In April 2024, Nike hosted their inaugural Dubai edition of the brand’s global renown ‘Well Festival’ on 27 to 28, from 4pm to 11pm in a custom-built location at Nara Desert Resort.

The event featured two days of reimagined wellbeing experiences where mindfulness, movement, and connection come together in nature. From Yoga, Meditation to Mindfulness, there were a host of wellness-fuelled activities for guests, the event was filled with a host of unforgettable experiences with experts to learn and grow.

Ahead of the program Emirates Woman spoke to the fitness and wellness coach Siham Zaki and Running Coach, Laura Fallaha on the overarching theme of the festival and how the brands plans to grow in the wellness arena in the Middle East.

Siham Zaki

What was the Nike Wellness Collective?

Moving together, moving in style & moving in grace! This is what Nike Well Festival was all about. Surrounded by vast expanses of sand and under the clear, starlit sky of Dubai, it felt like we were truly connecting with nature on a profound level. From yoga & sound healing sessions to high-intensity interval training sessions & super engaging panel discussions – all under the desert canopy, every moment was rejuvenating for the mind, the body, and the soul. Plus, the opportunity to disconnect from the “hustle and bustle” of daily life and immerse ourselves in this serene environment was so wholesome!

What were your favourite parts about the programme?

There was something for everyone. The lineup was diverse and dynamic – from high-intensity interval training to mindful breathing sessions, to clay building in the wadi… the list goes on. Each session was thoughtfully curated to cater to various fitness levels and interests. What really added a unique dimension to the programming is having four different zones that encompassed the sessions: the energy circle, the sanctuary, the conversation pit & the wadi. Each zone offered its own ambiance and purpose, creating a diverse and immersive environment for all participants.

With a stressful daily routine – what are your top recommendations when it comes to exercising?

Choose to move to something you ENJOY! When it comes to movement, make it personal, make it about you! Don’t limit yourself to traditional forms of movement, find a form of movement that you genuinely enjoy and look forward to doing – dancing, cycling, swimming, lifting – whatever it is! When you enjoy it, it will become easier to stay motivated to moving your body regularly while having fun with it..

How do you adapt your approach to movement and feeling good for different skill levels or class demographics?

Going back to basics – communicating openly with my participants. It is so important for me to engage and communicate with my participants to be able to understand their preferences, any physical limitations and what they hope to gain from their experience with me. With communicating, I can customize and modify the class program to cater to different skill levels. I also encourage my participants to listen to their bodies and to challenge themselves at their own pace – it’s okay to take breaks, lower the intensity, or skip exercises that don’t feel right for you.

What simple practices can we adopt to be more mindful?

It is important to highlight that mindfulness is a skill that takes time and practice to develop, especially when you have a hectic schedule, it becomes more challenging to practice mindfulness. I would suggest starting with small, manageable practices and gradually building upon them over time. Choose mindful practices that fit your own schedule and resonates with your own lifestyle.
Here are some simple mindfulness practices that I personally incorporate in my day and that can be practiced anywhere, mindful breathing to take a few moments throughout the day to focus on your breath, mindful eating to chew slowly and pay attention to the sensations of eating. Eating mindfully can help you tune into your body’s hunger and fullness cues and prevent overeating and gratitude practice to take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for.

How is Nike changing the wellness landscape in the region?

Nike Well Collective’s approach to wellbeing is championing a holistic and inclusive approach to health and fitness. It goes beyond traditional fitness programs – Nike Well Collective incorporates elements of mindfulness, nutrition, rest & connection. By addressing the interconnection of physical and mental health, Nike Well Collective inspires a new generation to prioritise self-care and embrace a lifestyle of wellness. This is not only transforming the lives of individuals, but also shaping the broader wellness landscape in the region.

Laura Fallaha


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What was your favourite part about the Nike Wellness Festival?

