Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

GymNation founder says Dubai needs more affordable gym pricing

GymNation founder says Dubai needs more affordable gym pricing
June 25, 2020

Gyms in Dubai are 'overcharging' customers with an 'outdated' pricing model that makes it difficult to stay fit, according to Loren Holland, founder and Chief Executive of budget fitness chain GymNation.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Holland says a large portion of Dubai's population can't afford a gym membership because fitness clubs charge customers upfront.

Together with co-founder Frank Afeaki, Holland set up GymNation in Dubai in 2018 to offer consumers a low-cost option, with memberships starting at AED99. The pair had previously helped build affordable gym chains Crunch Fitness and Xcercise4Less in Australia and the UK respectively.

Holland told Arabian Business “typical gyms in Dubai have been overcharging, and it doesn’t sit well with people to know they've been overcharged for so long. We’ve come into the market with a fresh approach to make it flexible and affordable. Where do you ever prepay for 12 months?

“You pay as you go at the cinema, restaurant, brunch; you pay as you go for every consumer product in the market. Why do gyms have to be different?

"Even rent in most markets is paid monthly, and Dubai is moving towards that direction. I pay my rent monthly now. That model of charging people upfront seems to be out of date; that’s what makes it unaffordable - not necessarily the price. This market makes it difficult for anybody to stay fit and active because you’re priced out of the market.”

According to a recent study by Deutsche Bank, gym memberships in Dubai are the second highest in the world in terms of price.

Looking to offer an alternative, Holland says GymNation’ pay-as-you-go business model makes it a "Netflix of gyms"

She noted “when we set up GymNation two years ago, it was to tackle the pain that gym memberships (in Dubai) were the second highest in the world, and a big part of the population was priced out of market. They might want to be fit and active, but can’t afford a gym membership. I fell into that category. I wasn't willing to pay AED1,000 for a membership.”

Seeing that the Coronavirus emphasises the need for more affordable gyms in the Emirate, Holland adds “with Coronavirus, people (have been) made redundant, lost their income or their discretionary spending has been squeezed, so having an affordable option is driving our business more than ever. We’ve already started to see consolidation in the market, with several operators not reopening post the coronavirus.”

After closing down in March in line with UAE Government directives to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus, GymNation has sold over 2,100 memberships since reopening at the end of May.

While its low membership prices require it to have more members to sustain its finances compared to smaller gyms, its massive size - it boasts the largest spin studio in Dubai - can welcome as many as 1,500 customers.

Landlords in the UAE have been reluctant to help gyms during the Coronavirus crisis, according to Marcus Smith, best known as the man who ran 30 marathons in 30 days before setting up his own gym in Dubai, InnerFight.

Smith told Arabian Business “(they) are not being helpful at all … they’re not giving any support.”

The impact of COVID-19 has already seen five Dubai gyms not continue operations beyond the recent shutdown.

Image: GymNation brought affordabel fitness to Duabi. Image courtesy of GymNation.

Related Articles

24th June 2020 - Pure Fitness opens two new Hong Kong centres and launches online classes

19th June 2020 - Dubai Sports Council allows fitness centres to operate at full capacity

17th June 2020 - Dubai gyms close permanently as Coronavirus impacts UAE fitness sector

30th May 2020 - Dubai lifts restrictions on fitness centres

28th May 2020 - FIBO announces revised dates for trade-only fitness and wellness show

26th May 2020 - Call for fitness industry stakeholders around the world to unite on 1st June

7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed

31st March 2020 - With clubs closed fitness providers go online

8th April 2018 - IBISWorld shows that 24/7 budget gyms have transformed Australian fitness

15th August 2019 - Three years of operation at Crunch Fitness’ Sydney CBD gym

22nd December 2016 - Crunch Fitness partners with Cristiano Ronaldo to launch CR7 gyms

3rd August 2010 - Crunch Fitness Set for first Australian opening


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 www.ausleisure.com.au 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

Envibe

With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Technology

 
 

Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology

 
 
 

PULSETEC SOLUTIONS

PulseTec Solutions is a leading provider of software systems and solutions to the health and fitness industry for more than a decade. Our key products and services include ClientConnect studio and…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Technology / Venues

 
 

TECHNOGYM AUSTRALIA

Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Aquaspin

AQUASPIN™ - Aqua Cycling Aquaspin™’s sessions have been specially designed by our Master Trainer to be challenging yet fun group cycling sessions. Each session is tailored to…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Wellness

 
 

REGUPOL

Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / 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