From favourite workouts to skincare must-haves, these experts have got you covered for your summer self-care routine…

Struggling to balance a healthy lifestyle with that never-ending to-do list? Here, we asked 9 women at the top of their wellness game to share their morning rituals and where they go for a moment of calm in Dubai…

Dr. Saliha Afridi

Clinical psychologist and founder of Lighthouse Arabia

What is your typical morning routine?

I wake up around 5am, have my coffee, go for a walk outdoors, and then to the gym for a workout. Once I am done with the gym, I get ready for the day as I listen to part of a podcast or to a lecture. The first thing I do when I am ready is to sit down and do some writing; it could be an article I am working on, Instagram content, or writing in my journal.

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

My favourite place is to go to Kite Beach for a walk on the beach. At times it’s quiet and I am the only one by the beach and those times are calming and grounding. Other times, it’s crowded and it gives me a different a sense of calm, knowing that I am part of a community.

@drsalihaafridi / @lighthousearabia

Dina Ghandour

Yoga teacher and wellness practitioner 

What is your typical morning routine?

My morning routine is quite simple. The first thing I do when I wake up is say a little prayer or affirmation in gratitude for what I have. Then, I sit for 20-30 minutes in meditation. My skincare routine consists of a water rinse followed by applying natural face oil. If I have time, I add in some face yoga or face massage. I personally love the rose face oil by local herbalists Hikma (@hikma.rituals). My non-negotiable in the morning, probably more than meditation, is my matcha latte (ha!). I love to have the one at Nette (@nettedxb) before or after teaching my yoga class at Matcha Club (@matchadxb).

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

Before ‘secret beach’ in Al Sufouh closed, it was my go-to spot for calm, grounding and healing. I would spend a lot of time there walking in the mornings, or watching sunsets in the evening; it had really special energy. When the weather is nice, I try to get out into the desert with friends, or sit at Hapi’s garden in Al Khazzan park ( Most days however, the best spot is really in the sanctuary of our bungalow with my pup and a cup of tea.


Adrienne Everett

Yoga instructor and founder, HWH Studio

What is your typical morning routine?

When I wake up, I start my day with a gentle yoga flow and light meditation to set a positive tone. I spend a few minutes journaling, capturing my thoughts and goals for the day. My typical breakfast includes green tea, a smoothie, and occasionally avocado toast with mushrooms and cayenne pepper. As I get dressed, I dance to my favourite track, letting the music energize me. I finish my morning routine with a refreshing skincare regimen and take a moment of mindfulness to express gratitude for the beauty of life and my journey. I typically then head to my yoga studio, HWH at the Burj Al Arab, for a client session or  to treat myself to a session with one of the amazing instructors.  While my routine shifts day to day, I recognize the importance of creating space for self-care each morning.

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

To find a moment of calm in Dubai, I often visit Kite Beach. This beach offers stunning views of the gulf and a peaceful ambiance perfect for unwinding. Whether it’s taking a leisurely walk along the shore, or grabbing a Açaí smoothie at my favourite café, Feels (@wearefeels), Kite Beach is my go-to for relaxation and tranquility amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.

@hippiewhohustles / @hwhstudiodubai

Elle Sawyer

Founder, POSTURE

What is your typical morning routine?

I think it’s fair to say since having kids my morning routine has changed from what it used to be. However, the good thing about having an earlier riser is that she wakes me up at 5:45 to seize the day. As a family, especially in the cooler weather, we make it down to Kite Beach/Sunset Beach most mornings and go for a 5k walk with a coffee in hand, its our time to talk all things POSTURE, our babies, and if I’m lucky plan a vacay / plan for the months ahead. I really enjoy doing this in the cooler months when I wasn’t as heavily pregnant, not so much now! Then we’ll return home, I’ll head off to POSTURE and if I can get on a class I’ll join the class. If not, hanging out with my team at the studio really serves me.

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

To switch off, it has to be the beach for me, either super early or sunset; both those times feel calm, and it calms my nervous system down completely. I find the beach at the Jumeirah Hotel’s particularly grounding – there’s just something about that long strip of beach looking onto the Burj al Arab that I am able to manifest and connect inwards. It makes me feel so grateful to call Dubai home. I manifest everything in life and so I make sure to be in the right environment to do so, so that I know it works!


