Dubai Active is coming to Dubai from December 5 to 7 and that means three days of celebrity-led workouts, browsing boutique activewear brands, free healthy snack samples and more. Here’s all you need to know about the hottest health and wellness event around.
What is Dubai Active exactly?
Dubai Active is a three-day wellness and health event that includes a range of fitness and yoga classes, meet-and-greets, expert talks, and quite a lot more, all at Dubai World Trade Center. There will also be rows of workout and beauty brands for those who like shopping alongside their stretches. Admission is by ticket, costing from Dh50 for one day to Dh145 for all three days.
But it’s not Dubai Muscle Show?
No, even though both events are held at the same venue. Dubai Muscle Show has been around for years, while the Dubai Active show launched in 2018. The Muscle Show is a bit more protein-focused and weights-heavy (there’s even a bikini fitness competition), while Dubai Active is more about holistic health.
What are the highlights?
The obvious one is that celebrity trainers Kayla Itsines and Kelsey Wells are coming to Dubai to host workouts, meet-and-greets and on-stage Q&As. Les Mills international trainer Caley Jack is flying in too. A whole range of UAE-based fitness influencers (including me) and celebrities will also be present. We’ve included a few of our pick of the events below, but the schedule is always changing and there are loads of options.
What if I just want to work out?
You can – a lot. There’s Barry’s Bootcamp, yoga with Reform Athletica, spin classes with Crank, dance workouts, HIIT classes, Fitness First circuits, F45, TRX, Les Mills and more. Basically, there are dozens of workouts every day, across all sorts of styles, and a ticket to the event means you can join any of them.
What if I want to take a break?
A big focus of Dubai Active is on health and wellness talks. These include an intro to plant-based nutrition with UAE trainer Emmanuelle Bonham, sleep and stress management with Natalie Pennicotte-Collier, food as medicine with Kibsons (one of the show’s main sponsors), tips for building your own brand and more.
There’s the business of fitness…
Alongside Dubai Active, there’s the Middle East Fitness Business Summit on December 5. Matt Prior is the keynote speaker, and he will be talking about his shift from international cricketer to a fitness businessman. This one-day event is focused on fitness professionals, facility owners, personal trainers, fitness influencers and basically more industry folks. Talks will address the overall fitness and wellness mark and maximizing the value of your gym. Plus the fee is currently waived for this category – you just have to apply online.
…and Fit Awards
These are basically one of the only health and wellness awards in the UAE, operating alongside the show. Certain categories are open for public voting and there’s a ticketed gala dinner on December 5.
If you want to catch me speaking and hosting several panels, or the other sessions that caught my eye, here are some suggestions:
Thursday December 5:
- 11:30am: Mom and baby yoga
- 12:30pm: Health and wellness for parents and expectant parents
Friday December 6:
- 2pm: Work out with Kayla Itsines
- 2pm: Body positivity panel talk hosted by myself, featuring Dr Saliha Afridi of Lighthouse Arabia, Petrina, Olivia McCubbin, and Luanne
- 3pm: Busting nutrition myths with Maria Marlowe and Emmanuelle Bonham
Saturday December 7:
- 11am: Les Mills Body Combat with Master Trainer Caley Jack
- 12pm: Q&A with Kayla Itsines
- 1pm: HIIT with Peter Barron
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