Saunas, jacuzzis, and pools

Traditional Turkish bath attracts customers in Baghdad’s Al-Sadr City

BAGHDAD, August 12 — Despite rising summer temperatures, a traditional Turkish hamam – or bathhouse – in Sadr City’s market neighborhood is bustling with customers looking to relax and try a salt treatment to soothe their muscles.

The traditional bathhouse is the oldest in Sadr City, established in 1999, and distinguished by its Turkish design. It draws a significant number of customers from the neighborhood and its surrounding areas, particularly athletes in search of muscle relaxation.

Built in the Turkish style, it was the first of its kind at the time, equipped with a salt sauna, jacuzzi, salt bath, as well as massage, scrubbing, and other services.

Over the years, the bathhouse has gained notable popularity and has become a prominent landmark in the city, even influencing the naming of the surrounding neighborhood.

Abu Karar, a masseur, stated: “The entrance fee is 5,000 Iraqi dinars, and the masseur’s fees start from 5,000 dinars based on the requested service. There are also lockers, cleaning, and sterilization services.”

“The initial phase for customers involves a warm salt sauna, where individuals are covered in warm coarse salt for five minutes. Following this, the salt is removed, and customers take a shower before moving on to the next stages. They proceed to the heated sauna and then the hot and cold jacuzzi, followed by a massage.”

“The massage utilizes natural olive oil and other essential oils to extract impurities and fats from the body.”