Dubai Active
Acquiring the company behind Dubai Active and Dubai Muscle will give IEG access and clout with the local and regional fitness industry. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: An Italian company is acquiring the organiser of events such as Dubai Muscle Show and Dubai Active. The deal sees Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) pick up HBG Events based in the UAE.

Launched in 2016, the Dubai Active, Dubai Active Industry and Dubai Muscle shows are rated as the "largest fitness event in the Middle East". Discussions about the buyout started before the 2019 edition, which was held over an area covering 18,500 square meters and attracted more than 25,000 fitness professionals and enthusiasts.

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For 15 years, IEG has been organizing Rimini Wellness in Italy, which has developed into one of the largest of its kind covering 170,000 square meters indoor and outdoor with over 200,000 attendees. IEG now sees the acquisition of HBG Events as the first step towards creating a worldwide network of fitness events under the aegis of Rimini Wellness.

According to Corrado Peraboni, CEO of IEG, “Our mission is to generate global business opportunities for companies, while developing commercial platforms and events that connect knowledge and innovation. This mission, launched just after the 2019 edition of Rimini Wellness, includes the acquisition of HBG Events, with the intention of creating new opportunities for our clients, contributing to the training of fitness professionals, and thus fuel demand for health and well-being worldwide."

The directors of HBG Events - Nick Blair, Craig Hartley and Deep Marwaha - will remain as senior management for the near future.

In a statement, they said: "The Middle East fitness industry is booming, with gym memberships per capita increasing every year, and an increasing number of investors and entrepreneurs entering the market."