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10 of the UAE's most luxurious gyms

The UAE is coming of age in the health and fitness arena and this is particularly evident in not only the types of gyms and fitness centres that are opening, but the range of classes on offer too. No longer are fitness fans limited to the below-par gym in their apartment tower or the international chain at their nearest mall. Here’s a roundup of luxurious, unique and celebrity-favourite gyms in Abu Dhabi and Dubai that will have you making excuses to spend all your free time there.

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A-Tone Fitness Lounge

A-Tone Fitness Lounge opened to a lot of fanfare last year, with Bollywood fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala introducing her brand of Pilates to this workout studio in Dubai’s Business Bay. Yasmin’s Body Image, Karachiwala’s flagship studio in Mumbai, has trained all the coaches at the studio to lead Pilates classes that her celebrity clients, including Kareena Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, can’t stop Instagramming about. The 3,000-square-feet fitness lounge, with a minimalist white and yellow decor, has three studios for Pilates, yoga and Cross-Cuit, a programme designed by certified trainer Anjali Chandiramani, who is the founder of the studio. The sessions are designed by combining elements of CrossFit and circuit training for a full-body workout. The high-intensity interval training incorporates callisthenics, strongman workouts, weightlifting and cardio in a time-based circuit. 

Classes cost from Dh80.

• Business Bay, 04 3388 908, www.a-tone-ae

* Afshan Ahmed

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Bare Dubai

Bare Dubai has upped the glamour quotient at their studio in Clover Bay Tower by teaming up with Swiss luxury watch maker Tag Heuer for Train Black class. The warrior-style workout in a disco-nspired setting with a live DJ fuelling the momentum can help burn up to 1,000 calories. There is a specially designed Tag Heuer clock projection on the wall of the studio where coaches take participants through a high intensity interval training workout. What’s different about this workout is that once you think you have hit your maximum exhaustion point or the “Black phase”, you will be pushed to add another couple of minutes of interval sets. 

The studio is also very nutrition focused where each member gets individualised attention with special meal plans and regular progress monitoring with body scans for sustained results. 

There is a Dh400 joining fee and memberships cost from Dh800 per month. A drop-in class costs Dh100.

• Clover Bay Tower Dubai, 054 455 0597, www.bare.fitness

* Afshan Ahmed

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Barry’s Bootcamp

The recent announcement that this celebrity-favourite fitness brand would be launching early March in Dubai has set heart rates soaring. It offers a combination of high-intensity cardio training with strength training and a one-hour class is said to burn up to 1,000 calories.

The Dubai launch is the brand’s 26th studio globally. It has a reputation for being a favourite among celebrities looking to get in their “best shape ever”.

As well as offering its signature hardcore classes, the fitness centre boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, large change rooms stocked with luxury products, a juice bar with healthy smoothies and snacks, and a boutique that stocks Barry’s-branded athleisure apparel.

An introductory offer is available that includes classes for Dh80. Packages and memberships are also available.

• Ground floor, Central Park Towers, DIFC, email [email protected] or follow on Instagram @barrysbootcampdubai

* Amanda Tomlinson

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The Body Company

The Body Company is a five-star experience from entry to exit, from the designated parking spots in the Bin Hamoodah Building (in Abu Dhabi’s Adnec area) to the beautiful, spare entry to the roomy change rooms to the streamlined black workout outfit (Dh250, required).

The EMS workouts can be done solo or in groups of three, always with an trainer to guide you, in gorgeous rooms with floor-to-ceiling workouts, adding to the exclusive feel. But the real upgrade is in the efficiency: a mere 20 minutes twice a week, hooked up to an electronic muscle stimulation machine via a futuristic neoprene workout suit that has been dampened for maximum impact. This has the effect of literally grabbing every muscle and making them feel as if they’ve been tossed in a blender or stuck in an electric socket. If you put your all into it – contracting your muscles when the machine is buzzing for maxiumu impact – The Body Company promises one EMS session can be up to 18 times more effective that a regular workout session. This must be how Richard Branson stays fit.

EMS sessions start at Dh3,800 for unlimited group sessions for two months.

• For more information, go to www.thebodycompany.eu or call 056 334 2286

* Ann Marie McQueen

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Burj Club

As far as unique locations go, it probably doesn’t get much better than this. The Burj Club opened in the Burj Khalifa last year and boasts views of the Dubai Fountain, a spa, indoor and outdoor pools and gym, all set over five levels, including one just for women.

Like all self-respecting lifestyle clubs, it has a juice bar which sells smoothies, protein-packed shakes and detox juices. The gym equipment is from Technogym and there are daily classes, including power yoga and Les Mills’ Bodypump, Bodybalance and RPM, as well as group and private swimming classes.

Spa guests can make use of the spa facilities, which include a sauna, steam room and thermal experience showers, while those who venture to Rooftop pool and dining area can lounge on day beds and in cabanas after their workout.

