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market report: middle east


MIDDLE-EASTERN


overwhelming perception may be that it is a region convulsing in violence and instability. Yet those of us on the ground understand that, in reality, the area is brimming with opportunity for those willing to understand the challenges. First and foremost, although the


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political instability has affected several markets in the Middle East – such as Syria – other markets are not only open for business but are actively courting international brand names. In fact, many


march 2012 © cybertrek 2012


cross our television screens, we have been witnessing an unprecedented era of change in the Middle East. The


PROMISE


Liam N Fitzgerald offers an overview of the Middle East health and fitness market, and details the opportunities for operators


of the Gulf region nations – such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia – continue to pursue new endeavours in the health and fi tness arena, which has created opportunities for fi tness brands seeking to penetrate the market.


INTERNATIONAL BRANDS At this nascent stage, the overall health and fitness market is fragmented, with a variety of operators and offerings ranging from international fitness brands to hotel chains to independent operators. Within this fragmentation may exist potential opportunities for


Fitness First (above) and Gold’s Gym are recognised brands in the Middle East market


those seeking to capture new market share; in particular, if new entrants are able to provide full-scale services at competitive prices, whereby the customer feels they are getting good value, with excellent customer service and a range of services. The recognised international health


and fi tness brands in the market appear to be led by Fitness First and Gold’s Gym; both provide their standard offerings, including classes, functional training and resistance equipment. In


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 71


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