Fancy some holiday body art that you won’t regret? At the airport’s XpresSpa you can decorate your skin with intricate henna in beautiful Indian and Arabic designs. The temporary dye comes from a plant and fades naturally within ten days (we’re looking at you, Magaluf 2005).
Indian henna designs are generally the most intricate: the lacy, dense patterns cover the entire hand, as well as arms and feet. In contrast, Arab designs are simpler, often comprising flowers and leaves.
Henna has been used for centuries in Middle Eastern and Asian countries, particularly for religious festivals and traditional weddings.
The treatment takes between ten and 20 minutes depending of the size of the design and is completely painless and trauma-free. And best of all, it looks completely lovely.
The convenient airport service doesn’t require any pre-booking and is perfect if you’re flying out for a special event, want to get hands-on with an ancient Middle Eastern tradition, or just want to show how cultured you are to your mates back home.
The XpresSpa’s expert henna artists use maroon-coloured dye, and small henna designs start from just Dhs125.
The Spa first started offering henna in the airport in June 2017 and has seen demand for the service continue to grow.
The trend may have started over this side of the world, but it has spread far and wide amongst those who want to work a little Eastern mystique into their look. Standard tattooing is forbidden under Islamic law, but 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.
The dye comes in the form of a paste made of henna powder and water, squeezed through a cone that looks a lot like something a baker would use to pipe icing.
A word of advice for henna newbies, though: 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 for a few hours afterwards, or you’ll end up with a sludgy green mess.
We can’t wait to get fully adorned.
From Dhs125. Open 24/7. Near Gate B21, Terminal 3, xpresspa.com (04 343 3011).