Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Anytime Fitness to open 100 gyms across the Middle East

December 3, 2012
US-based fitness club franchisor Anytime Fitness has revealed plans to open 100 gyms across the Middle East in the next five to seven years as part of an ambitious US$50 million expansion drive.
The brand, which opened its first gym in Doha, Qatar earlier this year, has signed a master franchise deal with Almuftah Marketing, a division of the Doha-based conglomerate Almuftah Group.
Anytime Fitness International Development Vice President John Kersh explained "we intend to expand across the entire Middle East (and) our expectation is to have 100 clubs operating within the foreseeable future."
Capital for the clubs will be primarily raised by Almuftah Fitness, with an average cost of US$500,000 per facility.
The deal marks the first leisure venture for privately-held Almuftah, which counts Pizza Hut and Arby's among its existing franchise portfolio.
Group Director Ali A Almuftah explains "we plan to introduce Anytime Fitness all over the Middle East and GCC countries.
"Our first step will be moving to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and we plan to have 100 clubs open within five-seven years if the political situation allows."
Anytime Fitness operates more than 1,700 gyms across 11 countries and its expansion in the Arabian Gulf and Middle East will see group compete directly with the Fitness First currently the region's biggest fitness club chain.
Unaffected by the cost cutting and restricting affecting its European and Australian operations, Fitness First has its own aggressive expansion plans in the region being undertaken in partnership with Dubai's Landmark Group with plans to roll out 100 new branches in the region over the next five years.
Landmark, which acquired the franchise after purchasing a subsidiary of Saudi leisure company Al Hokair Group, plans to spend AED500 million (US $136 million) on expanding the chain, which currently has 32 clubs in the region.
The chain recently opened its third club in Saudi Arabia, and has plans for 35 facilities in the United Arab Emirates.
Fitness First Middle East Chief Operating Officer George Flooks explained "we've got 13 clubs in the UAE at the moment (and) we aim to spread our footprint to 37 clubs across the Middle East by the end of 2012.
"Our strategic expansion in key locations that lack fitness facilities also reflects our commitment to offering convenient and world-class options to communities in the Middle East."

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport



As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as Vivaticket Pty Ltd.  Vivaticket is the ideal strategic partner for the organisation and management of your…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues



PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…

read more

Access / Fitness / Recreation / Security


Augmented Creative

Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…

read more

Arts / Attractions / Consultants / Design / Tourism



Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology


iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Surface Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces



Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation


SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business