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facility review


Facilities in the mixed-sex gym include a large group exercise studio overlooking the sea


children. “Parents are aware that their kids are overweight,” says Oliver. The 80-station gym and large group cycling studio are currently being refurbished, including new kit from Pulse, plus Octane cross-trainers and Expona clic fl ooring. MYZONE was installed in March, with screens in all studios. The studios have received new equipment from Escape Fitness, including a full complement of SAQ gear along with new mats, balls, bands and so on for pilates and yoga. Meanwhile, the PT studio has been kitted out with a range


of boxing equipment: bags, gloves, pads and body protectors. New group exercise programming has also been introduced to complement the Les Mills offering, including a wider range of mind-body classes and military bootcamp sessions on the beach. “CapEx remains quite high in Kuwait, in contrast to Europe where costs are being cut by getting rid of staff and so on,” says Oliver. “However, the decision about our gym equipment was all down to maintenance. Parts always have to be ordered from abroad, but we wanted more control – buying spare parts direct,


INFO PANEL 1: ABOUT AL CORNICHE A


l Corniche Club Resort and Spa, located on the seafront in Kuwait, is a large, members-


only country club-style offering. Facilities include a large 80-station


gym overlooking the sea, numerous group exercise and personal training studios, an outdoor pool, a private beach with beachfront cabanas for day use, tennis and squash courts, a wide array of kids’ activities (including 45 timetabled classes a week, alongside kids’ personal training and nutrition), several restaurants and a Toni & Guy hair salon. There’s also a 1,858sq m (20,000sq


ft) spa, where the treatment rooms only are also open to non-members. Designed by award-winning architect


Jean-Paul Blissett and opened in 2005, the club is owned by Tameer, which in turn is part-owned by real estate


company Al Massaleh. It was built at a cost of KD8m (approx.£20m) in a BOT project – ‘build, operate and transfer’. Under these terms, the land does not belong to the club but to the government; Al Corniche pays rent on the land and will ultimately have to hand it back. It currently has the right to operate the club until the end of 2018, but will apply for another fi ve years. There are at present 3,400 members – 55 per cent women and 45 per cent men – all acquired via word-of mouth; the club has never advertised. Gross operating profi t is over KD1m a year, with only 55 per cent of this coming from membership. GM Gerard Oliver explains: “Food & beverage can take £70–80k a month – particularly impressive given that there is no alcohol in Kuwait – while the spa takes anything from £40–60k.”


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


with our own maintenance team trained by our suppliers to undertake repairs.” Going forward, objectives for the fi tness


offering include increasing income from group courses – football for kids, weight loss and TRX, for example. “But the biggest challenge on the fi tness side is keeping hold of staff,” says Oliver. “We have spa therapists who’ve been with us for years. But with fi tness instructors it’s harder as they tend to be young and single; Kuwait doesn’t offer much to interest them socially. “Communication can also be an issue: we have 150 staff spanning 22 nationalities.”


spa offering On entering the spa, the ground fl oor offers a particularly exclusive feel, comprising as it does the male and female Premier areas. On each side is a lounge, changing area, indoor pool and thermal suite. The female area also offers a small single-sex gym, while the male area has recently had its thermal suite overhauled by Schletterer. This fl oor is open to 1,000 Premier members only (KD1,000 a year for a single male, KD850 single female or KD1,300 for a couple – plus joining fees). Upstairs are the treatment rooms: 11 on the female side, plus sauna and steamroom; and seven on the male side, again plus sauna and steamroom. A large hydropool area and LPG treatment room can be used by either men or women. All facilities on this fl oor are for pre-booked, private use only and are open to members and non-members – although 80 per cent of the spa’s business currently comes from members. When Al Corniche fi rst opened,


Premier Founder members received free july 2012 © cybertrek 2012


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