Sephora’s branch at The Dubai Mall, offers four 20-minute treatments, including a facial, a hand massage, a foot massage and scalp massage. The spa uses Shiffa skincare products, which left the skin feeling soft and supple (Time Out got lots of compliments on our skin after receiving a mini facial). Though the treatments cost Dhs100 each, the sum is redeemable for Shiffa products purchased at Sephora, and the spa technician gives you recommendations based on skin type. All in all, not a bad deal.
Shiffa Express Spa, Sephora (050 912 0219, 04 339 9828), The Dubai Mall, Level G. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, closed Sunday. Dhs100, redeemable for Shiffa products
For hurried hands
For a non-regular salon-goer, the number of nail technicians addressing your needs, and the sheer immediacy with which they work, may all prove a bit startling. When Time Out recently had an express mani-pedi, we were awed by the speed with which these girls scrubbed, snipped, pummelled and painted. It reminded us a bit of the scene in Wizard Of Oz where Dorothy is speed-spurced up by the Emerald City dwellers in order to meet the Wizard. However, if you only have a lunch-hour to spare, then these girls really know their stuff. You can get dolled up and pushed out the door within 30 minutes, giving you another 30 to find a pair of ruby slippers to match your nails.
NStyle (04 232 8533), Dubai Festival City. Open Sat-Fri 10am-10pm, closed Sunday. Dhs140 for express mani-pedi. Other locations: Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 368 6124), Mall of the Emirates (04 341 3300), Al Ghazal Mall (04 345 4405), DIFC (04 425 0347), Dubai Mall (04 339 8414), Dubai Marina Mall (04 434 2616), JBR (04 437 0270)
To look fly before you fly
We’ll never understand why airports make you get there so early. Once you’re through security, chances are you’ll have an hour to kill before your flight takes off. If you’ve exhausted Duty Free and are saving your book for the plane, you might as well spend that time getting spruced up. Timeless spa offers some basic express treatments (mani-pedis, facials and the like), as well as some that are longer, more luxurious. If you have a lot of time, try the 90-minute high skin refiner facial, which smoothes out fine lines and leaves you feeling fresh and relaxed. Treatments can be pricy, but then again, so can duty free.
Timeless Spa (04 505 9555), Terminal 3, Concourse 2, Dubai International Airport. Open daily 24 hours. Other locations: First Class Lounge (04 505 9333), Business Class Lounge (04 505 9111), The Harbour Hotel & Residence (04 319 4000)