The Virgin Active health club brand has been launched in the UAE in a partnership agreement with Dubai-headquartered Sharaf Group.
Ibrahim Sharaf, president, Sharaf Group, said: “We are delighted to partner with Sir Richard Branson’s group again, this time to introduce the Virgin Active brand to Dubai and the Middle East. The new exercise and wellness clubs will offer exceptional service, innovation, value for money and, in true Virgin style, fun to the people of the region.”
With more than 850,000 members across 170 clubs globally, Virgin Active describes itself as more than a fitness centre or gym. Sir Richard Branson has said: “We realise exercise can be hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. Our clubs offer a haven from the hustle and bustle and give members more than just a place to exercise, it’s a sanctuary where they can expect no less than first-class treatment.”
According to Matthew Bucknall, CEO, Virgin Active health clubs in the UAE will feature state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment with entertainment consoles including iPod compatibility, strength and resistance training, free internet stations and WiFi, a trendy café, 25m indoor pool, luxurious changing room facilities, dedicated studios for activities such as V-Cycle, V-Box, Kinesis, Power Plate and more.
“The Virgin Active clubs will feature a unique child-minding concept known as Club-V, giving the clubs an edge and making exercise and wellness accessible to just about everyone, including parents of young children,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sharafuddin Sharaf, vice-chairman, Sharaf Group, highlighted the importance of health and wellbeing given the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the region. “Studies have shown that as little as 30 minutes of exercise each day can reduce obesity and the risk of major health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes, the latter of which is of growing concern in the UAE. The Sharaf Group is proud to be associated with this new, positive approach to exercise and encouraging healthier, more active lifestyles.”
Virgin Active expects to roll out clubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during the initial phase, with locations in prime residential and commercial precincts.
Virgin Active launches in Dubai