Society in the UAE has high levels of resilience to crises and challenges
– Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan
Gyms and health clubs in Dubai, UAE, have begun reopening their doors today (27 May) after a two-month lockdown.
Clubs are only allowed to operate at 50 per cent of their normal capacity, while members are required to wear masks at all times during light or moderate physical activity. The masks can be lowered for “strenuous physical exercise”.
The decision to reopen Dubai's fitness sector was made by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan, who explained that the decision follows a comprehensive assessment of health and socio-economic aspects and a thorough review of the COVID-19 situation.
"We're aware of the pressures many sectors are facing because of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Sheikh Hamdan.
"Society in the UAE has high levels of resilience to crises and challenges. What makes us different is our ability to deal positively with changes and our agility. We have all the elements necessary to adapt to these challenging circumstances."
As well as social distancing measures being in place – people must keep a two-meter distance – the use of certain equipment, such as medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells, weightlifting belts, bars and plates, is restricted to one person at a time. The kit must also be sanitised after each use.
Group exercise classes are allowed, with classes limited to 10 people – nine participants and one trainer/coach, regardless of the size of the space.
Some operators, including GymNation and Fitness First, have taken the opportunity to reopen immediately, while others are reviewing their operational procedures before relaunching. Those yet to open their doors include circuit training-based Barry's Bootcamp, franchise operator Orangetheory Fitness and NRG Fitness.