Exclusive first-look: Zoya Wellbeing, UAE's first five-star health resort opens on Friday

Set beside Ajman's natural mangroves, the adults-only health and well-being retreat will be in soft launch until September

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In three days' time, the Middle East’s first health and well-being resort will open in the UAE’s smallest emirate.

Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort is ready to welcome guests to check in from Friday. It's the first adults-only five-star health and wellness retreat in the UAE and, according to the owners, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

There's a separate male and female spa, each with its own hammam area. Pawan Singh / The National

Operated by Premedion, an international spa consultancy and management company with expertise in well-being, fitness and health, the Ajman escape offers several overnight packages with a focus on detoxing, therapeutic fasting, prevention, aesthetics and physical rehabilitation.

On Monday, The National got a sneak peek of what guests can expect from Ajman's new Dh3,200 a night wellness retreat.

A mangrove-surrounded Ajman escape

The swimming pool area at Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort, which is backed by Ajman's protected mangrove zone. Pawan Singh / The National

Surrounded by a protected area of mangrove forests, the whitewashed 61-key facility is boutique in both style and service, with more than a 1:1 staff to guest ratio.

Opening in soft launch until September, the resort has six different programmes to choose from, including weight management, physiotherapy, get fit, detox and rejuvenation plans.

Two-day wellcation sampler packages are also on offer, designed as introductory taster sessions.

After checking in at reception, guests will begin their journey with a medical consultation with the resort’s in-house doctor. This will be followed by diagnostic testing and a wellness assessment.

Experienced staff will then customise programmes for each visitor, with a variety of wellness treatments, medical therapies, diet and nutrition plans, and holistic therapies offered.

Spread over three levels, accommodation at Zoya is spacious and comfortable, but don’t expect lavish luxury. Instead, the resort's focus is on health and well-being.

Rooms are well equipped with separate seating areas, spacious bathrooms, televisions and Wi-Fi, and guests can opt for views over the swimming pool and mangroves, or over the golf course and city, where sunrise vistas are on point.

Rooms at Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort are spacious and well-equipped, but don't expect ultra-luxury. Pawan Singh / The National

On the ground level, guests will find a temperature-controlled swimming pool lined with sunloungers and umbrellas. Aqua-therapy machines are yet to be installed in the pool, but this will happen in the next few days. There are also in-water loungers for when it’s time to really relax.

Adjacent to the pool is a sand-filled Zen garden where guests can use oversized wooden forks to trace lines in the sand as they meditate. Beyond the resort, Ajman's wild mangroves thrive and guests can opt to rent kayaks to explore the protected wildlife zone.

Fitness suites, cryo-tanks, flotation therapy and more

The basement reception area at Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort. Pawan Singh / The National

The basement level is where most of the health and wellness treatments will take place. Away from the glare of the midday sun, it's a calming, serene environment with smiling staff on hand to take guests through each experience.

Down here, there's a male and female spa each with traditional and infrared saunas, steam rooms, hammams, cold plunge pools and relaxation areas. Couples can opt to have massages and select therapies together in the dedicated couples suite.

Also on this level is a state-of-the-art fitness studio. Here, expert trainers will take guests through body-scanning and diagnostic tests before devising a customised fitness plan. Machines use RFID technology to track guests’ workouts and monitor their vitals and progress.

The anti-gravity treadmill is made with Nasa technology and is part of the state-of-the-art fitness suite. Pawan Singh / The National

An anti-gravity treadmill with technology designed by Nasa is one of the highlights of this space, and allows anyone recovering from surgery or injury to train with a reduced body weight, relieving pressure on muscles and joints.

The resort’s physiotherapy area is extensive, with several treatments on offer from qualified therapists. These include shock wave therapy, targeted cryotherapy, wax therapy and flotation therapy.

There's also several other therapy rooms including a dermatology area, an injectable room where treatments such as Botox will be offered, a cryotherapy chamber and an Angel of Water colonic room.

Plant-based, raw, clean eating and juicing

Zoya serves up raw, plant-based food and drink. Pawan Singh / The National

When it comes to eating, the resort’s main dining area is a brightly lit space on the ground floor with wooden tables and chairs, lots of greenery and views over the swimming pools and mangroves.

Here, chef Rusvel Trujillo and his team serve up a customised nutrition plan for each guest, with a focus on locally sourced, plant-based ingredients.

Many guests will be juicing or fasting as part of their programme and the culinary team offer a wide variety of nutrition-based, cold-pressed juices and smoothies. We got the chance to sample a green detox juice, served with a bamboo straw and a raw brownie, and can confirm they both taste as good as they are healthy.

All water served at Zoya is alkaline — with a special in-house machine used to convert tap water into drinking water, which also helps to eliminate the need for plastic bottles.

The dedicated yoga hall. Pawan Singh / The National

Yoga is offered daily, with both an indoor yoga hall and an outdoor deck. Guests staying in some of the premium rooms will also be able to opt for one-on-one yoga sessions on their private deck.

A lecture hall on the ground floor will be a space where guests can educate themselves about health and well-being, with plans in place for daily talks from health experts on a whole manner of subjects.

Before leaving, each guest will also be given an aftercare schedule for at-home use following their stay, something that's in keeping with the resort's stance as a place where people can begin “life-changing” programmes.

Two-night wellcation stays at Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort start at Dh6,072, including all meals and juices; Al Zorah, Ajman; zoyawellbeing.com

Updated: April 19, 2022, 8:24 AM