NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Fitness Clubs in Dubai

Posted on: February 11, 2013

So as you may or may not realise a couple of weeks ago my wife and I made the big move to Dubai. I wrote a post about it the day I arrived (you can check that out here) – cut a long story short it was a massive change for me as I’ve never lived anywhere in my over 30 years on this planet than in little ol’ NZ!

Been here almost 3 weeks now and the dust is starting to settle so thought I’d give you a bit of an update. I had hoped when making this move that I could move back into the fitness industry full time. It’s historically where I’ve always been basically for my entire adult life. I had visited Dubai before and knew the fitness industry was in a bit of a boom there, after all if it’s 40-50 degree Celsius heat outside and you want to exercise you pretty much have no choice but to go to a gym!

What I didn’t realise is how freaken AMAZING the clubs are here! I mean I have visited gyms all over the world, UK, Australia, USA, France, Singapore and of course NZ and I have never seen facilities like these! I call them superclubs, because that’s really what they are! Below I’m going to show you some examples of some of the gyms I’m currently teaching, though I have to admit these pics really don’t do them justice you have to see these to believe them!


TribeFit isn’t actually open yet, it’s scheduled to open right on the Dubai Marina in a few short weeks. But I have been lucky enough to tour the facility and it’s absolutely amazing. Four group fitness studios (yes you read that right FOUR!) plus at least four more workout zones, over 22,000 sq ft of workout space. What makes TribeFit even more unique is the concept behind it. It’s motto is “Socially Active” – it’s not just a gym it’s a club packed with a full social calendar and member events designed to be a cool, urban, funky place you actually want to go to. So you’re not just walking into a gym, you’re walking into a family of people that you can train with, relax with and hang out with!

For me this concept is so close to my heart because that’s the exact environment we had back in NZ at my home gym Fitco. In fact, at our wedding around half the guests were Fitco members because we had all become so close! So I was immediately drawn to this concept. I mean let’s face it, as a potential new member a lot of the time the facilities might get you through the door the first time, but it’s the community feel of a place you belong that keeps you coming back. And because TribeFit is all about being social, group fitness plays a massive role (hence the four studios!). You’ll most likely find me here everyday. Launches March 2013. Check out the pics below – and check out the view from the studios!:


Me in front of the new TribeFit site – check out the view members have!

TribeFit main group fitness studio (artist's impression)

TribeFit main group fitness studio (artist’s impression)

TribeFit mind body studio - so serene! (artist's impression)

TribeFit mind body studio – so serene! (artist’s impression)

TribeFit RPM studio - funky! (artist's impression)

TribeFit RPM studio – funky! (artist’s impression)

TribeFit TRX crossfit studio (artist's impression)

TribeFit TRX crossfit studio (artist’s impression)


I’ve now been to Engine 3 times and every single time this place takes my breath away. It’s like something out of a movie! Brand spanking new having opened only a few months ago this place is absolutely stunning. It’s the size of a small city and no expense has been spared in creating the best fitness facility money can buy. I mean you imagine it it’s here. Bose systems throughout, escalators taking you from floor to floor (yes ironic I know!), the latest equipment and training gear, it’s so shiny you almost have to wear sunglasses to walk through it!

When you picture Dubai you imagine these incredible man made islands, the world’s largest building, the world’s only seven star hotel etc. This city is full of amazing decadence and in that regard Engine fits right in! Four levels of workout space the place is totally surreal! You’ll find me here teaching BODYPUMP on a Sunday night. Check out the pics below:

Engine - is this an amazing building or what?!

Engine – is this an amazing building or what?!

Engine main entrance - escalators!

Engine main entrance – escalators!

Engine members lounge - surreal right?

Engine members lounge – surreal right?

Engine group fitness studio

Engine group fitness studio

Engine RPM studio

Engine RPM studio


The Aviation Club was actually the first ever club I visited in Dubai back in 2010. In fact we got off the plane, checked into the hotel and went straight there! It’s the home club of Les Mills’ icon and my very good friend Amir Behforooz (aka King Kong!) so it’s a place very close to my heart. The club has actually been closed some time for refurbishment and as luck would have it reopened this week!

