The Best Fitness Centers in the UAE
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The Best Fitness Centers in the UAE

A review of some of the top fitness and health centers in the UAE.

Happy hours after work, steak dinners, take-out every other night, long hours in the office during the week followed by sleeping until 2pm on the weekends. Is this you? Has this got you feeling like a bag full of hammers? Add to this an absolute dread of being outside during summer months and you have more than enough reasons to stay on the couch eating potato chips under your nice air-conditioning.

However, if you are ready to get fit again (or for the first time) you just need to spend some of that salary you brag about on a gym membership and then dig around in the back of your closet until you can find your trainers.

No matter how hard-core of a workout you are looking for, there are options for everyone in the UAE, and so you don't have to break a pre-workout sweat Googling all of them, we have done most of the work for you by providing a list of some of the best gyms, health centers, and sports facilities in the region.

Of course, if you are staying in a hotel or a serviced apartment, you will most likely have exercise facilities in-house, but these can still be basic and leave you wanting more.  

Okay, it is a given that memberships aren't cheap, and prices vary, but if it didn't cost anything you wouldn't feel like you need to go to get your money out of the investment right?

So take a look, go check a few out, and then get your fitness on (the membership might even save you money when you consider how much you spend on dinner or cocktails instead).

Abu Dhabi Country Club

Definitely one of the most upmarket options, the ADCC has two gyms with aerobics, weights, and classes available as well lots of racquet and ball courts for almost any interest plus horseback riding, day spas, restaurants, social areas and various outdoor spaces.

For more info contact Abu Dhabi Country Club at + 971-2-657-7777, [email protected] or check out their website at

Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club Abu Dhabi

If you want your sweat to mix with that of UFL pro footballers, this is the fitness center for you. Opened in 1974 as a sports stadium, it is now available to the public. Offerings include racquet courts, weightlifting, volleyball and basketball courts, bowling, football fields, swimming pools and more. Better yet, this facility is a more affordable option than many other gyms that actually offer less. Plus, as a cultural center, there are conference and club rooms and function facilities available for rent as well.

To learn more about the Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club, give them a call at +971-0- 445-4455.


The ladies-and-children-only fitness center EXHALE has two locations in Dubai and offers pilates, yoga, free weight toning, dance classes, studios rentals and personal trainers for an individualized workout experience. For kids, classes and supervised activities are offered for physical fitness, dancing, behavior adjustment, goal-setting and achievement, self-esteem and confidence improvement, concentration training and self expression.

Learn more at or get in touch with either location at:

EXHALE Jumeirah Beach Residence at +971-4-424-3777 or [email protected] or

EXHALE Uptown Motorcity at +971-4-4474220 or [email protected]

Gold's Gym UAE

An absolute staple in the workout world (though the muscle man t-shirts are properly obnoxious), Gold's Gym now has four UAE locations; three in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi, and all have the feel and finish of their American cousins.

Amenities and workout options include a huge selection of free weights and fitness machines, as well as group classes for cardio, yoga, pilates, body balancing, spinning, dance and similar activities. Personalized attention from a private trainer is available at extra cost if you want to get even more out of your workout. Ladies tend to be really well looked-after at Gold's, with discounts available at certain times of the year and special Ladies Areas to workout as well as a day-spa (if your idea of getting fit is having someone else do all the work).

To find a center at a location near you visit their website at or give them a call at:

Dubai Gold's Gym Business Village Deira at +971-4-451-4400

Dubai Gold's Gym Al Barsha VIP Ladies Gym & Spa at +97-4-385-1181

Dubai Gold's Gym Etihad Club at +971-4-255-9882 (Ladies Gym) or +971-4-251-5998 (Mixed Gym)

Abu Dhabi Gold's Gym Mazyad Mall at +971-2-553-9888

Fitness First UAE

For sheer number of outlets alone, you won't be able to beat global gym purveyor Fitness First, with three locations in Abu Dhabi, 19 in Dubai and one in Sharjah. This is probably a virtual photocopy of the gym you used to go to at home, with a huge selection of machines, lots of free weights, spin room, group classes, changing rooms with saunas, steam rooms, showers and a lounge. Depending on the location you are at, pools are also available.

The only complaint that seems to pop up over and over again refers to their staff, who are not known to miss an opportunity to upsell you on optional extras or their personal trainers, who may not be able to take a hint when you don't want or need their services. Other than that, if you want to be close to the gym no matter where you are, Fitness First is likely to be your best choice.

To find the location nearest to you, check out their website at

Ignite Fitness & Wellness Dubai

If you like to get your burn on in the great outdoors, Ignite will likely tickle your fancy. Not a gym, but rather a workout coordination and management company, Ignite organizes and leads bootcamps and exercise groups in various locations around Dubai. Classes/activities are available in different levels of intensity and at various schedules, to suit most needs. Other services include corporate fitness or personal trainers and consultants that can come to you for that extra personalized service.

Learn more about Ignite Fitness & Wellness by visiting their website at, contacting them at +971-4-448-7142 or emailing them at [email protected]

Pharaoh's Club Dubai

Pharaoh’s Club is a gym and family fun center in one. It offers all the typical workout appointments of any large scale fitness center, but goes further to appeal to kids too. Activities include rock climbing walls, racquet sports, along with a day spa, outdoor pools and a lazy river to relax in. This is designed to be the type of place that can entertain the entire family all day as well as all evening at one of the clubs many restaurants. Night and day passes or membership are both available.

Find out more at or + 971-4-324-4100

U Concept Dubai

If you are looking for that concrete and steel, ultra-minimalist, muscle mecca feeling for your next gym, then U Concept is where you need to be. With a focus on body building and firming up, U Concept has dubbed itself a “boutique health club” and is popular among the more hard-core segment of fitness fanatics. Classes and personal trainers/specialists are available for just about any discipline you want to take on.

Check them out on Facebook at or call at +971-55-919-6666.

Now you have no excuse so go ahead, get moving! You don't want to remember the UAE as the place you got out of shape now do you?


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