TribeFit Dubai Marina
TribeFit Dubai Marina Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai gym has closed its doors without offering refunds to its members.

TribeFit in Dubai Marina has instead offered a transfer to another gym or told its members to wait until mid-October to restart with them in another venue in Jumeirah Village Triangle (JVT).

In an email to its members, TribeFit’s management said, “Unfortunately we find ourselves in very difficult times due to the unexpected and extraordinary circumstances posed by COVID-19.”

In a statement to Gulf News, a TribeFit spokesperson, said: “TribeFit has been serving loyal customers in Dubai Marina for the last seven years and the decision to move to another location was not an easy one. Our members are our No.1 priority and so we have entered into a partnership with GymNation to enable TribeFit members to avail, utilise and transfer their membership to GymNation, who is committed to offering a fantastic experience to all our members. Members can transfer their membership and/or personal training to GymNation where they will enjoy the premium GymNation Plus package at any of gym’s multiple locations across the UAE.

“Meanwhile, we are working towards opening TribeFit at JVT. Members will be able to utilise their existing memberships and avail additional benefits like football, swimming and tennis for a fee. Members have an option to opt for this new TribeFit Gym in JVT. Since it takes time to plan, obtain approvals and fit out, the club will open by mid-October 2020, subject to receiving authority approvals.”

TribeFit gym members are not happy with the decision, however.

“Members should have been consulted before such a decision was taken,” said Chinese expat Evita Xu, who along with her fiance has spent over Dh20,000 on membership.

“I don’t want to go to another gym operator as they don’t have a branch in Dubai Marina. The whole idea about me joining TribeFit was its location as it is close to where I live. For me to use the other club would mean I have to spend time and money to reach the place which I do not want to do.

“The best option is to just refund our money so we can go to another gym,” she added.

“My fiance and I had been attending the TribeFit PT classes since last year November. We paid over Dh20,000 for PT and towards our annual membership. We have over 30 classes of PT left and six months membership left. If we calculate the period when gyms were closed since March, then we have over nine months of membership left.”

Another Tribefit member Faline Huang, said a number of TribeFit members have registered a complaint with the consumer protection department of Dubai Economic Department (DED). She too has done the same.

“I received a call from an official at the Department saying the club operator was sticking with their settlement option,” said Huang.

“We hope the gym operator just refunds our money. That is all we want,” she added.

Loren Holland, CEO of GymNation said, “Upon hearing about the closure of the Dubai Marina TribeFit location, we partnered with TribeFit to offer existing TribeFit members the opportunity to transfer their membership over to GymNation and see out the remainder of their contract at no extra charge. Those that opted to transfer were provided with our new GymNation Plus membership which includes multi-site access to our three existing locations and the five new GymNation locations scheduled for opening later this year (Motor City, Downton, Mirdif, Silicon Oasis, Downton), as well as the ability to continue any remaining personal training sessions with a GymNation personal trainer.”

When Gulf News contacted Dubai Economy, it said,  “Dubai Economy does not comment on cases that are still under process.”