Monthly memberships start from Dh1,950, annual membership Dh18,000, drop-in classes Dh90, day pass (includes access to all facilities: gym, indoor/outdoor pools, steam, sauna, experience showers and classes) from Dh275

• Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, 800 BURJ CLUB (2875 2582), www.burjkhalifa.ae

* Amanda Tomlinson

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Eastern Mangroves

One of the classiest and most well-stocked gyms in the capital is at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa. Not only are there free post-workout espressos, fruity water, apples and a delicious nut and fruit mix to munch on, the change rooms are gorgeous – think red velvet curtains closing off each change room, steam room, the thickest towels and robes, and separate room in which to do your hair and makeup. As for the equipment, there is a Technogym skate cardio machine and a heavy bag – two phenomenal ways to work out that are often absent from other gyms. There are also 11 fitness classes on offer per week, including Pilates, yoga, spinning, Tabata core and circuit, for Dh68 per class (many come included with membership).

An annual membership is Dh7,800 for a single person and Dh12,500 for a couple.

• Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, 02 656 1152, abu-dhabi.anantara.com

* Ann Marie McQueen

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Embody Fitness

Opening in Dubai’s Lamborghini Building in mid-March, Embody Fitness is an exclusive members-only club imported from London.

It will offer personal training and group classes, nutrition advice, rehabilitiation and sports therapy services as well as sports and therapeutic massages. Each member – limited to just 250 – is assigned a team, including a personal trainer, nutritional adviser and sports therapist, who work closely to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.

Some of the group classes focus on high-intensity metabolic-conditioning to achieve fat loss and muscle toning, while others are more relaxed with dynamic stretching, yoga and flexibility and core strength.

Perks of membership at the “Olympic-standard” training facility include private parking, spacious changing facilities with Espa shower products, a member’s lounge, nutritional cafe, meal planning and food delivery services. There’s also a private women-only studio.

Eight- to 12-week transformation packages start from Dh450 per session, which includes training, nutrition and sports therapy. Group classes are free to members and Dh100 for non-members.

• Lamborghini Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 052 723 9333, www.embodyfitness.ae/welcome/

* Amanda Tomlinson

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Four Seasons Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi residents can now sign up for memberships at the fitness centre at the Four Seasons, one of the more luxurious hotels to open in the city last year. A stand-out feature of the gym is the large windows that not only let in tonnes of light, but also offer impressive views of the Arabian Gulf.

The fitness centre is located within Dahlia Spa, which instantly lifts its lux appeal and those who visit the showers and change rooms will have use of Dahlia spa products.

Open 24 hours and decked out with Technogym fitness equipment, it is split into two gyms – a unisex gym and a gym for women only, which has equipment more commonly used by ladies. There’s also separate relaxation and meditation areas.

Members and hotel guests have access to a fitness trainer for more personalised attention and a group class timetable is currently being finalised.

The fitness centre is free to hotel guests and memberships are now available, costing Dh15,000 for a single annual membership and Dh25,000 for a couple.

• Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, 02 333 2222, www.fourseasons.com/abudhabi/

* Amanda Tomlinson

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Ican PT

If VIP treatment is what you need to get you into the gym, then Ican PT is the solution. It has private valet parking, green juice served in champagne flutes, Molten Brown shower products, Egyptian cotton towels, Fiji water, chandeliers, stylish mirrors and a trendy interior design that wouldn’t be out of place in a New York nightclub, plus views from Emirates Hills to The Palm.

But where this fitness club excels is with its personalised service. It doesn’t offer group classes and all members work one-on-one with a trainer for maximum results. There’s even an “in-house client experience enhancer” who acts as a 24/7 concierge.

For those low on time, or not adept in the kitchen, Ican has chefs who prepare healthy, fresh, organic food which can be delivered daily on request to members. It doesn’t get much easier.

Monthly membership packages start at Dh4,300 per month.

• 1 Lake Plaza Tower, Cluster T, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, 04 557 3188, www.icanpt.ae

* Amanda Tomlinson

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Talise Fitness

With several gyms in Jumeirah hotels in Dubai, Talise Fitness was one of the first to bring high-end workout facilities to the UAE. The brand is always at the forefront of trends and offers state-of-the-art equipment with plush change rooms, luxury shower products and New York-style healthy cafes at some of its facilities.

Its flagship gym at Madinat Jumeirah has the UAE’s only high-altitude chamber, in which members can attend group classes or personal training sessions in a low-oxygen environment. There are also squash courts, table tennis, a rock-climbing facility, indoor swimming pools, steam room and sauna and Talise X, an outdoor gym which offers CrossFit-style classes.

Annual membership comes at a hefty price – Dh14,400 – but it does include benefits such as a tailored training programme, beach and pool passes, discounts at Talise Spa, Wild Wadi and Jumeirah properties, a nutrition consultation and more.

This is more than a gym, it’s a lifestyle club, and when you’ve finished your workout, you can grab a healthy smoothie or snack from the cafe

• Talise Fitness, Madinat Jumeirah, 04 366 6821, www.talisefitness.com

* Amanda Tomlinson

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