18 amazing UAE spas to make you go ahhhh
When it comes to world-class spas in spectacular settings, we’re well and truly spoiled for choice in the UAE. From muscle-melting massages after a stressful week to urban escapes of total silence and solitude, the spas of Dubai and Abu Dhabi cater for just about every therapeutic need. But with so many luxurious offerings – there isn’t a five-star hotel in the country without some form of new-age treatment on offer – where do you start?
We’ve taken the stress out of choosing by rounding up 18 of the best in both cities.
Best for...clearing your headspace
As the UAE’s only Guerlain spa, you can enjoy exclusive treatments from the renowned French beauty firm, and sign up for tailored wellness programmes to detox and de-stress.
Treatment to try: Dubai Harmony. Using flowing manoeuvres and hot and cold touch, this massage leaves you feeling calm and content. 90 minutes, AED960.
Where: One&Only The Palm
Heart & Soul Spa
Surrounded by greenery and decked out with natural stone and warm wood, one floor of this tri-level spa is dedicated to hammam rituals. They also offer weekly wellness workshops ranging from meditation to Ayurvedic cooking.
Treatment to try: Mindfulness Massage Journey. In addition to massage, this session encourages you to see, feel, smell and hear everything around you. 90 minutes, AED500.
Where: Al Barari
Iridium Spa feels surprisingly intimate for such a grand hotel. It offers a range of treatments, including exclusive Swiss Perfection facials, and has a fun shower room that recreates tropical rainstorms.
Treatment to try: The Dubai Dream. After an aromatherapy bath, your therapist sprays a sleep spray to encourage you to drift off during your massage. 120 minutes, AED830.
Where: The St Regis Dubai
Best for...Arabian-inspired rituals
Treatments use botanical-based products made from local ingredients such as rose oil and honey, and the spa boasts its own Dead Sea floatation pool, too.
Treatment to try: Signature Dead Sea Journey, which includes a salt scrub and mud mask, followed by a soak in the floatation pool and massage. 120 minutes, AED990.
Where: JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
On the menu are locally inspired rituals such as a detoxifying ghassoul clay body mask and rose-scented goat’s milk bath. Elsewhere, there are facials, massages and body treatments using Aromatherapy Associates products.
Treatment to try: Arabian Gold Ritual, which incorporates a refreshing basil and mint body scrub, gold clay body wrap and full body gold-infused massage. 120 minutes, AED1,050.
Where: The Address Dubai Mall
Besides Asian-influenced treatments, you can also book a Moroccan Gold Hammam or detoxifying body wrap using local Shiffa products. Massage and body treatments feature Aromatherapy Associates products.
Treatment to try: Arabian Nights, an aromatic full-body massage using warm oils such as sandalwood, frankincense and rose to relax both body and mind. 60 minutes, AED479.
Where: Raffles Dubai
Best for...social spa-going
Choose from a wide range of treatments, from Polynesian and Ayurvedic massages to Vichy showers, using products by Hei Poa, Anne Semonin and Thémaé.
Treatment to try: Ladies’ Night at So Spa takes place every Tuesday and includes a foot and back massage, file and polish, and brow shape. From 6pm-10pm, AED250.
Where: Sofitel The Palm
Willow Stream Spa
Named the region’s best resort spa at this year’s World Spa & Wellness Awards, top treatments include the signature Rose Bliss hammam; Kerstin Florian facials; and all manner of massages.
Treatment to try: The Treasured Time package includes a full body aromatherapy massage for two people, which utilises a blend of oils and massage strokes to stimulate the body’s circulation. 90 minutes, AED1,019.
Where: Fairmont The Palm
The spa offers a quiet pool where couples can relax together, along with cabanas in the garden and on the for outdoor massage, and a yoga studio for group and private classes.
Treatment to try: Spa-mazing. Valid until the end of September, the offer includes a 60-minute massage, yoga class and beach access. AED550 (weekdays) or AED590 (weekends).
