Sure, you can go to the mall and get your friends and family a tech device or some sports paraphernalia that’s been imported from abroad. Or, you could get some healthy gifts and support the dreamers/doers who are producing their own products right here in the UAE.
Dubai upside down
If you’ve ever dreamed about holding a handstand, this is the guide for you. Created by UAE-based yoga teacher Sarah White, the (Dh147) ebook offers an impressive 61 pages of steadily progressing moves and insights. You will work through warmups, shoulder activation, core exercises, wall positions, and eventually handstands themselves.
We were already suckers for the incredible nut butters produced by the homegrown brand Encas (just check out the hazelnut and chocolate spread), but now the UAE company has rolled out great gift packs of tasty, health-aware KikiBites. Clocking in around 150 calories each, these snacks are 100 percent plant based, dairy and gluten free, and come without any added sugar.
Dubai-based physiotherapist Lilly Sabri has created a special resistance band that is adjustable, making it like six bands in one. And she’s selling it with an eight-week transformation guide. Instead of some disastrous diet plan or unsustainable workout, these online guides feature 28 unique real-time workouts.
The pretty-as-a-picture venue Tania’s Teahouse has so many tempting items on the menu, ranging from all-new nut mylks to mermaid-colored smoothie bowls. But for take-home goodies, we’re fans of this charming cafe’s ‘Teas the Season’ teas, which include cinnamon, cloves, and jasmine petals. There’s also a range of cute items in the boutique.
This made-in-the-UAE mochi ice cream brand whips up plenty of tempting little sweet treats. But for the fitness fan in your life, try M’OISHI’s new protein mochi ice cream, which comes in at around 85 calories a piece and satisfies any chocolate craving without being overly sweet. A great hostess gift, too.
Les Mills comes home
Les Mills is one of the biggest fitness workout brands in the world, with everything from yoga-themed classes to pilates to cardio-focused kickboxing-meets-dance-off routines. Les Mills Middle East has finally rolled out Les Mills On Demand, letting subscribers work out to more than 800 of the brand’s classes at home. There’s also currently a deal on: pay eight months, get one year free.
This activewear brand, launched between Dubai and London, is one of several we’ve seen lately that’s aimed at women and men of all shapes and sizes. Expect a range of colors (pastels and neutrals for women, mostly neutrals for men) all in pricing similar to what you’d find at a Lululemon or LornaJane.
These all-natural spa products are all made and sold in the UAE, using a range of ingredients unearthed from the region. Impress your family and friends in the UAE and abroad with Hammamii’s scrubs made from salts drawn via solar panel from Abu Dhabi’s Arabin Sea, soaps and lotions made from local camel milk and dates from Ras Al Khaimah, sumac and zaatar. Available online and in local hotel spas.
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist. In addition to working as editor-in-chief of Women's Health Middle East and Men's Health Middle East, Danae has written for The Sunday Times, CNN Travel, Dubai Tourism, The Guardian, Afar, Bloomberg and many more. She's based in Dubai and is a trainer at Crank. instagram.com/danaemercer