With Dubai’s high stress work life, long working hours and the constant demand to meet strict deadlines, a large percentage of the UAE’s population, particularly the younger generation, is facing an uphill battle to stay fit and healthy. With the increase in health problems brought about by a sedentary lifestyle, including diabetes and obesity, especially in young children, doctors across the country are urging people to join fitness centers and gyms to remain active. As government initiatives, fitness campaigns and sports group are actively raising awareness on the importance of a balanced lifestyle to stay fit, there has been a surge in the number of fitness centers and health clubs across the country.
In keeping with UAE’s cultural sensitivities, many fitness centers have also introduced women’s only clubs and classes to encourage more women to start working out. Health experts in the UAE advise that women in this part of the world are often daunted by the prospect of working out in a mixed-gender gym. Women-only facilities transform the ‘chore’ of working out into a more social occasion, with women focusing less on their appearance and more on getting the maximum benefit from their workouts.
Dubai has several gyms, fitness facilities and health clubs or varying sizes that offer a multitude of facilities for their members. From small local neighborhood gyms that focus on body building to large gym franchises such as Fitness First, that offer many classes, people living in the emirate are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a health and wellness facility. Moreover, all gyms, to varying degrees, offer private one-on-one or two-to-one coaching sessions with fitness experts trained in different fields of health including overall lifestyle choices, weight loss, fat reduction, muscle building and core strength development.
Below is an introduction to eight of Dubai’s best gyms. These have been selected for the facilities they provide, convenient locations across the emirate as well as extra freebies offered when signing up for membership.
One of the most prominent fitness brands in the country, Fitness First has over 27 convenient locations across the UAE, with 19 locations in Dubai itself. Members can choose from three different levels of membership including Plus, Platinum and Platinum Plus and can join for a period of 3,6,12 or 18 months. Fees vary from AED 1999 to AED 5999 depending on the level and type of membership you opt for. New members are offered three free training and assessment sessions with a personal trainer to assess their current level of fitness and target goals. They also offer several promotions throughout the year with the chance to win many gifts, including free training sessions. The Fitness First brand is also popular for the many fitness challenges and events that are organized throughout the year, giving members the added incentive and opportunity to get fit even outside the gym.
Owned by the Lal’s group, this fitness brand currently has four clubs across Dubai, with plans to open up 10 new clubs across the UAE. Offering both mixed as well as ladies-only facilities, Fitness 360’s selling point is their holistic approach to getting healthy that extends beyond the time spent at the gym. They aim to provide affordable fitness options that suit the lifestyle and budget of common individuals and not just the elite. They offer some uniquely enticing classes including partner yoga and dancing in heels classes that aim to make fitness effective and fun.
Based on the principle that working out is a social activity, TribeFit is a health club located in the Dubai Marina offering over 90 classes a week in yoga, spinning and physical fitness. Located in a funky gym facility, the club is divided into eight workout areas including the burn lab, stretch area, yoga studio, fight club, circuit training, build lab, spin area and the melting pot. Membership ranges from AED 1,197 to AED 3,588 based on the selected package.
Engine Health and Fitness
Boasting a state-of-the-art facility located in a modern glass-structure, this three story gym is known for keeping up with the latest trends in fitness. Offering the most advanced fitness equipment supported by knowledgeable fitness experts, this health facility offers the usuall range of classes mixed in with some unique workout regimes such as the Queenax classes that use a padded hammock to assist with a range of suspended yoga exercises. Engine Health and Fitness currently has just one facility located on the Jumeirah Beach Road.
Uenergy Boutique Health Club
Located in the heart of the Dubai Financial District, Uenergy Boutique Health Club offers personalized training programs that are geared to individual needs and goals. This modern facility is specially designed to offer a comfortable environment designed to house all your fitness needs under one roof. The facility offers a variety of classes designed to push your body to the limit including martial arts, boxing, resistance circuits and general fitness classes.
An exclusive fitness facility located in the Dubai Marina, Platform 3 advocates a slow and steady approach to achieve long term fitness. There is no annual membership; members can select from a variety of specialized packages that offer a targeted approach to getting fit and staying healthy. The club also has experts on nutrition and physiotherapy to maximize effective weight loss and fat burning.
Owned and run by one of Dubai’s most well known and most expensive fitness trainers, Amir Siddiqui, Symmetry offers no classes or group activities, but a pure, focused approach to training based on Amir’s proprietary Fission-Fusion Training Module. Fitness regimes include individualized training programs and meal plans designed by highly trained coaches designed to give you the most bang for your buck.