Dubai developer Invest Group Overseas goes into fitness with exclusive concept relying on science and education as opposed to machinery
“Fitness 101 is not just a gym. It is a lifestyle centre aimed at bettering people’s lives,” according to Dr Anas A Kozbari, the chief executive and managing partner of Dubai-based developer Invest Group Overseas (IGO), the company behind the concept.
IGO, a member of the MAG Group, is best known for its property developments, including its pending $136m 101 Tower in JLT, which will feature 39 floors with 449 affordable yet luxurious apartments.
We meet Dr Kozbari at the premises of Fitness 101, located in another one of the firm’s many projects, the $3.7bn Polo Residence in Meydan. As we roam around the venue, we begin to see his point.
While almost every gym in Dubai – and there are many – claims to sell a lifestyle that spans beyond fitness machines, the idea behind Dr Kozbari’s first project resists straying onto the typical territory. For starters, it will not allow more than 60 people inside its venue at the same time in the fear it would take away from its main objective: to offer consumers a tranquil, exclusive space to enjoy their workouts.
“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 the size of 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 says, pointing through floor to ceiling glass windows to lush outdoor greenery where Dr Kozbari claims friendly gazelles often roam. (The venue, apparently, is in close proximity to the residence of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan).
Outside, a medium-sized swimming pool is situated close to an outdoor training area, where group and personal training sessions will take place. Nearby is a dedicated cycling studio that uses virtual reality to transport class participants.
But this is not to say that Fitness 101 does not have the latest machines. Dr Kozbari takes us to a backroom where a strange looking device – a smart pillar fixed on a round platform – sits in the corner. The scanner, called Styku, is one of a kind in the UAE, and is a 360-degree device used by The Dallas Cowboys American football team to deliver up to 1,400 different types of body measurements, helping trainers identify the most suitable fitness plans for each individual.
Next, Dr Kozbari takes us to in-house healthy eatery Café O, named after oxygen, where we gulp down three samples of his favourite (sugar-free) shakes: pistachio, chocolate and berries. It seems, then, that Styku is not the only factor covering all the angles. Fitness 101 itself seems to check all the right boxes.
The good news is that health enthusiasts will be able to access the centre in three more locations set to open by the end of the year, in areas including Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeirah and a soon-to-be-disclosed location next to Dubailand. Fitness 101 will also open a branch in the US as part of its $1.2bn The Gate project.
As for prices for yearly packages at the centre, they range at around AED3,000.