New luxury UAE wellness destinations, from Kintsugi to Clinique La Prairie

Inside the premium venues where personalised solutions are creating healthier and happier lives

Kintsugi, Abu Dhabi, combines western and eastern healing rituals. Photo: Kintsugi
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At the beginning of a new year, many of us commit to focusing on our health and well-being for the months ahead. We are determined to change our health routine and focus on creating a better lifestyle. As the weeks and months pass, it’s easy to lose focus, putting it all to the back of our minds.

The topic of health has never been more pertinent, highlighted in recent years by the pandemic, with wellness at the forefront of many conversations. But what exactly does it mean these days? Is it enough to partake in a weekly yoga class or a daily meditation? Does a monthly massage or facial give you better skin, or that sense of calm many crave?

Today, wellness destinations are looking to offer a holistic approach to personal well-being, while embracing new technology and sustainable solutions. From mental and physical health to fitness, delve into some of the UAE’s newest wellness destinations, promising to offer more than just a quick-fix solution.

Kintsugi is a wellness space in Abu Dhabi. Touted as a “global healing movement”, the concept draws inspiration from the ancient Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold, to create happier and healthier lives. Led by co-founder Patrizia Bortolin, it is designed to offer a unique approach to self-care, combining western and ancient eastern healing rituals.

With a practice coined the “Kintsugi method”, the wellness lifestyle brand aims to guide visitors, who are encouraged to join as part of a membership subscription, towards a “new, higher frequency where life feels more joyful and nourishing”.

But what does all of this wellness jargon mean? Wellness expert Bortolin says: “Kintsugi focuses on discovering new perspectives and frequencies in life, offering original experiences in the city.

“Holistic treatments based on the quantum approach are coupled with an Italian plant-based wellness menu to create a beautifully crafted space filled with love and a higher vibration.

“The aim is to provide deep and tender care to Kintsugi’s members, inviting individuals to immerse themselves in unique signature experiences, allowing the outside world to fade away and dissolve into peace within this secluded space – a temple of silence, a song of harmony and a balm for the soul.”

The centre’s programmes consist of out-of-the-box wellness practices that focus on mental well-being, building personal strength, and the traditional relaxation approach to wellness. “Kintsugi’s vision, with its focus on acceptance and vulnerability, aims to bring breakthroughs that make individuals clearer and stronger, fostering joy and improvement in daily routines,” explains Bortolin.

It’s not simply about having a calming or relaxing experience, although this is still paramount; Kintsugi aims to go deeper into the minds of its clients, offering a longer-term wellness solution. Bortolin adds, “The approach involves falling back in love with eating, creating wellness rituals and cultivating an ultra-feminine environment to enhance overall well-being. A frequently mentioned quote at Kintsugi is: ‘When we know better, we do better.’”

So, what can a visitor to Kintsugi’s design-focused flagship on Reem Island expect? “The goal is to help women realise they can be mindful, or even better, have a lighter and calmer mind during activities such as eating, exercising, engaging in conversations, or enjoying solitude,” Bortolin says. She believes that, by following the Kintsugi method, everyone can experience a “personal transformation as a means to influence the world positively”.

Kintsugi’s holistic approach to wellness may not be for everyone. A more science-based approach is having a significant impact on global wellness trends and leading brands are recognising that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Clinique La Prairie, a luxury well-being resort in Switzerland, has become renowned for its highly personalised services and attention to detail when providing its clients with tailor-made solutions. Their extensive offering now extends to the UAE, with the opening of its Longevity Hub in Dubai and the recently opened One&Only One Za’abeel.

The hub brings, for the first time, Clinique La Prairie’s unique treatment offering to the UAE, including science-backed therapies and personalised solutions that consider each individual’s health needs. “Guests commence their wellness journey with Clinique La Prairie’s Longevity Index, a 360-degree assessment measuring metabolic health, energy, immunity, beauty and detoxification,” says Simone Gibertoni, chief executive of Clinique La Prairie.

Therapies and treatments at the hub include neuro wave stimulation, an acoustic and vibrational therapy guided by technology that trains the brain to succumb to deeply calming techniques; Far Infrared, a technology that uses long infrared rays to detoxify the body; Cryotherapy; and IV drips.

“Our commitment to holistic environments transcends traditional notions of health and wellness,” explains Gibertoni. Each client experience is different. The clinic’s experts will analyse each person’s health and well-being needs, offering bespoke solutions that combine a series of treatments.

The Hub offers a trademark design-experience point, delivering a seamless and unparalleled assessment and treatment journey. It is designed to analyse several aspects of current inside-out health and provides a unique expert-led profile to diagnose the need for a holistic lens that is central to the personalisation of therapies.”

The past few years have seen many wellness clinics develop into 360 destinations as clients are looking for more than just a quick fix. “I think in the last couple of years, many people have taken a moment to pause and re-evaluate their notions of personal well-being. In the face of growing concerns about sustainable living and the future of our planet, this has become a time of intense self-reflection,” Gibertoni says. Gone are the days when a quick massage or facial will act as a stress-fixer; today, we are looking to take care of our wellness on a deeper level.

“Our research also shows that 92 per cent of people are actively taking better care of their health since the pandemic, another sign of the growing importance of health in public consciousness. The demand for more personalised, meaningful and all-encompassing preventive healthcare is on the rise. As a result, the boundaries of medicine and science are being pushed further than ever before.”

Looking forward, the need for deeper, more complex solutions to our daily stress triggers is only growing. As clients, we are more aware of our options, and when the stakes are high, we are looking for reliable solutions and brands that we trust, as well as forward-thinking solutions.

“The health and well-being sector is undergoing an active transformation, pushed forward by tech and digital,” Gibertoni says. “I firmly believe that AI will play a growing role as a diagnostic tool, facilitating the rapid comparison of thousands of test results and detecting abnormalities faster than any individual doctor or medical team could achieve without digital assistance. We have to contend with and reap the unique benefits of ground-breaking technologies that are changing the face of regenerative medicine at an incomprehensible speed.”

Alternative Body Treatments

NADclinic, Dubai and Abu Dhabi branches

With its first branch in Dubai and a second opening in Abu Dhabi this month, Nadclinic specialises in a range of diagnostics and IV protocols, as well as sports medicine and rehabilitation services. The clinic’s therapies are said to help with Metabolic syndrome, weight management, family health, fertility, longevity and hair and skin conditions.

Ciel Spa, SLS Hotel, Dubai

Ciel Spa on the 69th floor of SLS Dubai has launched a new portfolio of treatments with cupping therapy experts Bellabaci. This modernised cupping massage therapy features proven purifying techniques, and also enhances circulation and expels toxins from the body. The cupping treatments are offered hand-in-hand with a wide range of relaxing therapies.

Resync, Central Park Towers, Dubai

Resync is one of the first to bring AirPod hydroxy oxygen therapy to the UAE. This treatment delivers a combination of oxygen and hydrogen under three pressure settings within a chamber. It uses the power of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, proven to target and reduce toxins and free radicals to prevent disease, degeneration and ageing.

Updated: February 10, 2024, 7:07 AM