Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 September 2019

Is Privilee taking on Classpass? The lifestyle app has introduced fitness classes to its repertoire

The app has extended its reach beyond pool days and access to hotel gyms

Privilee members can now use TribeFit, a fitness club in Dubai Marina, as part of its recent move to incorporate fitness classes into its offerings.
Privilee members can now use TribeFit, a fitness club in Dubai Marina, as part of its recent move to incorporate fitness classes into its offerings.

The UAE has some of the best hotels on the planet – so it's only natural to want to visit from time to time, without forking out for an entire night's stay. This is the market that lifestyle brand Privilee set out to corner when it launched in early 2015.

The membership service has since grown to offer access to 50 pools and beach clubs across the UAE, more than 56 five-star gyms and discounts at hundreds of affiliated restaurants. Most recently, it's expanded its reach to include more than 1,000 free fitness classes and includes access to sporting activities such as tennis and squash, and other outdoor activities like water sports or golf.

In the coming months, the app will be adding even a more array of offerings to its repertoire (think leisure and entertainment venues). Some new stand-out fitness offerings include Smart Fitness, TribeFit and FitRepublik in Dubai, and Let's Go Gym in Abu Dhabi. Personal training is also offered at many of Privilee's partners at a discounted rate.

In terms of hotel gyms and pools, members can access everywhere from Atlantis, The Palm to the Address Montgomerie in Dubai, and Saadiyat Beach Club to the Park Hyatt in Abu Dhabi. But fret not if you're in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah or Ajman, there are hotels and gyms to access there, too.

So, what sets Privilee apart from other deal or discount apps, you might ask?

From the outset, it seems its main points of difference is the range of what it offers – most other lifestyle brands don't include pool passes or hotel gym memberships. Privilee also seems to be catering more towards the luxury end of the spectrum, but by making high-end offerings available to everyone. Think of it almost like an Entertainer and ClassPass membership in one.

ClassPass, the New York fitness app, launched in Dubai in October 2018, and in Abu Dhabi in March this year. In January, ClassPass acquired GuavaPass, a similar app which gave users access to multiple classes and fitness clubs. This made it the only such offering in the UAE, after Classport, another similar app, ceased to exist. ClassPass memberships range from Dh159 (for two to three fitness classes) to Dh749 (for 13 to 20 classes) per month.

At the end of the month, Privilee will also be fully digital, meaning no further need for membership cards, and everything will be accessible via the app.

Families are also catered for. One membership also allows access for two to three kids, so it's a good option if you're a parent – you can safely head off to the Fairmont for a gym session and leave the children at the kid's club for free. The whole family can then spend the rest of the day at the pool or beach club, with a discounted meal to round it all off.

How much does it cost?

Membership packages start at Dh529 per month if you sign up for a year, which includes two free guest cards for one-time use. Guest cards offer the same deals and discounts, and are valid for five working days. The most expensive option, a one-month membership, costs Dh1,199.

Updated: August 15, 2019 12:28 PM

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