Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

The most expensive gyms in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

As Dubai's Symmetry Gym launches a 28-day, Dh36,000 programme, we explore the price of high-end workouts in the UAE

Symmetry Gym in Dubai is the most expensive in the UAE. Courtesy Symmetry Gym.
Symmetry Gym in Dubai is the most expensive in the UAE. Courtesy Symmetry Gym.

You can’t put a price on your health but, if you could, would you be willing to pay more than Dh30,000 a month to achieve your best self? That’s what one of Dubai’s most elite gyms is charging for its new 28-day Ultra Rich programme, which launched this month – Dh36,000, to be precise.

Symmetry Gym in Dubai’s Gold and Diamond Park, founded by Amir Siddiqui, takes an unorthodox approach to training. This has gained a legion of loyal followers, and is what, says Siddiqui, justifies its cost. “I’ve worked with more than 2,000 people in the last 15 years and have developed a system that goes against everything we know and believe about fat loss, health and general fitness,” he says.

The system he’s talking about is Fission Fusion Training, a concept that flips the age-old diet to exercise ratio on its head. Under this system, training is said to give you 80 per cent of your results, while diet gives you just 20 per cent. “Our Fission Fusion Training system is the result of 15 years of scientific research, empirical study and [findings] based in the trenches, training with thousands of people,” Siddiqui says. “It is a comprehensive, integrated and holistic training system that combines the mental and physical domains in equal measure to create a map for how to get results. It’s designed to push your limits of speed, strength and endurance in just the right specific mix."

Symmetry Gym in Dubai’s Gold and Diamond Park has launched a 28-day programme costing Dh36,000. Courtesy Symmetry Gym.
Symmetry Gym in Dubai’s Gold and Diamond Park has launched a 28-day programme costing Dh36,000. Courtesy Symmetry Gym.

And it’s this training system that will be used during the new programme, described as “the most expensive and ­intensive 28 days of fitness in the UAE”. At Dh36,000 – roughly half a year’s rent on an average one-bedroom apartment – it’s a hefty price tag, but Siddiqui maintains it is value for money.

“I personally take charge of the client’s 28 days of training, work schedule and life. I handle every single detail of how they live, eat and exercise,” he says. “The client undergoes a life-changing transformation using a custom programme, which includes intensive workouts, as well as the latest performance of mind techniques, and support from all gym personnel. We offer 24-hour support, food shopping, a fridge detox, nutrition programme, mentoring, weekly massages and daily performance assessments.”

The key to success, Siddiqui says, is consistency and hard work. It’s simple stuff, but he maintains that many people fall at the first hurdle. “The problem we see is that people do not know what ‘hard work’ means. My clients do,” he says. “Every single one of them will tell you they have never experienced training this intense and demanding.”

While Symmetry Gym wins the title of Dubai’s most expensive, it is not the only UAE gym that comes with a lofty fee. In 2018, Dubai was named the world’s second most expensive city for the average cost of a gym membership, coming in at $119.20 (Dh438) a month. Tokyo came in first at $127.

If you are looking to invest in your fitness regimen, here are some of the UAE’s most luxurious options.

The Body Company

The Body Company Abu Dhabi uses EMS training. Courtesy The Body Company
The Body Company Abu Dhabi uses EMS training. Courtesy The Body Company

If you want a luxe experience, but don’t always have the luxury of time, The Body Company’s EMS training is for you. EMS workouts are some of the most effective around, and, naturally, some of the most pricey. Trainers say only 20 minutes twice a week is enough to see results. It works by hooking participants up to an electronic muscle stimulation machine via a neoprene workout suit that has been dampened for maximum impact. If you put your all into it – contracting your muscles when the machine is buzzing for maximum impact – The Body Company in Abu Dhabi promises one EMS session can be up to 18 times more effective than a regular workout, with 90 per cent of the body’s muscles engaged, as ­opposed to the 40 to 70 per cent used in a regular workout.

The Body Company has recently opened a new studio on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, where it offers users a boutique experience, with private parking spots and spacious changing rooms. Ten EMS sessions here start from Dh2,100.

Ultimate Performance

Ultimate Performance offers its members round-the-clock support. Courtesy  
Ultimate Performance gym will open in DIFC on March 20. Courtesy Ultimate Performance

This DIFC gym has earned itself a reputation as one of Dubai’s most hardcore. What sets it apart is its elite trainers, who will not only help you with all things fitness and nutrition, but also assess body-fat measurements, conduct hormone profiling, draw up sleep strategies, as well as help with stress management, smart supplementation and lifestyle optimisation. Ultimate Performance offers its members round-the-clock support, tracking and education to deliver results.

The trainers here pin ­themselves as the world’s foremost body-composition experts, and their social media pages are filled with impressive transformations. It offers a number of 12-week training packages including fat-loss and muscle-building programmes, and the gym also runs regular group training sessions. Ultimate Performance’s 12-week sessions start from Dh16,560.

Elite Fitness

As its name suggests, Abu Dhabi’s Elite Fitness is not your average gym. The team of trainers have been hand-picked based on their knowledge and expertise. The gym is both mixed and ­women’s-only. The trainers work with members every step of the way, offering support around losing fat and toning muscles, creating new habits, and making healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes.

The facility, located near Zayed Sports City, features luxe changing rooms, with gold accents and velvet puff chairs, and a well-stocked kitchenette with a range of refreshments. The mixed facility membership costs Dh2,625 per month, while women’s-only is priced from Dh2,350.

Embody Fitness

The lounge area at Embody Fitness. Courtesy Embody Fitness 
The lounge area at Embody Fitness. Courtesy Embody Fitness

This is one of Dubai’s most luxurious gyms. The exclusive gym, on the first floor of the Lamborghini building on Sheikh Zayed Road, is a concept imported from London. As well as personal training and group fitness classes, it offers nutrition advice, injury rehabilitation and sports therapy services, plus sports and therapeutic massages. To maintain its exclusivity, the gym is capped at 250 members, so it can offer support to everyone who joins. Each member is assigned a full team, including a nutritional adviser, sports therapist and personal trainer, who will work closely to help members achieve their goals.

Classes range from core strength, yoga and stretching to high-intensity interval training and cardio designed to boost metabolic conditioning. The gym markets itself as having “Olympic-­standard” training facilities, with luxury changing rooms and a members’ lounge. It also offers a meal plan and home-­delivery services. Each session starts from Dh450 for eight to 12-week transformation programmes (as opposed to Dh200 per hour, on average, for a personal training session), while group classes are free for members.

Updated: October 14, 2019 06:21 PM

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