We’re all used to a touch of luxury in the UAE - from meeting friends for dinner in sparkly five-star hotels, to shopping in souks with multi-million dirham displays, to treating ourselves to staycations in some of the world’s most exclusive resorts. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to stop when you have a baby. Louise Emma Clarke discovers just how luxurious the art of giving birth in the UAE can get..
If learning about relaxation, visualisation and mindfulness techniques are high on your pregnancy agenda, there’s no shortage of Hypnobirthing classes in the UAE. But the VIP experience doesn’t demand you rock up to a clinic and sit amongst other pregnant couples. Oh no. Highly experienced instructor Jasmine Collin will come to your home for one-to-one private sessions to show you how to find your zen (3,500 AED, www.jasminecollin.com).
Every mum-to-be deserves to be showered with gifts at her baby shower - and there are few more glamorous places to do it than by gathering for High Tea at Sahn Eddar in the Burj al Arab (545 AED per person). Think glittering gold interiors, a plethora of delicacies, and the world’s most exclusive address on your invitations. Oh and talking of those invitations, why not order bespoke cards from The Raizuli? Choose between high-quality imported paper, engraved wood, or etched acrylic (price on application, theraizuli.com). For baby shower decorations, keep the vibe classy and cool by shopping Party Camel’s Baby Shower collection. The company import the most stylish decorations from around the world to ensure your shower looks its best (from 30 AED per item, partycamel.ae).
After all that partying, you’ll need to relax - and a babymoon at one of the UAE’s most luxurious hotels is just what the doctor ordered. There are few better places to rest your swollen feet than the tranquil surroundings of The Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert. The most exclusive villas at the resort are the Al Sahari Pool Villas, which feature total privacy away from the other residents, with large private pools and exquisite desert views (from 3,379 AED per night).
Finally, the UAE offers expectant mothers plenty of ways to document the beauty of their pregnancy - from Pregnant Belly Casting Kits to capture the size and shape of your bump (100 AED, Just Kidding), to a Maternity Photography Shoot with top photographer Sarah C in the serenity of the desert or the privacy of your own home (prices from 2,000 AED to 4,000 AED, sarahc.me), to letting your baby do the posing by capturing as many of 4D Private Scans at Baby 4D Clinic as you like during your pregnancy (packages staring at 499 AED).
Thought that the hospital experience was simply about giving birth? Think again. Most hospitals in the UAE offer much more, with the likes of hotel-style private rooms, spa treatments, and mood lighting thrown in.
RAK Hospital, for example, have recently launched the ‘Motherhood Experience’, taking a hospital stay (and the weeks afterwards) to a whole new level of luxury. The package covers everything from ob-gyn consultations, antenatal classes, and the costs of a normal delivery, all the way to pre- and postnatal massages, yoga sessions, and Swiss physiotherapy sessions to aid your recovery (7,999 AED, RAK Hospital).
And when it comes to their hospital surroundings, new mothers in the UAE certainly don’t have to rough it. City Hospital Dubai, for example, has 12 VIP Suites on the top floor of the hospital, including Deluxe Suites, Presidential Suites, and the Royal Suite - and if you are lucky enough to bag the latter, you’ll be relaxing with your baby in 118-square-metres of luxury, with a separate VIP entrance, VIP daily menu, and a clear view of the Burj Khalifa from the window (6070 AED per night, on top of your maternity package).
Not got a royal budget? Even the standard packages at UAE hospitals offer luxury touches. Take Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai, for example, where there is a dedicated hynobirthing suite, a birthing pool for water births, and even bespoke lighting that can dim and change colour at the flick of a switch (maternity packages from 10,950).
Fancy a blow-dry before you introduce your baby to the world? Popular Jumeirah-based blow-dry bar Be Bar will come to your hospital bed to tend to your tresses, giving you the choice of seven signature styles, from voluminous curls to braids (from 300 AED, mybebar.com).