And boy have they done a fantastic job. The new Aviation Club is truly something special. The entire facility is first class, with amazing pools, squash courts and even the latest Les Mills SmartBars! Pictures say 1000 words so just check the images out below (stolen from Amir’s facebook page I hope that’s okay buddy!) You’ll currently find me here teaching BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT Saturday night, and BODYATTACK Monday nights.

Aviation Club - check out the pool area

Aviation Club – check out the pool area

Aviation Club - plunge pools in the changing areas

Aviation Club – plunge pools in the changing areas

Aviation Club - group fitness room all ready for King Kong's GRIT class!

Aviation Club – group fitness room all ready for King Kong’s GRIT class!

Aviation Club - did I mention the only gym in Dubai with Les Mills Smart Bars?

Aviation Club – did I mention the only gym in Dubai with Les Mills Smart Bars?

Aviation Club RPM studio

Aviation Club RPM studio


A very special mention has to go to Studio Fitness as obviously I am a group fitness junkie and Studio is all about group fit! Studio is a boutique gym that exclusively does group fitness and that’s it! So the moment you walk in you feel very at home. The owners Louise and Jessica have done an amazing job of capturing the essence of Les Mills, the classes are always jam packed and it has to be said they have the very best of the best on board when it comes to their instructors! This is where you’ll find the likes of LMI DVD presenter Grant Goes and LMUK icon Bri Cochrane teaching.

Running back to back Les Mills pretty much non-stop if you’re a group fitness person you should make Studio one of your must sees. They even hold special events like outdoor classes and events in Nightclubs! It’s right on ‘The Walk’ at Jumeriah Beach.

Studio Fitness - never seen a class here not packed!

Studio Fitness – never seen a class here not packed!

Studio Fitness - BODYPUMP class

Studio Fitness – BODYPUMP class


Finally I just want to make a quick mention of this place. I’ve never taught here, or even trained here, but I did have a brief tour of it on the weekend. It’s part of the Jumeirah Resort right next door to the Burj Al Arab. Unfortunately I don’t think this gym allows casual drop ins (members only) but the reason I thought I’d mention it is check out the view from the group fitness studio!

Talise Fitness - can you imagine training while looking out at this!

Talise Fitness – can you imagine training while looking out at this!

So as you can see the entire fitness club scene is much like the rest of Dubai – completely unreal! Hey if you are visiting definitely give me a bell and come catch a class or two, easiest way is possibly via facebook. As I said these facilities have to be seen to be believed! In the meantime I’ll continue to keep you posted as I discover more!


42 Responses to "Fitness Clubs in Dubai"

Having just come from a gym where the bikes fell apart as you rode them… this all looks too ridiculously amazing to be real.

The pictures really don’t do any of them justice either!!! Every single time I teach I have to take a moment to pinch myself that it’s actually real!

TribeFit has valet parking included for crying out loud… VALET PARKING!

Wow I want to come there and see it :-))))

It’s worth the trip for the gyms alone! But there is a little bit more to see in dubai too… just a little 😉

I want to come visit!!!
Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

Those are some crazy nice facilities. I love the Yoga room and Spin room in the first one. Now I just need to find someone willing to give me a $100mil or so, so I can build my own mega gym…

Come here and give a sales pitch to a Royal Sheikh – job done! 😉

Oh my GOODNESS! I’m about to pack my bags and move! What gorgeous facilities. I died a little more inside with each picture! So FANTASTIC!

What are people paying to be members?

It’s actually pretty reasonable I think! Around AED 300 per month which is about 100 NZD.

100NZD per month?! *dies for the millionth time*

Wow… that’s AMAZING. Your excitement comes through the post too. Still envious!

They are pretty amazing!!

I’ve been to all those gym besides Tribe of course. In my five years in Dubai I learned one thing, just because it looks good, doesn’t mean it is. You will learn that in time…it’s a Dubai thing. They are all great looking gyms, but none of them is as functional in the true sense of a gym as my local. You go to these gyms if you are staying at the hotel or to show of…you don’t see mane really fit people there, only the Jumeirah Janes (old Dubai term for house wives that don’t work) and the odd semi fit guy that goes there to show off.

