AL AIN // The rumour spread, as rumours so often do, by BlackBerry. A member of staff at the Reem al Badawi beauty salon, it said, had tuberculosis.
But, as rumours so often are, it was nonsense.
Inspectors have now checked the parlour twice and both times given it a clean bill of health, leading some to suspect skulduggery and a calculated plot to tarnish the company's good name.
"It could be rivalry, some salons trying to ruin others' businesses," said Wadha Al Ahbabi, an inspector at the municipality's department of health.
The matter first came to the municipality's attention in April and inspectors were dispatched check the salon, located in the city's Oud al Touba district.
"We were told that one of the employees at the salon had tuberculosis," said Ms Al Ahbabi. "So we asked the manager of the salon for health certificates for all of them. We were sure they were all OK, and there was nothing."
But this month, the municipality received another "tip-off".
"The same message was circulating on BlackBerry, saying someone there has got tuberculosis. Inspectors returned to the salon, and again found it clear. While no one knows where the message started, Ms Al Ahbabi suspects foul play. "There are lots of circulated messages about different salons. The problem is people believe everything on BlackBerry," she said.