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All That Glitters in Dubai

Melinda Taschetta-Millane October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
oriental hammam in Dubai

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

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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

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Senso Spa Photo 1

woman in flower-filled bathtub

The Female Spa at Cleopatra's

Interior of Cleopatra Spa

The Rasul at Cleopatra's Spa

rasul at Cleopatra

Senso Spa's Treatment Room

Softouch Spa Interior

Softouch Spa interior

Softouch Spa Treatment Room

Softouch Spa treatment room

The Couples Suite at RafflesAmrita

The Couples Suite at Raffles in Dubai

RafflesAmrita Spa Exterior

RafflesAmrita Spa exterior

RafflesAmrita Relaxation Room

RafflesAmrita relaxation room

Plunge Pools at The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel

woman at pool

The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel Reception Area

The Spa at the Shangri-La interior

Middle East Trends

According to Intelligent Spas' United Arab Emirates Spa Benchmark Report, which incorporates historical and forecast data fore the spa industry through 2010, the following trends have been identified in the UAE.

  • Increased demand for anti-aging treatments
  • Increased demand for relaxing treatments
  • More interest in natural products
  • More males visiting spas
  • More couples visiting spas
  • New interested for experiencing rituals
  • More interest in using complementary support facilities, such as public wet areas
  • Visitors are more savvy and experienced, and expect high-quality standards

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