Ghubra resident Tasneem Khan, a professional and mother of an energetic three year old, has found a place to unwind after a long day. Her sanctuary - within four walls – is a 15-minute drive from her residence that offers her space to workout or take aerobic/yoga classes, a deep tissue massage, swim in a temperature controlled pool, or just sit in a chair with a cup of tea, relax and get her nails painted.
She reserves an hour of her day for ‘wellness’, a concept that is fast gaining acceptance in Oman. “Sometimes, working out can get very monotonous and in such circumstances you need a very alluring option to rejuvenate,” she says. In such a situation, variety helps.
Tapping into this aspect, centres in Muscat are offering ‘360-degree wellness’ packages for clients like Tasneem.
Recreational centres such as Premedion Premium Club Oman n Muscat Grand Mall and The Wellness Centre at Al Mouj Muscat have incorporated the concept of ‘integrated wellness’ by providing numerous options under one roof. With gym facilities, yoga studios, add-on services like massages, therapists, juice bars and a relaxing ambience - these businesses are pulling in more and more people who are actively seeking out a healthy lifestyle.
“People must not be bored with what they are doing when it comes to pursuing fitness,” says Lory Kazamir, manager and fitness instructor at Premedion. “That is why we offer a resort-like approach to fitness and health where they can workout, relax and enjoy treatments.”
While annual membership is more expensive than commercial gyms, (ranging between RO150-RO350), people are willing to invest in an overall wellness package, Lory noted, adding that there’s been a shift in the mindset as a health-conscious lifestyle gains momentum.
“Burnouts are becoming very common, especially in a digital age,” says Adeline Wee, spa director of Six Senses Spa at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel. “People are becoming more conscious and they know they need to step back and invest in ‘self-care’,” says Adeline.
Six Senses offers ‘wellness screening’ using advanced technology to analyse key physiological biomarkers of health including body composition, metabolism, oxygen distribution, heart function and circulation, as well as stress parameters with which wellness experts are able to provide a tailored ‘lifestyle-appropriate’ health package to customers, Adeline claims. “This helps people identity patterns in their lifestyle that needs to be tweaked to achieve optimal health.”
An informative approach is fueling ‘consciousness’ in people leading to their quest to combine fitness with holistic treatments - yoga, meditation and mindfulness, all of which comprise an integrated wellness approach.
Designed to relax
One of the central concepts of ‘integrated wellness’ centres is the ‘allure of escapism’ - a space for complete disconnect from day-to-day activities to focus on mind-body-soul. “Architecture and design of a place plays an important role in this,” Lory said, adding, “The ambience is an integral part of wellness.”
This is reflected in the aesthetics of Premedion – the colour scheme, soft lights, selection of music to set the mood, and natural elements like flowers and indoor plants. “Each section is made for people to feel rested.”
The alluring setting also motivates guests to pursue fitness on a daily basis. Taking city-escape a notch higher, Adeline says, “When you walk through the doors of Six Senses, you leave the world behind.” While the brand Six Senses has become synonymous with wellness, the spa in Muscat has the added advantage of a private beach, which is strictly reserved for ladies, a herb garden and the architectural allure of an Omani castle. It also provides a space for all age groups to come and unwind. “Families come together and bond as they spend a day at the property,” points out Adeline. “It’s not just about healthy eating and fitness nowadays, it’s about rejuvenating each of your body’s senses.”