1. Wash & blow-dry Dh60
At: Mayumy LadiesSalon, Satwa
What you get for your dirhams: While getting a blow-dry from any salon is pretty much the same, at Mayumy you get the professional service you can expect at any other top salon, at a significantly lower price. Done up in a girly colour scheme of pink and purple, the spacious salon makes you feel at home instantly with their friendly staff.
I have dry hair and most of the times after a blow-dry, it ends up looking more dry and lifeless and I always make a point to wash my hair before I get to the salon. But I went for the wash and blow-dry option (if you opt for only a blow-dry, it costs Dh50), and was happy to note that my stylist had actually noticed my hair type and used the appropriate products. That made all the difference to my blow-dry experience, and I would definitely come back for more.
2. bikini wax Dh60
At: Beautiful Times Salon, Bur Dubai
What you get for your dirhams: You can choose from two different types of wax, the fruit honey wax and the apple one, which in my opinion works well if you want a moisturising finish. Both waxes are good for sensitive skin, so we decide to use the fruit wax for the legs and the apple wax for the bikini. After the wax, a generous amount of oil is applied to remove the leftovers and I'm ready to go. At the end of the session, I'm left with smooth and silky skin, without any irritations. I also got the full leg waxing done, which costs Dh55 - quite a competitive price, I thought. In terms of value for money treatments, you won't be disappointed with this salon as a no-frills, get-the-job-done kind of place.
3. Mani-Pedi Dh110
At: Karisma Ladies Centre, Bur Dubai
What you get for your dirhams: This attractive oasis boasts extensive facilities and a friendly atmosphere. The mani-pedi begins with soaking your feet in Foots Cool salts to soften the skin - this facilitates easy removal of dead skin and calluses. Then a mineral and vitamin-rich body scrub is applied to the legs to cleanse and soothe the skin, followed by a nurturing lotion being gently massaged on. Then it's time to pamper the digits. Nails are trimmed, filed and cuticles trimmed… the works. You get to choose your polish and if you like, you can throw in Dh8 per nail for nail art. In a nutshell, here you get the same standard of care as you would at other salons, at more reasonable prices.
4. Haircut Dh150
At: Jens Hair Studio, Shaikh Zayed Road
What you get for your dirhams: Smack bang in the middle of Shaikh Zayed Road's busiest quarter, Jens Hair Studio in the White Crown building - close to The Fairmont Hotel - is perfect for the busy executive looking to fit in their beauty treatments in a lunch break, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. While you are there, your stylist can advise you on how to adapt your current style, how to improve your hair condition, suggest quick and effective hair treatments for your hair type, as well as treatments you can do yourself at home and your hair care regime. The staff are experienced and friendly, so they were able to tell me exactly what sort of a cut I needed - hair a few inches shorter so it looks healthier, some new layers to add movement, and a chic fringe that I love!
5. Foot reflexology treatment Dh170
At: Feet First, The Dubai Mall
What you get for your dirhams: If you are looking for a budget-friendly treat for your feet, then you need to take a detour to this place. This ancient art of foot massage is based on points in the feet which corresponds to certain parts of the body. During the massage, pressure is applied on the points that are in need of improvement, according to your body's current condition and needs. Massaging the point helps promote the healing process of your body's ailments. As the therapist works on your feet, they point out your body's problem areas and suggest measures to combat issues - for example, my masseuse recommended I drink more water for healthier kidneys. It is as good as getting a whole body massage, as you feel totally rejuvenated at the end, and you leave walking on air. You can also opt for a 30-minute massage - which can deliver results in less time and at an even lower cost (Dh95) - or packages of five or ten sessions.
6. Body massage Dh200
At: Tips & Toes, Springs village
What you get for your dirhams: A professional, effective massage in a convenient location. On arrival, you are asked to choose which aroma oil you would like. I opted for geranium and clary sage - which is good for nervous tension and headaches - but there are plenty of other choices available, including rose and neroli. I had a 50-minute Swedish-style massage, with a bit of Thai thrown in, but the treatment can be adapted to include other styles. The massage was extremely thorough and relaxing, and even though my therapist used pressure and stretched me into various positions, at no point was it uncomfortable. The soothing effect (and pleasant aroma!) lasts the rest of the day. Tips & Toes has several locations around town that offer the same prices.
7. Nail extensions Dh220
At: Transform Body Salon, MotorCity
What you get for your dirhams: The salon has a dynamic vibe about it, and the great prices and the standard of its nail-friendly products are second to none. I was recommended to opt for a full set of gel nail overlays with a French finish. The expert nail technician started off with a manicure, placed the tips on each finger, glued them on and then cut, shaped and filed them to a suitable length. A clear liquid gel was smeared over the nails and we finished with Nubar's Ooh la la French manicure nail lacquer. You can expect the five-star treatment of any leading nail salon in town, and go home satisfied with a glamorous set of nails. Just for this month, the salon is offering promotional prices on many of their treatments, including Nail Extensions, which will be offered for just Dh175 through November.
8. Hair colour Dh250
At: Belle Femme beauty boutique & spa, JBR
What you get for your dirhams: This swanky salon in new Dubai is a really well-kept secret in terms of its pricing. With glam interiors featuring sparkling Swarovski chandeliers and Philip Starck furniture - and professional, friendly service to match - it feels more luxe than budget. When it comes to hair colours, what is most important is the stylist's skills, products are usually standardised. And Janet, with over ten years of experience in the business, knows exactly what she's doing. With my specific problem of a previous hair colour that I hated, and roots of a completely different colour, what I needed was a colour makeover that would make it all uniform. And she knew exactly the right one to go for, that would suit my skin tone as well. The experience is enhanced by a relaxing massage chair that you kick back in, while the colour is being shampooed off. Overall, I left happy with both the results, as well as the discovery I'd made of a salon that I could come back to, without blowing the bank! You can also opt for the new ammonia-free Inoa colour range from L'Oreal which is slightly more expensive.
9. Facial Dh265
At: Pebbles Salon, Al Attar Tower, Shaikh Zayed Road.
What you get for your dirhams: Arguably one of the best facials available in town, the Dermalogica treatment starts off with a thorough skin consultation in which Jenny, the owner of the salon, asks a lot of questions about your lifestyle and skincare routine to tailor-make the facial. After a soothing foot cleanse, the treatment follows the standard procedure of cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, a face pack and a good moisturising too. All products used are Dermalogica and you can even take home a few samples of your favourite products at the end. What really makes this facial special is that while the face pack dries, the therapist uses the time to work out those tired aches in your shoulders and neck with a massage. Rest assured that you will leave looking radiant - not just because your face is squeaky clean, and party-ready with lip gloss and combed eyebrows, but also from the feel-good vibe that you get from the salon.
10. pamper package Dh364
At: Bellissima Salon, Discovery Gardens
What you get for your dirhams: A ‘build your own' package service means you can choose any three treatments from their extensive menu, and get a 30 per cent discount on the total price - result! I chose an anti-ageing facial, full body massage and hair rescue service. My three-hour session started with a firming facial which fitted a considerable number of steps into just one hour, using a machine that steams, exfoliates and stimulates the skin. It also included a manual massage using collagen which left my face feeling supple and well-hydrated for several days after. With just a quick change of table dressing, it was on to the full body massage - a functional relaxation fix, if you can tune out the surrounding sounds typical of any hair salon. At the haircare station, after two washes to remove the massage oils around my hairline, a serum was applied, followed by a mask and I was led to a steam machine to relax for about half an hour. My hair felt considerably softer and thicker afterwards. I left the salon feeling thoroughly pampered and impressed by the price tag.