One final observation in regards to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Dubai, its multicultural epicenter. At the spa forum I attended, I sat next to a young woman wearing the traditional abaya (long black robe) and sheyla (head scarf) worn by some Emirati women. She was taking notes during the panel discussion. I noticed that underneath her long black robe she was wearing blue jeans. And on her feet were rhinestone flip-flops. She carried a designer handbag, wore makeup, and her head scarf had embroidery and some sparkly appliqué. When I leaned over to ask her whether she was in the spa business, she responded in beautiful English that she was from Pakistan and was hoping to open that country’s first spa. It was a poignant moment. We aren’t so different after all… and the spa industry is a great environment in which to rediscover our similarities.
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