Dani Afiouni Founder And CEO of Longevity Wellness On His Vision For A Healthier Future

Emma Hodgson   |   16-06-2024

Dani Afiouni, the Founder & CEO of Longevity Wellness in Dubai is one of the most accomplished endurance athletes of his generation.

He has traversed some of the most challenging landscapes on the planet, from completing a marathon across the North Pole in extreme – 40 degree Celsius temperatures to racing across the worlds highest summit, Mount Everest, where he also completed a marathon. Hes no stranger to extreme sports having several challenges as a Triathlete and Skydiver under his belt too. His experience in the endurance field has also inspired his work. In 2019 the entrepreneur set up Longevity Wellness Dubai, to help everyone from athletes to those simply looking to improve their day-to-day health. Since the hub first opened five years ago, it has gone from strength to strength, under the mission of empowering individuals to Age Well and Live Better.” We sat down with Afiouni off the back of his recent 153km desert marathon – which he ran to celebrate the hubs fifth anniversary and to raise money for the Emirates Society of Child Mental Health – to learn more.

What was your inspiration for setting up Longevity Wellness?

The inspiration for setting up Longevity Wellness came from a combination of my personal experiences as an adventurer and my passion for creating and innovating on the means, tech and talent for people to spend time in good health. Over the past 15 years, I have spent a significant amount of time climbing summits around the world and exploring some of the most extreme environments, such as the Arctic regions and the summit of Antarctica. These adventures required not only physical strength but also mental resilience and a comprehensive approach to wellness. One particularly dramatic expedition to Antarctica in 2018 was a turning point for me. I encountered extremely harsh conditions, and it was my rigorous training and holistic approach to health that enabled me to overcome these challenges. This experience reinforced my belief in the importance of a well-rounded approach to wellness that includes physical fitness, mental clarity, and emotional balance. Upon returning from Antarctica, I felt a strong desire to share the methods and protocols that had helped me thrive in such extreme conditions. I realized that the principles I had developed during my expeditions could benefit others in their pursuit of health and wellness and this is what led to the creation of Longevity Hub. 

You have completed many great marathons around the world. Which challenge – out of the races and sports you have participated in – are you most proud of?

Every expedition has its own set of rewards, and pride comes from combining hard work, discipline, and the strength to overcome hardships until you reach the summit or the finish line. Reflecting on these experiences is a constant source of motivation. Out of the many challenges I’ve undertaken, there are four that stand out equally in my mind: The 777 Challenge: This involved running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Travelling the world in 10 days and running a marathon on each continent every day was a gruelling yet exhilarating experience that tested my endurance and resilience. The North Pole Marathon: Running the last point on earth, on the Arctic Ocean, at temperatures reaching -40 Celsius was an unforgettable and extreme challenge. It is the coldest marathon on Earth and requires immense mental and physical fortitude. The Jungle Ultra: This 205 KM self-supported survival race in the middle of the Amazon jungle was one of the toughest endurance events I’ve participated in. Navigating through the dense jungle terrain while carrying all the necessary supplies pushed me to my limits. The Everest Marathon: Running the highest marathon on earth was a unique and incredibly demanding experience. The altitude and harsh conditions made it a true test of my physical and mental capabilities. Each of these challenges taught me valuable lessons about perseverance, resilience, and the importance of holistic wellness in achieving peak performance. They are all equally significant to me and have shaped my approach to both my personal adventures and my work at Longevity Wellness Hub.

What does an average morning routine look like to you?

My morning routine is designed to set a strong foundation for the day, both physically and mentally. I start by standing on a nail board for 10 minutes. This practice helps to stimulate circulation and energize my body. Following that, I take a cold shower, which invigorates me and sharpens my focus. After these initial steps, I move on to my physical training. Depending on the day, this could involve running a specific distance or following a tailored workout routine. During my runs, I use the time to structure, build, and innovate on our business model at Longevity Wellness Hub. This combination of physical activity and mental strategizing allows me to stay fit while continuously driving our business forward. This routine not only prepares me for the physical demands of the day but also ensures that I am mentally prepared to tackle challenges and make the most of every opportunity.

What has been your best marathon time (and where) so far, and what inspires you to keep going?

