Sisters are doing it for themselves


Feeling stressed or rundown? Stuck in a job you hate, or overwhelmed by family responsibilities? Then beat a retreat from your life and find solace in the dunes

If you can’t remember the last time you took time out for yourself, take advice from soul sensation Aretha Franklin and do something about it – by signing up for a retreat aimed at shaking up your life.

The life coaching organisation Be You International is hosting its first women’s retreat, Enough is Enough: It’s my time, from 5th to 7th February at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.

The event organiser and speaker, Randa El Zein, is a certified coach and a member of the International Coaches Federation. She says, “In my usual day time workshops I often meet women who feel out of balance – they struggle to find time for themselves while fulfilling their roles as an employee, mother or wife. This battle leaves them feeling drained and bitter, sometimes on a subconscious level. So the retreat is about taking ownership of how you feel and making positive changes.”

Veronika Meniarova, 27, from Slovakia, signed up for the event. She says, “I’ve attended Randa’s seminars before and she’s a great coach – very engaging. So when I read about the retreat on Facebook, it grabbed my attention immediately. I love self discovery; I like pausing my life and reflecting on where I want to be. I feel stuck in work mode and lack hobbies so I’m hoping the weekend will give me some guidance on how to change this.”


So, what can you expect?

Following registration, you’ll be asked to fill an indepth questionnaire about your personal needs and expectations, which Randa will analyse before you arrive. “Even though the workshop is a group session,” she explains, “there will be lots of one on one time and customised advice.”

Once you’ve signed up, you can check in to the hotel 3pm-5pm on Thursday 5th February before meeting the rest of the group for an early dinner. The workshop begins at 7pm that night, continues 9am-11pm on Friday 6th and runs 9am-1pm and 3pm-6pm on Saturday 7th. Snacks, drinks and all meals – two breakfasts, lunches and dinners – are included in your stay and are served in the Middle Eastern buffet restaurant, Al Waha, at 8am, 1pm and 6pm.

The workshop will provide effective strategies on how to strengthen relationships, explore your life purpose, take control of your body and feel spiritually balanced. “You’ll also be digging into past wounds to heal them so you can charge forward with your life,” adds Randa – so ladies, take tissues.

As well as the workshop, you’ll receive a workbook so you can take notes or jot down your feelings, a set of Be You inspirational cards – 50 cards with phrases such as ‘be creative’ and ‘be determined,’ which act as a pocket-sized coach – and a month’s follow-up coaching with Randa. By the end of the weekend if you’re not hollering along to Aretha you’ll get your money back.

Thursday 29th January is the last day you can register for the retreat. AED 7,000 for a private room, AED 5,500 sharing with another retreat guest. Qasr al Sarab, Liwa desert, map on website. For more information about the retreat contact: 02 446 3766, 050 313 1497

For more information about the hotel contact: 02 886 2088

Sarah Riches



No, non, nein, la

Whichever language you speak, the retreat promises to teach you how to say no to…

  • unresolved issues with loved ones
  • shame and fear of speaking the truth
  • feeling small and like you don’t matter
  • sabotaging yourself
  • feeling stressed and overwhelmed
  • loneliness, disconnection and depression
  • abusive relationships
  • letting past traumas dictate your future



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