Speed. It’s not something we’re alien to in the UAE. From fast cars to valet parking to home deliveries in a matter of minutes, we are used to getting what we want, fast.

But when it comes to spa treatments, aren’t we supposed to take our time and enjoy it? Well, not necessarily – the trend for fast-forward pampering is growing in popularity in the region, mirroring the fact that our lives are getting busier by the day.

‘With long working hours and busy home lives, an increasing number of people in the UAE find it difficult to squeeze in lengthy beauty or aesthetic treatments – and yet there is a huge pressure in our image-conscious society to look your absolute best,’ says Rebecca Treston of Euromed Clinic Dubai (euromedclinicdubai.com). ‘This means that people want to be able to spend minimal time having a treatment, but they still want maximum results.’

Euromed Clinic Dubai have catered to demand by offering what they dub ‘lunchtime treatments’, which last less than an hour yet treat a variety of skincare concerns. 
And they aren’t the only ones offering quick facials, with the recent launch of The Speed Room at SensAsia Urban Spa, which offers skin-specific Elemis Biomed facials in 30 minutes flat.

Aoibheanna Bonner, group spa director at SensAsia Urban Spas, says: ‘The Speed Room was launched based on client feedback. Women wanted to pop in quickly for their fixes. Our clients can easily work a 30-minute Biotec facial into their lunch 
hour, or stop by on their way home, without detailed planning.’

But it isn’t just skincare that is seeing a demand for speedy treatments, as the success of new Dubai-based company BlowOut and Go confirms. An idea born when founder Paria Ghorashi gave birth to her first child, with the service there’s no need to even leave the comfort of your home to get a perfect blow-dry, as the experienced team will come to you. Paria says: ‘The demand has been incredible. Over 5,000 women have used the service and this number is growing every day. We cater for women from all walks of life including mothers, models, businesswomen, expats, celebrities and tourists.’

And if you want several treatments all at once? Easy. You get a number of therapists working on you at the same time! Pastels Salon’s new Women on the Run treatments do exactly that, with an impressive five therapists working together at speed to make sure you are pampered in a hurry. And men will soon be catered for too, with the Man on the Move service launching at the company’s Ritz-Carlton branch.

Fancy trying a spot of speedy pampering? The team at Friday put four 30-minute treatments to the test – and rounded up 
a plethora of other treatments to try. On your marks! Get set! Go!

Treatment: Sephora Express Makeup Service at The Dubai Mall (sephora-me.com)

Includes: Full make-up, nail colour application

Price: Dh100 for day make-up, Dh150 for evening

Time promised: 30 minutes

Time it actually took: 35 minutes

I walked into the buzz of Sephora during lunch hour, admittedly a bit worried. My past experiences with daytime make-up sessions have ended up with me looking like a cross between a panda and a bride without a mirror. As one make-up artist said to me, there’s no such thing as less make-up. It’s either full-blown or non-existent.

But after a few minutes in the expert hands of make-up artist Narcisso, I knew there was going to be a different outcome this time around. This was in large part due to the Color Profile device used, which scans the surface of skin to find out the perfect foundation, lip and concealer matches.

After that, in a few speedy minutes, with Narcisso brandishing and waving around bottles, tubes, brushes and sponges, there was foundation, concealer, highlighter, setting powder, blusher, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and then lip colour applied. The end result was not too much, not too less, and selfie-perfect. Flawless, and I was able to walk around the mall after without attracting curious glances.

Treatment: First Gear package at Pastels (pastels-salon.com)

Includes: Manicure, pedicure and blow-dry

Price: Dh352

Time promised: 30 minutes

Time it actually took: 33 minutes

I booked this package fully expecting it to take longer than the half an hour promised. After all, I was getting a full manicure and pedicure, along with a wash and blow-dry – how could all that possibly take just 30 minutes?

As I was lead over the sink to have my hair washed with no sign of the nail technicians, I was even more convinced it would take triple the time – when suddenly four ladies approached, took a limb each, and got to work. It was a surreal experience and I couldn’t do anything but sit and watch their speedy progress to the hum of the hairdryer. There were no cutting corners, either; I even got a quick head, feet and hands massage as part of the process.

After 33 minutes, I was done – and I had the bounciest blow-dry and perfectly polished feet and toes. I did wait around a bit to make sure the polish was dry – but ‘quick dry’ is offered if you need to dash.

Treatment: Blow-dry at The White Room, Marina Plaza (whiteroomdubai.com)

Price: Dh65

Time promised: 30 minutes

Time it actually took: 36 minutes

I love getting blow-dries, but my hair is long and thick – and that means I can be sitting in the salon chair for up to an hour. I find that boring, but also hard to schedule into my day if it’s busy at work. Seeing that blow-dries at The White Room will take just 30 minutes was a refreshing promise – as was the price of Dh65 per blow-dry, whatever the length of your hair!

But despite the speedy treatment time and affordability, there are no cut-backs on the surroundings, which feel very luxurious – and after a good hair wash, I was back in a very comfortable seat to have my blow-dry. 
I was handed a menu and could pick the style too, which made it very easy to communicate exactly what I wanted. The blow-dry took a little longer than promised, but this is partly because I was offered a drink and my stylist went off to pour me some water. I’m impressed and will definitely be back!

Treatment: Elemis Biotec Facial in the SensAsia Spa Speed Room (sensasiaspas.com)

Price: Dh350 per session, with a recommended six sessions

Time promised: 30 minutes

Time it actually took: 30 minutes

Lying on my speed facial bed at SensAsia in The Village – a spa haven in the middle of civilisation – my therapist took me through the features of the touch-and-tech treatment. It’s not a generic treatment – each facial targets the customer’s skin type and problem – and there are three anti-ageing and five other solutions on offer. Their therapeutic properties are enhanced with the use of Elemis’s Biotec machine equipped with various bioelectric technologies.

I was suggested the Blemish Control facial as I’m prone to acne and it detoxifies the skin and repairs damaged cells. After my therapist cleaned my skin, she used an ultrasonic peel to exfoliate. Then, the galvanic rejuvenate mechanism, which uses positive and negative ions to recharge the skin, came on, before an antioxidant solution containing salicylic acid and iris extract was applied. Lastly, the blue light therapy (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory) was used to 
soothe the skin, and a calming serum rounded up the treatment.

The result – visibly clear skin with reduced blemishes and open pores. I missed the relaxing massage of a traditional facial, but fear not – if you book the entire course you get a 90-minute pampering treatment free.

Other speedy treatments in the UAE…

Quick Eyelash Extensions

Salon: Sisters Beauty Lounge (sistersbeautylounge.com)

Treatment: Express Lashes Full Set

Price: Dh300

Time promised: 30 minutes

Blow-dries at home

Company: BlowOut & Go (blowoutandgo.ae)

Treatment: Blow-dry

Price: Dh150

Time promised: From 30 minutes

Speedy Mani-Pedis

Salon: The Nail Spa (thenailspa.com)

Treatment: Shape and polish

Price: Dh55 for hands/Dh60 for feet

Time promised: 30 minutes

Make-up Lesson

Company: Bobbi Brown (bobbibrown-me.com)

Treatment: Bobbi’s make-up lessons

Price: Free

Time promised: 10 minutes

Express Hair Colouring

Salon: Marquee (marquee.ae)

Treatment: Express colour

Price: From Dh300

Time promised: 30 minutes for application, 35 minutes for developing

Mini Facial

Company: Lush stores

Treatment: Mini facial and skincare consultation

Price: Free

Time promised: Less than 30 minutes