What inspires me most about marathons and expeditions is the long-term impact they have on me. Each one has humbled me, given me perspective, and allowed ample time for reflection. These experiences shape my approach to both life and business, constantly pushing me to grow and innovate. In terms of performance, my best marathon time was a sub-4-hour marathon. However, I rarely focused on timing or aiming for a personal best. Many of my marathons came after completing multiple marathons or Ironman events, so my primary goal was often to embrace the journey and the challenges it presented rather than to achieve a specific time. What keeps me going is the profound sense of accomplishment and the personal growth that comes from these experiences. Every marathon and expedition teaches me something new about resilience, endurance, and the power of the human spirit. These lessons are invaluable, and they continue to inspire me to take on new challenges and push my limits. 

Congratulations on the challenging 153 km desert run which you recently completed. Which of the services at the clinic will you be utilizing in your recovery?

Thank you so much! Completing the 153 km desert run was an incredibly challenging yet rewarding experience. Throughout the run, I was fortunate to have the Longevity Wellness mobile unit on hand for rapid recovery through ice baths and compression therapy, which were crucial in managing the physical demands and keeping me going. It was partly an experiment for me as I was testing the tech we mobilize while live during an expedition which was never possible as all my expeditions were abroad. Applying Cold water immersion, pure oxygen therapy and compression modalities every day during the endurance challenge was truly a game changer for me, it made a difference and kept my serotonin high, inflammations low, and stress levels lower.  Now that the run is complete, my recovery will focus on key services at Longevity Wellness. I will continue with Cold Water Immersion Ice Baths to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, and Compression Lymphatic Drainage Therapy to enhance circulation and reduce swelling. Additionally, I’ll incorporate Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to promote faster healing and Sound and Light Frequency Therapy to manage stress and promote relaxation. By leveraging these advanced recovery services, I can ensure a holistic and effective recovery, allowing me to bounce back stronger and ready for my next adventure.

How can the treatments you offer at Longevity Wellness contribute to athletic performance?

At Longevity Wellness, our treatments are designed to enhance athletic performance by addressing both the physical and mental aspects of an athlete’s well-being. By combining advanced technologies with holistic health practices, we provide comprehensive support that helps athletes reach their true potential. At the heart of the offering is a scan to discover what the body lacks in terms of nutrition and supplements as well as an overview of inflammations, stress and energy fields, then our nutrition, supplements, and relevant therapies program begins. One of our key offerings is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. This treatment increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, which accelerates muscle recovery, reduces inflammation, and enhances overall endurance. Athletes who undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy often experience faster healing times and improved performance due to the increased oxygen availability in their tissues. Cold Water Immersion Ice Baths are another crucial component of our services. Ice baths help to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after intense physical activity. They promote faster recovery and allow athletes to train more effectively by minimizing downtime between sessions. Our Compression Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is also highly beneficial for athletes. This treatment improves circulation and helps to remove metabolic waste from the muscles. By enhancing lymphatic flow, compression therapy reduces muscle fatigue and soreness, leading to better performance and quicker recovery times. Additionally, we offer Red Light Therapy, which has been shown to improve cellular function and repair. This therapy can enhance muscle recovery, reduce joint pain, and increase overall energy levels, making it an excellent tool for athletes looking to optimize their performance. Finally, Sound and Light Frequency Therapy can significantly impact an athlete’s mental performance by reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Mental resilience is just as important as physical strength, and this therapy helps athletes maintain focus and composure under pressure.

Do you have any exciting plans for Longevity Wellness that people can look forward to in 2024-2025?

We have committed ourselves to providing the space, the tech and the talent to help people take charge of their own wellbeing and we are fully invested in doing so. Further to the multiple locations 2024 will showcase for Longevity, we will launch our tech, analytics and scanning technology to provide people with actionable intelligence about their health and well-being to act on. So, Absolutely! We are very excited about the future of Longevity Wellness. In 2024-2025, we will be expanding our facilities into key areas across Dubai. This expansion will allow us to bring our unique blend of advanced wellness technologies and holistic health practices to more people, making it easier for individuals to access our services and take control of their well-being. We have carefully selected locations that will best serve our growing community, and each new facility will be equipped with the same state-of-the-art treatments and personalized wellness programs that our clients have come to rely on. Our goal is to create accessible wellness hubs that provide comprehensive support for physical, mental, and emotional health.

What is your favourite quote or mantra to live by?

Never substitute long-term happiness with short-term pleasures.