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CommunityFitnessFoodHealthLivehealthy is 3 years old – here’s the story so far

Three years ago, the UAE acquired something new: the first and (still) the only online magazine for men and women on health, fitness and wellness, beaming out from the Middle East to the world. Livehealthy covers all things to do with making you feel healthier, happier and just better. The aim is to promote awareness of good habits, encourage moderation or change where necessary and to explore new, emerging methods on how to achieve a...
Anna PukasJuly 11, 202113 min
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Livehealthy

Three years ago, the UAE acquired something new: the first and (still) the only online magazine for men and women on health, fitness and wellness, beaming out from the Middle East to the world.

Livehealthy covers all things to do with making you feel healthier, happier and just better. The aim is to promote awareness of good habits, encourage moderation or change where necessary and to explore new, emerging methods on how to achieve a lifestyle that is beneficial in every way – and to do it without succumbing to quick fixes or gimmicks.

Starting off with blog posts, Livehealthy soon evolved into a fully-fledged online magazine with full-length feature stories, interviews, reviews and opinion pieces. In June 2019, we launched Livehealthy in Arabic.

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The Livehealthy expert panel

We quickly acquired a panel of highly qualified and well-respected experts and trainers in the fields of medicine, nutrition, fitness, physical and mental health and psychology who contribute opinion and information that is authoritative and based on their sound knowledge. We also talk to innovators and pioneers of new ways of working toward what we all aspire to – to feel well, fulfilled and good in our skin.

We are where the community comes to find out about sound healing or cognitive dissonance, or the latest best place to get a good vegan meal.

The Covid-19 pandemic showed that people need to have up-to-date, correct information about what is a constantly-changing landscape and Livehealthy rose to the challenge of providing it, sourced from the most reliable sources. We strive to respect the authorities, the clinical evidence, the data and the science.

In January 2020 we held our inaugural Livehealthy Festival in Abu Dhabi, which attracted hundreds of people of all ages, nationalities and cultures for two days filled with more than 50  discussions, demonstrations and wellness and workout sessions held both indoors and out – all free. We even offered free flu vaccinations from our festival partner, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center.

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The BlankCanvas meditation and art session at the Livehealthy Festival 2020

Covid-19 meant the second Livehealthy Festival in January 2021 had to move online but that didn’t mean it was any less well-attended. Well over 1,000 people at a time signed up to listen to and question experts on immunity, nutrition and mental health.

LH Festival 2021 schedule

August 2020 also saw the return of the Livehealthy weekly newsletter, a compilation of the “best of” the week’s crop of stories.

Last year, Livehealthy expanded into podcasts, hosted by editor-in-chief Ann Marie McQueen, featuring guests from across the spectrum of the wellness world. Sometimes, the Livehealthy podcast is the first place to have offered a platform to people, including people of determination.

Our podcasts in Arabic followed soon after the English language versions and have proved even more popular.

From a modest start of 2,121 views in our launch month in 2018, we grew to almost 370,000 views in 2020 and the trajectory for 2021 is pointing in one direction – up.

Here’s what a couple of our expert panelists have to say about Livehealthy:

From left at the Livehealthy Festival 2020: Vonita Singh, founder of Movement Mantra; Shobika Kalra, founder of Wings of Angels; Danae Mercer, moderator; and Tatiana Antonelli Abella, founder of Goumbook 

“Livehealthy is such a needed, important voice in the region and one I’m proud to have been a part of,” says Danae Mercer, freelance health and travel writer, globally-recognized influencer and a leader of the body acceptance movement. “The reporting covers everything from critical news to heartfelt stories, building a community focused on wellness in the UAE. The Livehealthy festival itself is such a powerful example of a wellness event done right. I can’t wait to see what the brand does next.” 

Cutting Edge of Wellness
From left, at the Livehealthy Festival 2020: Dr Nasr Al Jafari, functional medical specialist; Dr Robin Tauzin, naturopathic doctor; Ann Marie McQueen, editor livehealthy.ae and Natalie Hildon, moderator

“Livehealthy is a trailblazer in the region for bringing much needed knowledge to the region on health and wellness,” says Dr Nasr Al Jafari, medical director and specialist in functional medicine at the DNA Health & Wellness Centre in Dubai. “Their content is cutting-edge and well researched, offering a breath of fresh air that cuts through an often ‘noisy space.’ I highly recommend Livehealthy for anyone who wants to live the best version of themselves.”

More than half of Livehealthy’s following originates from the UAE and is almost evenly split between Emiratis and expats from the rest of the Arab world, the West and Asia. But we are always outward-looking, reaching toward all parts of the world with the stories we feature. We might be from the Middle East but our sights are set far, far, beyond the region.

After all, wherever we come from and wherever we live, as human beings we are all interested in living as well as we can, aren’t we?

Nothing better sums up our commitment to keep helping you to achieve that most worthwhile of goals than this message from the founder of Livehealthy, Mohammed Al Otaiba:

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Mohammed Al Otaiba, Livehealthy founder and executive director

“It’s been a joy to witness the remarkable growth of the wellness community. The level of public awareness of, and appetite for, a healthier lifestyle centered on wellness has had a steep and commendable trajectory.

And so, like many others, I have been eager to learn and adopt good habits.

It was in this spirit that Livehealthy magazine was conceived and nurtured. In this way, we hoped to keep the conversation on wellness a vibrant and active one. Now, three years later, we are still the only online wellness platform in our little corner of the world. With that distinction comes responsibility – of maintaining the connection between people, of seeking answers for pressing health questions and of offering a space for both experts and our readers to come together. We are a village.

Nothing demonstrates the imperative of this more than the coronavirus cloud under which we now live. On our own, our health journey is incomplete. For us finally to emerge from under the shadow of the pandemic, we must work together. The health of a single individual is entwined with that of the global collective. Covid-19 knows no border, no boundary defined by age and it does not discriminate by race.

And in the manner that we combat Covid, we seek the virtues of wellness. No matter where you come from, where you live or how you identify yourself, we can all learn from each other and share our experiences, from food and recipes to fitness to mental wellbeing.

Livehealthy magazine will remain faithful to its mission and to its readers and will continue to dedicate itself to expanding the horizon of wellness for our community, our village.”

Anna Pukas

Anna Pukas has reported from all over the world as a foreign correspondent for British media. She is now an editor based in Abu Dhabi.