There’s no relationship that’s more on-again, off-again than the one we have with our New Year’s promises! Make 2019 different by really living up to your true potential – FACT is helping you stick to your guns with our ultimate guide of nine resolutions that are worth keeping!
1: FIT IN MORE FITNESS
If it’s health and strength, and not necessarily weight loss that you’re looking for, Dubai has an abundance of exercise and wellness options at your fingertips. You could simply sign up to a gym or join in with one of the many sports teams in the city as well as becoming a regular at your favourite fitness class. Get creative with more interesting hobbies such as Kangoo Jumps with the Kangoo Club Dubai (www.kangooclubdxb.com); everything from Contemporary Dance, to Ballet, Aerial Yoga and even Hip-Hop Choreography at James and Alex Dance Studios (04 447 0773); or flyboarding, paddleboarding and more water activities with Nemo Watersports Dubai (www.dubai-jetski.com). A great bargain to be had is signing up for ClassPass (www.classpass.com) where you can enjoy top-rated classes, gyms and fitness studios to make use of various world-class facilities for a very reasonable price! Also, make every little count by taking the stairs instead of the lift or elevator, and parking further away from work – walking half an hour every single day or doing just 20 minutes of rigorous exercise can make a difference to your wellbeing! Don’t forget to take out time for a good relaxation and pamper session too – after all, it’s all about balance.
QUANTUM HEALTH CLUB & VIRTUAL STUDIOS, THE H DUBAI
Named after the fundamental unit of energy, Quantum Health Club is a hub of fitness and wellness experiences. A large gym stocked with state-of-theart equipment including Technogym
balancing, strengthening, cardio and resistance training machines – provides a base from which to work out, stretch and engage in a personal training session with our onsite professionals. Check out their website for annual, monthly, and daily membership deals, offers and price lists.
GO: CALL (0)4 501 8888 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.
BODYLINES FITNESS & WELLNESS CLUB AT AL BANDAR ROTANA CREEK
Keep your body and your mind in good health at the Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club featuring a fully-equipped gymnasium with a stunning view of Dubai Creek, outdoor swimming pool and sauna, steam and three massage rooms. One of the most desirable gyms in the area, it offers modern equipment with both cardiovascular and free-weight training areas. A personal trainer is available upon request.
GO: CALL (0)4 704 2222 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.
2: BREATHE LIGHTER
This one goes out to all the smokers who really want to kick the habit but find it difficult to do so! Frankly, it’s time to quit smoking. To be fair, this should be on the top of everyone’s list all year round, but New Year does make for a perfect excuse. We know it’s easier said than done, but once you make that decision, it is truly not as hard as you may think! The toughest bit is breaking the habit and so it is a good idea to change up your routine by, for example, sitting somewhere you don’t usually smoke or taking up a new hobby that will keep you busy in free hours. Whether it’s binge-watching a new series on Netflix or sweating it out on the treadmill, trying out your cooking skills or even meditating – finding what makes you stop thinking about the nicotine rush is what’s important here. If you’re not up for going ‘cold turkey’, as they say, there is aid at hand. You could invest in some patches or gum, or head over to the Dubai Hypnosis Centre which helps you to tackle the emotional reliance on smoking (056 744 4908). We’d recommend visiting the Ministry of Health website to find out about possible smoking cessation clinics that offer free and effective methods for locals and expatriates to take advantage of.
3: DONATE YOUR TIME
What better way to feed the soul and develop your character than by giving unselfishly to others? There are good causes aplenty to get involved with in Dubai. One that is fresh in everyone’s mind for their constant efforts is K9 Friends (www.k9friends.com), which is a fantastic animal shelter that rescues abandoned and stray dogs and is dedicated to providing a safe haven for them in the UAE until they can be placed in loving homes. There are a number of ways you can volunteer at K9 Friends, from working directly with the animals to helping out with events, admin and manning the office. One of our other favourites is the UAE Dolphin Project, a non-profit initiative dedicated to investigating the dolphin population along the UAE coastline, to provide scientific information and to support the conservation of these local marine species (www.uaedolphinproject.org/volunteering). If you want to go green this year and want some eco-friendly tips and tricks to better living in Dubai, keep up-to-date with the The Change Initiative (www.thechangeinitiative.com), the first shop in Dubai to sell only sustainable, environmentally-friendly products, where you can pop in and ask the staff on how you can make improvements to your home. Whether you want to look after children or would love to lend an ear to a cancer sufferer, there is a charity or group for everyone here. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, why not start your own?
