I stumbled across this headline this week and actually said “oh for heaven’s sake” out loud Maldives orders ban of all spas.
Now I should state here that I have never been to the Maldives, but I have spent six years living in a Muslim country so I feel this gives me a right to comment (even without living in Saudi I would still feel I have a right to comment)
Just what are they thinking by closing the spas? The huge draw for people staying in resorts with the likes of Kuoni are the luxury spas attached to the hotels.
Without them they are going to kill off probably the biggest industry they have: tourism. Some reports say it is worth $1 billion a year.
Not only will wealthy individuals no longer visit the island but it is going to mean thousands of the residents will become unemployed overnight.
The claim that the spas are being used as brothels seems nonsensical to me. How many people go on their honeymoon and visit a brothel? In a hotel that can be £7,000 a night?
What will happen is that tourists will now go to sister resorts in Mauritius, St Barts, Thailand etc. Taking their $ with them.
It seems hypocritical to be banning these spas but still permitting “semi naked women” to lounge on the beach in their bikinis. Or to sit provocatively a top a jet ski in little more than a swimming costume and a life jacket. How does that work? How can they have not done a blanket ban as is in place in Saudi? No spas, not even a hair dressing salon in Saudi. And no women on the beach either.
Alcohol is strictly monitored but it IS available. Why is that permitted when is is expressly forbidden in the Koran?
I think the Maldives have made a big mistake here. I understand about Islamc principles (and this post is in no way anti-Islamic so if you feel the need to comment as such I will delete it) but I think to fundamentally change something that has been permitted for years is going to have disastrous effect.