There seems to be an app for everything in today’s market, from ‘ghost detectors’ to painting sessions for your cat. And, while some applications may seem slightly pointless, others are improving the way we live and even boosting our health.
With inbuilt fitness trackers, direct gym booking capabilities and a broad range of services covering everything from online counseling to IV therapy, UAE wellness apps are a welcome extension to the emirates’ ever-growing health and fitness scene.
So, whether ‘wellness’ for you means stretching out on a five-star beach or filling your fridge with a batch of ‘ugly veg’, there’s an app for it in the emirates.
Nothing is better for body and soul than a luxury beach day at one of the UAE’s top hotels, and with Privilee, the five-star treatment needn’t break the bank. After signing up, you’ll have access to over 70 of the best hotel pools, over 95 gyms and no less than 1,000 fitness classes. Members also get access to sporting activities such as tennis and squash and huge discounts on watersports and golf. The latest venues to join the scheme include Soul Beach Dubai and Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. Membership packages are available on a pay monthly or upfront basis, with the best value option priced at Dh6,348 for 12 months in advance.
Formerly Justmop, this app was traditionally dreamt up as a home cleaning service before slowly expanding to include everything from online therapy, physiotherapy sessions and PCR tests to beauty services, at-home massage and even IV therapy. The app specializes in “giving you your time back”, a commodity that six million of us across the Middle East have snatched up with both hands. The newest services to be introduced are babysitting, personal training, moving services and pet grooming, to keep the whole family feeling their best.
It’s not just our own wellbeing we need to look after, the world around us needs a lot of love and TLC too. RECAPP fits on this list of UAE wellness apps because it allows users to recycle from home, meaning you can play your part in protecting the planet while giving your house a good clear-out — a cathartic experience in itself. The app is the first in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to offer the service and lets you easily schedule a collection at a time that suits you, totally free of cost. To date, RECAPP has made over 85,000 collections in the UAE, saving 450 tonnes of recyclables from landfill
Have you ever wished you could carry a therapist around in your pocket for life’s difficult moments? Well, now you can. MindTales is a tech startup in Abu Dhabi that aims to offer mental health solutions and support to anyone with a smartphone. It’s the only one of made-in-the-UAE wellness apps that focuses on extended wellness games, psychological resources and an online counseling platform and provides a light-hearted and informative approach to mental health. By allowing users to monitor their progress, the app aims to detect warning signs early on and provide intervention features where necessary.
MyEatPal combines all of the convenience of a food delivery app with the painstaking precision of food prep. Simply filter out any avoidances, tailor your macro preferences and choose from a range of healthy options that won’t wreak havoc with your food plan. The app works by searching the menus of the UAE’s healthiest restaurants to give you a list of suitable dishes to be delivered to your door. Every dish has its calories, macronutrients and ingredients listed so you know exactly what you’re eating, from categories including vegan, veggie, keto and gluten-free. There’s also a stack of tasty free recipes available to inspire you to whip up something homemade.
Put your best foot forward with STEPPI, the fitness tracking app that encourages the UAE to get moving. The app nudges users to embark on an activity challenge, track personal progress and go up against workmates for a good dose of healthy competition. As well as monitoring steps and movement, STEPPI also rewards activity with discounts on clothes, food, fitness and entertainment including everything from kcal to Puma. The app is free to use and available in English and Arabic, though businesses can sign up for a corporate package for extra features such as data analytics and an employee challenge function.
If you’ve been in the UAE for a little while, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Kibsons. The delivery service has been offering a wide range of fresh fruit and veg since 1980 and has expanded its offerings to include responsibly sourced meat and poultry in recent years. The ‘Imperfect’ range is a great way to prevent waste, with ‘ugly but tasty’ vegetables keeping things interesting in the kitchen. There’s also so much more than food, everything from recycled toilet paper to an at-home odorless composting machine (Dh1,975).
Your Fitness Coach (YFC)
Need an incentive to get fit? Well, look no further. Your Fitness Coach (YFC) is a new homegrown fitness app that rewards members who exercise regularly with everything from free fitness classes to sportswear and home gym equipment. Activity is monitored via a tracker and resulting points can be swapped for Y-coins, which can be redeemed against purchases. The app has partnered with gyms and studios in 15 locations across the UAE including NRG Fitness and UFC Gyms. Monthly memberships are also available for instant access to all of the participating gyms for Dh399.
Emma Pearson is a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist with an ever-rumbling belly and permanently itchy feet. Currently based in Dubai, Emma lived and worked across the UK and US before settling in the UAE five years ago. Favourite country: Vietnam. Favourite food: crisps. Favourite writing topics: fitness, feasts and far-flung lands.