Demand for tattooing whether as a means for beauty enhancement or a form of self expression is growing in Doha despite ban.
“Tattooing is an art form indicative of freedom of self expression,” a Filipino tattoo enthusiast said, adding it is not a new thing; in fact it has been part of culture passed on through generations.
For some tattoos are symbolic of significant events in their lives so they have tattoos done despite the high price and pain.
“It took the tattoo artist days to have my tattoo done on my arm,” another enthusiast said adding it was worth thousands since the design was customised on the occasion of the birth of his first son, something he vowed to have.
In Doha there are very few professional tattoo artists, most of them don’t have enough knowledge and experience and they do it secretly because of the ban. Prices depend on the design and the quality of materials used.
An Arab daily recently reported there is an increased interest in women having their eyebrows tattooed to enhance beauty.
“The practice is going on in some salons and even Qatari women are doing it,” according to an owner of a leading beauty salon who said she refuses to do it despite constant requests from many customers.
“My customers said many beauty salons here are offering tattoo service so why couldn’t we, but we maintain our stand since it is not allowed here” she said.
“I can’t open a salon offering this kind of service because it is banned in Qatar, though it is permitted in other GCC countries,” said a beauty expert who specializes in tattooing, adding she tried to secure license but failed since it is not allowed by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Awqaf (Islamic Affairs).
Having done tattooing for 11 years, she said it is lucrative being paid a hefty QR1, 500 each service.
“When a customer calls and tells me she wants a tattoo done on her eyebrows I come to her house,” she said adding though she doesn’t have a salon she is popular in Qatar having even prominent personalities as her customers.
She said the tattoo lasts for one and a half years and when it fades, she is called again for another tattoo session.
“Though most women who have tattoos have knowledge that it is ‘haram’or against Islamic laws, they still do it because they want to look beautiful, especially because eyebrows are a part of the face which attracts the most attention,” she said.
“I have my eyebrows tattooed whenever I go back to my country because I prefer it done by an expert,” Hala, a Jordanian said, adding ladies prefer tattoos over the conventional eyeliners because tattoos are lasting and colour is more attractive.
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