Dubai: Despite all the challenges of 2020 and the impact COVID had on the market, 2020 was the breakthrough year for GymNation as it grew from a single site with 10k members to 7 sites and over 45k members. “We achieved this by sticking to our guns and committing to an ambitious roll out plan which saw us investing over Dh50m into expansionary capex during this period,” says Loren Holland, CEO at GymNation. “This decision wasn’t taken lightly but we had the confidence and a demonstrable track record of GymNation taking market share pre Covid-19, so we felt now was the time to invest through the cycle, especially as our competitors were choosing to defer or cancel new projects all together,” he explains.
The current penetration levels of health and fitness in the UAE stand at around 7 per cent. This compares to certain European countries or parts of the USA which have 20 per cent penetration. So there is still a long way to go, but with initiatives such as the 30x30 Fitness Challenge the market here is growing and certainly moving in the right direction.
The GymNation proposition, which makes health and fitness affordable, is helping to break down barriers which have historically been created as a result of Dubai being the second most expensive market in the world to own a gym membership (source: Deutsche Bank report). In fact, over a third of our members are first time gym users with many citing affordability and our welcoming environment as the main reason for joining.
“In 2021, we plan to cement our position as the Number One gym operator in the UAE with the opening of another five clubs. We are also seeing huge demand from other GCC markets which have similar characteristic as the UAE and have active discussions with potential partners in several new markets. It’s an exciting time for GymNation and the fitness market in general,” says Loren Holland.