There are just days to go until the first Livehealthy Festival, an event for the whole family that will be held this Friday and Saturday (January 24 and 25) at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Check out our preliminary schedule here (we are still happily planning, so it is subject to change) and read on for more details.
All workouts are free
That’s right! Free. Our schedule begins at 10am on Friday and Saturday and ends at 6 or 7pm. There are more than 20 workouts and movement sessions planned: think yoga and movement from Bodytree Studio, Mat Pilates from Abu Dhabi’s Flo Studios, a signature workout from the team at Bodyism, the gym at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island, father-son Muay Thai and Tai Chi, trainers at the Abu Dhabi gym Fitness Express, an Abacus workout from F45 at Zayed Sports City, a strength and conditioning class from Adam and Olivia McCubbin, founders of Dubai’s Best Body Co, and a workout session from Volt Fitness, the festival’s equipment partner.
A powerful partnership
The Livehealthy Festival has joined forces with the Department of Health’s new Abu Dhabi Public Health Department (ADPHD), meaning attendees will get access to a range of expertise from top doctors. Highlights from ADPHD’s sessions include Happiness at work: A Journey and a Destination, led by Dr Lamees Abu Haleeqa; Safety At Home and On the Road, led by Samira Al Kathiri; Weqaya — the Food of the Future, by Dr Arwa Ahmed Al-Modwahi and The Meaning of Health and How To Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle. led by Dr Aysha Ibrahim Al Dhaheri.
There will be food
There will be an assortment of healthy foods and meals for sale throughout the festival. That includes fare from made-in-the-UAE companies like Abu Dhabi’s first vegan food truck Guiltfree.ae, wholesome offerings from Food Shed and the range of nutrition-packed salads from Chop’t.
There will also be discussions about food. Check out Kamilla Omarzay, founder of The Snack Society, as she talks about her road to better baking. There will also be a panel discussion featuring Ayesha Al Obeidli, the UAE’s young chef alongside Justine Corrado, managing partner of Basiligo, and Fatima Al Sayegh owner of Wake n’ Bake. They will address ingredient sourcing and the food business in the UAE.
Listen up at our free workshops
This is where livehealthy.ae really jumps from screen to reality: an assortment of professionals, fitness and wellness leaders tackling thought-provoking subjects on more than two dozen panels. Financial wellness, engaging with people of determination, the UAE’s anxiety problem and how to get our children moving will all be tackled.
Livehealthy.ae writer and Middlesex University Dubai journalism lecturer Mark Lomas will moderate a Beyond Movember discussion, asking Dr Waleed Hassan, urologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi; Wissam El Cheikh Hassan, founder of Arabic parenting podcast Mish Bil Shibshib and Reem Shaheen, psychologist at Be Psychology Center in Dubai, how to get men to take better care of themselves all year long.
Livehealthy.ae writer, former Women’s Health/Men’s Health editor and body positivity influencer Danae Mercer will moderate a panel on a topic she’s become a leader in: Have a body, be positive. Sitting in for the discussion are Suzie Curtis, founder Kymoo Sport; Arfa Shahid, self-love coach and Pakistan’s first plus-sized news reporter and Waleed Shah, photographer, creator of the “Rock Your Ugly” series. And not only is Ryan Ingram, founder of the environmental consultancy Terraloop, lending his expertise to keep the Livehealthy Festival environmentally conscious, he’ll speak as part of a How to go zero waste panel.
Free talks and workshops too
In addition to the panel discussions, there are a series of workshops and talks too. The photographer and artist Barry Rosenthal is travelling from New York City and during the festival, he will create a piece of artwork out of trash from a beach cleanup and lead a presentation entitled Found in Nature – the language of trash. Dasho Karma Ura, president of the Centre for Bhutan Studies and Gross National Happiness, has travelled from his homeland to offer lessons in living well in a talk titled Exploring Happiness, Life and Beyond. And Sheikh Majid Al Qasimi, adviser to the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE, helps us delve into what’s happening all around us with a talk titled Come Understand the Reality of it All.
There will be zen
Each day closes with a wind-down, whether in the form of a time line meditation from Ajman, Sheikh Hassan bin Ali bin Rashid Al Nuaimi or a gong and Tibetan bowls sound immersion courtesy of Neli Merris from Seven Wellness. There will be a variety of yoga flows from our partners Bodytree Studio throughout the weekend, as well as a yoga class just for little ones.
How to get involved
Join us at a pre-festival beach cleanup Wednesday, January 22 (from 12pm at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island) and Thursday, January 23 (from 2pm at Al Zeina Beach). All material collected will be used in Barry Rosenthal’s art project, which will be on display at the festival. Sign up for the festival and check back at our online magazine and social media for updates and the release of our full schedule. And do plan to attend – we are so looking forward to meeting you!
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.