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All That Glitters in Dubai

The Oriental hammam at Givency Spa Health and Beauty Insitute helps open the mind and spirit.

Images

  • Senso Spa Photo 1

    Senso Spa Photo 1

    Guests can soak in bathing oils or get a world-class massage at Senso Spa.
    woman in flower-filled bathtub

    Photo courtesy of Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Media City

  • The Female Spa at Cleopatra's

    The Female Spa at Cleopatra's

    The Female Spa at Cleopatra's captures the wonders of Arabia, presenting them in a superbly luxurious spa experience.
    Interior of Cleopatra Spa
  • The Rasul at Cleopatra's Spa

    The Rasul at Cleopatra's Spa

    The Rasul  is Cleopatra Spa's signature service.
    rasul at Cleopatra's
  • Senso Spa's Treatment Room

    Senso Spa's Treatment Room

    Senso Spa features five treatment rooms carrying international themes, including India, China, Japan and Indonesia.
  • Softouch Spa Interior

    Softouch Spa Interior

    Softouch Spa has its roots in ayurveda, and its treatment rooms are adorned with ayurvedic touches.
    Softouch Spa interior

    Photo courtesy of Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai

  • Softouch Spa Treatment Room

    Softouch Spa Treatment Room

    Softouch Spa has its roots in ayurveda, and its treatment rooms are adorned with ayurvedic touches.
    Softouch Spa treatment room

    Photo courtesy of Kempinski Hotel Mall of Emirates, Dubai

  • The Couples Suite at RafflesAmrita

    The Couples Suite at RafflesAmrita

    The Couples Suite at RafflesAmrita Spa focuses on private luxury.
    The Couples Suite at Raffles in Dubai

    Photo courtesy of RafflesAmrita Spa, Dubai

  • RafflesAmrita Spa Exterior

    RafflesAmrita Spa Exterior

    RafflesAmrita Spa was inspired by the great pyramids of Egypt.
    RafflesAmrita Spa exterior

    Photo courtesy of RafflesAmrita Spa, Dubai

  • RafflesAmrita Relaxation Room

    RafflesAmrita Relaxation Room

    The spa's relaxation room offers peaceful serenity for guests.
    RafflesAmrita relaxation room

    Photo courtesy of RafflesAmrita Spa, Dubai

  • Plunge Pools at The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel

    Plunge Pools at The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel

    The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel features cold, hot and warm plunge pools, as well as sauna and steam.
    woman at pool
  • The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel Reception Area

    The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel Reception Area

    Asian hospitality, serenity and caring service is apparent throughout the spa.
    The Spa at the Shangri-La interior

    Photo courtesy of The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: September 25, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Dubai, one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been experiencing a boom since the development of its oil and gas reserve in the 1960s, leading to a growth of exportation in the 1970s. The massive building and expansion in Dubai, as evidenced by some of the world’s tallest and most intricately designed skyscrapers, resort complexes and even man-made islands, continues today, and there is no doubt that the city is becoming a rising star in the spa world.

Divided in half by Dubai Creek, an inlet of the Persian Gulf,1 Dubai is the main port and commercial center of the UAE, and the principal shipping, trading and communications hub of the Persian Gulf region. Originally founded as a small fishing village around the end of the 18th century, by the 20th century it had become a major port and wealthy commercial town.

Dubai has a population of 1.37 million people,2 with 85% being expatriates.3 The majority of these expats are from the Indian subcontinent and the Philippines; however, there also is a large number of professionals from Europe and Australasia.2 It is interesting to note that many native Middle Easterners migrated to Dubai because of war in their homeland, in addition to opportunities for employment. Professionals from other countries, namely Europe and Australasia, are attracted to Dubai because of its wealth of opportunity, as well. A staggering 78% of the population is said to be male and, with its population increasing at a 6% rate, it is clearly one of the fastest-growing urban areas on the globe.2

“Economical growth has stimulated extensive demographic growth,” says Daniella Russell, director of Wafi Health & Leisure Group in Dubai, which includes Cleopatra’s Spa. “Most educated and broad-minded people from all over the world started coming into Dubai with the desire to live and work here. Another strong factor influencing Dubai’s rapid development was that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are rich in oil and gas, which brings high disposable income to the residents and creates demand for luxury items and well-being experiences as the life habit. Massive volumes of tourism also contribute to our business success here.”

With projects such as The Atlantis resort and a spa on The Palm Jumeirah, which recently opened in September and was the first, and flagship, development on this artificial island created to cater to tourism, Dubai will surely continue its boom. The same holds true for its spa industry.

Growth potential