IGO ventures into retail with new fitness chain

Fitness 101 'is not a small investment... It is a company that is going to stand on its own,' says CEO Dr Anas A Kozbari
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 10 Apr 2018 10:47 AM

Dubai-based developer Invest Group Overseas (IGO), a member of MAG Group, has entered the retail market with the launch of its first health and fitness club, with three branches scheduled to open before the end of the year in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeirah and an area close to Dubailand. It will also open a branch in the US as part of its $1.2b real estate project The Gate.

Fitness 101, located in the firm’s $3.7b project The Polo Residence in Meydan, features a 360 degree body scanner used by The Dallas Cowboys American football team. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in the region, and delivers up to 1,400 different body measurements.

The fitness centre also features hydro massage, an outdoor swimming pool and a virtual reality cycling studio.

According to IGO chief executive and managing partner Dr Anas A Kozbari, Fitness 101 is ‘not a gym’ but a lifestyle centre aimed at bettering people’s lives.

“The city is full of gyms. There might be more gas stations than gyms in Dubai. So we wanted to do something different. I train at a gym that is four times my gym, but this isn’t the lifestyle I want to portray. We invest in highly qualified people who use science and education to enhance people’s lives. We don’t rely on machines,” he said.

Prices for yearly packages at the centre range at around AED3,000.

The launch is in line with IGO’s plans for market diversification. They include a healthy eatery under the brand O Café, named after oxygen.

While most of the firm's investments lie in real estate, its investment in fitness and health is expected to be just as successful, Dr Kozbari said.

“This is not a small investment that is going to be passive. This is a company that is going to stand on its own,” he added.

Among IGO’s investments include $544.4m in projects scheduled in the build-up to 2020. One of them is a $136m tower in JLT, which features 39 floors with 449 affordable luxury apartments.

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