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Fitness Femme: Health en vogue with Emirati women

Gym membership rising as ladies-only options sprout and perceptions change

  • Ladies fitness clubs are changing. Gold’s Gym, for one, has spas, slimming massages, facials, in-house cafes, Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
  • Gold’s Gym has spas, slimming massages,facials, in-house cafes, aromatherapyand other add-ons.Image Credit:
  • A few years ago[Emiratis] realisedthey had to changetheir lifestyle. Theydidn’t have thefacilities..Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
01 Gulf News

Dubai: Fitness is in fashion with more Emirati women as perceptions change and lines blur between exercise and leisure, a UAE national who runs a gym said.

Amal Khammas, who is in charge of the ladies division of Gold’s Gym UAE, said Emirati women are an increasing clientele -- in some branches, they comprise 99 per cent of the membership.

“ ”
-Amal Khammas | 
In-charge of the ladies division of Gold’s Gym
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“[Fitness] was a tough concept at first. Now they know the latest sports fashion, and have the latest equipment,” she said.

Many of them train with female family members or friends, socialising while sweating it out.

Amal said Emiratis like to have personal lady trainers, for one-on-one classes. Group dance classes, at times led by an Emirati woman, are also popular.

And they are not too meek for military-style boot camp exercise drills either, Amal said.

“We have all age groups, from teens to women in their 60s. You can see mothers and daughters training together.”

Amal said growing awareness about health issues, especially obesity in the Emirati community, gradually led to more Emiratis taking up fitness.

“I think a few years ago they realised they had to change their lifestyle. They didn’t have the facilities for women before. Now it’s easy,” she added.

“I’ve seen many cases of women losing a lot of weight. They come in every day, they’re committed to do it. There is one lady whose waist shrunk from 95cm to 64cm in three months.”

There is also more variety in what is on offer: outdoor exercises on women-only beaches and parks, yoga, and swimming.

Ladies fitness clubs too are changing. Gold’s Gym, for one, has spas, slimming massages, facials, in-house cafes, aromatherapy and other add-ons.

“They don’t need to go out, everything’s in one place,” Amal said.

She also likes to practise what she preaches.

“I’m a sporty girl. I like to do all kinds of activities, like horse riding, climbing, and training in gym. I pass it on to my children as well. We go as a family to fitness events, it’s fun.”

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Latest Comment

This is atrocious journalism. Interviewing one person who has an opinion which does not represent the common thinking in Dubai is not balanced journalism or thinking. It's simply inexcusable that this is published.

Fred

16 February 2014 18:17jump to comments
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