April Fool's Day pranks in the UAE, from Emirates Residences to GymNation's Fit-Cafe

Brands and hotels come up with fun and cheeky ways to mark the occasion

On April Fool's Day, homegrown fitness chain GymNation launched The Daily Grind Fit-Cafe, which includes weighted coffee mugs and treadmills at the counter. Photo: GymNation
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Last year, an elaborate April Fool's prank by Emirates was so believable, it prompted one daily newspaper to publish the story as a legitimate announcement.

But the story, the launch of a cruise liner called Emirates Sealine, was too good to be true. Set to sail from Dubai Harbour to Karachi in Pakistan, the cruise liner's maiden voyage was scheduled for April 1, 2024.

The airline is back to mark the occasion this year with another winner: the launch of Emirates Residences, a mega-project with an exclusive airport for residents.

Here are some of the top April Fool's pranks from UAE brands this year.

Emirates Airline's Emirates Residences

The Dubai airline's latest prank is a nod to the city's real estate boom. It claims the Emirates Residence will be a 380-storey mega-project in the heart of Dubai. Adorned with interiors inspired by Emirates’s in-flight experience, the tower is to have an exclusive airport for residents.

Emirates also shared a picture of the "planned" tower, showing a runway built around the facade of the building, and the Burj Khalifa can be seen in the background. The airline says construction is to begin on February 31, 2025.

GymNation's The Daily Grind Fit-Cafe

Home-grown fitness chain GymNation is known for their fun marketing campaigns. To mark April 1, the brand says it is launching a "world first" fit cafe concept that "fuses chill out culture with workout culture".

At The Daily Grind Fit-Cafe, fitness enthusiasts will have to walk or run on treadmills while they queue for their coffee. All the cafe's cups and utensils will come with weights so they double up as dumbbells, for that extra pump.

Even the coffee grinder is fixed to a ski machine, so every cup will require a little extra pulling power. And the cafe's stools can swivel so customers get that core workout while they enjoy their Americano.

Reform Social & Grill's Doggy Tasting Menu

Dubai's pet-friendly gastropub Reform Social & Grills says it is working with Chef Fido Canis, "a world-renowned authority on canine cuisine", to launch a fine-dining menu for our four-legged friends.

Launching on April 1, and available for a limited time only, the Doggy Tasting Menu includes gastronomic delights such as a savoury doggucino with foam, bone marrow broth topped with caviar, Wagyu beef carpaccio garnished with quail eggs, and gold leaf and truffle-infused salmon ice cream. This groundbreaking culinary offering is served alongside a pooch-approved cheese platter with tuile of biscuit pour chien.

"This exceptionally limited-time collaboration with Chef Fido Canis underscores our commitment to innovation and providing unparalleled experiences for all our guests, including our beloved furry companions," says Andrew Donald, general manager of Reform Social & Grill.

Tough Mudder's Muddy Waters obstacle race

Obstacle course racing challenge Tough Mudder has launched Muddy Waters, a new race to test even the most daring adventurer.

Announced on April 1 and set to be held in Ras Al Khaimah, participants in Muddy Waters will face the frightening prospect of tackling obstacles that include live animals such as baby crocodiles, piranhas and electric eels.

The new water-themed obstacles, called the Croc Crawl, Piranha Pond and Electro Eel Therapy, will be included in both the 5km and 10km races, ensuring participants will face traditional Tough Mudder challenges, while trying to dodge the animals.

"Following a hugely successful season, we want to ensure our final event lives long in the memory and we believe that by introducing live animals into the mix, participants will experience a once-in-a-lifetime challenge," says Nic Cartwright, licence holder of Tough Mudder Middle East.

“It’s not every day you come face-to-face with a baby crocodile, piranha or electric eel, meaning this could potentially be more of a mental challenge than physical for some taking part, who certainly won’t want to look foolish. Either way, it will undoubtedly make for an entertaining spectacle, and we look forward to bringing the curtain down on the season in unique fashion.”

Waterclub's Mission to Mars

UAE water filter brand Waterclub has announced it is set to work with SpaceX to supply water to the first human colony on Mars.

"After extensive testing in extreme desert environments similar to Mars, SpaceX selected Waterclub to provide water filtration systems for their Mars colony," says Liliana Donado Martinez, chief executive of Waterclub.

"Our water filters are built to withstand the harshest conditions and recycle wastewater into clean, drinkable water. We have proven our technology in the unforgiving deserts of the UAE, and now we will enable access to clean water on another planet."

Waterclub's water filters will launch on cargo Starships before the first crewed mission to Mars, to ensure clean water is available as soon as astronauts set foot on the Red Planet, the brand says.

Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown's camel guest

The pet-friendly hotel has announced a guest checked in with his beloved pet camel on April 1. Hotel staff ensured the four-legged guest experienced the same level of comfort and service expected at the hotel, it said.

"Our hotel prides itself on accommodating all furry companions, big or small, and this certainly fits the bill," says general manager Laura Eggleton. "We understand that pets are part of the family, and leaving them behind can often be a concern for travellers. With our pet-friendly approach, guests can rest assured that their furry loved ones will receive the same level of care and attention as they do."

Updated: April 01, 2024, 10:56 AM