Saudi officials close 'illegal' women's fitness centre

Gyms for women continue to be forbidden despite growth of underground venues.
FIGHTING FIT: Gyms for women are illegal in Saudi Arabia. (Getty Images, for illustrative purposes only)
By Elsa Baxter
Thu 21 Jan 2010 11:37 AM

Health officials have closed down an “illegal” women’s fitness centre attached to a hospital in Jeddah, it was reported on Wednesday.

Gyms or fitness clubs for women continue to be illegal in the kingdom, despite the growing popularity of underground venues.

“Anyone who violates regulations governing the running of health facilities would be punished severely because this involves people’s health,” Muhammad Abdul Jawad, director of the Medical Licensing Administration, told Arab News.

He warned clinics and hospitals that officials regularly inspect health facilities to make sure they are following regulations.

Saudi’s municipal and rural affairs ministry recently closed two other gyms in Jeddah and one in Dammam, in eastern Saudi Arabia.

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