Asma Hilal Lootah Talks Dubai’s Growing Well-Being Scene

The Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit that releases a much-anticipated list of wellness trends every year, thinks that 2021 will be the year of the “Travel Reset.” “Look for all travel to become wellness travel as manic getaways are replaced by slower, closer, and more mindful experiences,” they predict.

Dubai is betting on it. For years, the city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been investing in medical tourism and expanding its holistic health care offerings to appeal to visitors from around the world, as well as its own people.

“Even before the pandemic struck, people in Dubai were becoming more concerned with their health and wellness,” Lootah, who was born and raised in the city, tells mindbodygreen.

Since Dubai has such a high expatriate population, she says that many residents live apart from friends and loved ones, which takes a toll on health and outlook. “We have seen the importance of routine, self-care, and a conscious approach to wellness for many of them,” she adds.

Once the pandemic hit, Lootah noticed that public interest in health only increased, with all eyes and forks going to low-inflammation foods and ingredients that support immunity. Sports like paddle tennis, sky diving, and cycling have also become more popular, and both men and women are trying out new kinds of movement. “We have seen an increase in ladies-only running clubs, with a lot of covered females running marathons and engaging in new sports like CrossFit,” she says.

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