Anytime Fitness to Expand into United Arab Emirates

Anytime Fitness to Expand into United Arab Emirates

Parent Franchisor Self Esteem Brands Welcomes Brand’s Master Franchisee, Investor Mark Mobius

High-profile financier Mark Mobius leads an investment group that will bring Anytime Fitness® to the United Arab Emirates, according to a news release from the gym brand’s parent, Self Esteem Brands. The umbrella franchisor owns a portfolio of diverse health and wellness brands

The global health and wellness market is primed for growth through 2030 and beyond, according to Precedence Research. Its figures indicate the combined Latin America, Middle East and Africa health and wellness markets will experience a compound annual growth rate of 3.9% from now through 2030. The market in those regions was valued at $539.6 billion in 2023 and should reach $700.4 billion by 2030, Precedence Research projects.

Mobius and Other UAE Investors

In a news release from Self Esteem Brands, Mobius stated that “being a longtime member of Anytime Fitness and having used the clubs around the world makes this investment a natural for me.” Mobius, an influential money manager for three decades has often invested in emerging markets. 

Also involved the UAE Anytime Fitness master franchisor deal are John Ninia of Mobius Associates and two well-established Anytime Fitness franchise operators in the Philippines, Ben Matute and Richmond Sy. Matute and Sy plan to move to Dubai, where they will open Anytime Fitness clubs across that Middle Eastern nation over the next eight years. Dubai’s first Anytime Fitness club is scheduled to launch by the end of this year. 

Self Esteem Brands Leaders’ Response

Sander van den Born, executive vice president, international, of Self Esteem Brands explained his company’s expansion moves this way: “When we look at the places where our presence and brands can make a meaningful difference and capture strong growth, UAE is at the top of the list. It’s also a strong testament to the strength of the Anytime Fitness model to see existing franchisees relocate from a successful region to help [in the Middle East expansion]. We are aligned on values and purpose, especially with wider recognition of health and wellness initiatives across the Middle East region.”

Chuck Runyon, CEO of Self Esteem Brands and co-founder of Anytime Fitness, views Mobius’ involvement as a “vote of confidence,” according to the news release. “We strongly believe in the double-digit growth forecasts for the $5.6 trillion global wellness economy [per the Global Wellness Institute] over the next decade, and investments are crucial to help ensure we evolve health and wellness in ways that are holistic and more accessible,” Runyon said. “We look forward to watching the brand grow rapidly in the region and make a difference in peoples’ lives.”

About Anytime Fitness and Self Esteem Brands

With the expansion into the UAE, Self Esteem Brands will have Anytime Fitness clubs operating 24/7/365 in more than 40 countries and territories around the world. Anytime Fitness is a fast-growing brand that serves nearly 5 million members at more than 5,200 clubs globally. The brand is known for providing affordable health and wellness training, coaching, nutrition and recovery guidance for its members. 

In addition to Anytime Fitness, Woodbury, Minn.-based Self Esteem Brands’ portfolio includes Basecamp® Fitness, SUMHIIT Fitness, The Bar Method® and Waxing the City®. The Self Esteem Brands affiliates Stronger U Nutrition, Healthy Contributions and Provision Security deliver direct-to-consumer and franchisee support services.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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