DUBAI: From mountaineering over its rugged mountains to biking by its scenic valleys, two younger Saudi ladies have made it their mission to take their friends on a nationwide tour of the Kingdom — whereas serving to them maintain in form.
Nouf Al-Nasser and Maram Al-Nemer, founders of SANDS Studio in Riyadh, launched their journey health program, particularly geared towards ladies, shortly earlier than the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, because the Kingdom reopens and the home tourism trade rallies, this system has seen an explosion in reputation. The distinctive format permits contributors to get energetic whereas additionally exploring Saudi Arabia’s pure wonders.
“It will not be frequent to have gyms do that right here,” Al-Nemer, 26, informed Arab News. “But from the primary time, it was absolutely booked inside three days. It’s at all times one thing new, a brand new location and a distinct idea.”
In 2018, Al-Nasser and Al-Nemer joined forces to create SANDS Studio, a boutique health club concentrating on ladies, which gives enjoyable exercises centered round sand and surfboards, generally known as surf health.
For individuals with joint ache, persistent accidents or again issues, conventional health club coaching might be tough and intimidating. With its intuitive format, SANDS Studio goals to interrupt down these obstacles to health in any pleasurable manner.
When balancing on a surfboard propped up on inflated air pockets, contributors are in a position to mimic the motion of the ocean, gently rocking and stretching their muscle mass, easing stress on the joints whereas strengthening their core.
Al-Nasser, 32, who gave up her job in actual property to commit herself solely to the enterprise, says the thought stemmed from a stint of browsing classes in Bali, Indonesia.
“I used to be a CrossFitter and a coach, nevertheless it was not my full-time job,” Al-Nasser informed Arab News. “I used to be coaching with circumstances that me, like individuals who struggled with their health.
“We wished to be taught extra in regards to the issues individuals confronted so we may create our personal program primarily based on what we noticed.
“I spotted that it was an ideal concept as a result of it has balls of air on the backside, which helps me with shoppers with scoliosis or spinal points, in order that’s after we created the Sand Room.”
Working out on a sandy floor may help strengthen the foot and ankle muscle mass and burn extra energy, whereas additionally stabilizing different joints. The health club has proved an enormous hit within the Saudi capital, the place the health market is in any other case dominated by huge health chains. SANDS is the primary health club within the Kingdom, and the second within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) space after Kuwait, to supply surf health courses.
At the peak of the pandemic, when companies had been pressured to shut their doorways, SANDS was in a position to transfer lots of its courses on-line and proceed supporting its clientele remotely. It was additionally a possibility to concentrate on its clothes line.
“We had loyal shoppers, we promoted our clothes model, after which we began our adventures,” Al-Nemer stated.
Indeed, after so many months caught indoors underneath COVID-19 lockdown measures, clients had been determined to join the journey program, dubbed “Walk with SANDS,” which supplied one thing that’s usually lacking from private health — a way of neighborhood.
“At SANDS we need to promote health as a way of life moderately than simply buying a membership,” stated Al-Nemer. “We are attempting to construct a neighborhood the place you’ll be able to have your individual associates on the studio or wherever we exit on hikes. Now we’re doing journeys round Saudi Arabia.”
Following its early success, the companions went on to launch SANDS Season, organizing sell-out journeys to the Kingdom’s archaeological wonders like AlUla, dawn bike rides across the area’s mountains, and half day journeys close to the capital. Every journey accepts a most of 20 ladies over the age of 18.
“We had been making an attempt very onerous to search for new, inventive and distinctive locations, however now we don’t must, as a result of new distinctive locations now contact us to arrange a visit,” Al-Nasser stated.
“There are loads of locations in Saudi Arabia that individuals don’t know of. I didn’t know loads of locations, to be trustworthy, however that’s when our associates actually stepped up and helped us. They would inform us about a spot and we’d go to two or three weeks later.”
One of their most up-to-date journeys took contributors to NEOM, the Kingdom’s new smart-city giga-project taking form on the Red Sea coast, which included a tenting keep and a ship journey. “It was an incredible expertise,” Al-Nasser stated. “We attempt to create new issues each time.”
Much of this system’s reputation is owed to the very fact the outings are geared completely towards ladies. Since the Saudi authorities relaxed its guardianship legal guidelines and started encouraging ladies to enter the labor drive, demand has blossomed for this sort of tourism.
“There are loads of journeys in Saudi Arabia which might be public however little to none which might be for females solely,” Al-Nemer stated. “We discovered that, with the whole lot occurring now, the choices are all for households and blended teams, so we discovered power in that.”
Coming up on SANDS’ June agenda is an occasion known as “Unleash,” which is able to mix artwork, spiritualism and health. “We need to maintain it enjoyable however adventurous,” Al-Nemer stated. “You are at all times going to be strolling, mountaineering or swimming, however you gained’t discover that you’re being energetic.
“All that is occurring while you’re having enjoyable and while you’re trying round. It’s principally like a hidden exercise.”