A woman sleeping on beach bed

The Brilliant Beach Towel You Need In Your Life Right Now

Get set to sizzle on the sand with Anaskela – the smart and sustainable answer to drying off in style

Beach season is back. And while you may have put substantial effort into cultivating the perfect beach babe outfit, can the same be said for your beach towel? Undoubtedly the last thing to be considered, an old, bulky bath sheet invariably gets taken for a day out on the sand – but thanks to a lightbulb moment from an ex-Dubai dweller and her childhood best friend, the boring beach towel is a concept that has quite literally been hung out to dry. 

“Necessity truly is the mother of invention – which we learn quickly when we become mothers,” says beach lifestyle brand Anaskela’s co-founder, and one time Dubai resident, Jana Khoury. “Your appreciation for efficiency, for products that make life easier and don’t compromise on style multiply when you have a hectic lifestyle – and raising a family makes you so much more aware of the need for items that make daily activities just that little bit simpler.”

Growing up in Greece, and currently living in the UK, Jana spent every summer on the beaches of her homeland, returning now with her own young family in tow. And it was on one of those beautiful Greek beaches that the idea for Anaskela was born. 

“My business partner and childhood friend Melissa Ward-Papageorgiou came up with the concept when travelling around the Greek Islands with her kids in 2018,” explains Jana, whose 20-year career in luxury fashion PR saw her working with some of the world’s most prestigious brands. “She felt that their bulky beach towels were weighing the family down and taking up too much space in their luggage, and wanted to create something better. So she brought the idea to me, and we decided that there must be a better way to live – at least while on vacation. The rest of the story, like those soggy, terry cloth towels covered in sand, is Anaskela history.”

The goal was to create a stylish and functional towel that was more conducive to travel, and less than a year after they started work on their business plan, Jana and Melissa launched their debut collection. Weighing just 200 – 300 grams, each super-thin, eco-friendly Anaskela towel is made using fibres made from recycled PET bottles,  is super absorbent, quick-drying, and sand-repellant.

“The concept of the travel towel already existed of course, but we couldn’t find one that was aesthetically exciting or sustainable,” explains Jana. “So we decided those three values – functionality, sustainability and design – would be the pillars of our business, and behind every decision we would make. Designed to be stunning, compact, lightweight, absorbent, and quick-drying, our towels blend functionality with aesthetics in order to perform as well as looking great.”

With sustainability central to their ethos, ensuring that Anaskela products were created with as much thought and consideration for the planet as possible is fundamental to their business. “At launch, each towel was produced using six recycled plastic bottles,” says Jana. “As Anaskela’s business grows, so is our pledge to increasing the amount of recycled material in our fabric.” 

Jana and Melissa work together on each collection’s design, colour and concepts, usually brainstorming on or somewhere near a beach in Greece. Once rough designs are finalised and translated into a printable format, the initial edit is put together, which is gradually whittled down to a final offering. “We’re not really driven by fashion or trends, but more by what we would want to have for the summer, or what we can see our friends liking,” Jana explains. “Our collection usually starts with a vibe or something we’ve seen or experienced, and evolves from there. And we’ve been so lucky and happy with how the towels have been received. Customers have been leaving great reviews and even emailing directly to give us their feedback, which we appreciate so much. I think a lot of people were really surprised that a product made using recycled plastic bottles could actually feel so soft to the touch.”

With such positive feedback for items made wholly from recycled materials, Jana hopes consumers are learning just how technologically advanced sustainable fashion products are. “Supply comes from demand, so I hope consumers become more and more demanding for products that are well made, long-lasting and are not detrimental to our planet. We need to become more innovative and create ways to fulfil the desire for beauty and consumption with products that are smart and enduring.”

Aside from product and packaging, the brand also contribute financially to specific charitable organisations, donating a percentage of profits to WWF Greece, as well as organising beach cleanups – something they hope can resume once it’s safe to gather in groups again

“As true lovers of the beach, we’re doing what we can to protect our precious environment, and will always look for ways to improve our products and reduce our carbon footprint,” explains Jana. “We’re very conscious of practicing what we preach, but in no way do we claim to be the perfect example. We’re really mindful about what we put into the world, because sustainability is massively important to us, and we’re learning more and more what that means every day.”

For more information, visit anaskela.com 


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Designing Your Own Zen Home

Peaceful and harmonious living.

So you’re thinking about transforming your home into a Zen paradise. That’s great! Do you often find yourself stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed by your current living situation? Do you crave serenity, tranquility, and greater inner peace? Do you spend more time feeling anxious about your clutter than enjoying your living space? Do you dream of a space that feels welcoming, calming, and rejuvenating – all at the same time?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, then a Zen home may be for you.

What Is Zen Home in Interior Design?

The word “zen” is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word “chán”, which in turn is a Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word “dhyāna”, meaning “meditation”. Zen is a Buddhist concept that places emphasis on the practice of meditation with the goal of achieving a state of inner peace and tranquility.

Zen interior design is all about creating a living space that promotes peace, harmony, and a sense of balance. The goal is to create a relaxed and calm haven from all the hustle and bustle of daily life where you can unwind and recharge. A Zen home is characterized by its emphasis on natural textures, simple lines, neutral colours, and an overall minimalism effect. Furniture is minimal, surfaces are kept clear to achieve order and calm, and natural light is important so windows are often uncovered to allow as much natural sunlight as possible. Decluttering your space and removing distractions, as well as, adding relaxing elements such as candles, diffusers, and other natural materials, you can create an environment that amplifies the Zen factor and also conducive to nurturing concentration and productivity.

