Katie Duncan, a qualified teacher and instructor, originally set up Apples & Pears in the UK in 2008 because of the confusing and contradicting weight loss and fitness advice. Ten years on, she’s expanded to the UAE with The Healthy Retreat Company Dubai.

“We’ve helped over a thousand men and women lose weight and get into shape – 60% of our retreaters return for more and many new clients come to us following recommendations from friends and family. My goal is to help you take control of your health and fitness so you can be happy and confident. You can expect visible weight and inch loss*. Our brilliant chefs, spa therapists and hotel staff work closely with me to make this happen. Our retreaters leave feeling empowered with the motivation and knowledge to make positive changes.

Our programmes have evolved over time, but our core beliefs have stayed the same:
• Bad habits and busy lifestyles mean we often overeat. Understanding portion sizes and basic nutrition serves us better than drastic fad diets.
• We can all benefit from more exercise. We’re set up to adapt to groups of varying shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels. You’ll be pushed to your own limit.

If you’re new to The Healthy Retreat Company, I hope this site will help you to understand more about what we offer.”

*Disclaimer: weight loss and inch loss will vary from person to person depending on effort put in with the exercise programme and food consumed.

Our Team

Katie Duncan

Katie has a Sports Science background and 20 years’ experience teaching Physical Education to adults and children. Her qualifications include: BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences, Swimming Instructor Award (ASA), Gym Instructor, RSA Exercise to Music Qualification, PGCE in Secondary Physical Education.

Foad Mahnaei

Foad is passionate about all aspects of fitness, including weight training, team sports, kickboxing and watersports, and has been instructing adults in these areas for the past 10 years. He's patient and attentive to individual needs and he tailors and varies sessions to all abilities. His fun and lively personality will keep you motivated yet challenged so that you leave with the best possible results.

Eva Kirdyapkina
Yoga Teacher

Eva is a qualified yoga teacher and holds a second degree in Reiki healing. She encourages her students to build greater self-awareness and peace through their yoga practice. With an easy going character, Eva likes to make her classes fun and simple. Through various yoga practices, Eva works with clients to improve balance and flexibility, strengthen the core, shape the body and improve blood circulation and digestion.

Rebecca Vonderscher
Marketing & Operations Manager

Rebecca looks after the Marketing & Operations side of things, working closely with Katie to make sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. She holds a BA (Hons) in French and Business Management and has 16 years’ experience working in Marketing and HR.


  • Fantastic!

    The Healthy Retreat is a fantastic way to kick start a healthy lifestyle through fitness instruction, nutritional guidance, and an array of spa treatments. I don’t know of any other program in the UAE that offers such a complete program.

    Dayna – 24 April 2017
  • This retreat is absolutely super

    It is a flexible retreat and delivers great results by a hugely professional team. Highlights for me were cycling, the mountain visit, 1:1 training and dynamic stretching.

    Jane – 13 February 2017
  • Energizing and relaxing

    The spa was fantastic! I had a Moroccan hammam that I can truly recommend! My goal was to get more energy, spend time on my own and get more motivated to continue training back home which I have so far. I felt both energized but also very relaxed when leaving the retreat. A perfect combination.

    26 February 2016
  • I had such a brilliant time!

    I came away with so many highlights that are easily transferable into normal life at home. I will definitely return. It’s the way forward for anyone wanting anything from a healthy break away from the hustle and bustle to a complete mind set change to improve yourself long term.

    24 August 2016
  • Superb boot camp

    Katie’s organisational skills are exceptional and all done with a smile. The activities are vigorous and are pushed to do your very best underpinned by a very, very professional and supportive group of trainers. Highlights for me were learning how to swim, meeting such an interesting and sociable group of people and the superb instruction from Katie and Woody.

    January 2016