Where: Madinat Jumeriah
Best for...holistic treatments
The Oberoi Spa
As you would expect from the famous Indian hotel brand, there are a number of Ayurveda-inspired rituals, along with lesser-known Phytomassopodia treatments that focus entirely on the feet.
Treatment to try: Shiroabhyanga. Using Ayurvedic oils, vital points of the shoulders, neck, head and face are carefully massaged to release tension and encourage circulation. 45 minutes, AED380.
Where: The Oberoi Dubai
YinYang Spa & Massage Centre
This wellness spa specialises in traditional Chinese therapies including acupuncture, cupping and reflexology. There is a range of different massage styles, from Thai and Korean to aromatherapy and detoxing, as well as Tui Na (“pinch and pull”).
Where: The Village Mall, Jumeirah
Treatment to try: Meridian Shiatsu massage combines acupressure, stretching and compression along the body’s meridian channels to release blocked energy. 120 minutes, AED700.
All products are organic and include sweet-smelling ingredients such as Damask rose and dates, while treatments include Thai, Indian and hot stone massage, along with facials, body scrubs and reflexology.
Treatment to try: Asian Blend massage, which combines Swedish, shiatsu and reflexology techniques to leave you feeling totally blissed out. 60 minutes, AED520.
Where: Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Best for...men in need of me-time
1847 Men’s Grooming Lounge
With dark wood furnishing, vintage-style barber chairs and a boutique stocking the finest grooming products, this men-only salon is as classy as they come. They offer haircuts, colours and wet shaves, along with a spa menu of more than 20 treatments including hydrating facials, body-buffing salt scrubs and mani-pedis using Vitaman, Gentlemen’s Tonic and REN products.
Treatment to try: Face Saver. This quick-fix for dry skin facial includes a clay mask and moisturising serum. 50 minutes, AED250.
Where: Grosvenor House Hotel
Treatment rooms are decked out with musical instruments and images of jazz legends, while the barber’s salon features guitar-shaped mirrors, lampshades made out of drums and Takara Belmont chairs (who is, apparently, the Bentley of the barbershop world). On the menu is a range of treatments, from wet shaves and facials to massages and Moroccan hammams.
Treatment to try: Sole Reviver makes short work of hard skin, with a classic pedicure and callus removal treatment. AED165
Where: Al Barsha
The Ritz-Carlton Spa
The spa has a separate men’s area with huge marble steam rooms, plush grey bathrobes and masculine therapies including Natura Bissé facials and muscle-reviving massages.
Treatment to try: Active Recovery. This tension-relieving treatment includes a foot soak and scrub, foot and leg massage, back exfoliation and massage. 60 minutes, AED515.
Where: Ritz-Carlton DIFC
Best for...Turkish hammams
With soft grey marble, huge heated massage table and tranquil blue mosaic tiles, Anjara Spa offers an authentic hammam experience with a luxurious bent (as you would hope from a Turkish hotel group).
Treatment to try: The Serenity Package includes a traditional hammam or a massage treatment, followed by a buffet lunch or dinner. 60 minutes, AED499 (weekdays) or AED599 (weekends).
Where: Rixos The Palm
Following a stylish revamp last year, this lavish two-storey spa features palatial hammam facilities – think marble floors, trickling fountains and brightly coloured mosaics – for men, women and couples.
Treatment to try: Turkish Hammam Body Escape. After a steam and skin-renewing scrub with a kese mitt, your skin will be slathered in dollops of shea butter enriched with Argan oil. 90 minutes, AED800.
Where: Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort & Spa
Talise Ottoman Spa
There are separate hammams for women and men, plus saunas, steam rooms, snow rooms, two thalassotherapy pools and a whopping 42 treatment rooms. For couples, there’s a secluded hammam on the mezzanine level.
Treatment to try: The Sultan’s Hammam with Ice Massage. This is an invigorating hand, foot and scalp ice massage that follows the traditional Turkish hammam treatment to improve circulation. 60 minutes, AED565.
Where: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray