Middle East

360º Wellness Experience

 

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort - Spa Womens PoolWellness reaches greater heights at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar  in Oman which brings the mountain to the Mind & Body.  This resort provides the earthy setting for guests to harness nature’s healing powers and an holistic approach to health.

More than one-sided wellness, the Al Hajar Mountain Range provide a natural and rugged backdrop, heightening the effect of yoga practice. The freedom and  space exuded from the canyon below, the unpolluted mountain air and the restorative powers of nature combine their powers collectively to realign chakras.

The resort’s Three Village Hike leads guests on a high altitude journey, stepping through mountain history, spotting fossilised coral, and looking out to terraced farmland, early falaj irrigation systems and even a working rose distillery. The mental effects will clear the mind and physically will energise the body,

Located on the very mountain that the hotel sits on, various creative activities challenges guests who want to push their boundaries. This exhilarating approach to health involves various climbing routes, including a Via Ferrata steel cable and abseiling down a sheer ledge.

Wellness at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar  in Oman  fuses mind, body and mountain into one and two-day packages.

Visit http://jabal-akhdar.anantara.com/

Wellness takes root in Al Zorah, Ajman

Rendering Image of EZ Wellness Center, operated by The LifeCo at Al Zorah
Al Zorah, a premier mixed-use development by Solidere International and the Government of Ajman, sets another milestone with EZ Wellness Centre at the ground-breaking ceremony of the inaugural EZ Wellness Centre in the GCC region to be operated by The LifeCo.

Conceived as a place to unwind the clock of modern life and become one with nature, The EZ Wellness Center (EZW), is set amidst a natural environment and on the highest point of the 18-hole Nicklaus-Design Al Zorah Golf Club, allowing guests to enjoy breath-taking views of the creek and two million square metres of natural mangroves officially recognised by the Ramsar Convention – home to over 118 species of birds and diverse marine-life.

The LifeCo brand is associated with rejuvenation and wellness based on a holistic approach, supporting natural therapies with spa facilities and professional medical staff. Popular for its unique detoxing and health centres in Phuket, Thailand and Turkey, EZ Wellness Centre by The LifeCo at Al Zorah will be a welcoming retreat for residents and GCC visitors.

Mohammed Ameer Said, the lead partner of EZ Wellness said: “We are thrilled to mark the ground breaking of The EZ Wellness Centre at Al Zorah and will be building the brand’s award-winning concept for the first time in the GCC. Other EZ Wellness facilities will follow soon in other GCC countries. The centre will be designed to blend with Al Zorah’s dedication to state-of-the-art infrastructure and reverence for the environment. The EZ Wellness Centre at Al Zorah aims to provide a more personalised experience through its revolutionary and innovative programmes to all residents and guests. Al Zorah was selected due to its unique location, naturally protected zone and healthy uncontaminated air which is a catalyst to quick healing. This centre should be the health destination for local UAE residents, GCC and global travellers taking advantage of the great accessibility through Dubai airports with a capacity of up to 70 million passengers.”

The LifeCo Founder, Ersin Pamuksüzer, said: “The LifeCo’s renowned 360-degree holistic approach combined with Al Zorah’s relaxed surroundings will address the growing needs of people trying to prevent and cope with modern lifestyle diseases. The comprehensive wellness center at Al Zorah will reinforce the importance of physical and mental well-being for a quality life. With individualized health and beauty treatments, as well as advise on nutrition, weight control, exercise and stress management – residents and visitors will be able to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Al Zorah is a coveted mixed-use coastal living destination with a natural setting providing an ideal location for families and individuals to regain health, fitness and youth. The LifeCo Wellness Centre at Al Zorah will offer individualised services to meet every need, from beauty treatments, stress management and exercise, to nutrition advice, weight control and diagnostics for a healthier lifestyle.

Dubai’s Healthy Partnership

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World-class spas, wellness centres and health facilities will be key to the new partnership between Emirates Holidays and the Dubai Health Authority’s Health Tourism Council who are joining forces to offer visitors tailor-made health and wellness holidays in Dubai.

With the aim to attract more than 500,000 medical tourists by 2020, this new collaboration addresses the increasing demand for health and wellness tourism, leveraging on Dubai’s infrastructure for the wellness market to create a unique destination for health-conscious travellers.

Packages will includes return flights on Emirates, a three to four day stay at a hotel property renowned for its health and wellness facilities, a selection of spa and wellness treatments, including a health and wellness programme tailored to the client’s specific needs and daily meals. Initially, the two properties will include DNA Health at Madinat Jumeirah and Rayya Wellness Retreat at the Retreat Palm Dubai, M Gallery by Sofitel.

