This gym’s interiors really are second-to-none - think shipping containers, neon workout studios, fluorescent lighting and DJs. It’s gritty, industrial-chic and futuristic at the same time with walls covered in impressive graffiti art by the likes of British artists Tom Deams and Shaun Sepr. It is designed to contrast with what personal trainer and gym manager Kevin Teixeira describes as the characterless gyms that have come to dominate today’s fitness scene.
‘It’s very hard for some people to go to the gym, and if they’re not stimulated when they’re there, it’s difficult for them to push themselves,’ Kevin explains. ‘We want to create an atmosphere that has a lot of energy, that gets people’s heart rate up when they walk into the gym, before they even start working out.’
The 20,000 sq ft gym is tricked out with specialised strength and conditioning equipment, dedicated functional and circuit training areas, a 30ft customised rig, Olympic platforms, a full-size MMA cage and boxing area, and two large group exercise studios. In addition, there’s also an extensive selection of free-weight and plate-loaded equipment and cardiovascular equipment. It’s fitted with a MyZone system that allows members to log data from their workouts and is a CrossFit and Les Mills affiliated gym.
Membership from Dhs333 per month. Umm Suqeim Road, Al Quoz 3, www.whgym.com (04 323 23230).
The sheer scale of Fit Republik’s facilities is something to be marvelled at. It covers over 11,200 sq m and incorporates Olympic-sized facilities for swimming and gymnastics – the only Olympic gymnastics facility in the UAE - with a number of specialist machines including a sled, core spider and an ‘Olympic powerlifting elite zone’. There are more than 500 weekly classes on offer and all 28 coaches are Olympic athletes or world champions. Basic memberships are available, but the gym also offers a ‘Basic + 1’ option, which allows members to learn from the best and train with the coaches in classes of the gyms specialised disciplines, and alternate the discipline every few months.
Aiming to create an inspiring and motivational space, everything has an open-plan feel, with the dedicated cardio studio and gymnastics zone overlooking a huge martial arts space from the mezzanine level. A pathway lit from above with lines of neon lights winds through the gym area and neon signs reading slogans like ‘power to the people’ hang on the walls. Floor-to-ceiling windows let bright light into every workout space and the unique indoor functional area – for CrossFit, bootcamps and functional training – is quite literally pool-side, situated next to the Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Everything is sleek, modern and futuristic-looking and the next year will see further expansion of their facilities including, but not limited to, an outdoor obstacle course. Nathalie’s Café: Coffee & Kitchen – the first from Nathalie Haddad, founder of Right Bite, a healthy catering company – is also set to open this year.
Annual membership from Dhs4,800. Sports City, www.fitrepublik.com (052 7424 555).
NYLA House is a complete wellness destination, built around the concept of NYLA Method – an intense, 60-minute, barre-based workout – and offers a lifestyle rather than simply an exercise studio.
Housed in converted villa in Umm Suqeim, NYLA House is bright, whimsical, eclectic and very pink, but don’t be fooled: NYLA Method is no easy workout. The classes incorporate props such as light weights, stability balls and resistance bands as well as cardio “blasts” and lengthening stretches to target women’s problem areas and create long, lean muscles. The unique method is the result of a collaboration of experts from different movement disciplines including dance, yoga, Pilates, weight training and physiotherapy, aiming to develop muscle strength, tone and boost metabolism. Plus, it’s specifically designed to never get any easier; you’re guaranteed to feel the burn and shake every time.
With the goal of offering an all-encompassing health and wellness plan, NYLA House is also home to a café serving juices, smoothies and healthy, raw snacks, a fitness apparel shop and a blow-dry bar that can take you from workout to night out. All NYLA Method instructors are also on hand to advise about healthy eating and yoga and HIIT classes are run to supplement the Method classes and provide a well-balanced full-body workout regime with maximum benefits.
Membership from Dhs750 per month; Dhs 125 per class. Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim, www.nylamethod.com (04 3212662).
Describing itself as a ‘socially active gym’ and a ‘friendly club’, Tribe Fit is one of the best places in the city to work out and meet like-minded people, offering a full calendar of social events ranging from coffee mornings, brunches and movie nights to networking events, camping trips and in-club DJs.
There’s the kitsch and colourful Chill Out Lounge with marina views for catching up over coffee or juice and a café for picking up a healthy bite to eat or protein shake. You can also sign up to a number of team sports – including football, volleyball, netball and basketball – a bootcamp on JBR beach, or head to the terrace for an outdoor workout with a view overlooking Dubai Marina.
Gym spaces are covered in quirky, urban wall art and motivational graffiti with windows sporting more marina views, and the very zen yoga studio comes complete with an impressive wall mural. This is all complemented by an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment and a variety of dedicated studios for different classes.
Membership from Dhs400 per month for a minimum of six months. Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina, www.tribefit.com (800 87423).