Beyond the treadmills: New cool fitness venues pop up in UAE

Be it the malls or the hotels, each player is working to support and build a culture of commitment to fitness in the community

by Purva Grover

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Published: Sat 11 Feb 2023, 10:16 PM

The buzz and commitment when it comes to wellness is as loud in 2023, as it was last year. And this year around, it seems that all players have agreed to not only join hands in making health and fitness a priority but also get innovative as they create spaces offering experiences, memberships, facilities, and more.

“Dubai is known for its luxurious lifestyle, and many of its residents and visitors are health-conscious and prioritise staying active while on holiday, or whilst on a staycation, or simply enjoying the city. Additionally, the city has a strong tourism industry and attracts a large number of business travellers, who may want to maintain their fitness routines while away from home. As a result, hotels in Dubai have responded by investing in state-of-the-art fitness facilities to meet the demand from guests,” said Walid Khayata, recreation manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai.


Get fit, enjoy the winter sun, or try out one of the world’s fastest growing sports at padel tennis courts: Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
Get fit, enjoy the winter sun, or try out one of the world’s fastest growing sports at padel tennis courts: Ritz-Carlton, Dubai

Fitness is a priority in the hospitality industry

“The city’s hot climate and preference for activities such as swimming, running, and cycling make it a desirable destination for fitness enthusiasts. We aim to offer guests the utmost comfort and relaxation whilst staying with us, and with this fitness is extremely important. With this, we continually seek to evolve and enhance our sports and recreational facilities to allow guests to completely unwind and enjoy their favourite activities in a luxurious setting,” added Walid.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai launched two all-new padel tennis courts, serving as a perfect spot to pick up a new hobby or enjoy a wholesome, competitive game with friends and family.


“Many hotels are realising that guests are interested and very committed to staying active, which is why you can find fitness facilities offering on-site classes, running trails, and other fitness-focused amenities,” said Yuliya Dyugay, Spa Manager, Ciel Spa, SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, Downtown district.

Various players investing into state-of-the-art fitness facilities

“Fitness used to be seen as a very solitary activity, but over the years we’ve seen an uptake in a group activity such as unique fitness classes; with padel gaining popularity and more of a communal approach to wellness, letting everyone no matter their proclivity to participate in some form of exercise,” said Fadi El Khatib, CEO and Founder, Champs Sports & Fitness Club, Festival Plaza, Jebel Ali.

Boasting over 40,000 sq. ft across two floors, the complex aspires to support the community’s fitness journey at a larger scale: Champs Sports & Fitness Club
Boasting over 40,000 sq. ft across two floors, the complex aspires to support the community’s fitness journey at a larger scale: Champs Sports & Fitness Club

“We expect to see an increase in the number of destinations offering specialised fitness programs, such as personalised yoga and pilates classes, tailored training sessions, and bespoke fitness classes. We will see more and more destinations offering al-fresco fitness options, such as running and cycling trails, swimming pools, and tennis courts, as well as padel courts such as ours,” added Walid.

Interestingly, AURA Skypool Lounge, the world’s highest 360° infinity pool, Palm Tower, is now available to everyone through a digital space created in the Metaverse. Guests can host their Meta yoga class, take a selfie overlooking the pool’s breathtaking views, and enjoy lifetime complimentary access, and more. This is in addition to enjoying the facility for a leisurely swim or relaxing in the lounge.

It all starts with us

“I believe initiatives such as the Dubai Fitness Challenge add a great community element to wellness allowing residents of all ages, nationalities and fitness levels to participate,” added Fadi. Champs Sports & Fitness Club is UAE’s largest state-of-the-art sports facility and the brainchild of Fadi , who is also a professional basketball legend. “Travel should not affect your wellness regimen and habits, and guests these days do not want to compromise on their workout routine, so having a fitness facility in-house is of great importance, not only in Dubai, but globally,” added Yuliya. Ciel Spa Fitness aims to help guests transform into the best version of themselves through holistic and result-proven practices; it’s equipped with state-of-the-art weight-training machines, cardio equipment, free weights, and other amenities such as steam rooms and jacuzzis where guests can unwind post-workout.

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Purva Grover


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