Helena Hijazi

Founder, FitnGlam

What is your typical morning routine?

My day starts with prayers, then I drop the kids off at school. If the weather’s nice, I either grab a coffee or go for a walk outside. After that, I head to the gym for a workout and finish with a healthy breakfast – usually a protein shake or eggs on sourdough. I’ve also started to practice journaling in the mornings, thanks to an inspiring event we just had with Leana Deeb (@leanadeebb).

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

When I need to relax in Dubai, I always try to keep moving. For some fresh air, I’ll take an early morning walk at Kite Beach. Indoors, I love going to our Reformer Pilates class at FitnGlam in Dubai Hills—it’s the perfect way for me to stay active and de-stress. After this, I like to treat myself to a shake from Protein House (@proteinhouse_uae) — it’s my favourite post-workout treat.


Natassia D’Souza

Emotional eating coach

What is your typical morning routine?

My day begins at 5am with a peaceful five-minute meditation session, setting a mindful tone for the day ahead. Energized by a cold glass of electrolytes, I head to the gym to kickstart my morning workout, also ensuring I hit most of my 10,000 steps goal. After a refreshing shower, I indulge in a breakfast favourite: protein oats with creamy peanut butter, fueling me for the day ahead. This routine not only energizes me but also grounds me, preparing me to tackle whatever comes my way with a positive mindset.

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

When I need a moment of tranquility in Dubai, my sanctuary is the charming cafe up the street called Bohox (@thebohox). Nestled in Downtown, Bohox offers a cozy ambience that I adore, making it the perfect spot for me to unwind and tap into my creativity. Their matcha latte and wheatgrass eggplant benedict are (chef’s kiss) my go-to as they never fail to delight my taste buds. Often, I find myself working from Bohox, surrounded by positive vibes and inspiring decor, making it an ideal retreat for both relaxation and productivity.


Amanda Rushforth

Environmental consultant 

What is your typical morning routine?

In a fast-paced city like Dubai, the best way I can think of to start the day is a morning walk on the beach with my son, often involving a little run around too. A nice fresh juice and some vitamin sea to start the week is my favourite when the weather is cool. We wake early so watching the city wake up around us is our little routine.

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

There are so many fantastic ways to get immersed in nature here, it’s just a different kind of nature to the greenery we’re often used too. The oceans are my escape and I love to paddle board or wake surf when I can, but a simple daily swim is also a great way to unwind. I’ll do a beach clean-up whenever I head down the water and that gives me some real phone-free time.


Sarah Stoneley

Fitness trainer, 1Rebel


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A post shared by Sarah Stoneley (@sarahstoneley_)

What is your typical morning routine?

As I am usually always teaching in the morning I am a very get-up-and-go type person so my morning routine is simple and effective. One thing I never miss out on is my morning caffeine hit with Vim Coffee (@vimcoffeeuae) in DIFC to pump me up for putting the 1Rebel customers through their paces! I always try and get my own workout done in the morning too as I feel it sets me up so positively for the rest of my day.

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

Being outdoors in the sunshine for me just fills me with endorphins. I love to go to Kite Beach and either run the running track or take my book, treat myself to Oakberry Acai (@oakberryuae) and chill out, sometimes both. I always find being around nature fills me with calm and although I love a beach club sometimes you can’t beat the simplicity of laying your towel on the sand and just taking an hour to yourself in the whirlwind of Dubai life.

@sarahstoneley_ / @1rebel_uae

Samar Al Salem

Founder, Samadhi Wellness

What is your typical morning routine?

In the heart of Dubai, my mornings begin with Fajr prayers and meditation, setting a serene tone. I meticulously make my bed and fill my home with purifying scents, creating a tranquil haven. Journaling and reflection follow at 5am, before a mindful workout at 8am. By 10am, I arrive at my office rejuvenated, having also tended to my hair with Aveda treatments, ensuring a balanced start to my day.

Where do you go to switch off in Dubai? 

My ultimate retreat is nestled within the tranquil sanctuary of House of Wisdom (@SharjahHOW), where peace, inspiration, and a sense of calm envelop me amidst its iconic architecture. Here, I find mind soul rejuvenation, allowing my mind to wander freely. Additionally, my daily yoga classes at Samadhi serve as another cherished escape, grounding me and fostering a deep sense of relaxation.


Images: Social/Provided