4: BUILD SOME MAD SKILLS
We mean expand your talent repertoire by learning something new! A language, perhaps? Arabic should be a priority for all expats, and for this you can head to the long-standing The Arabic Language Centre (www.arabiclanguagecentre.com). But, there are plenty of other tongues to be mastered so check out what classes are available at Berlitz Language Centre (www.berlitz.ae) or the Pomegranate Institute (www.pomegranateinstitute.com) – to name a few. You could also learn traditional Arabic calligraphy in lessons at DUCTAC (www.ductac.org). But maybe arts is more your thing. There are so many activities to choose from, such as learning an instrument, singing, amateur dramatics or film and photography. Or, if you head to the Art Centre (www.artdubai.com), there is plenty to get creative with including crafts, design, pottery, sculpture and more. If you like to cook, on the other hand, amazing chefs around the country offer cooking classes and tasting sessions. To name just a couple of the places where this is offered at certain times of the year, keep an eye on the Raffles Dubai (04 314 9720) and the Waldorf Astoria The Palm, Dubai (04 818 2222) where chefs host group cooking classes with a sumptuous meal to follow. There is no end to the activities that are available to you in Dubai, so what are you waiting for?
5: TIGHTEN THE PURSE STRINGS
Easier said than done in up-and-coming, pricey Dubai, but we promise it is doable! First of all, instead of going out and schmoozing all the time, why not have more soirees at home? Get a BBQ roaring and some music blasting, and you have a good night on the cards that doesn’t need to cost a week’s wage! Of course, one way to save lots of pennies is to stop eating out at lunch. Make it the night before and pack it up for tomorrow’s al-desko session. But, don’t let it be the end of your social life! There are many reasonably priced restaurants and bars to visit. For a cheap and cheerful dinner one of our favourites is Ravi Restaurant in Satwa (04 331 5353) with its simple dining set up and delicious array of traditional Pakistani and Indian fare. A whole meal for two here comes to around AED100 – AED150 for a generous amount of dishes. Another good place for tea and snacks is Filli Café which serves up some of the best karak with paratha rolls for under AED20 (www.fillicafe.com). Our favourite spots for a reasonable night out are The Irish Village (04 239 5000), Kicker’s in Dubai Sports City (04 282 4750), and Copper Dog at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – JBR (04 5595 355). Don’t forget all the Happy Hours that run throughout the city every day – a fab way to save monies!
6: BANISH THE BULGE
After a month of gorging, only the luckiest of souls will have little or no belly bulge. It’s inevitable, especially when you keep telling yourself ‘That’ll be my resolution!’ (every year). But it’s not a problem this time, as Dubai has plenty of options to get rid of that muffin top in no time. Firstly, you have to decide to adopt a new lifestyle, rather than going on a ‘diet’ for just a short amount of time. Just a dash of healthy eating and a dollop of good exercise will do the trick, and you’ll be amazed at how easy (and addictive) it is! You could join a gym or get involved with a team sport or, simply go for (at least) a half hour walk every evening. Then, make sure the pantry is guilt-free. If you’re not confident to take the plunge yourself at first, there are some places and people to help! VLCC Slimming Beauty Fitness (www.vlccwellness.com/UAE), for example, will assess your BMI (Body Mass Index) and then explore customised weight loss options with you. Or, Right Bite Nutrition Centre (www.rightbite.com) consultations will deliver meals that have been created just for you, straight to your door. So, go on then… no excuses!
SILK SPA, HABTOOR PALACE LXR HOTELS & RESORTS
Discover services crafted with ancient techniques and scientific expertise. The separate ladies’ and gents’ areas have dedicated wet areas with steam and sauna facilities, two hammams, and a generous relaxation area. Banishing the bulge doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, it could be a lovely pamper session where the treatment is designed to aid your fitness goals. The 60-minute Restoring Body Wrap is one such therapy; the treatment starts with a dry body brushing to stimulate circulation and prepare the skin for the body mask designed to nourish and detox with ingredients of Algae and Kaolin Clay. Why not add a Hot Stone Shoulder and Scalp Massage, which includes a massage that focuses on the key areas of tension. Where needed, hot stones are also used to penetrate warmth and help ease aches and pains.
GO: CALL (0)4 435 5500 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.
