Today, we took some time out to explore the local area in which we were staying – and it turned out to be a great, restful day!

Yaz and I shared great conversation over Cinnabons and frappes, enjoying the cool sea breeze that blew through the area of Corniche.

However, the highlight of Day 6 has to be getting my hair cut.

Yes – a haircut!

When I travel, I absolutely love getting a haircut at a random barber shop I inevitably stumble across. I got one in Singapore, South Africa, Manchester – I love the conversation that occurs, and they often provide insight into local life and attitudes.

And it has to be said that this Abu Dhabi haircut stands out as the best one yet!

I got my classic short back and sides (a level 1 shave) but leaving the top of my head untouched (considering tying it up again) – I’m a man of habit, what can I say.

And my boy, Babatus, took care of me!


He went old school, after giving my head the once over with the shaver – got out a fresh razor blade and went about carving out the ‘racing stripe’ and cleaning up the edges around my head.

Then, he proceeded to give me this AMAZING head massage, which apparently is commonplace! It was sensational, and I felt incredibly relaxed after!


Babatus moved to Abu Dhabi from Bangladesh 17 years ago and has been cutting hair in the Corniche area ever since.

His story is no different to many migrants that flood in from the Indian subcontinent – in fact, his story is a classic migrant story. A desire for opportunity and a better life has lead him to a quaint, little barber shop in the prosperous gulf region.

This story is a story that reflects that of my parent’s experience; moving our family from Singapore to Australia in search of something more.

And as he pointed to his own hair and asked if I wanted the exact same haircut as himself – it became a unique moment where two stories, continentally different but experientially the same, collide and connect – all over a simple buzz cut and trim.

Ryan Cheng is the founder of The 88, and is passionate about telling stories surrounding travel, culture and identity.

Get in touch ~
Instagram: @chinkinthearmour


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