Opinions | City Talk

Tattoos and piercings get a cautious approach

Eyebrow piercings, tongue piercings, tattoos on every part of the body imaginable - some people really do like to stand out from the crowd.

  • By Daniel Bardsley, Mohammad Shamseddine and Fuad Ali, Staff Reporters
  • Published: 00:00 March 11, 2007
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
  • "The tattoo is nice if it's small. As for piercings, I think they're nicer for girls. I have a nose piercing but I don't think I'll get a tattoo." - Dana Hamad
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Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Fujairah: Eyebrow piercings, tongue piercings, tattoos on every part of the body imaginable - some people really do like to stand out from the crowd.

It seems that piercings and 'tats' are becoming more popular in the UAE, with young people in particular keen to express themselves in this colourful and shiny way.

As reported in Gulf News, tattoo parlours here are doing brisk business and salons offering piercings say demand is strong too.

City Talk took to the streets of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah and spoke to residents to see if they were itching to get their tongue pierced or their back tattooed.

One person who is definitely not taken with the craze is Bala Gopal, a 50-year-old Indian sales manager.

Gopal said he was "dead against" tattoos and piercings, branding them "exhibitionism".

"I think getting tattoos is dangerous if they use the same needles or syringes without proper precautions - it could transmit Aids. I wouldn't get one done and my children wouldn't either," he said.

Sohail Poonawala, 21, a sales manager from India, said the main thing that put him off getting a tattoo or piercing was he feared the procedures were painful.

"Also, with tattoos, if you didn't want it anymore, you might have to spend money getting it removed. Most people wouldn't like to get a tattoo for these reasons," he said.

Eman Naser, 39, a Canadian of Palestinian descent, said there was "no way" she would get a tattoo or a body piercing.

"It's disgusting - it's that simple. I don't know how people can get them done. I hope they will not become more popular. They are really, really ridiculous. I would never let my children have one," she said.

Manal Mohammad, from Jordan, was unenthusiastic about tattoos, saying: "I don't like them and there's no way I would get any because one day you might regret it but it would be too late and you couldn't remove it. I prefer the henna drawing."

She was a bit more positive about piercings, however, adding that she had one herself on her nose. "I like piercing but I don't like it everywhere in the body. I think ear, nose and belly button are fine."

Sol Justiniani, 38, a Filipina currently visiting the UAE, said if she was getting a body piercing done, she would worry about catching a disease. "I think it's not healthy. You could get tetanus and maybe it's painful. I wouldn't get one," she told City Talk.

Indian sales assistant Sajeer C.T., 23, said: "I don't think body piercings look good generally - if it's only a little bit here and there it's not a problem - but sometimes people over do it and that's not attractive.

"I think body piercings on women can be okay but not on men."

Dana Hamad, 28, from Palestine, said tattoos and piercings were okay.

"The tattoo is nice if it's small and not too much. As for piercings, I think they're nicer for girls. I have a nose piercing but I don't think I'll get a tattoo," she said.

Abdul Rahman Ali, 21, an Egyptian office assistant, feels that tattoos are "unnecessary".

"I don't understand why people feel the need to draw on their bodies, and why do they choose to draw unattractive and strange images?

"Most of the young people who have tattoos are just blindly copying Western customs and they don't even know what the images mean most of the time," he said.

By contrast, Francis Fernandez, from the Philippines, said he felt it was "cool" to have a tattoo.

"I find it cool to see a lot of people having tattoos with different designs. I might get me a couple of those but I don't like the idea of body piercing," he said.

Toto Manearing Jr, a 40-year-old merchandiser from the Philippines, said he had "no interest" in tattoos or body piercing.

"I can understand how some people think it represents art or maybe some aspect of their personality, but it's not for me.

"Also I think your body is like a temple and you should look after it and not abuse it. In the Philippines tattoos are often used to indicate gang identity so having one may make you out to look tough or dangerous," he said.

Gulf News