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26 Mar 2024
Anytime Fitness announces expansion into the UAE with master franchise deal backed by Mark Mobius
By Kath Hudson
Anytime Fitness announces expansion into the UAE with master franchise deal backed by Mark Mobius
L-R: Andrew Wind, Ben Matute, Chuck Runyon, John Ninia, Tony Mitchell, Mark Mobius, Dave Mortensen, Richmond Sy, Sander Van den Born
Photo: Self Esteem Brands
With a new master franchisee on board, the rollout of Anytime Fitness in the Middle East will get underway later this year, with the first club opening Dubai, following the move to the Middle East which is gripping the sector.

Parent company, Self Esteem Brands, has signed a master franchise deal with an investment group led by Mark Mobius – specialist in emerging marketing – along with fellow investor, John Ninia and two longtime Anytime Fitness Philippines franchise operators – Ben Matute and Richmond Sy – who are relocating to Dubai from the Philippines to drive the new business.

"When we look at the places where our presence and brands can make a meaningful difference and capture strong growth, UAE is top of the list," says Sander van den Born, executive VP, international at Self Esteem Brands.

"It's also a testament to the strength of the Anytime Fitness model to see franchisees relocating from a successful region such as the Philippines to help set up operations in the UAE. We're aligned on values and purpose, especially with wider recognition of health and wellness initiatives across the Middle East."

Co-founder, Anytime Fitness and CEO, Self Esteem Brands, Chuck Runyon, continued: "We strongly believe in the double-digit growth forecasts for the US$5.6 trillion global wellness economy over the next decade* and investments are crucial to help ensure we evolve health and wellness in ways that are holistic and more accessible."

This deal means Anytime Fitness clubs will soon be operating in more than 40 countries. An average of 300 new clubs per year are being opened, serving almost five million members at more than 5,200 clubs. The affordable, 24/7 concept includes personalised health and wellness training, coaching, nutrition, and recovery guidance.

US-headquartered, Self Esteem Brands also owns Basecamp Fitness, SUMHIIT Fitness, The Bar Method, Waxing the City and Stronger U Nutrition. Having announced a merger with Orangetheory last month to form a US$3.5 billion business, the combined company will have 7,000 sites and is aiming for 10,000 in five years.

Orangetheory CEO, Dave Long, speaks more about the ambitions in the current issue of HCM.

*Global Wellness Institute

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