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Health and wellness are the main priorities at Absolute Sanctuary, located on Koh Samui island in Thailand. Specializing in fitness, health, lifestyle weight management, they have a variety of programs that will help you achieve whatever goals you want to set. With Moroccan-inspired architecture hidden away in the thick vegetation of the surrounding hills, the property has 38 rooms ranging from superior versions to large suites. Inside Absolute Sanctuary The centerpiece of the resort is...

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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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Starvation detoxes are out, and ultra hip, fitness-meets-fun wellness retreats are in. Here are some that get it right – and why they’re worth traveling for.  There was a moment during W Hotel’s Fuel Weekend where I knew I wasn’t cool enough to be there.  Everyone had finished a day of trendy workout classes led by boutique gym instructors from across Dubai. The visiting fitness influencer, Bradley Simmonds, was wrapping up his outdoor HIIT class and...

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The signature facial at the Native Club, Zabeel House by Jumeirah, is one of the best I’ve ever had – and with my job, I’ve had a lot.  It lasts a decadent 90 minutes and includes the elements you might expect (cleaning, exfoliating, moisturizing) along with a few of the touches you hope for (a head massage and a face massage, with no pressure to buy products). But the real kicker is the spa’s use...

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As the highest five-star resort in the Middle East, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, in Oman’s Hajar Mountains, feels like an escape into the clouds.  Health here comes in the form of all things outdoors. You can hike through wadis (the resort offers two guided tours, each around four hours, at varying levels of difficulty) or grab a bike and cycle through the local village. If adrenaline is your thing, there’s Via Ferrata, which basically...

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It’s only in recent years that travel throughout the GCC has taken pride of place in current tourism trends. Even just a decade ago, international destinations far out-favored short-haul trips. Now, however, we’ve become more acquainted with our counterparts in the region. As interest grows in uncovering the depths of what the region has to offer, so have home-grown tour companies who pave the way to never-before-traversed terrain.  Jumping on the burgeoning bandwagon is Yalla...

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Life in the UAE often involves a lot of flying on planes, and with travel – particularly long-haul travel – comes jet lag. So we went to a pair of experts: Charlotte Hodgson and David Loftus, who are based in the UAE and have 20 years’ experience as cabin crew. Here they give us their top tips on how to try and reduce, beat and recover from jet lag. What is jet lag for you?...

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Derek Straat was still sound testing when he realized that the guest he was interviewing for an episode of his new podcast, Enlightened Abroad, was “pure gold.”  Devanshu Wiersma is a practitioner of Tibetan “pulsing,” a therapy that combines eye reading for spiritual and emotional healing. Among other things, Wiersma got on the topic of meeting the Indian spiritual leader Osho and the controversy surrounding his death.  “He starts talking about all of these secrets and...

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One of the great things about the UAE is the vast number of places there are to escape to for a short staycation. And one of the newest offerings that opened last year in Sharjah is all about getting back to nature: Kingfisher Lodge, which offers a glamping experience in the protected Al Qurm Nature Reserve. Arriving at the village of Kalba, an enclave of the emirate of Sharjah that’s nestled in the middle of...

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The Life Happens Outdoors group of adventurers has just taken off from Bhutan to Nepal when founder Rami Rasamny shuffles excitedly between the airplane seats, pointing out the different Himalayan peaks. To the untrained eye, every peak looks stunning, but also homogenous. For the Rasamny, however, every mountain has a personality. Spending most of his year at high altitudes, he has dedicated his life to exploring and sharing those distinctions with others. He wasn’t always...

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Want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or hike up a mighty volcano in Indonesia? How about surfing the tides in Zanzibar or canyoning in Oman? Here are five UAE-based adventure companies to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie. Life Happens Outdoors  Founded in 2015 by Dubai-based outdoor enthusiasts Rami Rasamny and Ghida Arnaout, Life Happens Outdoors curates adventures and expeditions for first timers, experienced climbers and solo travelers. The adventure tour operator has taken more than 150...