Souvenir belly: Rana Al Eid from Azur Spa shows a belly cast

DUBAI Pregnancies in Dubai can last forever. Thanks to a Dubai-based spa, mums-to-be can now get their baby bumps cast as keepsakes.

Called belly casts, the essentially western concept is being popularised in Dubai by Azur Spa, a pre-natal spa in International City. “We pamper mums-to-be and their guests with spa parties at baby showers. We recently introduced these tummy masks which can be used as souvenirs,” said Rana Al Eid, the spa’s managing partner.

As she explained, “Belly casts are made by covering the pregnant tummy with wet plaster gauze. After setting for 20-30 minutes, the cast is lifted and air-dried for 24-48 hours. We then sand it, add a base paint and our artist creates a design. We either work on the designs we have or customise the mask to a customer’s specifications. The whole process needs a week to complete,” said Rana.

Usually done in the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy, the ‘So Precious’ belly casts are also offered in a series to capture the progression of one’s term. The casts are later used a wall hangings, flower vases, lampshades, even cradles for newborns.

“Mums-to-be love to get their guests’ wishes etched on the cast at baby showers, making them truly memorable. While it serves as a keepsake of a pregnancy, it also gives the child something to treasure when he or she grows old,” she said.

While some like their casts in plain white so they can capture more messages, others like attractive designs. “The choice of the design determines the price. Our charges start at Dh500 and can go up depending on the intricacy of design and the material used on the mask,” said Rana.

Azur Spa, which markets itself as a ‘social spa’, was last in the news when it offered teeth whitening and manicure/peduicure services at the VIP lounge at the Formula One races. “Ours is a spa on wheels and we go to baby showers and cater to parties at various events, including those on yachts,” added Rana.