They call it Dubiitis – a condition brought on by the city’s renowned stressful daily work environment. A welcome remedy is the 90-minute massage at Yas Beauty Spa for ladies and gents, located at the charming Souk Al Bahar in Dubai’s Old Town – a stone’s throw away from Burj Khalifa. Whatever your stress levels when you walk in, after this treatment it would be hard not to feel relaxed, refreshed and revitalised when you leave. Souk Al Bahar also has some very convenient underground parking – a big plus.
The reception area is bit restricted in size and quite brightly lit, but I was made to feel very welcome from the moment I walked in. The ‘wind down’ begins the moment you enter the treatment room however, with its peaceful and dimly-lit ambiance – and it’s easy to forget that you’re in the middle of the bustling Souk Al Bahar. Before the treatment began, my therapist was extremely attentive to making me feel as relaxed as possible. Was the room temperature comfortable? Was the music and lighting OK? What degree of pressure would I like?
The massage table was also one of the most comfortable I’ve experienced, with a generous-size hole for you to put your face through. Some massage tables be quite uncomfortable and give you a bit of a neck ache – but not in this case. There was even a nice bowl of flower petals positioned beneath for you to look at – a nice touch.
The massage was quite different to some I’ve had in the past. My therapist was from Bali, so a bit of a departure from many of the more Thai-style massages many spas offer. That said, therapists at the Yas Spa do range in nationality, so if you have a particular preference towards a more Thai or European massage style for example, the spa can generally provide it.
My therapist began with a ‘dry’ stretching exercise involving kneading and stretching the muscles before the main oil massage. I instantly began to relax into the treatment and feel weeks of hunching over a computer being released from my limbs and shoulders. As mentioned, you can opt for the pressure that suits you – from moderate to slightly torturous. I opted for a more vigorous pummelling. Boy, did I need it – and the result was well worth it.
The therapist certainly knew her stuff and soothed away a world of muscular ailments. The oil massage was both rigorous and glorious – a highlight being the plentiful time spent on the feet and calves – it felt like she’d grown an extra pair of hands. The same care and attention was paid to my arms – by which point I began to think I was in heaven.
When it came to my back and shoulders, the therapist did exactly what I’d asked – to give them a good work over. There was plenty of tension there, and she set to work removing it using hands, elbows and knees. I did need to grit my teeth at a couple of points, but this was what I had asked for – some may opt for something gentler – and it did me a world of good. I had pointed out that I had problems in the base of my spine, and at my request she was careful to be gentler in that area.
Turning to lie on my back, the therapist applied her expert attention to my arms, legs and torso – then possibly the best head and neck massage I’ve ever received.
Coming out of the treatment room back into the more harsh lighting of the reception area was a bit of a shock to the system – but the massage had been sublime. I truly felt 10 kilos lighter and that a world of weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was also given a glass of juice and a nice plate of mixed fresh fruit – very refreshing and a nice touch. I would gladly return to Yas Beauty Spa for another expertly rigorous, but at the same time extremely relaxing pummelling. Those that prefer something gentler might opt for just pure relaxation – or somewhere in the middle.
Incidentally, during the treatment my therapist did from time to time ask that everything was OK – frequently enough to be attentive to my needs but not so frequent to become annoying.
Either before or after the treatment, a walk around Souk Al Bahar itself is well worthwhile. For anyone that has been to Souk Madinat, this has a very similar atmosphere – although smaller in size – with some charming outlets offering traditional Arabic artefacts. All in all, Yas Beauty Spa within the ambiance of Souk Al Bahar is the perfect antidote to Dubai’s hectic lifestyle.
The 90-minute massage at Yas Beauty Spa, is AED490. Contact 04-4513333 or visit www.yasbeautyspa.com, which provides full details and prices of its comprehensive list of treatments for both ladies and gents. These include a wide range of massages, hammams, facials, waxing and hair treatments.
Mark Atkinson (www.freelancewriter.org.uk) is a Dubai-based freelance copywriter, helping companies with their marketing communications (websites; blogs; brochures; newsletters; press releases), corporate communications (business plans; market reports; bid documents; presentations; white papers) and technical documents (policies; procedures; processes; training materials). More recently, it has been his pleasure to link up with Spa Genie and enjoy his favourite pastime – visiting spas and trying different treatments for some serious chill out and unwind time.