A pandemic won’t stop the UAE from producing new obstacle courses, parkour coaching, silent yoga, or delicious vegan and gluten-free treats. With social distancing, safe delivery and all the precautionary measures taken, here are a range of new things to try.
Bounce is giving everyone the chance to learn parkour and trampoline tricks via a new 10-week Ninja Squad program as part of its Freestyle Academy. The program caters to all ages, and if you are up for it, beginner sessions focus on learning to jump in a safe and controlled way, while intermediate and advanced classes focus on conditioning to strengthen the core and abs as well as venturing into wall running, flips and combinations. Coaching is done by five-time Spanish national trampolining and tumbling champion Cris Manero. Prices start from Dh1,000.
Inspire Yoga is heading outside with new Sound Off Yoga classes every Wednesday in Dubai Hills. The classes are relaxing, meditative and slow, with each participant given a set of wireless, noise-cancelling headphones at the start for an immersive experience. This is an all-levels class offered for Dh60.
Race to the finish
There are three Jeep Tough Mudder obstacle course races to get involved in over the coming months. Kicking off the season on Friday, February 26 is a first-time Fujairah race at Fujairah Adventures Park. On Friday, March 19, Jeep Tough Mudder returns to Ras Al Khaimah’s Mina Al Arab and then returns to Dubai’s Tilal Al Ghaf location on Friday, April 9. All three events offer a classic route with more than 20 obstacles and a 5-kilometer version with 10.
Jealous of all those people showing off their sourdough on Instagram, but don’t know where to get the elusive “starter” they are all talking about? Order the rustic sourdough kit from Rise & Dawn, with all the ingredients and instructions to make your own. For Dh85 you’ll get everything you need, including water, flours, starter and sea salt flakes, to make two 750-gram loaves.
Curious about the UAE’s largest permanent obstacle course site, OCR Park? The Hudayriyat Island facility has launched boot camp fitness classes for adults, ladies-only and children – and booking the first Dh120 class is free. The 60-minute classes have been designed to cover the 94,843sqm OCR park’s various obstacles to help people improve key skills that OCR requires, such as grip strength, cardiovascular and muscular endurance and muscular and core strength. There’s also a dedicated timetable that has been specially designed for people of determination that is led by specialist staff on site.
Love having Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding for your cheat day but can’t take the gluten? After years of customer requests, the New York institution has launched a gluten-free version and it’s now available in Dubai from Dh18. You can order up the creamy mixture of gluten-free vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding and bananas via Deliveroo, too.
Barre Effect launches
New year, new workout for Jumeirah. Barre Effect is a high-energy ladies-only workout and wellbeing community founded by Dubai resident Nora Hameidani. It’s a contemporary version of traditional barre workouts, designed to sculpt the body and boost the metabolism, as well as challenge the mind. Each 50-minute class is driven by individually curated playlists, with a focus on full-body movements and sequencing to keep the body guessing. Due to open by the end of January, stay tuned to the Al Wasl Road studio’s website for pricing and to purchase packages.
The Livehealthy Festival continues
Missed our second annual, live and virtual event that was all about boosting our immunity? Well, keep an eye on our online magazine, English podcast and social media channels to catch up on sessions. We’ll give you a chance to watch, read and listen to what some of the UAE’s top experts in mental health, relationships, functional medicine, nutrition, fitness, dentistry and more had to say about keeping healthy and well no matter what is happening in the world around you.
New vegan ice cream
We are having a hard time keeping up with all the vegan ice cream available now in the UAE, but the latest to hit the market is Granny Gothards. These artisan vegan tubs – originally created for a top chef’s restaurant in London – are handmade in small batches in an ice cream parlour in Devon, in the west of England, and are free from artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives, palm oils and glucose syrups, too. Dh30, available through Kibsons.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.