Guide to opening a fitness center in Dubai

Dubai is developing as a bustling tourist center in the UAE. The number of tourists is increasing each year but there is a trend of a large number of expats moving in. With such development, Dubai is doing its best to develop the tourism offer that can satisfy a rising number of customers. At the same time, the trend is to develop new products that can attract new tourists from other parts of the world. That said, Dubai is working hard on developing the fitness industry as an integral part of its offer. As this has proven to be a multi-million-dollar industry many are looking for a way and a guide for opening a fitness center in Dubai.

With the number of fitness enthusiasts and gym-goers on the rise in Dubai, it has become clear that this is an important and lucrative business opportunity. At the same time, a number of world-class fitness brands have set up their business in Dubai. So how to do it and what is important to set up a fitness center in Dubai?

Woman in a gym lifting weights in seated position

The fitness industry in Dubai is booming and developing fast.

Legal requirements

Setting up a fitness center is strictly regulated in Dubai. The law has defined precise requirements that have to be met in order to start a gym or a fitness center in Dubai. It is important to know that these fitness centers are set up as limited liability companies that must be accredited or authorized by:

  • The General Authority for Youth & Sports Welfare
  • The Department of Health
  • The Emirates Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Committee

The responsible person for opening a fitness center has to be older than 21 years and have a valid visa, tenancy contract and a memorandum of association. All of the trainers also have to provide visas and evidence of qualification, experience, and competence for performing the jobs in fitness. With the increased number of fitness centers and the number of gym-goers, the need for Dubai Personal Trainers is increasing so the industry is a great generator of job opportunities.


It’s important to know that there are strict regulations in regard to the activities that fitness centers or gyms are permitted to perform. Activities that fitness center can perform are:

  • Physical training and exercising with the goal of achieving weight loss/ fitness
  • Meditative sports – yoga, and tai-chi
  • Massage – various types and techniques. Various

There are also strict rules as to what type of activities may not be performed within the fitness centers. These activities are connected to performing medical treatments and using machines for diagnostic purposes. The regulations are also strict with regard to the technical aspects of organizing a fitness center and its operation. These regulations are in no way a hurdle in setting up a fitness center in Dubai.

Man and woman working with a rope

New trends in fitness are changing the way the industry is developing in Dubai

New trends – New services

The development of this market and the creation of new techniques and trends in fitness have also led to changes in the fitness market in Dubai. Many fitness centers are adopting these new trends and providing services that are unique. Some of the fitness centers are adopting a workout routine tailored for specific age groups. They prepare workout regimes tailor-made for elderly people as well as children from 6 to 12. Aerobic is a very popular type of exercise but in addition, many gyms provide additional services such as EMS fitness regimes and massages. With these developments, the fitness centers and personal trainers in Dubai are acquiring new special licenses for certain types of services. In that relation the gyms are registering as:

  • Boutique gyms,
  • Cross fit gyms,
  • Bare base workout,
  • Kangoo jumps gyms
Woman meditating

Besides gym and fitness, the centers in Dubai are also developing meditative sports services

So, the fitness industry in Dubai is booming and adopting new trends and techniques. The fitness market is requiring new trainers and is importing professionals in the field daily. The need for fitness is rising so the trend is to move established gym and fitness brands into the market. With that, this guide into starting a fitness center in Dubai can be valuable. Be sure to research more and find out about the new developments in the industry.