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Sun 24 Feb 2008 01:02 PM

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Virgin Active to launch in UAE

The Virgin Active Health Club chain has announced plans to launch its health club product in the UAE later this year.

The Virgin Active Health Club chain has announced plans to launch its health club product in the UAE later this year.

The announcement is the result of a partnership between Virgin Active and the Dubai-based Sharaf Group, which has an existing relationship with the Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Nigeria and Virgin Galactic brands.

"We are delighted to partner with Sir Richard Branson's group again, this time to introduce the Virgin Active brand to Dubai and the Middle East. The new exercise and wellness clubs will offer exceptional service, innovation, value for money and of course, in true Virgin style, fun to the people of the region." said Ibrahim Sharaf, chairman, Sharaf Group.

Virgin Active founder Sir Richard Branson said: "We realise exercise can be hard work, but it doesn't have to be. Our clubs offer a haven from the hustle and bustle and give members more than just a place to exercise; it's a sanctuary where they can expect no less than first class treatment all the way."

"What we're hoping to do in the UAE is to bring the best of breed, to really have a look at what's working around the world and combine that into something really special in the UAE," added Virgin Active country manager UAE Rick Jaffe.

The clubs will feature free internet stations and wifi, a café and dedicated studios for activities such as group cycling (V-Cycle) and boxing (V-Box), alongside CV and resistance areas, swimming pools and thermal areas including steamrooms , saunas and spa pools.

Virgin Active is expected to roll out clubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during the initial phase with locations in key residential and commercial precincts.

For more information, see the March issue of Leisure Manager for a full interview with Virgin Active country manager, UAE, Rick Jaffe.

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