After more than three months of being closed, gyms in Abu Dhabi have started welcoming members back to their premises.
From July 1, gyms around the capital began opening their doors; but the fitness facilities look very different to how they did before they closed in March.
Reopening came with a list of conditions from the government. Visitors and instructors must adhere to social distancing of at least two metres, carry sanitiser and train alone if they are not taking part in a group session.
The rules also state that all guests and staff should have their temperature taken before and during training sessions, and wear masks and gloves at all times.
Here are some of the measures being taken at Abu Dhabi’s most popular gyms:
Abu Dhabi Country Club
The facility, which has five studios for classes and one for cycling, reopened on Wednesday, with a limited class schedule.
Programming has been arranged to keep a two-hour gap between classes – if they are in the same studio – so that proper sanitisation can be completed.
Capacity is capped at 50 per cent, with gym-goers asked to stand three metres apart through stickers on the floor. The cycling studio's 80 bikes have been reduced to 30, with riders also spaced three metres from one another.
Instructors will be tested for Covid-19 twice a month and temperature checks will take place for everyone. Those attending classes are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior and must wear gloves and masks at all times. However, during a class, participants are allowed to pull their mask down to their chin, but need to pull it back up once the class is done. Locker rooms and showers will be closed.
The popular Zayed Sports City gym will reopen on Sunday, with a mix of scheduled classes and open gym time. Both classes and the open gym will have a capacity limited to 16 people, and booking in advance is essential. This can be done via the app for members, and by calling or emailing Haddins for non-members.
Inside the gym, deep cleaning and disinfection will take place during a 30-minute gap between classes, and equipment will be single-use and must not be shared between classes. As per guidelines, everyone will be required to wear a mask and maintain a two-metre distance.
This facility, also based in Zayed Sports City, will reopen on Sunday, with a new class schedule and a number of new safety measures in place, including capped class sizes to allow adequate space between members as they work out. For yoga and Pilates, classes will be capped at eight, while for Pump, Shape, Zumba and Spin, sessions will take place in a bigger studio and will be capped at 14. Reformer classes will be limited to four. Class times will also be reduced from one hour to 45 minutes, to allow for enough time to deep-clean between sessions.
The gym has also gone cashless, meaning all classes will need to be booked and paid for in advance.
Dubai gyms reopen:
The Yas Island gym reopened its doors on Wednesday to welcome its members back after more than 100 days of closure. It will be operating a strict three-phase reopening plan, which will begin by allowing eight people in a class at any one time. All members will be required to adhere to the government’s PPE rule, as well as have their temperatures checked upon entry to the gym.
Both classes and open gym sessions will require booking in advance, and the sharing of equipment will not be permitted. There will be spaced-out designated workout zones on the floor to ensure the mandatory two-metre distance rule is adhered to.
Classes will be limited to 45 minutes, to allow for enough time to deep-clean between sessions.
The yoga studio will reopen on Sunday. It has made a number of amendments to its classes and ways of working to ensure it adheres to government guidelines and its members remain safe.
All classes will need to be booked in advance and no walk-ins will be accepted. Classes will also be scheduled to start at least 15 minutes apart, to avoid crowding in the reception area. Reservations will open on a Thursday for classes the following week, and will be allotted on a first come, first served basis.
All staff and members will be required to follow PPE guidelines and have their temperature checked upon arrival, and all equipment will be deep-cleaned after use. Guests are asked to wear Pilates socks for all equipment classes, as well as bring their own mat and towel.
F45 Zayed Sports City
The circuit gym will reopen on Friday. It has switched up its format so that all members will complete their workout within a fixed station, meaning they will not share equipment or move freely around the gym.
Class times have been amended to allow for deep cleaning between sessions, with a 30-minute break. The gym is adhering to government policy and operating at 50 per cent capacity, while ensuring all staff and members undergo regular temperature checks, wear masks and use hand sanitiser.
All members should bring their own water and towels, and classes will need to be booked in advance, with a strict three-hour cancellation window in place. F45 will also be replacing its signature end-of-session high five with feet kicks.