Real workouts don’t take place at those gyms. Like I said, they are like everything else in Dubai…all wow and no real purpose.

Thanks for your comment.

Interesting response. I definitely have to disagree with you on some of the above. My attack class on Monday at aviation was packed with people working REALLY hard – it possibly was the hardest class I’ve ever done and that includes at Les Mills!

Engine is obviously brand new and yes i agree it does lack some atmosphere at this stage – but this will change as the gym gets busier. It’s an amazing facility I think in any other city it would be rammed but here in Dubai we’re spolit for choice.

I’d definitely be keen to hear your recommendations on other places to check out though! Obviously I’ve only been here a couple weeks. I’ve visited Gold’s Al barsha – also brand new and very cool. I’ve checked out Fitness First Media City that’s impressive too, and both the Fidelity Fitness gyms.

Let me know where to go next for sure!

Wow. Just wow, is all I can say. Bit sad at how group fitness is treated where I reside – like a poor second cousin. Nice to know some places give it the recognition it deserves!!

Yeah instructors here are actually treated like an asset too – and even paid well!

That’s it. I’m giving up on cold, grey, rainy England and moving to Dubai.

My poor Australian body needs some sun! And to play in those studios……very, very impressive!

Funny. I’ve been checking out your site on a regular basis, mostly hunting for Bodycombat tracklists. So today I was looking through the tracklists when I realized that there’s something familiar about the name and the country… And yes, you are our new Bodycombat instructor (I go to Studio Fitness). It’s a small world. 🙂

Wow it is a small world just taught at Studio this morning! Looking forward to seeing you soon! 🙂

hopefully you’re having a great time here in dubai. you should come to fitness first in deira city centre, as a guest (instructor for bodycombat) haha.

Sounds great! Otherwise you can come try Tribe out I teach combat there everyday 🙂

Hey tried to FB you but it’s not working. I’m looking into moving there to work, I’m a pt strength and cond coach and sports scientist. What’s the industry really like there and how was it for u moving and getting work there? You can pm on FB: search laura ramsay. From Glasgow Scotland

Hi, I am really frustrated as I have just returned to Palm Jumeirah where once upon a time I rented and was disappointed last year as suddenly you have to pay to use the gym and beach on Shoreline. So I have come to stay at the Fairmont North Residences and I am told I am not allowed to use the beach or gym – despite me offering to pay for the gym. No it’s only for the Fairmont Hotel guests NOT for persons renting the apartments next door!!!

SOOOO, my million dollar question is: do you know of any gyms in the area where I can ‘pay as you go’ or take a short membership, i.e. a week.

I am looking to spend a lot more time here from now and am very frustrated as it seems to be impossible to get a work out apart from swimming …

Hi Brigette, I’m based at TribeFit which is in the marina so not too far. You can pay as you go here. I don’t know of any on the Palm sorry

Hey that sounds good! Thank you very much – that is very close!

Check out there’s a free pass on there right now

Hey! My name is Laura and I’m a body pump and attack instructor in Scotland. I’m coming to Dubai for 3 weeks in July and cannot miss out on all these classes!! I was wondering if you would be interested in team teaching?

Best wishes


I want to find out about any body combat or body pump courses in Dubai so I can attend to?I want to work as a trainer in Iran
Thank you

Great post! I move to dubai from the uk in about 3 weeks and am looking to join a gym (with most emphasis on group classes, I currently do some les mills classes & Pilates). I’ll be working in oud metha but hopefully living in marina, looking to spend about 300aed membership a month, where should I join?

Hi Jenni, come check out TribeFit in the Marina that’s where I’m based. Let me know when you’re coming I’ll give you a week’s pass to try out. 🙂

I was looking for Les mills classes for whilst I was in Dubai for work. Found this when I searched and came along for the week to Tribe. It’s been great. I want to pick Tribe up and drop it in Spain. Your classes were great. Thanks.

Aww thanks!! Come back anytime!

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