By Claire Ferris-Lay
Landmark Group to take over operation of four Emaar-branded gyms
Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure subsidiary of Emaar Properties, has transferred the operation of its four Hayya! health clubs to Fitness First, the firm has said.
Fitness First, operated in the Middle East under a franchise agreement with the Landmark Group, will take over the operation of the health and fitness operations in The Lakes, The Meadows, Town Centre and Downtown Dubai while Emaar will continue to run its hospitality services, Emaar said.
Dubai-based Landmark acquired the Fitness First franchise for the Middle East after purchasing a subsidiary of Saudi leisure company Al Hokair Group. The firm in October said it plans to spend as much as AED500m ($136m) expanding the chain of gyms across the Middle East.
Landmark said it plans open 100 new branches over five years, including 35 in the UAE.
“We’ve got 13 clubs in the UAE at the moment and we’ve got big plans for Abu Dhabi, Sharjah – we’re looking at all of the other emirate states to open clubs,” George Flooks, COO of Fitness First Middle East told Arabian Business. “Over a five year period we will look to get ourselves to 35 clubs in the UAE.
“The broader strategy is 100 clubs in five years, that’s across the Middle East. We’ve got the rights to 21 countries so places like Kuwait, Egypt etc. Saudi is a big target market for us; they have the population for us so you could quite easily get 50 clubs into Saudi,” he added.