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Looking for a little motivation? Read these people’s stories as they share their experience of trying to keep fit using services from the top gyms, fitness centres, boutique studios, fitness solutions providers, and healthy meal planners in the UAE

Gyms, fitness centres and boutique studios


Ali Morsi

Ali Morsi_Gymnation
Ali Morsi, Gymnation member Image Credit: Supplied

I’ve been training at GymNation in Al Quoz with my coach Hollie since the start of the year and I really love it. I was born with cerebral palsy, which affected my physical mobility and made every activity challenging. But every time I come to GymNation, I feel as strong as Superman. There is so much space and the other members and trainers in the gym always help and shout at me to run faster.

At the start of the year, I told Hollie that I wanted to do a challenge to prove that my cerebral palsy doesn’t stop me from doing anything. I trained a lot and on the day of the challenge, GymNation let all my school friends and teachers into to the gym to cheer me on. I managed to finish a 1km row, 40 squats, 30 slam balls, 20 chin-ups and 100m prowler push and raise money for Al Jalila Foundation. This challenge was also undertaken to inspire other children of determination in the UAE. I can’t wait for my next challenge at GymNation.


Eimear McElroy

Eimear McElroy, CRANK member Image Credit: Supplied

I’ve always loved exercise but, like most people, during lockdown and the following opening-up, I was slightly reluctant to get back to a gym. My friend introduced me to CRANK. She’d been waxing lyrical about this amazing studio in the uber-trendy Alserkal Avenue. That was June last year and now more than 200 classes later, I’m still giddy, excited and sometimes a little nervous (in a good way), walking into the studio.

What makes CRANK different? Ask anyone, and the simple and resounding answer is everything. The instructors are the best in the business, everyone says that but they truly are. The classes are purposeful, well-thought through, efficient and insanely effective. Having the ability to do Shape, their total body conditioning class, as well as the Ride, their high-intensity cardio classes under the same roof offers the perfect blend.

Everyone knows who you are, your goals and most importantly, your favourite CRANK post-workout smoothie. I’ve done two CRANK challenges — the trainers have checked in on me, pushed me and made an experience out of it. What I was looking for was a studio that was Covid-safe, and what I found was a community full of passionate, professional trainers, good people, great music and contagious energy and fun... what’s not to love!


Sagar Patel

Sagar Patel_Metrofitt
Sagar Patel, Metrofitt member Image Credit: Supplied

I’ve always loved a good outdoor space to train and move around. METROFITT is one of the only gyms here that has just the right mix and it’s been my gym for quite some time now.

I’m an avid advocate for active living and a big believer of how you start your day defines it. At METROFITT, we have managed to build a strong community of over 15 people (and growing), who show up every morning at 6am to be better, confident and build resilience to power through the day.

They know how to appreciate their loyal members and are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure we feel welcomed.


Hannah Aspden

Aspden_Snap Fitness
Hannah Aspden, Snap Fitness member Image Credit: Supplied

I wanted to work on improving my strength and powerlifting skills and was searching for a gym where I can achieve my goals without burning a hole in my pocket and found Snap Fitness. I joined Snap Fitness just when we all came out of lockdown and with the help of the team, I have seen my strength improve over a period of 9-10 months and I have received a community to call my own and a place to work out peacefully.

The team has been very helpful in terms of guiding me with the best workout for my body type, keeping my goals as priority. I also got educational tips from the trainers with regard to my diet. I can confidently say that Snap Fitness and its team is one of the best in Dubai.


Anjali Khushalani

Anjali Khushalani_The PAD
Anjali Khushalani, The PAD member Image Credit: Supplied

The PAD – Pilates and Dance — brought together two forms of fitness that I’m very passionate about. With Yasmin Karachiwala at the helm of The PAD, I thought it was an amazing opportunity for me to learn from such an established name in the fitness industry.

My experience at The PAD has been nothing short of enriching. I have learnt so much about my body, further enhanced my flexibility and strengthened my core, and it’s brought me so much closer to my fitness goals.

The PAD team are excellent guides and very supportive, helping not only during workouts but they are also constant ly correcting my posture and form – ensuring that I never get injured while I push myself to the next level. The best part was they were able to help me during my pregnancy to adjust to my ever-changing body.


Wissam Hilal

Wissam Hilal_SEVEN
Wissam Hilal, SEVEN member Image Credit: Supplied

SEVEN stands out for its high hygiene care. I honestly haven’t seen any other fitness centre close to that level of order and cleanliness. There is a wide range of equipment and big space for CrossFit workouts.

It feels like home. Starting my day every morning at a venue with positive atmosphere sets my day good straightaway.

Working out in the morning has helped me both physically and mentally.

The team is caring and kind. They are always there for whoever needs help or guidance. They have become our friends.


Imen Ayari

Imen_Fitness First
Imen Ayari Image Credit: Supplied

I joined Fitness First in 2012. Back then, if you had asked anyone to suggest a good gym or fitness club, they would immediately say, Fitness First, and over the years that hasn’t changed. Fitness First has always been a highly recommended gym, as it offers the best quality and variety of classes, along with exceptional trainers and hygiene.

