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A year ago, I set myself a challenge: Go the whole month without ordering food or going out to eat more than once a week. I was able to complete this challenge, but I did not like it. I felt constrained, anxious and antisocial. And I was sick of doing dishes.  But the important thing is that I made it and I realized I could mentally cope with producing all my own food. However when...

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When Renos Fountoulakis headed from Dubai to Zanzibar in 2016, he was hoping to unwind from his job in the financial services sector and enjoy the beauty of the beaches and resorts with his wife and brother.  Yet something the 36-year-old from Greece saw during a trip to the village of Kizimkazi, where families of eight lived in small houses made of mud and palm fronds, changed him forever. “I looked around and saw some...

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A visit to the plant souk at Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed, particularly in the depths of summer, can be like a breath of fresh air — believe or not. Sure, you have to shimmy through narrow alleys lined with giant bags of soil and assorted greenery. You have to step around watering hoses, navigate a street cat or two and even a mechanical butterfly. But at the end you are likely to come away with a...

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Instagram-friendly and cute-as-a-button Tania’s Teahouse is so committed to wellness that the Jumeirah Beach Road cafe is having its first special dedicated-to-wellness week later this month. One of the events will be a workshop, personally hosted by owner Tania Lodi, all about DIY face masks.  The New Yorker, who moved with her family to Dubai in 2005, became obsessed with the power of tea and also mindfulness and positivity while learning how to overcome chronic...

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There’s a good reason to care about what goes into the products you put on your face and body, whether they are vegan, natural, organic or a combination of all three.  “Your skin is a sponge; it absorbs literally everything,” says Emmanuelle Bonham, a UAE personal trainer and long-time vegan. “Brands that are more conscious tend to be inclined towards healthier, natural ingredients, which are just better for you.”  The skin is the body’s largest...

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When car sharing services started turning up all over Abu Dhabi I was intrigued. But all I could think about was the potential hassle: trying to get in a car I’d booked, for example, or not being able to find the car I’d booked and getting frustrated in the heat. Or, for that matter, having to take a taxi to find the car, which seems like a hassle too far.  That’s why I jumped at...

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Have you ever heard the expression “live simply, so others may simply live”?   For the stereotypical UAE resident, that idea may be quite far from the reality of their luxury lifestyle. However, as we learn through almost daily apocalyptic headlines about the impact of climate change, if we don’t change the way we live to be more environmentally friendly, we might not have any chance of living at all in a few decades.   Fortunately, living...

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One of my all-time favorite comments is, “Our traditional homes were so organic, so healthy, one could pull out a twig from the roof and use it as a toothpick.” It was made by an elder of a tribe in Abu Dhabi, who remembers living as a child inside an arish – a traditional home made of palm fronds. Take a moment to think about this: Is there anything inside your home now that you...

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Zach Holz counts photography and percussion among his side hustles, adores his job teaching English at Dubai’s Universal American School and has recently made some big improvements to his lifestyle, too. But the 35-year-old American also has a much bigger mission: spreading the word about how when it comes to having a fulfilled, happy life, financial freedom beats anything you can buy. As he writes in the bio for his popular blog The Happiest Teacher: “I...