If you’ve not yet experienced the delights of a Moroccan bath, you’re missing out. Also referred to as hammams or ‘hot baths’, these sessions provide you with the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind, and they make a great antidote to the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Of course, visitors to Marrakech or Rabat will be able to experience the original baths, but given the emirate’s reputation for indulgence and excess, it is no surprise that Dubai is also home to a host of hammams. If you go for a Moroccan bath Dubai, you may be able to take advantage of treatments like luxury mud scrubs, and many of the upmarket hotels here offer private Moroccan baths for their guests.
Belle et Zen in the Al Seef Tower is a good example. There, you can make the most of haircuts, massages and manicures, as well as Moroccan baths. The Natural Personal Care Centre next to the Jumeirah Beach Park and The Secret Moroccan Bath in Uptown Mirdif also offer top-quality hammams, offering a range of other pampering treatments.
Hammams form an important part of Moroccan culture and many people visit their local baths at least once a week, spending two or more hours there following various cleansing rituals and catching up with their friends and family. It’s worth noting that men and women bathe separately. Traditional baths have changing areas where you can leave your clothing, and regular users typically opt to strip off completely.
It’s usually possible to buy soap and exfoliation gloves in these areas, and lone bathers can hire someone to scrub them. The process of exfoliation is vigorous and it can take a little getting used to. However, you can rest assured that it will leave you feeling shiny and new!
Hotel hammams tend to be somewhat different, with many containing pools for you to luxuriate in. Most also offer spa treatments that you can enjoy after your Moroccan bath.
It can be a little disconcerting having someone else wash you in this fashion, especially if you’re used to more Western levels of privacy, but it can be a fascinating – and therapeutic – cultural experience and not one to be missed if you’re visiting anywhere in the Middle East region. Once you’ve experienced firsthand the revitalizing power of the hammam, you won’t look back and you might well choose to make it a regular event.