The health and wellness packages are being launched in association with Dubai Health Experience (DXH), a brand conceived by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to strengthen the medical facilities in Dubai and strengthen the position of Dubai on the world map of medical tourism.

Emirates Holidays will focus on Kuwait and KSA as the initial markets for its wellness holidays with the intention to expand this to other markets over time.

A revival of the Ancient Hamman Ritual

Banana-Island-Doha-by-Anantara_Hammam
In times gone by hammams were used by Kings and Queens of the Ottoman Empire who would host their key social engagements within these ornate bathhouses.

Today, hammams are back in fashion with many resorts adding them to their wellness offerings and treatment menus.
Also known as a Turkish bath, a hammam is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, or a wet relative of the sauna. Although the first ones originated in Arabia, bath culture was a central part of Roman life, Turkey popularized the tradition by making hammams available to people of all statuses.

The advent of the modern spa and the convenience of baths at home have defeated this old concept. Modern-day hammams often reflect the rich design features of the original bathhouses and continue the tradition of water, air and heat-based body treatments. The treatment benefits include removing dead skin cells, deeply cleansing the skin, ridding it of impurities while stimulating blood circulation and the lymphatic system in remedial heat.

Various resorts and hotels such as The Anantara Spa group offer a number of hammams in various destinations with treatments that follow the traditional ritual procedure.

The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Desert, houses the Royal Moroccan Hammam and offers the traditional journey in the ritual experiences – first steam which purifies the skin, followed by lying on a heated marble bed for a cleansing and polishing ritual using traditional black olive soap and a kessa mitt. The skin soaks up the natural goodness of a mineral-rich rhassoul mask, followed by a hair treatment and mini facial. After time in the heated jacuzzi and ice room, a back massage completes the ritual.

Other hammams include Banana Island Resort in Doha and the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa close to Abu Dhabi City which offers both Turkish and Moroccan Hammam Experiences.

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas www.anantara.com.

The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai


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Editor’s Review:

A Spa with a story to tell ….

We have read tales of nomads crossing the desert in search of an oasis to revive and rejuvenate them for their onward journey. Today, searching for such finds has become more hazardess as lands have been developed, skyscrapers blocking horizons and highways creating a spaghetti of routes.

The Palm in Dubai has been created from reclaimed land accommodating an increasing number of stylish and glitzy hotels.  One of the most recent to open its doors is the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai claiming fame to the world’s largest cube structure as its entrance statement and the doorway to an oasis in the form of The Spa.

Away from the cosmopolitan fast-lane, this contemporary space is filled with architectural styles from different eras. High ceilings yield into elegant archways channelling energy for the wealth of holistic treatments on offer. A gently lit curved stairway immediately sets the scene of tranquillity and calm, leading your mind towards light, openness and the benefits to be bestowed by a skilled therapist.

My treatment took me on a 90-minute Arabian multi-sensory journey, transporting me to a desert complete with sights smells and sounds. It told a story and drew me in to a faraway place, away from the hustle and bustle outside, from the tall buildings, expansive malls and car fumes.

It started with a visual meditation as I lay on a heated sand-filled quartz bed which gave a wave –like motion and the feeling of being on a beach, close to the waves of the sea, transporting me to a personal place of relaxation. Warm, calm and peaceful.

Once there, all senses came into play from the touch of an ostrich feather replicating a breeze, ostrich shells, strategically placed to focus on opening the chakras, the reassuring scents of frankincense and oud, reminiscent of the Arabian culture and the vibration of Tibetan bowls to further my meditative state.

The therapist performed the massage using rhythmic, gliding strokes which seemed to reflect the architectural lines of my surroundings; the gentle circular strokes brought images of the curved staircase bathed in subtle light while her strong pressure work around my shoulders brought images of the arched doorways, signalling an exit for stress and tension.

This was The Spa’s signature Desert Sensory Experience, one of many on the menu, making it difficult to choose. Treatments include the Desert Crystal Massage, The Casanova, exclusively for men or a Diamond Rose Experience which includes a smoothing, nourishing exfoliation with diamond dust, followed by an Absolute Damask Rose Body Oil massage.  For something very special and available only at The Viceroy, there is The Oscars Hollywood Treatment which promises to transform, unblock and reset your mind.

The philosophy behind the treatments originate from the beaches and palm trees of Santa Monica, where Viceroy was first founded, to the desert and beaches of the Arabian Peninsula. The Spa at The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai demonstrated its promise of escapism with consciousness.

