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The UAE is taking workplace wellness to the next level by promoting the WELL Building Standard, which aims to boost employee performance by improving everything from the air they breath to the desks they sit at.  “Currently, companies are looking at wellness strategies, like programs for nutrition, smoking cessation, giving somebody a gym membership and they’re really not working,” said Ann Marie Aguilar, director of European operations at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in...

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It’s 10pm at the Kibo Hut, which sits at an elevation of 4,750 meters above sea level in the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. There are 22 women, including me, all sporting Gulf for Good-branded yellow duffel bags and hiking backpacks and we are packed like sardines into a tiny room at this final camp before the mountain’s summit.  In two hours, at midnight, we will begin our slow, arduous trek up to the 5,895m Uhuru...

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The Instagram video shows a stunning bare-faced model staring into the camera as Scars To Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara plays in the background. Words begin to appear in bold black marker pen on her face and body: fat, stupid, fake, ugly and failure. But as the key changes in the song, so does the sentiment. The descriptions are replaced with positive messaging in white and red. The woman behind the concept and indeed in...

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Volt Fitness is second in line for a trend first spotted in Dubai and now moving to the capital: state-of-the-art gyms that also offer boutique-style training, service and amenities, with a full range of fitness classes, all in a five-star hotel.  It started earlier this year across Abu Dhabi, with Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort’s British import Bodyism. However, Volt’s offering is an entirely different concept. Volt Fitness was launched by a group of well-travelled fitness...

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Dubai Fitness Challenge – aka the Dubai 30 x 30, which aims to get everyone in the city exercising for 30 minutes a day all month long – keeps growing. The 2018 event recorded an impressive 34 percent increase on 2017, with more than one million people registering to participate. This year is no different in terms of scale. Running from October 18 to November 16 across the city, organizers have planned more than 40 events...

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Visit any of the shisha cafes in the cities of the Gulf states and it isn’t hard to see why smoking tobacco through a water pipe is becoming increasingly popular among the young people of the region,  locals and expats alike. After all, what’s not to like about kicking back in a trendy waterside cafe with friends, watching the sun go down over the Gulf and listening to cool sounds as you pass the hose and...

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Have your children fallen into a steady diet of chicken nuggets and pasta with white sauce? Let these parents and experts show you the way to get your kids to eat healthy. Or at least, healthier. (Hint: it’s not just about hiding vegetables. Just sometimes) Lead by example Dubai mom Hadil Alkhatib, owner of The Roost Rotisserie, has always given her children smaller, slightly more bland versions of healthy adult food. She believes parents can...

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Dubai yoga and stretch instructor Clare Moukabaa understands the importance of getting her kids to eat their vegetables. She creates the prettiest little lunchboxes for her daughter: tiny slices of sandwiches, bits of cucumber, rolled turkey with cheese, fresh berries, raisins, pretzels – even the occasional fancy dessert.  “If she doesn’t eat her broccoli for her evening dinner, it goes into her lunchbox, where I know she’ll eat it,” says Moukabaa. “Ayla started nursery at...

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Mental stress echoes physical stress in our body. So why do we seem to care so little about our mental health? And when we do wake up, how can we start to feel better? Ricardo Vargas used to be extremely stressed. An aspiring New York-based actor, the American pushed his body to the limits with fitness.  When he turned 33, Vargas became tired of the constant stress-related suffering. The regular anxiety attacks were affecting everything....

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According to Cigna research, 77 percent of UAE residents say they work in an ‘always on’ culture. The Cigna 360 well-being survey highlights stress in the UAE is high as depicted by this infographic. Whether you work in an office or full-time at home, workplace stress is unusually high in the UAE. For further reading, also see World Mental Health Day: The dangers of stress in the UAE or visit Cigna-Me.

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There’s nothing like a race or fitness challenge to keep you working out and motivated and here are six UAE races that will challenge you as the weather cools and people get outside.  Ignite Pink is Punk Paddle  Known for its swims and runs, this will be the first IGNITE Pink is Punk Paddle and it is being held around Riva Beach on the calm waters of Palm Jumeirah. This standup paddleboarding (SUP) event is...