Taking a year out - Five ways expats can maintain a healthy lifestyle in Dubai

POSTED BY Terry | January 4, 2018
Label: Travel Tips

Dubai is like no other city in the world – new yet fully-fledged, innovative yet bursting with cosmopolitan culture, bustling yet not without its calm. Having been identified as the number one city to work in, ahead of the likes of London, New York and Singapore, it’s no surprise that expats from around the world are choosing to live here. In addition, Dubai also ranked first in economic dynamism and fourth in overall quality of life.

Whether you’re relocating for business or pleasure, it’s worth considering the ways in which you’ll be able to adapt your lifestyle to the culture while maintaining your health and wellbeing. Here are five helpful tips:

1. Enjoy food and a balanced diet

Traditionally, the cuisine in Dubai has a range of cultural influences, from Persian ingredients to Indian spices. Many classic Emirati dishes include camel meat, which is cheap to buy and usually stuffed with herbs.

However, Dubai is a lot more westernised than the rest of the UAE, so if you’re not fancying camel, you’ll find American food on tap. In fact, restaurants are just as diverse as the city, meaning you’ll never have trouble finding your favourite food. While it’s tempting to eat out, be careful not to make it a habit if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Cooking can be a chore, especially for those working long hours in the city. So, you could use one of Dubai’s meal delivery services that produce and deliver nutritious meals and snacks. They offer a great alternative to the high-calorie takeaways you may be used to in the west.

Dubai also boasts a wide range of clean-eating and organic options, along with vegan and gluten-free menus at many restaurants. With this variety, it shouldn’t be too hard to enjoy a balanced diet.

2. Handle the heat

Many expats relocate to Dubai for its glorious weather and the chance for an all-year-round tan. It is dangerous to stay outside for lengthy periods in the summer months due to the risk of fatigue and skin damage. This is particularly relevant for expats who have recently relocated, as the heat can be overwhelming.

Keeping yourself hydrated is essential. Bear in mind that caffeine speeds up dehydration, so avoid drinking energy drinks or caffeinated tea and coffee, especially during the summer months. If you can, also avoid salty and oily foods.

If you’re not sure if you’re dehydrated, check your urine. The darker its colour the less hydrated you are.

3. Participate in fitness activities and exercise events

It’s good to get outside and keep fit as part of a balanced lifestyle, and there are plenty of opportunities to do this in Dubai. But consider scheduling daily exercise in the mornings, before the heat peaks.

If you’d rather hit a traditional gym, most residential buildings are equipped with free ones. Or, if you prefer classes, there’s plenty to choose from, including swimming, spinning, kickboxing and a variety of sports teams.

Equally if you’re not up for anything too taxing, why not enjoy the views of the city or coastline by taking evening walks. It’s a much cooler time to move your muscles and you’re bound to witness some impressive sunsets.

The city places great importance on fitness. This year a governmental initiative created the Dubai Fitness Challenge, a thirty-day challenge for Dubai residents involving 1,500 free classes and five weekends of fitness carnivals.

4. Maintain positive wellbeing

Bustling city life can get on top of you, but Dubai is fortunate enough to host some relaxing havens alongside its speedy motorways, busy malls, and high-rise buildings. Massage therapy is a great way to treat a range of stress-related and medical conditions, and Dubai is a mecca for the best in massage parlours. Yoga is also a popular way to sustain positive wellbeing among residents and visitors alike, and there’s plenty of ways to enjoy it with extraordinary views too - rooftop yoga, anyone?

5. Get to grips with the city’s healthcare system

Dubai is recognised as having some of the best facilities for advanced healthcare in the world, although this does mean that medical costs can be generally quite expensive. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) oversees both private and public healthcare. While emergency care is given regardless of citizen/national status, receiving scheduled or regular care at public facilities may prove difficult for those without expat health insurance

Taking some time out to get to grips with the city’s healthcare system may be a wise idea to ensure the less controllable aspects of your health are kept in check.

By following these tips, expats may enjoy Dubai’s exciting culture without detriment to a healthy lifestyle.

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