Yes to change: Many residents and some salons have welcomed the move Image Credit: AHMED KUTTY/XPRESS

ABU DHABI Staff at hundreds of beauty salons and barber shops in the capital must undergo mandatory health, safety and environment (HSE) lessons and pass a certification test at the end of training, the Abu Dhabi Municipality announced on Monday.

The move is part of a drive by the civic body to boost public health and safety. The Abu Dhabi Municipality has warned that beauty salons and barber shops that their commercial licences will not be renewed unless they comply.

The training will be administered by four accredited training centres.

Under the new rule, the civic body requires salons and barber shops to train at least 20 per cent of their staff and get HSE-certification for them.

A trainee must pay a Dh300 fee, which includes teaching materials, a test and the certificate, according to a public announcement by the municipality.

Asma, a trainer at Beauty Aesthetic Training centre on Delma Street, said they are currently registering trainees for the eight-hour course.

“We will train them in batches of 20 to 25,” she said. “We have a strict mandate to follow a uniform training programme for students.” She said instructions will be given in three languages – Arabic, English and Urdu.

“We want to cover as many beauty parlours as possible.” A staff at Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group, one of the four approved training centres, said: “A staff certification is mandatory for licensing purposes.”

Every trainee must sit in a day-long session during which they will be given theoretical as well as practical lessons.

“There will be a written exam too. It’s part of the requirement, we’re just a service provider,” confirmed a staff at Mirdiff Security and Safety Consultants, adding they will start training sessions on July 28. The training sessions are expected to last until September.

Paula, who owns Ohliemer Ladies Salon in Mussafah, said: “We welcome this move as this will raise public confidence in our staff and services.”

Some residents also expressed happiness. “As a consumer,” said Indian accountant Mahesh, “it’s reassuring that there’s proper health and safety certification for the city’s salon workers and barbers.”

Lebanese Fadi said: “This is wonderful. I will go to certified salons only.”