Sport, parks and leisure - Armah Sports launches luxury Optimo health club brand in Riyadh ...
04 Feb 2023 Sport, parks, & leisure: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

16 Nov 2022

Armah Sports launches luxury Optimo health club brand in Riyadh
BY Frances Marcellin

The first Optimo club has opened in Saudi Arabia

The first Optimo club has opened in Saudi Arabia
photo: Armah Sports/Optimo

The first luxury health club from Armah Sports, Optimo, has opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is new concept, combining high-end hotel design with upscale fitness facilities. Two further sites will open in the next three to six months.

Optimo is led by Armah Sports' co-founder and CEO Fahad Alhagbani, who launched the Fitness Time chain in Saudi Arabia in 2007. By 2018 it had reached 150 clubs which employed around 3,500 staff. After going public with a value of €700m (US$724), Alhagbani left to establish Armah Sports with his family in January 2019 and started to develop Optimo and sister brand B_Fit.

Amenities and classes on offer at Optimo include strength and cardio areas, personal training, indoor cycling, pilates and yoga studios (women only), a boxing area, a relaxation space, functional training, a freestyle athletics training zone (including an indoor track) and a swimming pool. Spa facilities include a sauna, steamroom, hydro massage chair, nail spa (women) and barbers (men). Equipment providers include Technogym, Life Fitness and Reaxing.

In terms of how Optimo measures against other high-end gym offerings around the world, Alhagbani told HCM the company took a “hotel-ic approach” with the branding company to provide a luxury hotel environment, combined with fully-fledged fitness services.

“We know people sometimes like hotel gyms because of the luxury, ambience and privacy aspects but the main problem of this particular type of gym is lack of equipment, space and services,” he said. “So, we took the opposite approach where we present a spacious fitness facility in a hotel context within a smart tech environment.”

The company has also signed an exclusive agreement with Minderful in the UK to promote mental health in Saudi. “We want to be pioneers by driving this initiative, while the mental health awareness in Saudi is very low, we are confident through this partnership to impact our members and employees' lives to help them in their wellness journey. We believe that both mental fitness and physical fitness are the holistic approach towards better living.”

Alhagbani will expand Optimo in Saudi, but not outside of the country’s borders. Along with B_fit, he aims to open 30-35 clubs over the next few years.

“We are witnessing the transformation that Saudi is going through, it’s one of the fastest growing economies in 2022,” said Alhagbani. “We consider ourselves part of Vision 2030 the strategy for Saudi Arabia that our Crown Prince announced a few years ago. We will not grow to other markets simply because we want to focus on the core of our business model, which is the member’s experience.

“It’s important to be close to the clubs daily if you want to ensure quality is being delivered every day at the same expectation, it’s very similar to a chef running his own restaurant, if it goes out of boundaries it would be challenging to maintain that secret touch.”

B_fit is a premium-level club concept of which there are seven in operation between Riyadh and Jeddah, with two further clubs planned to open in the next year. The B_fit brand focuses on innovative tech-based solutions, which include club entry by facial recognition and being the first health club in the world to use Amazon Alexa in its operations, through which members can book classes and check trainers’ bios and schedules by voice command – read more about this in issue 1/2023 of Fit Tech magazine.

Alhagbani is also rolling out 1Rebel Saudi with business partner Nathan Clute as part of a franchise agreement with 1Rebel’s co-founders James Balfour and Giles Dean. “We have the 1Rebel rights to seven markets in the Middle East: Saudi, UAE, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait,” Alhagbani confirmed in an exclusive interview with HCM last year.

“1Rebel Saudi is a different story which falls outside of the family business,” said Alhagbani. “I did it in Saudi with my partner Nathan Clute for different reasons, mainly for friendship, fun and passion. Since the opening of both locations almost two years ago we have created a significant impact in the market, the feedback is always great and members are having fun while working out in one of the best entertaining environments in the region.”

“We won the Mondo*dr award (the international award for technology and entertainment) last year for the light and sound systems we set up in both clubs, which created a unique atmosphere that a fitness club hadn’t seen before.”

“We're driving a lot of young Saudi guys to be active through 1Rebel Saudi where they can have fun, socialise, train hard and grab a healthy smoothie on the way out.”

In the future, Alhagbani is planning to introduce a third brand in Saudi Arabia in the form of a new budget concept. “We dream of making Saudi a hub for innovation in the fitness sphere,” he said. “That’s our mission.”



Connect with
Sport Parks Leisure
Magazine:
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition
 

News headlines
Workout Anytime reveals profit increases, growth plans and wellness pivot
Workout Anytime reveals profit increases, growth plans and wellness pivot   03 Feb 2023

US-based fitness franchise, Workout Anytime, has confirmed that it signed deals for 49 more sites in 2022, while also opening 15. With around 200 .... more>>
MCR Active announces Andy King as CEO, readies for next chapter of growth
MCR Active announces Andy King as CEO, readies for next chapter of growth   03 Feb 2023

Andy King, chair of Manchester's GM Active, has taken the role of CEO at non-profit MCR Active. King brings more than twenty years of sports .... more>>
Cambridge researchers' AI model shows VO2 max lab-level results are achievable with wearables
Cambridge researchers' AI model shows VO2 max lab-level results are achievable with wearables   02 Feb 2023

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found a way to establish the exact VO2 max of an individual through the use of smartwatch data that is .... more>>
Musculoskeletal health hub pilot expands to 100 sites as MSK cost to UK hits £5bn a year
Musculoskeletal health hub pilot expands to 100 sites as MSK cost to UK hits £5bn a year   02 Feb 2023

The second phase of the UK’s MSK (musculoskeletal) health hub pilot will see the service rolled out to an additional 85 swimming pools and leisure .... more>>
This indoor gaming bike only lets you play if you pedal
This indoor gaming bike only lets you play if you pedal   31 Jan 2023

Norwegian startup Play Pulse is preparing to launch its indoor gaming bike in April 2023. The concept features integrated game controllers (which also .... more>>
Company profile


Croner

Our HR, employment law, health & safety, and pay & reward services free employers from admin, reduce their legal risk, and give them more time to grow their business.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery


Featured Supplier

Gyms are losing thousands every year by not doing these five simple things

Gyms are losing thousands every year by not doing these five simple things

With the price of just about everything going up, we all need to look again at how we best spend the allocated budget. More>>




in this issue

• Virgin gets right to wipe out rent arrears
• Fitness industry mourns passing of Jan Spaticchia
• STA offers mindfulness resources



Latest jobs

Jobs Search



Recreation Attendant
Salary: From £7.08 - £9.18ph
Location: Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Swimming Teacher
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Location: Easton, Bristol, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Sales & Front of House Manager
Location: Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Diary dates
Powered by leisurediary.com

05-06 Mar 2023

World Spa & Wellness Conference

Excel exhibition and conference centre , London, United Kingdom



Leisure Management magazine 2018 issue 1
Leisure Management
2018 issue 1

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Profile: Aaron Simpson
Quintessentially is an exclusive concierge service for some of the world’s richest people. Co-founder Aaron Simpson reveals what wealthy people want More>>
  Environment: Back to nature
British wildlife is being attacked on many fronts. Stephanie Hilborne, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, wants to involve everyone in preserving nature More>>


Leisure Management magazine 2016 issue 1

Leisure Management
2016 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  Disruption: Rule breakers
Leisure architecture that’s pushing boundaries and upturning expectations More>>
  Social good: Winds of change
Learn about the Change Foundation and the opportunities it creates More>>


Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd