Recently opened in the Sakanat El Maadi neighbourhood near Maadi Grand Mall in Cairo, Diva 3 is a luxurious gem of a beauty salon in an area that desperately needs it. Following in the footsteps of Pace e Luce, Diva 3 offers a similarly glamorous, but more low-key and affordable salon experience.

Located on the ground floor of a commercial building, the salon is elegantly presented with glass-panelled windows, sleek black furniture, chic glass coffee tables and impressive hair stations featuring mini-flat-screen TVs playing Fashion TV. Flattering lighting, comfortable styling and hair-washing chairs add to the overall experience at Diva.

The staff is professional and welcoming, offering refreshments and responding helpfully to customer requests for reading material, although said reading material left much to be desired, with the English magazines on offer consisting of telecom industry trade magazines and a publication about yachts. Arabic magazines were better, with a good stock of the usual women's and gossip magazines.

Stylists are clearly intelligent and well-trained; a request for a complicated signature style was received enthusiastically and executed flawlessly. A wash and blow dry will set you back a pricey 70LE; but unlike some other overpriced salons, the result is excellent and lasting. While the price is steep, the atmosphere and quality of the service might be worth it.

Other services at Diva 3 include hair cutting (80LE) and colouring (250LE and up), manicures (50LE) and pedicures (60LE), waxing (40LE and up) and threading (15LE and up). Manicures and pedicures can be conducted at your salon chair if you are getting your hair styled, or in the comfort of a private spa area at the back of the salon.

The spa area, like the rest of the salon, is impeccably clean – no need to bring your own nail set here – and is staffed by very competent, helpful and attentive technicians.

Although it’s a very high-end salon, Diva 3 lacks the snobbish atmosphere of some of the big-name salons in Cairo. It feels like your humble neighbourhood salon; but cleaner, more comfortable and a little bit more expensive. For regular salon visits or a special occasion splurge, Diva 3 stands out from the crowd of Maadi hair and beauty salons, and definitely merits a visit.