Abu Dhabi Lounges Ready For Eid Al Fitr As Safety First Approach Gains Customer Trust
Hair and beauty salons in Abu Dhabi have reported an increase in demand from customers who want to look their best for Eid Al Fitr.
Companies hailed the good number of bookings after a difficult holiday period in 2020, which came at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The owners said that many of the staff have been fully vaccinated or have undergone regular PCR testing has helped increase public confidence in the industry.
In March, authorities announced that unvaccinated employees of hotels, restaurants, transport companies, laundries, beauty salons and hairdressers would be tested every 14 days.
Salons strictly follow all other safety measures – such as wearing masks and gloves and fully disinfecting surfaces and products.
There are people we have known since day one of the pandemic, and they have commanded our service throughout.
âLast year we only opened half of our branches and we were only allowed 30% capacity,â said Noor Al Tamimi, founder and CEO of Bedashing Beauty Lounge, which has 16 branches in the United Arab Emirates.
âIt was always good. We have a solid reputation for hygiene and precaution.
âThis year, all of our branches are open and we are operating at 50%. So that’s really good. I can’t complain and consumer confidence is good, âMs. Al Tamimi said.
âAlso last year, many people were scared and uncertain. Now it’s totally different.
Zeina Assi is grateful for the recovery in business after 12 difficult months.
âLast year I opened occasionally, only for a limited number of customers,â said Ms. Assi, owner of Rayyana lounge in Abu Dhabi.
“We even got calls from plainclothes police who made bogus appointments to make sure we weren’t breaking the rules.”
She was allowed to have four clients at a time and did not work more than six hours a day.
On the last Eid, Ms. Assi suspended the henna service she was offering – it is traditional for women in the area to decorate their hands with henna for festive occasions – and downsized from 10 to three.
But now she has something to show for cautious optimism.
âSince Saturday, we have been receiving clients until 2 or 3 in the morning. But it’s not like before, we are still working at limited capacity, âMs. Assi said.
Fatima Alr, 37, an Emirati mother of three, said that while Eid Al Fitr felt different during the pandemic, she wanted to give her family a traditional makeover.
Before Eid, she ordered henna, manicure and pedicure services at home and her daughters to have their hair cut.
âWe won’t be gathering outside our family home, but we still wanted to fix ourselves,â the government employee said.
Roe Spa in Abu Dhabi, which provides in-home service for henna and other beauty treatments, was unfortunate enough to open a few weeks before the pandemic, in March of last year.
âWe had no idea that a pandemic was coming, we started to prepare the business in February and then when it started we were shocked,â said Bella Salinas, director of the spa.
âIt was the worst for us. We only received six orders of henna before Eid.
âSo far, I have received about 30 orders in this week alone,â she said on Monday.
They now have a client list of 300 women in the city of Abu Dhabi and its suburbs.
âNow, the consistency of customers is good enough. There are people that we have known from day one of the pandemic, and they have commanded our service from the start, âshe said.
âSo we built trust. Our staff are tested for Covid-19 on the day they visit the customer, we update the WhatsApp group with all customers on the day the results are released and they start booking. “