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The fitness sector strategically penetrates Dubai's office market
The fitness sector strategically penetrates Dubai's office market

The fitness sector strategically penetrates Dubai's office market

A new trend has rapidly taken over Dubai’s office market with the growing amount of fitness centres located within office buildings, reveals Core Savills in its Spotlight: Dubai Office Market. The number of work-live-play developments in the pipeline are changing Dubai’s working environment, embracing the “new age of fitness”.

As mentioned in Core Savills’ report: “The growing demand for bona fide mixed-use developments and adoption of the live-work-play philosophy for millennials (the next generation of occupiers), requires integrated services like fitness facilities in a pedestrianized ecosystem, within close proximity to office districts. This has led to increased demand in retail within office buildings, bolstering rents in prime areas.”

Apart from the oil and BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) segments, occupier demand is spread across sectors – a strong endorsement of the diversified Dubai economy. Sectors leading in occupier demand are technology, service industry, logistics and transportation. For the first time, a cross segment between retail and commercial space is emerging with fitness centres and specialist independent operators rising in demand.

These boutique workout studios, conveniently located within commercial buildings, usually offer innovative and intense workout classes in a structured 45-mn format such as spin, HIIT or boot-camp sessions, facilitating lunch break work-outs for employees.

The studios are able to take up prime retail as they require smaller spaces (1,000 sq ft or less) than their bigger competitors with fully-fitted gymnasiums, who require more room to fit training equipment. This works to their advantage, making it easier to reach full occupancy, as they do not need to rely on a big number of memberships to cover relatively high rental rates.

Bigger gyms may only be profitable if they are paying up to 100 AED per sq ft approximately, compared to a boutique brand that could afford up to 300 AED per sq ft, making the latter a more viable option for landlords leasing prime retail space in commercial districts.

These studios usually include other verticals such as a boutique for s and organic cafés to differentiate themselves in a fierce competition.

Dubai is witnessing an increasing number of homegrown start-ups and attracting international players into the wellness scene, growing hand-in-hand with Government-led initiatives to encourage healthier living. This market trend is also a combination of increased consumer awareness surrounding wellbeing and demand for services that ease the stress associated to Dubai’s fast paced environment.

David Godchaux, CEO of Core Savills, says: “D3, with its investment grade offices, ateliers and retail outlets is a perfect example of blurred edges between spaces of work and play. Furthermore, regeneration activity across older industrial areas, such as Al Quoz, is leading to offbeat warehouse-based art centres, start-up incubators and gymnasiums increasing take-up in the district – for example Alserkal Avenue.”

 “Through the development of these pockets of art, design music and sport, integrated with retail and F&B, Dubai is learning to use urbanism as a powerful tool to enhance public interactions through built and particularly open spaces, a progressive shift from the dominant “build big” philosophy,” he added.


Source: Press Release