7: HEALING FROM WITHIN
To those unfamiliar with Reiki, it is a practice, otherwise known as a healing art, that originated in Japan developed by Dr Mikao Usui and works to promote self- healing on all levels – physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. So what happens during a Reiki session? Well, every individual reacts differently to a treatment. It works by channeling energy to the body which enables it to eliminate toxins. Your Reiki master will places their hands on the recipient’s body, and from the sensation they feel, they’re able to gauge the level of toxins within your body. Although some may argue the treatments make no personal difference, Reiki is not designed to give instant relief and over a course of treatments, significant changes can be seen inside and out. Reiki is a gentle healing therapy which compliments medical and other holistic therapies. There are plenty of reiki practioners in Dubai who can perform the life-changing therapy on you or even offer coaching: we’d recommend Reiki with Lubi Dubai (www.reikiwithlubidubai.com), Miracle Wellness Centre (www.miraclesworldwide.com), and Illuminations Wellbeing Centre (www.illuminations.ae), which all offer reliable and certified guidance.
8: INDULGE IN THE ORGANIC WORLD
While many people are reluctant to change, perhaps it’s time to take a risk and try something new, so why not start with your food? Organic food and, more specifically, plant-based diets have become HUGE in the health world. Organic food is produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Although the farming movement arose in the 1940s in response to the industrialisation of agriculture known as the Green Revolution, organic food production has recently reached a peak of popularity. On top of this, vegan lifestyles are being adopted more and more by people who come to realise that going green on their plates is ultimately great for their bodies. Luckily, many major supermarkets in Dubai offer up good organic food sections, whilst those looking for something super fresh and dependable, check out Greenheart Organic Farms (www.greenheartuae.com) or Kibsons (www.kibsons.com) who deliver delicious organic groceries to your door. One of our favourites is Farmbox (www.farmbox.ae), where you can customise your own weekly box of fresh fruit and vegetables to be delivered straight to your address in a timely manner. You’ll also get the added bonus of a recipe blog in collaboration with Oscar & Jemima’s for healthy, yummy meal ideas. Organic & Real (www.organicandreal.com) is one of the UAE’s newer fresh food delivery services and offers all sorts of goodies, including gifting hampers, sustainable products and even superfoods, sauces, and a host of vegan produce. Going organic or simply cutting out meat for more fresh fruit and veggies on your plate, has never been as easy as it is in 2019!
9: LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE
This is probably the most important resolution to make – and one that you should be living up to every single day. If you don’t feel quite happy no matter what you do, it is perhaps time to make some serious changes in your life.
Reinventing yourself can give you a whole new perspective on life and take you in directions you may never have dreamed were possible. Maybe you find solace in travelling and experiencing new cultures – invest some time and effort into planning and going on more trips, even if it’s just a local or regional staycation to clear your mind and recharge. Learn how to be more self-reliant; yes, we’re guilty of the convenience apps like Deliveroo and Uber, and nowadays you can even book people to clean your home or someone to drop off your groceries from the supermarket on the same road – technology offers all manners of useful tools and these things have made us somewhat spoiled. Brush up on your survival skills with a tech-free digital detox and become more independent and self-reliant. Face your fears and insecurities; you’ll find this particular point masked beneath other New Year’s resolutions, but fear and insecurity are often the cause of several problems that we want to address. You need to think of it as surviving and controlling your fear rather than overcoming it, and it will enable you to shed off a lot of the insecurities that you have. Unleash your creativity to avoid mental fatigue. Read more about music, arts, anything that peaks your interest and notice how you’ll come up with fresh ideas and think outside nthe box. As with anything else, there are many resources that help you spark your creativity in a number of different ways. Most of all, stick to the good healthy habits you’ve developed: the last, and most important point to mention is that all the positive changes you make have to be permanent. You will need to work on sticking with the good habits you have adopted, until they just become a natural part of who you are – after all, that’s true self-improvement.
STAYCATION: THE RITZ-CARLTON, DIFC WEEKEND GETAWAY
The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC enhances your stay with luxury hotel packages designed for greater experiential possibilities. From spa packages to dining perks, you can tailor your getaway to Dubai’s vibrant downtown district, whether your itinerary centres on romance, business or quality time with the family. The weekend experience offer includes Buffet Breakfast for two enjoyed in the sophisticated restaurant, Cara; Guaranteed late check-out at 4pm; 20% savings on dining at all restaurants, excluding alcohol, tobacco, shisha and room service; and 20% savings on selected treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa. ✤
GO: CALL (0)4 372 2222 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.