Fifteen massage parlours in Fujairah have been were shut down after they were found to be violating rules and regulations, such as those around gender separation.
A number of surprise inspections have been carried out by the consumer protection department at Fujairah Municipality over the last month, with some massage parlours found to be operating out of private houses and apartments. There were also other breaches of massage laws, including women being allowed to massage men.
According to rules and regulations, massage parlours should provide services to one gender only, male or female, and the staff who offer these services should be offered by the same gender – male staff for male clients and female staff for female clients.
If the massage centre provides services for both men and women, then a separate entrance must be available for each gender and the centre must mention opening hours for each gender in the entrance of the premise.
The director of the legal affairs department, Abdullah Al Yamahi, said the department terminated fifteen licences following the inspection and issued various violations.
“The campaign aims to reduce the violations committed by these parlours and ensure their compliance with rules and regulations,” said Mr Al Yamahi.
Suad Kamel, a Syrian sales executive living in Fujairah, said that she doesn’t trust local parlours and prefers to get massage treatments at the spa of a five-star hotel.
“I feel that the well-known spa centers are more organised, safe and clean. I don’t trust local parlours and I have never asked for their services,” said Ms Kamel, 31.
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Ms Kamel thinks that regular inspection campaigns should be launched to stop illegal activities that might occur at massage parlours.
“It’s a service that everyone needs once in a while, especially with this busy life that we are living. If all the centres comply with the rules implemented by the authorities, we would feel much safer and have more options to choose from,” she said.
Another resident said that some beauty salons offer massage services by unprofessional staff.
“I once had a back and shoulder massage and I didn’t know that the employee was not a professional. That made me suffer from severe back pain that lasted to two weeks,” said Mariam Rashid, a 27-year-old Emirati from Fujairah.
Ms Rashid said that people should be aware of the consequences of getting a massage from someone who is not trained and should choose the right place.