By Gavin Gibbon
Fitness chain reveals plan to open 10 new facilities across the Gulf region this year
Fitness First Middle East has revealed plans to open 10 new clubs across the GCC this year.
The first of the 10 new clubs is due to open in April at Marina Gate, Dubai, and will be the brand’s thirty-third club in the UAE and twenty-third in the emirate.
Fitness First, which is owned by the Landmark Group, will also be opening in Dubai Silicon Oasis and The Meadows; Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi; Al Zahia in Sharjah; Ajman City Centre in Ajman; and Oasis Mall and Bahrain City Centre in Bahrain.
Current clubs in Dubai Festival City and Sahara Centre in Sharjah will also be relocated with brand new and improved concept clubs set to replace them.
“We’ve received significant backing and funding from our owners to open another ten clubs in the next 12 months, which is a real feather in everyone’s caps, that what we’re doing in the current sector is very popular,” said George Flooks, chief executive officer of Fitness First Middle East, who revealed year-on-year memberships have increased by 12.5 percent.
The ambitious regional expansion will see the next generation of ‘club in club’ concepts and fitness innovation come to life across Fitness First clubs.
A host of pioneering exercise and club concepts are set to further energise the brand, including dynamic boxing classes that provide sensory knockout; cubed and wall-less workout studios likened to a silent disco for fitness; and immersive indoor cycling experiences that draw on data visualisation technology and online gaming and hot studios, powered by infrared heating system that warms the body directly rather than heating the air.
The expansion will also mean that women can take advantage of more private ladies-only offerings, which provide a supportive, intimate and comfortable environment to work out in and educate themselves of the importance of wellness and fitness.
The new Silicon Oasis, Dubai Festival City, Sahara Centre Sharjah and Bahrain City Centre clubs will all offer ladies-only sections and facilities, in addition to Fitness First’s existing 22 ladies only gyms across the region.
The fitness chain gave a glimpse of the new ‘club in club’ concept back in November, with the opening of The Palm club at Nakheel Mall, Dubai.
Flooks added: “We have entered this year with an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment, not only in the terms of our fitness offerings but also our profound legacy and commitment to our members. We have listened to the fitness community and the region’s ever-growing demand for fitness innovation and now we are tearing up the rulebook and taking the Fitness First brand in a radical new direction. With our club in club concept, we plan to disrupt the disruptors.
Fitness First Middle East currently has more than 57 clubs across 49 locations, in six countries including the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and is exploring franchise options in other territories.