And when your tresses are perfected, it’s time to arrange for a photographer to come and capture your newborn. Natalie Robinson is famous for her in-hospital photo shoots, capturing the first cuddles, feeds, and visits from loved ones. She can also arrange the photos into a beautiful keepsake video that can be shared with family and friends (from 2,500 AED for photography and extra 500-1,000 AED for the video, natalierobinson.me).
But what if your family are overseas and can’t meet your baby in the flesh? No problem. The company SnapSights can come to the hospital and set up their White Stork camera above your baby’s cot, giving you a unique log-in to share with family and friends. They can then log in whenever they like to see their new family member - and the camera will be yours to keep when you leave the hospital for use at home too (1,300 AED, Snapsights.ae)
VIP treatment doesn’t have to stop when you get home, of course - and in the UAE, there are plenty of ways to bring a touch of the luxury to the early days at home with your newborn.
Take the option of private home visits from highly-experienced Western-trained midwives, for example, which can be booked through the company Healthbay Polyclinic. Your baby will be weighed and checked at each visit, whilst you will receive help with feeding and be given the chance to ask as many questions as you want. And with the visits in the privacy of your own home, you won’t even need to change out of your pyjamas (from 550 AED, healthbayclinic.com)
If private visits sound like the ultimate luxury, Cucciku Post Pregnancy Care are the company to reach out to for holistic healing. Their Platinum Package for new mothers includes a Herbal Steam, Full Body Massage, Stomach Massage, Lactation Massage, Hot Compress Herbal Treatment and Abdominal Wrap. But newborns don’t miss out either, with a Full Body and Colic Abdomen Massage included in the package. You can book the company for a single visit or buy a package (from 650 AED to 9,500 AED, cucciku.com)
Those home visits aren’t just limited to daylight hours. Malaak Mama & Baby Care offer fully-trained night nannies to care for your little one while you sleep. They are fully supportive of breastfeeding too, so you can either pump enough milk for your little one to be fed with a bottle during the night - or request to be woken when your baby needs a feed. And while they are busy caring for your little one, you get to enjoy some much-needed sleep (priced according to shift length and timings, malaak.me)
And while we’re on the subject of sleep, why not do it in the finest silk pyjamas? Luxury online boutique Blush and Bloom is the place to head, with a choice of truly luxe sleepwear you’ll be more than happy to lounge around in as you get to know your baby (from 1,000 AED). You’ll also find the UAE’s largest selection of premium feeding bras, with the likes of Cache Coeur, Hotmilk and Stella McCartney adorning the virtual rails (from 200 AED, blushandbloom.com)
Your newborn deserves a bit of luxury too - and the company Mama’s Box will spoil them. Subscribe to the company and they will send a box full of treats curated to your baby’s age - from newborn vests and milestone stickers for the tiniest babies, to recipe books and high quality bibs for the weaning days (and everything in between) (from 900 AED to 2,700 AED for a monthly subscription).
And to remember the size and beauty of your newborn? Casts of their tiny hands and feet, of course! Highly respected artists Wrightson & Platt have a dedicated team in the UAE - and it doesn’t get much more VIP than opting for Sterling Silver casts of your little loves to keep forever (from 16,000 AED to 40,000 AED).
BOX OUT - 3 x MATERNITY SPA TREATMENTS WITH A TOUCH OF LUXE!
1 - Mother to Be Wrap at The Pearl Spa, Four Seasons Resort Dubai (1,025 AED, fourseasons.com). It doesn’t get much more luxurious than the shimmering surroundings of The Pearl Spa - and this pampering wrap will leave your skin silky, bump hydrated, and muscles eased.
2. The Pre-Natal Massage at Sense Spa, Rosewood Hotel Abu Dhabi (from 572 AED, rosewoodhotels.com) With opulent surroundings and a massage that promises to pamper areas prone to stress and tension during pregnancy, this is the perfect treatment for Abu Dhabi-based mums to be.
3 - Mother-to-be Massage at The Spa at FIVE, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai (450 AED, fivehotelsandresorts.com). Stylish mamas-to-be will enjoy every second of the chic spa surrounding and pampering maternity massage that will relax and rejuvenate in equal measure.