Experiencing UAE's traditional Hammam baths
The traditional Hammam bath, also known as a "Turkish bath," is an essential part of Middle Eastern culture, and it's a unique experience that should not be missed when visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These communal baths, which have been around for centuries, offer not just a place to cleanse the body but also a place to relax, unwind and socialize. In this article, we will explore what you can expect when visiting a traditional Hammam bath in the UAE and how to make the most of your experience.
The Traditional Hammam Experience
When you visit a traditional Hammam bath, the first thing you will notice is the intricate tilework and the warm, humid atmosphere. The baths are typically large, open spaces with several communal areas, including a central room with a raised marble platform called the "göbek taşı" or "navel stone," used for relaxation and massage. The Hammam has separate areas for men and women, and many of them are often part of health clubs, spas, or hotels.
The traditional Hammam experience begins with a full-body scrub, performed by a trained therapist using a rough mitt made of coarse fabric or natural fibers. This full-body scrub is used to exfoliate the skin, remove dead cells, and leave the skin feeling soft and smooth. After the scrub, you will then be covered with soap lather and be given a relaxing massage. The massage is typically performed with a soft cloth or foam designed to increase circulation, ease muscle tension, and promote relaxation.
After the massage, you will be moved to the central room to relax on the göbek taşı and enjoy the warm steam. This is where you can take the time to soak in the ambiance and soak in the warm, humid air. Many Hammam have a traditional heated room for steam, and some of them have eucalyptus or other essential oils added to the steam for added relaxation.
One of the most important things to remember when visiting a Hammam is to respect the customs and traditions of the local culture. This means being mindful of modesty and covering up when entering and exiting the bath, and also following any guidelines set by the staff. Additionally, some traditional Hammams are not open to non-Muslims or tourists; please be mindful of that and consider visiting hammams open to visitors.
Visiting a traditional Hammam bath in the UAE is a unique and unforgettable experience. Not only will you have a chance to relax, unwind, and cleanse your body, but you'll also have an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. It's a great way to experience the Middle Eastern lifestyle and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Keep in mind that not all hammams are open for non-Muslims or tourists, so make sure to research before visiting.