I have had such a positive experience throughout the years. On a couple of occasions, I also opted for their personal training sessions that were excellent. The trainers are very professional and genuinely want to see you reach your fitness goals. They helped me with everything, including the basics, such as walking me through each workout and demonstrating how to use all the equipment. The nutritionist at the club helps Fitness First members with dietary requirements and meal plans.

My fitness journey with the brand is incredibly special to me and after 10 years, I still enjoy coming to my Fitness First gym every day for workouts.

The Platform Studios

Katie Kerins

Keirin_The Platform Studios
Katie Kerins, The Platform Studios' member Image Credit: Supplied

I had heard about The Platform Studios through friends and when attending other gyms, people I had met had encouraged me to try classes here. And, as they said I really loved the classes — the best I have been to in Dubai. Each class has its own vibe as the coaches really put their energy and create a space of experience; it’s not just a fitness class.

The coaches are fun and talented and they also know their strengths — they have their own style which makes each class a different experience.

They have helped me with my confidence and my love for fitness keeps growing. The classes are so enjoyable that I disconnect from everything when I am in a class. You feel a part of the Platform community very quickly, while seeing results physically and mentally.

At first, using the app to book classes was new for me, however, their front of house team is a WhatsApp/call away and is very helpful.

They send you reminders of when the new schedule is out, which is great for me. Their social media has consistent updates and information.

In the studio, you always have someone assisting you. The coaches know whether you’re a beginner and they walk you through your first class.

Top healthy food service provider


A Kcal customer

My Kcal journey began six months ago after deciding to do something about the weight I’d put on during lockdown. A friend of mine recommended Kcal’s weight loss plan and I eagerly signed up.

I’ve had constant support from the whole team since the get-go and in the first three months, I managed to lose over 10kg. I’ve especially enjoyed the convenience of receiving my meals fresh every day instead of having to go to the supermarket, shop and prepare my food.

Initially I chose the weight loss plan for six days a week, however, since hitting my weight loss goal, I’ve switched from the weight loss plan to the Chef Hala plan. There is so much variety and with this new plan, I get to experience all my favourite Levantine dishes but with a healthy twist. Some days, I even forget I am on a diet plan. I’ve always enjoyed the taste of the meals but also how flexible and vast the menu is. I’m able to change my meals easily, using the online dashboard where I can choose from hundreds of dishes. The quality of the meals is of an extremely high standard in comparison to other meal plan companies I’ve tried in the past, as is the service levels of the support team.

The quality and consistency of the food is important to me, as is the variety and flexibility of the plan. Kcal ticks all these boxes and is leaps ahead of any other meal plan I’ve tried previously in the UAE in terms of quality.

Top fitness equipment and solutions providers


Zainab Bachir, Les Mills BODYCOMBAT Certified Instructor and Reebok x Les Mills Brand Ambassador

Zainab Bachir_Les Mills
Zainab Bachir, Les Mills BODYCOMBAT Certified Instructor and Reebok x Les Mills Brand Ambassador Image Credit: Supplied

I started my fitness journey more than a year ago with Les Mills On Demand (LMOD). I have always been a fan of Les Mills programmes such as BODYCOMBAT and Les Mills GRIT. And as a mum of two, being able to workout to the amazing Les Mills programmes at home was a great option to me. In November 2020, I won the #findherfitness competition that was held by Reebok and Les Mills in the Dubai Fitness Challenge and became a certified Les Mills BODYCOMBAT instructor. It was a great achievement for me to become an instructor of my favourite Les Mills programme. I am in my second year of subscription to LMOD and let me tell you this, you will never get bored with LMOD. With LMOD you will get fitter and stronger every single day, just like I did.


Ismail Sharif, Acting Managing Director, Jumeirah Golf Estates

Ismail Sharif
Ismail Sharif, Acting Managing Director, Jumeirah Golf Estates Image Credit: Supplied

Johnson Health Tech has really changed the game adding a further layer of sophistication and fitness technology for us here at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Both our guests and residents are absolutely delighted with the equipment.

Matrix’s new gym range has a fantastic quality. Its cutting-edge fitness technology in digital combined with robust framework hold up well to the daily heavy use of our busy fitness centre.

They are unique in their partnership approach. Matrix team has been supportive and collaborative right from the start of our journey working together looking at the best option that meets our needs.

We are delighted with the levels of service and support they offer us as well as our residents and guests, who enjoy the fitness experience we provide.


Stewart Miller, Founder & CEO, The Platform Studios

Stewart Miller, Founder & CEO, The Platform Studios Image Credit: Supplied

For our studios, we wanted to create a real wow factor for our members, so we went to MEFITPRO to help us realise our vision. MEFITPRO was committed to sourcing the best in-class equipment for our premium studios; they exceeded our expectations in every way, along with a first-class professional service.

From the initial consultation, right through to the completion, their attention to detail is second to none, with the project being completed on budget and on time.

Their selection of equipment is excellent and they provided expert recommendations and solutions for our needs. They have a highly professional team with a great reputation for supporting both studio and gym owners with superb equipment and a lasting relationship. I look forward to working with them again in the future.