Tried and Tested: The Best Gyms in Abu Dhabi

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Megan Joy Gym Abu Dhabi Fitness
Photo: Courtesy of @MeganJoy
For fitness fanatics and newbies alike, Abu Dhabi is home to a wide range of gyms catering to all tastes and fitness levels. While sometimes a yoga mat may hold more appeal, this list is for the days when you’re ready for a challenge and the ensuing post-workout high. Whether you’re stuck in a workout rut, looking for a new challenge, or have finally decided to see through your new year’s resolutions (hey, this is a judgement-free zone), scroll down to discover the best gyms in the capital.

Bodyism Saadiyat Island

Originally hailing from London, Bodyism is a wellness sanctuary located on Saadiyat Island. The philosophy at Bodyism is to “be kind to yourself”, encouraging a positive mental attitude, better and healthier choices, and a focus on movement and rest in a way that is right for your body.

This members-only club, complete with changing rooms, shower facilities, a spa, and a café, offers bespoke personal training programs, as well as Pilates, yoga, boxing, and barre classes. Specialized body consultations serve as a starting point to assess your overall health and outline your fitness goals before a personalized program is put together for you, encompassing both PT sessions and group classes.

The serene and luxurious space and the surrounding beauty of Saadiyat Island will take the edge off a hardcore workout, while the smoothies and snacks at Bodyism Café will make for the perfect post-workout reward.

G.Tip: The Goodness team had the pleasure of sweating and sculpting with Jordan before tapping into our inner yogi with Craig. Also highly recommended is the ‘Protein Excellence’ smoothie.

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort
(+971) 2 811 4444

Photo: Courtesy Abu Dhabi Confidential

Mprove Fitness

Mprove Fitness, Abu Dhabi’s first warehouse gym, is a CrossFit hotspot in the capital. Two things are instantly clear upon entering this space: the sense of community and people’s train-hard-or-go-home attitude.

The space itself has an industrial, urban vibe – complete with graffiti-adorned walls – for that extra drive to perform better than you did yesterday.

The workout space offers CrossFit classes, Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, Muay Thai, yoga, Pilates, gymnastics, cal­isthenics, personal training, and open gym facilities including a ladies-only section. This is also where you’ll find Steroid Café, where the menu is carefully labeled with macros, and Oxygen, a one-stop shop for all of your supplement needs.

G.Tip: Post-workout, grab a ‘Yalla’ smoothie and a side of pancakes. You can thank us later.

Abu Dhabi Al Ain Road
(+971) 2 555 1146

Mprove Fitness
Photo: Courtesy Mprove Fitness

Haddins Gym

Nestled in Zayed Sports City, Haddins is one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular fitness establishments. The classes here aren’t for the fainted-hearted; think: tire flips, farmers’ walks, stair sprints, and sledge hammer swings. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. The energy here is so contagious and everyone is so friendly that you’ll find yourself propelled forwards during your workouts.

The classes on offer are perfect for both strength training and fat burning. The daily schedule includes Workout of the Day (WOD) classes, HIIT sessions, boxing, swimming, and yoga, but if a group workout is not what you’re after, you can make use of the spacious weight and rig area. Both mixed and ladies-only classes are available, and all fitness levels are welcome.

Post-workout, venture outside to the adjacent Simple Café for a smoothie, shake, or to-go snack.

G.Tip: If you’ve made it through the week with some leftover energy, try the ‘Ultimate Circuit’ class on a Friday morning at 9 a.m. Be sure to get to bed early the night before; this class is fast and ferocious, and it will have you crawling out of the gym.

Zayed Sports City
(+971) 2 403 4233

Photo: Courtesy of Haddins

Cobra Fitness

Are you looking to try out a totally new fitness experience outside of your usual comfort zone? For a workout with a kick, look no further than MMA gym Cobra Fitness, which offers multiple classes under one roof, including Muay Thai, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, TRX, personal training, and pole fitness. There’s also a free-weights and gym area if punching and kicking aren’t on the schedule for you today, as well as the Cobra Café serving up drinks and snacks.

With a strong focus on form, you’ll get to practice those high kicks, uppercuts, and right hooks whilst getting fitter and more toned and learning about the mixed martial arts lifestyle. In the words of the Cobra team, “Martial arts are about discipline, control, mindfulness, and intensity – it’s more than a workout, it’s a lifestyle.”

The trainers here are extremely skilled, with years of experience under their belts, and the only rule is that you leave your ego at the door.

Al Bandar
(+971) 2 449 6524

Photo: Courtesy Cobra Fitness UAE

Train Strength and Fitness

Train Strength and Fitness is a new gym facility located in Abu Dhabi’s World Trade Center Mall. Described as a “hotel for trainers”, it’s the perfect place to turn to if you’re looking for expert help. Whether you’ve just embarked on a fitness journey or are training for a particular sport and require support or help, you can hire a freelance trainer at Train SF.

The gym boasts a killer soundtrack, 24 treadmills, five stair masters, a functional training area, a boxing ring, and a free-weights section. Even with all this on offer, the machines can get very busy during peak hours, so be sure to plan your workout schedule carefully. An on-site café selling snacks, juices, and shakes is also in the works and should be open soon.

G.Tip: Don’t miss out on the complementary sauna and shower facilities. Towels, shampoo, and conditioner are included here, so don’t worry about packing any of that with you.

World Trade Center Mall
(+971) 2 635 0020

Vogue Fitness/Crossfit Yas

Vogue Fitness/CrossFit Yas is located in Yas Marina and offers everything from one-on-one personal training to group classes and ladies-only options.

This gym specializes in CrossFit and is a hub for the local community, so if this is your sport of choice, expect to train alongside like-minded individuals who share common values around health and wellness. Everyone is here to be pushed beyond their limits and to inspire others to do the same. And that’s not to mention the gym’s inspirational coaches, amongst which is Jamie Greene, four-time CrossFit Games athlete.

You will need grit and determination to earn results in these classes. If you’re a newbie, we recommend starting with an off-ramp course or a metcon class that incorporates gymnastics, weightlifting, and endurance. It can take a few classes to get the hang of it, but you’ll soon be hooked.

G.Tip: Pop in to Boroughs next door and try the sweet potato protein bowl to support muscle recovery whilst regaining your energy.

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi
(+971) 2 583 2380

Crossfit Yas
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue Fitness