Benefits of a Zen Living Space

In addition to creating a peaceful and harmonious living space, there are many benefits to practicing Zen design in our homes. Research has shown that incorporating natural elements into our living spaces can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve our overall sense of well-being and help us feel more connected to the natural world.

How to Create a Zen Home

A Zen home is a living space that prioritizes simplicity, natural elements, and tranquility, creating a peaceful and harmonious environment that promotes relaxation, mindfulness, and overall wellness. Today, Zen design has evolved to include a wide range of interior design styles that often incorporate elements of natural materials, organic shapes, and minimalistic design. The idea of a Zen home has become a popular trend in interior design, as it can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation in our daily lives.

Less Is More

A well-edited room is more visually appealing than one that is crammed full of furniture and knick-knacks. One of the key benefits of the Zen design approach is that it can help to make small spaces feel larger and more open. When there are fewer objects on display, each one can be given more attention, and the eye is not drawn to any one particular area. In addition, a minimalist approach can also help to create a sense of order and calm, making it ideal for a Zen home.

Neutral Colour Palette

In a Zen home, one of the most important things to be mindful of is choosing a natural colour palette. Colours are typically muted and neutral, like white, cream, beige and gray, creating a sense of simplicity and tranquility. Avoid bright colours like red and yellow which can be reminiscent of Asian themes but are disruptive to the overall Zen flow. Instead, stick to muted tones that will ensure a serene and relaxing space, and if you do need some colour greens and blues can serve as excellent accent colours. Also, consider incorporating natural textures and materials to keep your space from feeling too sterile.

Natural Elements

The modern Zen design also emphasizes the use of natural elements like wood, stone, greenery, and water, that give your space an organic feel to support relaxation and balance. Incorporating such elements does not have to be expensive or difficult and often a few simple accents can make all the difference. For example, placing small potted plants is an inexpensive way to add some nature into your space. You may try adding a bonsai to keep with the Zen look but other plants would also do the trick. Similarly, a clear bowl filled with different coloured stones and water or a water fountain or similar feature, also creates a natural touch to your decor.

Natural Light

Lighting plays a major role in a Zen home, with natural light preferred, as it helps to create an open and airy feeling. With visually stimulating views, we feel relaxed and optimistic, which can greatly improve our overall well-being. Sunlight has a calming effect on the mind and body, and it can also help to improve mood and focus. In addition, natural light is an essential part of the cycle of nature, and it helps to regulate our bodies’ circadian rhythms. For these reasons, it’s important to make sure that your Zen-inspired interior receives plenty of light.

Streamlined Furniture

In a Zen home, furniture, decor, and household items are chosen for their simplicity and functionality. Furniture that is simple and clean in design are perfect choices. Selecting streamlined furniture made with natural materials such as wood, stone, or bamboo with straight lines and smooth surfaces will add to the Zen factor of your space. This type of furniture creates a feeling of calm and serenity – all qualities perfect for achieving a zen state of mind. By choosing streamlined furniture that is low to the ground, you will help keep the visual flow of your room uninterrupted, enabling you to feel more grounded and very much in tune with the Japanese style of Zen. Handcrafted furnishings made with reclaimed wood or rattan can add warmth. We recommend avoiding heavy, closed-off furniture designs to maintain an open and airy look and feel throughout your home.

When it comes to furniture styles for a Zen home in Dubai, you’ll want to focus on simplicity, functionality, and natural materials. Here are a few furniture styles and design elements to consider:

Accents to Add Zen to Any Home

Diffusers, candles, incense sticks, and sage are all great tools to incorporate into your house to create a more Zen-ful ambiance. Here are some tips on how to use each of these items to create a Zen living environment:


Essential oil diffusers are a great way to create a calming atmosphere in your home. Choose oils such as lavender, chamomile, or bergamot to promote relaxation and calmness. Place the diffuser in a central location in your home, or in a designated relaxation space to promote serenity.


Candles can help create a soft, warm glow that promotes relaxation. Choose candles with natural scents made from natural bases like beeswax or soy, to avoid overpowering synthetic fragrances from invading your space. Place candles in areas where you would like to create a sense of ambiance, such as a meditation space or near your bathtub.


Burning incense sticks can help to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere. Choose natural scents, such as sandalwood, or cedarwood, and place incense in an area where airflow is good.


Burning sage, also known as smudging, is an ancient practice that can be used to clear negative energy from your home. Light a sage bundle and walk the smoke around all the corners of your home, reaching the places where energy tends to get trapped. Remember to open your windows in order to let out the smoke.

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The Zen Home Essentials


Lavender Pure Essential Oil

AED 55.00


Aroma Diffuser – Sand

AED 70.00


Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil

AED 55.00


Jasmine and Ylang Ylang “and” Unisex Candle

AED 200.00


Lotus Serenity Incense

AED 30.00


Lavender & Eucalyptus Candle

AED 100.00


7 Chakra Sage

AED 55.00


White Sage Smudge Stick

AED 50.00


Dragon Blood Sage

AED 75.00

The question to really ask yourself is, are you in need of a peaceful and calming living space? Do you often feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed in your current home? That’s when you know for sure that a Zen home is just what you need to strive for.

You may even follow your higher sense of self and spot signs such as feeling distracted by technology, constantly playing catch-up with household chores, wishing deep inside for a welcoming and calming home, or feeling overwhelmed or anxious by clutter. These are clear signs pointing you toward the need to create a Zen home for yourself. The results are well worth the effort and the process can be healing too.

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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