Fit Republik in Abu Dhabi

Inside the Middle East's largest fitness centre

Ground-breaking, earth-shaking, knee-quaking fitness facilities. This is the promise of Fit Republik, a sportsperson’s dream. It is, according to its owners, ‘Where the world of amateurs and experts comes together for hardcore fun,’ and the evidence measures up to the hyperbole. The Dubai fitness hub runs more than 500 group exercise classes a week across five core disciplines – mixed martial arts (MMA), gymnastics, swimming, strength and conditioning and CrossFit.

But the most exciting sell is that Fit Republik employs 28 star coaches holding more than 58 national and international titles between them. Education and training director Ammar Sabbah has run the Marathon des Sables – that’s five-and-a-half marathons in six days across the scorching Sahara desert – five times. Then there’s judo black belt Alex Nacfur who has trained the grisly Ultimate Fighting Championship’s best Brazilian fighters, and CrossFit instructor Joachim Beso, who boasts a boxing gold medal for the Champions Club Fight Night.

Romanian Olympic gymnast Marian C Stoican was European vault champion in 1986 and held the world championship record in 1987 and 1989. And not forgetting strength and conditioning coach Nick Mallory who was British powerlifting champion for 67.5kg and who broke three open Guinness World Records for the maximum poundage lifted over one hour in dead lift, sumo dead lift and atlas stones. And he holds British indoor rowing records for 100 and 300 metres.

These top coaches are drawn to the state-of the-art equipment and facilities such as the inflatable foam gymnastics pit and zone that can accommodate 150 children per hour – enabling 2,250 kids to practice on a daily basis – and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Individual progress is relentlessly tracked. All membership bands come complete with radio frequency identification (RFID) bracelets that use electromagnet fields to analyse data and to send regular scorecards on children’s progress to parents along with video footage of them performing personal bests, too.

This is the ultimate investment, not just in the health and well-being of the Middle East, but also in sporting prowess and ambition on a national and Olympic level. Accomplished athlete Ali El Amine is managing director of Fit Republik as well as consumer channel group lead for Microsoft Corporation. At the heart of his philosophy is a level of personalisation and customisation that is usually only the sole preserve of elite athletes.

‘How do you give people more strength? Not just physical strength, but mental strength? How do you foster their self-esteem, and power over their own destiny? How do you nurture their natural desire to improve? Our answer: make it hard, and make it fun,’ he says. ‘So we set out to create the best fitness centre in the world. Somewhere that couldn’t be beaten on facilities, coaching, results, assessment, atmosphere, and enjoyment. Somewhere not just for our children, but for everyone – where we could all achieve, be strong and belong.’

Fit Republik aims to inspire individuals to stay motivated, feel good about themselves and experience being part of a community that continues to inspire and push them towards becoming the best version of themselves as possible.
Drop in for a guided tour of the new facility. Open daily 6am-10pm. Swimming pool open from 5.30am for triathletes. Dubai Sports City, (052 742 4555).

Fitness facilities with swimming pools

Fidelity Fitness
This gym has a 23-metre infinity pool that overlooks JLT. It’s ideal for laps, group aqua workouts or just a post-workout dip. This gym also offers adult and children’s swimming lessons.
Dhs100 non-member day pass. Almas Tower, JLT, (04 451 1133).

The Aviation Club
The club houses a unique two-tier pool with 25 metre lap lanes for dedicated race swimmers. Access to the pool is free for gym members.
Dhs250 non-member day pass. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Garhoud, (04 230 8560).

Fitness First Town Centre (Community Club)
This chain of gyms and fitness centres runs a swim academy, triathlon and swimming squads from a number of its locations. The Community Club at Emirates Hills has a 25-metre half Olympic-sized pool, as well as a spa pool and separate children’s swimming pool.
Dhs125 non-member day pass. Emirates Hills, (04 439 2323).

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