San Francisco, CA (PRBuzz.com) November 19, 2012 -- The Dubai fitness market can be confusing when choosing which exercise is best for you. The market offers everything from aerobics to Zumba, walking, martial arts, and a large selection of trainers and sports facilities. Yet, finding the right trainer and facility can be difficult.
This is also important given the fact that the Dubai Sports Council announced that all fitness trainers and facilities will have to be licensed by 2013. The new legislation is a welcoming announcement for someone like Grant Goes, a New Zealand-born fitness professional and the founder of Fitnesslink.ae. The upcoming legislation also states that sports coaches must obtain their qualifications attested by an independent company to be a member of the register of exercise professionals, and follow up by registering with officially licensed fitness facilities. In addition, the public will have access to a trainers' profile within an online database that will be enforced with warnings, fines, and possible deportation.
"There's always been a lot of confusion when it comes to services, products or people," says Goes. "This regulation will make sure people know that the fitness professionals they go to have the right qualifications for this region. It's fantastic news and aims to lift the standards here. There has been no such regulation here before."
The lack of quality of standards is what pushed Goes into creating his website. His free-use website is a database of services such as gym memberships, personal trainers, physiotherapists, sports supplements stockists, and health-themed cafes. Each professional within the website must list their qualifications and credentials.
The goal is to increase the chance of consumers making better choices. "So many people ask me, 'Why should I do this exercise as opposed to that exercise?'" Goes says. "There is so much out there and everybody is different so they have to decide what's right for them in a way that would help them actually sustain a fit and healthy lifestyle. We want people to understand they don't have to go to a gym but they can go kayaking if that's what they enjoy, or go walking. "So many people take up sports that their friends do or they hear are good for them, not necessarily knowing the facts," he adds. "This way people will have everything in front of them and can decide for themselves in an unbiased way."
On Goes website, personnel from local venues provide detailed explanations on the organization of their activity and its benefits, without using the website as a promotional platform for their business. Website use is also monitored to stop major companies from monopolizing the site and allowing space for smaller businesses.
Attracting more than 200 members since launching in July, Noviplus, another healthy living website based in Dubai, offers its members exclusive discounts for things such as restaurants, organic cafes, fitness facilities and nutritionists services. Founded by Enisa Glovovic and Marko Mladenovic, a fitness trainer at New York University Abu Dhabi, the site helps people access good quality products and services while saving money. Membership costs Dh289 per year. "Living in Dubai isn't cheap and this a way of helping people lead a healthy lifestyle in a long-term way," says Glovovic.
"We also want to make things more accessible, especially to the lower income groups who would, for example, take advantage of free fitness activities in the city but may not be able to afford other services," she adds.
Noviplus wants to promote small, ethical businesses. Forty local companies are currently signed up to the site, including Balance Cafe, Reebok Crossfit sports classes, and Down to Earth organic supermarket.
The MAKE cafe in Jumeirah Beach Residence was one of the first businesses to sign up. Through Noviplus, members can get 15% off its menu.
Leith Matthews, managing director of MAKE, says his company came on board because Noviplus is a local start-up, young, ambitious, and doing something interesting in the city. He added that their healthy mission has synergies with the MAKE food menu philosophy. "In addition, the networking potential is invaluable. We get a platform that allows us to connect with a new group of users and invites them to visit our venue," say Matthews.
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