Business Setup Dubai .

Starting a Gym Business in the UAE in 2020


A gymnasium or gym, as it is most commonly called, is a covered location for gymnastics, athletics, and other such services. The gyms are usually equipped with barbells, weights, jumping boards, parallel bars, running areas, etc.— in short, it has all the materials that are needed by individuals in their pursuit of a fit and healthy body.

It is no surprise that a country that is obsessed with looking stunning, beautiful, and healthy has the highest numbers of gym memberships in the Middle East region. This rising trend of attaining an ideal body has resulted in many entrepreneurs foraying into starting their very own gym business setup in Dubai.

In 2016 the UAE’s fitness industry was estimated to be worth $380 million according to a report published by Statista. Many Fitness magnates and corporations have set up shop in the UAE. For instance, the American fitness giant Gold’s Gym established its Asian headquarters in Dubai.

The UAE was able to attract all of these foreign investors due to its impeccable policy changes. These modifications in the rules and regulations have given rise to ample business opportunities in this sector in the United Arab Emirates.

Best Approach for Starting a Gym Business in the UAE

The biggest decision you will have to make by far regarding your gym business setup in Dubai is going to be: what kind of business entity is most suitable for it?

Well, to answer this query is simple and is fairly obvious. A limited liability (LLC) is the best option for you.

5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Gym Business in Dubai

Now, that you have decided that opening a gym business in Dubai is the business venture of your dreams, you need to get authorization from the Department of Economic Development (DED) to get this show on the road:

  1. Approvals from Juvenile and Sports Welfare Authority
  2. Health Department and
  3. The Emirates Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Committee
  4. Besides these, you should be older than 21 years old to apply for a gym license in Dubai.
  5. You should also submit a Partnership memorandum and a signed lease to the designated authorities.

Opening a Gym Business in a Free Zone of the UAE

In case of starting a gym business in a Free Zone, then you should keep in mind the following activities are allowed in the gym by the authorities:

  1. Tai-chi, Yoga and other such meditative sports
  2. Exercises or other forms of physical training for losing weight and
  3. Massages of various kinds that soothe and relax the body.

Also Read: How To Start a Spa/ Wellness Club Business in Dubai?

Activities that are Strictly Prohibited in the Gym Business in Dubai

The following list of actions are restricted by the authorities and under no circumstances should there ever be executed in your gym premises in Dubai.

No medical or physiological treatment should be given for any kind of diseases (rheumatism, arthritis, etc.)

Use of any equipment that is used for diagnoses such as Ultrasound or X-ray machines.

Patrons with any kind of infectious disease should not be allowed in the gym facility.

Under no circumstances, use the gym premises for staff accommodation.

Do not allow noisy sports activities in the gym.

Female staff should not be hired at men-only massage parlors and gyms.

Personnel entering unnecessarily in female-only gyms, fitness, and wellness clubs will not be allowed.

A qualified nutritionist will only prescribe pills, shakes other kinds of weight loss/weight gain prescription.

Necessary Requirements for Running a Gym Business in Dubai


The gym should be located on the ground floor of the building and make sure that the equipment installed should be used only for the activities listed at the time of attainment of the gym business license.

Lighting and Ventilation

The premises should be adequately ventilated and should be well-lit. Make sure you have sufficient exhaust fans and fans that can handle the load of the entire facility.

Your main goal should be to keep the gym pleasant even after day’s worth of use.

Prepared for any Emergency Situation

In case of any emergency situation, the gym must be prepared to handle it. Moreover, you must have a fully-functional first-aid kit prepared at all times.

Qualified Personnel

Hire only qualified personnel for your gym business in Dubai. The staff should be certified by the Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS).

Clean and Hygienic Premises

Maintain clean and hygienic premises that are up to the standards set by the Department of Health and Medical Services (DoHMS).

Appropriate Clothing

The staff, gym instructors, masseuse, trainers, and the patrons must all adhere to the gym dress code. Anyone not wearing appropriate clothing should be escorted off the gym facility immediately.

No Smoking

Dubai is a no-smoking zone. Therefore, smoking is also banned indoors. You should post adequate signage that informs the patrons of the gym about your no smoking policy.

How to Open a Gym Business in Dubai?

To open a gym business in Dubai, you need to get a trade license. The requirements for that are as follows:

  1. Submit Photocopies of your passport and (visit or resident) visa.
  2. Get the NOCs –No Objection Certificate– for the preliminary approval and approval for the Company Trade name.
  3. Sign the MoA –Memorandum of Approval– that you have drafted and agreed on its terms earlier with your UAE local sponsor.
  4. Finalize the Location of your Gym business in Dubai and sign the lease.
  5. Submit all the documents mentioned above with the DED and receive a receipt.
  6. Pay all the dues.
  7. Collect the issued Gym business license.

Now, you are ready for business. You can now because of the license legally perform all the activities related to running a gym business in Dubai.

Setting up a gym business requires extensive planning and foresight, which at times, can become tiring. It is better for all involved to hire business setup consultants, like KWS Middle East, who, with years of professional experience under their belt, can guide you better in the business setup process.

Moreover, we provide all the services needed to establish a successful business setup in Dubai.

In case of any queries, please email us at

Contact us today and book your commitment-free call with our skilled team!

Leave A Comment

Latest Articles