Dubai is a hub for cosmetic procedures, but how do British mums feel about “having work” done, and where’s cheaper – here or the UK? We investigate…

Wrinkles have become a lifestyle choice rather than a certainty. Although nothing can stop the clock from ticking, with the wealth of procedures now available, ranging from Botox and fillers to full-on surgery, people can now opt to get the face they want, rather than the face they were born with. 

According to the latest figures from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than 20 million surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures were performed around the world in 2014.

Here in Dubai, (where let’s face it, people tend to be a tad more glamorous than back home), the aesthetic treatments market is, as you might imagine, booming. The demand here is so big that clinics have attracted doctors from Hollywood and around the globe. 

In 2015, a report by the Dubai Health Authority revealed that Dubai currently has the highest ratio of plastic surgeons per capita in the world – that’s equated to hosting 50 doctors for every million people!

British attitudes

Although there is probably more pressure here to look good, have we Brits succumbed to it? And if so, how likely are we to discuss it? 

Online beauty retailer’s recent global beauty infographic looked at how women in different countries view and use beauty differently.

According to a recent survey for UK women, inner qualities such as happiness, confidence, humour and wisdom far outweigh the importance of physical attributes such as facial appearance, youthfulness and body shape (although these were are still contributing factors for 49% of people questioned).

But Nikki Stubbins, a British mum-of-three believes there is more pressure in the UAE to look young: “Living in a country where wealth is expressed a lot through looks and possessions, there is a pressure to look young and perfect. There are similar pressures in the UK, but there are a lot of very wealthy people living in Dubai, which means we are constantly reminded of the ‘need’ to look perfect, everywhere we go.”

Anisa Vrabac, spokesperson and head of the Hair Transplant Department at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery clinic says Brits make up about 20% of the clinic’s patients. We asked her if she thought our attitudes to cosmetic procedure were different to those of other nations. 

“I would say Brits are nowhere close to being shy or embarrassed when it comes down to cosmetic procedures,” she said. “These feelings usually come down to individual personalities. 

Actually, many of our British patients have referred their friends to us; which means they obviously speak about it, and are quite open to talking about it.”

British mum-of-three and fitness trainer Emma Jordan agrees: “I believe Dubai is a very young city, that is very image conscious. Due to higher incomes, it’s easier for people to access gyms, personal trainers, salons, healthy food… and also invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures like Botox.  

Plastic Surgery is very acceptable here and a lot of people are very open about it. I definitely think British mums in Dubai are more likely to have cosmetic procedures here than in the UK.

Mums here are more able to afford it than back home, and many mums don’t work and have the time for such procedures and recovery times. Women in Dubai definitely aim to look good for each other rather than the opposite sex, so they’re very supportive of their friend’s choices when it comes to making themselves feel better through such procedures.”

Vrabac does state, however, that Brits are more likely to opt for the less invasive and more natural looking treatments rather than those that result in a dramatic change in appearance.

She said: “Most of our British patients do not usually go for super aggressive procedures. The choices for most are Botox and dermal fillers, which are very popular among the British expat community here.”

“They might be very private about other surgical procedures,” adds Vrabac, “but when it comes to breast augmentation, which is very common and one of the most popular procedures in the UK, they are very open about it.

In a nutshell, any secretiveness (about cosmetic treatments) comes down to individual personality and not because they are British.”

Price – Dubai versus Britain
Alongside Botox and fillers, breast augmentation is amongst the most popular treatments for Brits in both the UK and the UAE, and the good news is that treatments are on average, 25% cheaper in the UAE than back home.

Botox at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery clinic costs 150 AED per injection. The number of injections needed will depend on the individual – while one person might need only four injections, the next person may need up to fifteen.

In the UK, Botox is priced per area with an average of £150 (673 AED) per area (i.e. crows feet). 

Breast Augmentation
At Dubai Cosmetic Surgery, prices range from AED28,000 to AED35,000.

In Britain, at a clinic comparable to Dubai Cosmetic Surgery, prices start at £10,000. 

Tempted? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Read more:

Where to find natural, ethical and organic cosmetics in Dubai

How to look good and feel good after having a baby in Dubai

Our Guide to Safe Pregnancy Pampering in Dubai

Our Guide to Stress Free Mummy and Child Pampering in Dubai

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