Many young entrepreneurs find it a sensible business idea to open a gym in Dubai due to the presence of a health-conscious population. Not only the people but the government also promotes the importance of fitness by conducting the ‘Dubai Fitness Challenge’ every year. Both citizens and residents actively take part in the annual event, which shows why business setup in Dubai is profitable for fitness entrepreneurs.
Opening a gym in Dubai mainland is recommended for you as it allows you to reach out to more customers. The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the competent authority that issues licenses for businesses in the mainland. New entrepreneurs may find the company formation process in the mainland a bit tough, which necessitates enlisting the services of business setup consultants in Dubai. Read the following to understand the benefits, conditions, and requirements of opening a gym business in Dubai mainland:
Is it Profitable to Start a Gym Business in Dubai in 2021?
You may think that the fitness industry in Dubai is highly saturated, leaving nothing substantial for new entrepreneurs to explore. However, a recent Entrepreneur article has stated that only 7% of the UAE population owns a gym membership. This penetration rate is too low when compared to markets such as the UK, Scandinavian countries, or parts of the US that have fitness penetration rates in the range of 15-20%.
Also, the World Health Organization has found that 70% of males and 67% of females above the age of 15 in the UAE are suffering from obesity. New entrepreneurs planning to start a gym business in Dubai should tap into this gap to achieve success. Also, events like the Fitness Challenge prove that Dubai’s population is inclined to flex some muscles.
Things to Remember Before Starting a Gym Business in Dubai
You have decided to be a fitness entrepreneur by setting up a gym business in Dubai. The next step will be to understand the conditions and requirements associated with the process of business setup in Dubai. Since a fitness business is likely to have an impact on the health and well-being of the citizens and residents, you need to take special approval from various government authorities after getting initial approval from the DED. Approval from the following authorities are required:
- Health Department
- Approval from Sports Council
- The Emirates Bodybuilding Federation (EBBF)
Furthermore, you can obtain a gym license in Dubai only if you are more than 21 years old. For a new entrepreneur, it would be tough to get a clear grasp of the DED requirements of setting up new businesses. However, business setup consultants in Dubai will show the right way for you.
Process of Obtaining a Gym License in Dubai Mainland
Gym and fitness club activities are categorised under professional license in Dubai mainland. A professional license allows 100% foreign ownership, provided a Local Service Agent (LSA) is appointed. An LSA will have no shareholding in your gym and will do only administrative activities such as dealing with government officials for a fixed administrative fee.
After identifying an LSA, the following steps must be undertaken to obtain a gym license in Dubai:
- Determine the legal structure
- Select a name for the gym and reserve it with the DED
- Secure Initial Approval from DED
- Sign the LSA agreement
- Rent a gym facility in a prime location, obtain a tenancy contract with Ejari
- Get external approval from relevant government bodies and Dubai Municipality
- Submit all the documents and obtain the gym license
Beware of the Following Prohibited Activities
An entrepreneur can’t apply for a gym license in Dubai mainland if he is planning to conduct the following activities inside his fitness centre:
- Providing medical or physiological treatment to any type of disease, including rheumatism & arthritis
- Use of diagnostic equipment such as Ultrasound or X-ray machines.
- Should not allow the entry of patrons suffering from any kind of infectious disease
- Gym premises should not be used for staff accommodation
- Entrepreneurs shouldn’t undertake any kind of noisy sports activities inside the gym
- No female staff should be hired at ‘men-only gyms
- Only a qualified nutritionist can prescribe slimming diets to patrons
Get Help from Business Setup Consultants in Dubai, UAE
In view of the various approvals and prerequisites, fitness entrepreneurs are advised to seek expert assistance before initiating the process of business setup in Dubai. As a foreign entrepreneur, you may not be at ease dealing with government officials for approvals or the immigration department for visa processing. However, a better alternative is to set up the business through top business setup consultants in Dubai, such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC).
JBC guides you with services such as drafting of MoA, LSA agreement, assistance with bank account opening, liaising with government officials, visa processing etc. JBC has a team of highly qualified company formation specialists who would advise you on the labour laws and immigration laws to make the process of company formation in Dubai easier. By opening a gym in Dubai with JBC’s assistance, you can stay assured that your journey to business success will be smooth.