So, armed with opened chakras and vivid images of a relaxing sandy oasis, I felt ready to make my return to the hectic pace that is Dubai.

www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

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The Palazzo Versace Dubai

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The legendary Italian fashion and lifestyle brand’s neoclassical masterpiece is reminiscent of a 16th-century palace, featuring the most opulent designs from House of Versace.

Set in the heart of Dubai’s Culture Village, the hotel is plush in aesthetics and lush in verdure. Featuring 215 rooms dressed in bespoke Versace designs, the hotel is a haven of serenity as well as luxury, with several lagoon pools and reflection ponds elevating the tranquil atmosphere of the gardens. The hotel’s eight bars and restaurants include the conceptually-unique Enigma, featuring limited-edition menus that immerse diners into diverse cuisines, as well as Q’s Bar and Lounge, which is music legend Quincy Jones’ first ever bar.

Editor’s Review

 

Versace clothing, jewellery, eyewear,  fragrances….. Welcome to Versace hospitality, to the Versace Palazzo in Dubai styling furniture, furnishings and paintings in this fashion branded hotel which stands smartly in the heart of Dubai’s developing Culture Village.

Step into the lobby and its grandeur and sense of space will stop you in your designer shoes. A panoramic view focuses on statement pieces, splashes of “Medusa Blue”, paintings of fashion models and a mosaic of 1.5 million pieces.

A quick glance will not suffice. Floating overhead is a chandelier, graceful in its simplicity, a table or two prominently placed, laden with Versace vases while high ceilings tower above.

Promenade into the lobby lounge and you will be trespassing on a masterpiece mosaic, painstakingly crafted as the key floor attraction. Guests are Versace lovers, brand followers and those craving a taste for classical elegance.

For those who want complete immersion, indulgent pampering awaits in The Spa at The Versace Palazzo with a range of tailored and exotic treatments.  If you have time on your side, The Ultimate will keep you cossetted for 7.5 hours. If not, 30 minutes will give you a custom-made exfoliation of oils and salt crystals promising you a nourished glow. Add a sprinkle of sparkle, with a two-hour 24-carat gold dust massage, aptly named 24K, or a healthy based intensive facial of green caviar listed under one of their Swiss anti-ageing treatments.

I sampled a much needed 90-minute Sleep Massage and pleased to admit that I managed to stay awake to experience it in full. From the moment I entered the treatment room, snug in a thick Versace gown and fluffy slippers, the atmosphere was one of peace and tranquillity. Specially blended oils with hints of lavender, jasmine and sweet basil enveloped the room melting away intrusive thoughts.

My therapist started with a foot cleanse and a hint of reflexology before the full massage. Rhythmic strokes of a medium pressure leading from the heel of the hand gradually drained away tension. Soft, mellow music played in the background with no other sounds interrupting the experience. As if completing a full circle, she finished with my feet, wrapping them in warmth, softness and care.  A designer touch tailored to my needs.

Calm and serene, even without the gold dust and caviar, I stepped out into the House of Versace for another intake of its opulence and neoclassical designs.

www.palazzoversace.ae

Dubai Tourism Information

Burj Al Arab 01From skiing to sunbathing with a wide range of high-class hotels and resorts, Dubai is an all season holiday destination. Dubai offers everything from peaceful desert visits, dhow cruises, gold souks, designer shopping, choreographed musical fountains, grand architecture as well as dining in top class restaurants.

Dubai is a city that’s constantly evolving, from the recent opening of numerous luxury properties such as the Palazzo Versace Dubai and renovated Hatta Fort Hotel, to attractions like IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Parks and Resorts, and a new safari park.  The key landmarks like Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa remain must-see places to visit.

Dubai has big plans….

Dubai will be hosting Expo 2020 and is busy with huge projects to show itself off as the place to be not only in the United Arab Emirates but within the MENA region. Below are 5 of the new attractions planned for 202o completion.

Blue Waters Island

Adding to the existing man-made islands such as the iconic palm Jumeirah and World Islands, will be the Blue Waters Island. It is rumoured to be one of the largest tourist hotspots in the world and home to the Dubai Eye, which is expected to be the world’s  tallest Ferris wheel.  The project will also include retail, residential , hospitality and entertainment zones and a boutique five-star hotel.

Dubai Creek Canal

This water feature will create a new district to include cafes, restaurants and shopping areas. It will extend the Dubai Creek by three kilometres while the canal will connect Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf.

 

Wellness Dubai