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Sun 7 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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The measure of success

In celebrating cover star The Monarch Dubai's Devon Graham's recent win as Fitness Instructor of the Year at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2008, some important issues have come to light.

In celebrating cover star The Monarch Dubai's Devon Graham's recent win as Fitness Instructor of the Year at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2008, some important issues have come to light.

Firstly, there is the requirement for your leisure facility to address the needs of the market in which it is located.

Graham developed Quantum Health Club to cater to the corporate fitness sector to meet the needs of an over-worked, stressed-out Dubai community, drawing on his past career experience and the location and business concept of The Monarch Hotel.

Other new facilities, such as the In Motion Club at The Green Community in Dubai, are also trying to apply tried and tested trends to relevant markets, in this case, exergaming for children and their families, ideally suited to the location at The Market.

With more health clubs expected for Dubai, defining your market niche and developing your product to fit this - rather than trying to be all things to all people - will become very important.

So too, according to Graham, will be the need to focus on offering more than just a gym to your members. This could be done in several ways: by prioritising group exercise memberships, creating a social club environment or offering space for business meetings.

Graham has opted to focus on creating a centre of wellness, by offering thorough health tests and screenings to provide users with information that they probably wouldn't get unless they were sick and having tests at hospital because of an illness.

This has enabled clear and defined goal-setting, targeted exercise programmes, measurable results and a more educated corporate community, he asserts.

Health testing is also prioritised at the new VibroGym Pro Studio at Dubai Healthcare City, so clients will see what really needs to be done to improve their fitness and learn important information about their metabolic rate and VO2 Max, rather than assuming that vibration training is an easy answer.

With global financial pressures likely to cause Dubai's work force to put in even more hours next year, thus impacting lifestyles and diets, offering these extra health services - before people need to see a doctor for high blood pressure or high cholesterol - could be what makes Dubai's fitness industry unique.

Louise Oakley is the editor of Leisure Manager.

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