A sprawling wellness centre is in the works in Dubai’s Al Mizhar area. Fit Hub will offer 36,000 square feet of space for women to work out, get a spa treatment, dine and even shop come September.
Fit Hub offers a mixed bag of workouts – a HIIT studio, a cycling studio, and yoga, CrossFit and Pilates classes. Of these, the RPM classes follow the Stages Flight System, which enables indoor cyclists to set goals and track their performance; while the Pilates studio offers equipment from industry leader Merrithew Reformers.
The centre also has a dedicated state-of-the-art Aqua Hub, which offers water-based fitness activities – including aqua tone, yoga, balance and burn – in an eight-lane Olympic-size swimming pool. Fat burning and cardiovascular endurance aside, working out in water has minimal impact on the bones and joints.
Fit Hub also offers dishes by Protein House, the American franchisee known for its healthy gourmet meals. Think wellness shots, lean bowls and protein burgers, all made from fresh and hormone-free produce.
Elsewhere, the beauty corner has a list of services to choose from, such as bespoke spa treatments, hair and nail services, plus a sauna, steam and cold plunge pool. A luxury boutique – offering athleisure and high fashion apparel and accessories – completes the experience.
Monthly passes cost from Dh800, while an annual membership begins from Dh5,400. A Dh150 day pass makes you eligible to get 5 per cent off all retail offerings. Fit Hub also offers one-on-one swimming lessons, from Dh1,250 for 10 sessions of 30 minutes each.
The appeal of women-only fitness classes
Gyms and fitness studios dedicated to women have been growing in popularity in recent years. Sandra Koeder, co-founder of Motion Ladies Fitness Centre, says women want to be able to work out without the discomfort of being in a mixed-gender environment.
“They don't need to worry about what positions their bodies are in when doing yoga or Pilates, or come with a full face of make-up on or perfume,” she says. “They can just be themselves, and this is reflected in what they put in to their workout – and, in turn, what they get out of it.”
Jad Chouman, the brand director for Adidas in the Middle East and North Africa, says ladies-only group exercise sessions transform a workout from a chore into a social occasion, with women responding better to this dynamic. “Gyms and health clubs can be daunting for some women, as men tend to dominate, so it's important for women to feel at ease, to get the best out of their workout. Women-only gym facilities are also important in the Arab world due to cultural sensitivities.”