Arriving there! Being transported to an exotic and breezy location… Remote yet close to a family of like-minded people with similar values and aspirations! Entering the festival area was such an inviting blend of raw natural beauty and serene charm filled with soothing music. This directly got me transported into a transformative journey of wellness and connection. The community feeling was beautiful, with people sharing their experiences and building their network. This experience, merging the natural beauty of the desert with the collective energy of the group, left a lasting impression and embodied the spirit of the Nike Well Festival. It was timeless.

What does holistic fitness or movement mean to you?

Movement has been a fascinating journey shaped by so many experiences and changes in my life. Through country relocations, job changes and adaptation to new lifestyles, movement has been a turning point in my holistic wellbeing both physically and mentally. The beauty of my fitness and movement journey was the agility and adaptability of it. Knowing the impact of movement in maintaining my overall wellbeing, it became a crucial component in my life. To me, holistic fitness and movement mean integrating multiple aspects of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing into one lifestyle. It goes beyond traditional exercise and includes practices that fulfill and nourish the body, the mind and the spirit: from diversifying workouts to practicing mindfulness and meditation, to prioritizing quality sleep and a balanced diet, to connecting with people, and setting goals to maintain motivation. Holistic fitness is about creating a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle that supports overall health, happiness, and longevity.

Name something you do every single day without fail to look after your wellbeing?

Structure! One thing I do every single day to look after my wellbeing is structuring my day. Taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly, focus on my work goals, my fitness goals, my nutrition plan and my social events helps me maintain efficiency, productivity and motivation throughout the day. Adapting my routine as needed and staying present in each moment is key to my overall wellbeing. This simple, yet powerful approach has become an essential part of my daily routine contributing to managing time and making sure I prioritize all elements to a fulfilling lifestyle.

How is Nike changing the wellness landscape in the region?

Being part of the Nike Well Collective and coaching the running community on Tuesdays (Mixed group interval training at the Nike Well Collective Marina store) and Wednesdays (Women’s only at the Dubai canal) offers multiple ways to engage and inform runners providing them with comprehensive support and nurturing a motivated running community. The approach to both days is different which makes the adaptability more exciting and focused on each runner’s goal. My aim is to always make sure I create a dynamic and inclusive environment where people can connect, support each other and thrive together. Working towards goals in a community motivates people to move, grow, learn from each other and build together. Leveraging the Nike Well Collective resources, I focus on informing runners to prioritize cross training, meditation and yoga. Digital engagement on the Nike Experiences is a strong element that helps and supports runners to widen and diversify their knowledge and training to manage injury prevention, strength and recovery.

To balance both your corporate life and running/movement routine – how do you unwind?

It is not always easy especially when you need to manage timings, career goals, fitness goals and wardrobes! Balancing my corporate life with my running routine requires proper mental clarity to be efficient while still maintaining overall well-being. For me, having a structured schedule is key to a busy schedule: planning ahead and following a consistent routine to create a sense of balance. It can definitely be overwhelming sometimes, which brings me to my next point: incorporating mindfulness and self-care through meditation and yoga, and treating myself to massages sometimes to help unwind, reduce stress and enhance mental clarity. The key to my work life balance is also knowing how to set boundaries and when to take a break. Through trial and error, you can learn what makes you feel better, let it be a short walk, some breathing exercises, a run to disconnect etc.. Depending on the type of unwinding I need, I focus on what makes me feel better to reset and balance. By implementing these key elements in my work life balance, I try to manage my corporate responsibilities with my running routine, ensuring I maintain the energy and mental clarity to succeed in both areas.

Can you talk us through what your running routine normally looks like in a week?

My running routine can typically look like a 70-30 mix of easy social runs, and threshold/interval runs respectively. Within my running program I focus on mixing speed / aerobic training, with long endurance / stamina building, and with recovery / mobility movement. Additionally, I focus on strengthening, stretching, hydration, nutrition and adequate sleep. This routine provides me with a balanced mix of different types of runs and cross-training activities, promoting overall fitness and reducing the risk of injury. Adjustments are of course made based on training goals, race schedules, and how my body feels each week. You cannot expect to perform at your 100 percent every single time. It took me a while to understand that and to learn to listen to my body.

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