Treat yourself to a little pampering at these salons
When it comes to pampering, we’re lucky here in Dubai. The city’s cosmopolitan scene has inspired top international stylists to set up shop, while local beauty experts are happy to share the art of Arabic beauty, in which hair, nails and skin services are all part of the weekly regime.
Most salons are for women only, to protect the modesty of clients who choose to cover their hair outside their home. For an afternoon with the girls or to treat yourself to a few quiet hours of head-to-toe pampering, here are seven salons in Dubai you must visit.
A Dubai institution, Mushkbar Beauty Salon has been styling, buffing and blending the city’s matriarchs for the past 25 years. Don’t expect a natural-look makeover here – the salon stylists stay true to the “bigger is better” aesthetic with airbrushed skin, winged liner and accentuated lips. For a chic Emirati look, have your hair curled and twisted into a beehive, then cover and cleverly pin with a BYO scarf.
Owned and operated by Mona Kattan, sister of popular local beauty blogger Huda, The Dollhouse is a favourite of the fashion set, boasting Missoni lounges, hot pink nail bars and iPads for clients. Book in here for a zig-zagged chevron manicure or blow-out that will leave hair with dramatic volume. Found in the Dubai Ladies Club, the salon and its surrounds are strictly women-only – perfect for an afternoon with the girls.
Dubai’s first blow-dry bar, JetSet is known for speedy hair styling that will keep its gloss well into second and third day. Expats in the know will also add in a hair smoothing treatment to combat the summer frizz. Favoured by Dubai Marina residents, the salon is highly regarded for its team, led by London celebrity stylist, Patrick Shannon.
Soh Art & Beauty
Building some serious momentum over the past few seasons, Dubai’s obsession with nail art has culminated in Soh – an edgy salon dedicated to outlandish nail designs. Pick from a wall of motifs including kitsch pop culture references such as Wonder Woman or Frozen, or myriad patterns to wear across all ten fingers or as a single statement nail. You can also do what Dubai’s socialites do and have a design customized for a big event. The space also doubles as a gallery for local artists – if there is a piece you like, have it replicated on your nails.
Inspired by vintage Hollywood films, Marquee is the place to go for an A-list blow-dry. Multi-taskers will be primped in a flash, thanks to a hefty list of in-chair services that allows clients on a tight schedule to have a manicure while having their locks tended to. Marquee has a braid bar that specialists in twisted plaits and intricate up-dos for all hair types and lengths, which is great for keeping your hair in place and out of he way during an afternoon of dune-bashing.
Book into this Australian-owned-and-operated salon for expert hair highlighting, re-styling or a complete colour overhaul. Tending to the locks of Dubai’s fashion and style mavens, Salon Ink comes with enthusiastic recommendations from the city’s celebrities. Salon Ink also offers Russian lash extensions, for clients who want flutter minus the extra weight. The feathery-light implants are added four at a time to each natural lash for incredible volume.
Men don’t miss out – this centrally-located barber and facialist is a true gentleman’s haunt (although the manicure is re-branded as a more masculine “hand grooming”). Resembling a lamp-lit cigar lounge with bronzed basins replacing white porcelain, the upmarket space pays homage to those who enjoy the finer things in life. While the Atelier specialises in the traditional shave, men can also opt for a haircut and styling, reflexology or express hand massages.