Dubai's health and fitness industry is registering 15 per cent annual growth as mega leisure projects and rapidly growing in-bound tourism create demand, according to Signature, one of the Middle East's leading fitness and well being equipment suppliers.

Signature's Anne Taraby says increased awareness of the health benefits of regular exercise will help drive further growth as the reputation of Dubai as the region's sports and leisure centre spreads.

"Growth is certain, largely in Dubai, with the creation of major leisure and tourism projects, such as Dubai Sports City and Dubailand, spurring the economy," said Taraby. "The fitness and well being sectors are bound to benefit as developers and facility managers source the latest equipment."

According to Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, tourism's contribution to Dubai's GDP exceeded 17 per cent in 2003 and its indirect impact reached a whopping 28 per cent.

Revenues generated by Dubai's hotel and serviced apartments last year recorded a 17.64 per cent growth exceeding Dh4 billion and up from Dh3.4 billion in 2002.

The DTCM has forecast that these figures will go up significantly in the next three years, with tourism and real estate projects announced by the government coming on stream by 2006-07.

Lebanon-based Signature says development is driving increasing demand for lifestyle products, such as its Spa Capsule, which provides a water jet full body massage without the need to get wet or undressed.

The latest Spa Capsule will make its Middle East trade show debut at Sportex Middle East 2004, to be held in Dubai from September 7 to 9.

The event will provide a networking forum for the leading players in the sports and leisure industries interested in the latest technologies and industry trends.