Get the Inside Track on Dubai’s Booming Health and Wellness Scene
With glorious year-round sunshine and a coastline lapped by shimmering turquoise water, it’s no surprise that Dubai is one of the world’s hottest destinations for those looking for some all-important R&R. But beyond the body-boosting benefits Vitamin D, Dubai is a destination where wellness is booming: over the last five years the sun-soaked Emirate’s health scene has flourished, with the launch of flavour-packed vegan brunches and some of the world’s hottest new exercise classes. Here we give you the inside track on where to eat, exercise and chill during your holiday in Dubai.
Lift your feet off the ground at Define yoga
Dubai has become a hotbed of restorative new yoga experiences. Full moon yoga beneath a starlit sky? You bet. An annual yoga festival, complete with multiple stages visited by 13,000 keen yogis? Of course. After a day of lazing on the beach or racking up the steps exploring Dubai’s malls, the coolest place to relax and rewind is the Define Yoga studio. Define Yoga may have made its start in the US, but it’s now Dubai’s leading hangout for hammock yoga, where you’ll elevate your yoga skills by taking on new moves in a series of fabric hammocks which drape down from the ceiling. The class will bring a whole new meaning to lengthen and release, and expert instructors are on hand to make sure you leave your class with a brag-worthy Insta story. dubai.definebody.com
Stretch weary limbs with The Stretch Studio
Long-haul flights can play havoc with your body, but you can fast-track your recovery by booking a stretching session with a flexologist at The Stretch Studio. The sessions improve flexibility, motion, relieves stress on joints and even re-aligns the muscles in your body! It might sound a little intense, but really your stretching your muscles in the best way possible and with the help of a professional. Forget spending the first few days of your holiday feeling stiff and sleepy – with this you’ll feel fresh and nimble. stretchstudios.com.au/copy-of-double-bay
Devour a vegan brunch at Organic Foods & Cafe
Dubai may be famous for its decadent brunches, but it’s not all limitless oysters and free-flowing champagne. Organic Foods & Cafe is a family run business that stocks over 10,000 hormone- and chemical-free products sourced from family run farms around the world. Pop in to one of their shops for the Long Breakfast – a feast of healthy delicious eggs, yoghurt, fruit and more, or check out their Vegan Brunch. Held over one weekend every month (check the site for dates) it’s a hot contender for the best vegan brunch the world – one that’ll have even the most avid meat-eater queuing up for another serving of gluten- and dairy-free kale chowder. organicfoodsandcafe.com
Relax in Al Barari’s peaceful gardens and spa
Venture into the lush green world of Al Barari and you’ll soon forget that Dubai is in fact a desert. The vast oasis, just a 25-minute taxi from downtown, is home to a staggering collection of themed gardens, naturally landscaped lakes and freshwater streams – along with the region’s largest privately owned plant nursery. At the heart of the super serene space is the Heart & Soul Spa, a peaceful, light-filled haven that’s the most relaxing spa experience in the region. The only problem is deciding what to pick: the treatment menu features facials and massages from luxurious Australian and Japanese brands, but our choice has to be the sound bath ritual, which uses the power of sound to release negative emotions, leaving you feeling ultra calm and content. heartandsoul.ae
Master an Olympic sport at XDubai Skatepark
Think skateboarding is a sport for surly teens killing time on their school break? Think again. The up-and-coming sport is set to make its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and if you’re looking to hone your core and challenge your brain, it’s one of the coolest new skills to master. Dubbed by many as the ‘new surfing’, it’s a sport that you can hone in your own time, but why not give yourself a head start at XDubai Skatepark – the largest skatepark in the UAE. The vast space is a mind-boggling maze of flatbanks, craters, up-down rails and bowled corners. Not sure what that means? No problem – you can book into one-on-one hour-long lessons that will teach you the key moves. xdubai.com
Go raw at Super Natural Kitchen in Galeries Lafayette
Eating out doesn’t have to be naughty on the waist line. Super Natural Kitchen is Dubai’s only 100% raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and plastic free restaurant and it’s one of the Emirate’s hippest hangouts for healthy and wholesome cuisine. They are known for their yummy raw cakes like salted caramel and the jam-packed menu is created by head chef and London trained Athena Matheou. She is really pushing the boundaries with plant-based foods. Tucked away on the 2nd floor of the Galeries Lafayette wing of the Dubai Mall, the restaurant is the perfect pitstop for shoppers looking to fuel-up on filling yet healthy dishes. snkitchen.com
Break a sweat with Orangetheory Fitness
It’s only been a few months since Orangetheory Fitness opened up at Dubai’s Times Square Centre, but it’s already hailed as the most hip and hardcore work out in town. The 60-minute interval based training programme will see you moving through a series of sweat-inducing cardio exercises before a serious muscle-quivering strength-training session. Instead of just slogging away like most exercise classes, you’ll be given a monitor that will track your heart-rate on a big screen, pushing you to work in the orange ‘fat burning’ zone – and helping you to burn calories for up to 36 hours after you stumble out of the door. Looking for an incentive to work harder? It’s right here. facebook.com/OTFDubai
Ready to Pack your Bag?
Want to experience Dubai’s booming health and wellness scene for yourself? We recommend staying at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray for incredible views directly over Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, plus a host of great facilities, including a state-of-the-art fitness centre, two tennis courts and the oh-so-luxurious Talise Ottoman Spa. But don’t just take it from us. Instagram Fitness star Lilly Sabri checked out our alternative guide to Dubai for herself, staying at this 5* luxury hotel. Check out her vlog below. Tempted? Check out our latest deals.
Read our Alternative Guides to Dubai:
- Fashionistas Guide: Dubai for Fashionistas: the Best shops, Restaurants and Experiences
- Family Guide: Fun for the Whole Family in Dubai
- Culture Guide: How to Get your Culture Fix in Dubai