Time: October 15, 2018
A female-only chain of fitness clubs in Saudi Arabia plans to grow its business four-fold after Bahrain-based Arcapita invested $67 million (SAR250m).
Arcapita’s, which specialises in Shari’ah-compliant alternative investments, said the extra capital will help grow NuYu’s network of gyms from seven to over 30 across the kingdom.
It added that the new centres are expected to create hundreds of jobs, as well as provide women access to fitness outlets in currently underserved locations, particularly following the landmark decision by the General Sports Authority to grant licences for female boutique gyms.
From a base of over 50 facilities nationwide, the female fitness market in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30% over the medium-term.
“We look forward to working in partnership with NuYu, helping it realise its full potential during this exciting period of social change,” said Atif A. Abdulmalik, Arcapita’s CEO.
“The investment in NuYu is underpinned by robust fundamentals and demonstrates our confidence in the long-term growth prospects of Saudi Arabia’s sport and leisure industry. It is also aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals of empowering women and for citizens to lead healthy and active lifestyles.
“NuYu is an industry pioneer in Saudi Arabia, with a strong core team that has established a successful operating model. This, coupled with compelling industry dynamics, provides us with an opportunity to generate attractive returns for our investors.”
Princess Sara Al Saud, NuYu’s co-founder and creative director, said NuYu has been at the forefront of the fitness industry since it was founded in 2012, with a boutique offering that focuses on high-energy group classes in a welcoming environment.
“With support from Arcapita, we are excited to be able to accelerate our expansion plans and grow our 6,000-strong membership base,” she said.
“Launching new boutique gyms across the country will make it easier for Saudi women to access fitness and reap the benefits of regular exercise.”