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Abu Dhabi Introduces Wellness-Centric Island for Healthy Living

A world first luxury wellness island is set to open in 2026

Abu Dhabi Wellness Retreats
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Abu Dhabi is elevating its health and wellness initiatives by building the world’s first “healthy living” island, the SHA Residences Emirates. It will be strategically located on the private island of Al Jurf, a picturesque seaside haven between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

This visionary project is led by Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer IMKAN in partnership with SHA Wellness Clinic, a renowned wellness institution with successful wellness retreat locations in Spain and Mexico. Each location has its own unique essence, reflecting the culture, architecture, and personality of its region. SHA combines ancient Eastern natural therapies with advanced Western medical techniques. With 15 years of experience and nearly a hundred international awards, SHA is a recognized leader in luxury wellness and integrated healthcare worldwide.

The collaboration aims to transform the scenic coastal locale into a premier wellness destination. The development will blend luxurious residential offerings such as beach villas, apartments and penthouses with comprehensive holistic wellness programs. The construction is expected to start in July and be finished by 2026.

Inside SHA Residences Emirates

As the centrepiece of Abu Dhabi’s wellness venture, SHA Residences will comprise 86 villas, 49 apartments, and two penthouses—all boasting direct beach entry and stunning views. Each property promises a sustainable design with the incorporation of energy-efficient appliances, intelligent monitoring and control systems, and solar-powered heating and electricity.  These exclusive homes also provide residents access to SHA Wellness Clinic’s renowned services, including detox treatments, spa therapies, and consultations with medical professionals, wellness experts, therapists, and personal trainers. On-site amenities such as private fitness rooms, mind and body studios, an infinity pool, and in-residence catering with private chefs further enhance the living experience.

The Abu Dhabi wellness island strives to attract wellness-minded travellers with convenient transportation links, including a planned helipad and waterway connections.

Prospective buyers can now apply for these exclusive residences, which promise high-quality living and holistic well-being set against the backdrop of Al Jurf’s natural beauty and historical charm.

Abu Dhabi Wellness Island
Inside SHA Emirates by IMKAN

Wellness Tourism in the UAE

The UAE is emerging as a leader in promoting health and wellness, as evidenced by a substantial rise in consumer spending on wellness products and services. According to Statista reports, the consumption value of health and wellness products in the UAE surpassed $2 billion in 2020. Projections suggest that this trend will continue, with the health and wellness retail market size expected to reach approximately $2.57 billion by 2025.

Wellness has not only become a personal priority for many UAE residents but also a key economic driver for the country’s tourism industry. The Dubai Health Authority’s creation of the Dubai Health Experience underscores this shift, recognizing health and wellness as a mark of the nation’s flourishing health tourism sector. The government’s endorsement of wellness is further exemplified by initiatives like the Dubai Fitness Challenge, an annual campaign that promotes fitness and self-care through a series of free activities and events across Dubai.

Moreover, wellness retreats are gaining popularity in the region. One standout destination in the UAE’s wellness landscape is the ZOYA Health & Wellbeing Resort, situated in the serene Al Zorah neighbourhood, just an hour drive away from Dubai. It offers tailored programs encompassing detoxification, rejuvenation, and weight management, all overseen by professionals skilled in medicine and wellbeing.

In summary, the UAE’s emphasis on wellness reflects its commitment towards prioritizing health and self-care. With continued investment in this sector and the presence of wellness retreats and innovative projects like the world’s first “healthy living” island, the UAE will remain a leader in promoting well-being both locally and internationally.

If you are interested in visiting the UAE for a health and wellness tourism experience, get in touch with our health tourism team for a free consultation.

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