Business at Saudi Arabia’s NuYu chain of women-only fitness centers isn’t static. Neither are its members.
That’s due to the vision of Princess Sara bint Mohammed bin Naif, who founded NuYu with the hope of giving Saudi women a sense of community geared around fitness instead of food.
Princess Sara continues to finance the successful chain of women-only gyms that opened its fifth location in February when it extended to al-Khobar, the first excursion outside of Riyadh since launching in 2012. She estimates that more than 10,000 women have entered its doors during that six years.
It’s a venture of concern, not profit, for a Saudi princess who donates all profits to charity and considers it part of her mission as a member of the Royal Family.
A 2013 survey discovered that three-fourths of Saudi women pursued little or no physical activity. Princess Sara had already embarked on her personal mission to change that.
Fitness clubs were considered a luxury before NuYu, and they weren’t seen as a likely destination for women. In fact, Saudi Arabia still lacks regulations specific to women-only fitness clubs.
The princess, who was overweight as a child and spun through diets as a teen, knows first-hand the happiness that comes from being fit and having a healthy relationship with food. She also recognized the need to offer members a sense of community and the chance to build friendships with like-minded women. She centered on offering an active community, considering many Saudi get-togethers focused around food. It fit the skills of the princess, who earned
a marketing degree in the UK while working towards qualification as a personal trainer.
Lacking activity guidelines from the Saudi government, NuYu created its own guidelines and encouraged women to be active at least twice a week for 12 weeks. Special care was given to creating a stylish yet homely environment while keeping rates affordable. Being women-only lets members remove their head scarves and wear more comfortable clothing.
The Saudi government is expressing the same concerns as the Princess, as the country is now among nations with the highest prevalence of obesity. Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision, published in 2016, aims to get 40 percent of the population more active by 2030. That plan may include the licensing of women-only gyms.
Princess Sara doesn’t know yet how exactly NuYu will fit into that vision, but she expects to continue keeping Saudi women active. That goes for women both older and younger than its average age of 25-35.
For more information about NuYu, visit its website at http://nuyu-ksa.com/al-khobar or call +966 920007576.
Company: NuYu Fitness Centres
Address: Al Yasmin, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Phone: +966 920007576