A guide on starting a Gym Business in the UAE

Gym business in the UAE
November 13, 2023

Table of Contents

The UAE is a country where people have a busy lifestyle and are full of work commitments. However, people here want to stay healthy and look beautiful. It makes starting a gym business in the UAE a profitable idea for entrepreneurs in 2024.

This is no surprise this country has the highest numbers of gym memberships in the Middle East. The rising trend of attaining an ideal body is turning into an obsession for the people. It is resulting in many entrepreneurs foraying into setting up a business in Dubai with a gym.

Many international fitness magnates and corporations are coming to the shores of the UAE. For instance, the American fitness giant Gold’s Gym established its Asian headquarters in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is attracting all of these foreign investors due to its impeccable policy changes.

What is a gym business?

A gymnasium, also known as a gym is a location for gymnastics, athletics, and other such services. Usually, it is equipped with barbells, weights, jumping boards, parallel bars, running areas, etc. In short, a gym is a place that has the materials people require to pursuit a fit and healthy body.

Read more: Get a Spa license in Dubai

Requirements for running a gym business in UAE

Here are the requirements for starting a gym business in the UAE during 2024.

  • Location
  • Qualified personnel
  • Lighting and ventilation
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Handling emergency situation
  • No smoking

Now, we briefly take a look at these requirements.


The gym should be located on the ground floor of the building. Research the viability of your gym making it big. Keep your gym clean and hygienic as per the standards set by the Department of Health and Medical Services (DoHMS).

Together with a prime location, your gym should have latest exercise equipment. Members should only use the equipment for the exercises and body grooming activities. Otherwise, the authorities hold the right of revoking your gym license.

Qualified personnel

Hire only qualified personnel for your gym in Dubai. Moreover, ensure that your staff holds certifications by the DOHMS. Realize that expert trainers play a part in making your gym profitable.

Lighting and ventilation

The premises should be adequately ventilated and should be well-lit. Make sure you have sufficient exhaust fans and air conditioners that can handle the load of the entire facility. Keep the gym pleasant for use throughout the day (and in the night if you operate second shift).

Appropriate clothing

The staff, gym instructors, masseuse, trainers, and the patrons must all adhere to the gym dress code. Escort off anyone not wearing appropriate clothing from the gym facility immediately. Members exercising in the mixed-gender gyms are better to have a decent training clothing.

Handling emergency situation

In case of any emergency situation, the gym have the capacity to handle it. Likewise, you must have a fully-functional first-aid kit ready at all times. It helps in taking care of emergency situations.

No smoking

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

Further reading: Launch a daycare business in Dubai

Process for beginning a gym business in Dubai

Here is a question that comes to the fore. What kind of business entity is most suitable for a gym? A limited liability (LLC) is the best option for you.

In case, you feel that opening a gym business in Dubai is the enterprising venture of your dreams. You need to get authorization from the Department of Economic Development (DED) to get this show on the road. Here is the procedure to follow for starting a gym business in the UAE through 2024.

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

Tip: Begin a tax consultancy business in Dubai

Allowed activities in the gym

In the event, you are contemplating of starting a gym business in the UAE. Then, you should keep in mind that the authorities regulate the activities a gymnasium can undertake. Members can only take part in the following activities in the gym amid 2024.

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

Bonus: Start a tech startup in Dubai

Prohibited activities in the gym

Authorities in the UAE strictly prohibit gyms from undertaking certain activities. So, make sure that your member don’t execute these on the premises of your gym. The following list of actions are restricted by the authorities in the gym within 2024.

  • 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.

Getting a license for a gym

You need to get a license to open a gym business in Dubai. Gyms come under the category of the trade license. The requirements of a license for starting a gym in the UAE are the following.

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


After obtaining a license, you are ready for running a gym business. Now, you can legally conduct all the activities of a gym business in Dubai. Starting a gym business in the UAE requires extensive planning and foresight.

At times, can become difficult and tiring for newcomers in the health or body care sector. New entrepreneurs can find it better to take advice from the business setup consultants. With years of professional experience, KWS Middle East can guide you better in the business setup process.

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