HASTINGS, Minn., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Anytime Fitness LLC, the world's largest co-ed health club chain, announced today its intention to open health clubs in the Middle East, per the terms of an Area Development Agreement with Qatar-based Almuftah Group.
The Area Development Agreement will result initially in the opening of three health clubs in the State of Qatar, under the ownership of Almuftah Marketing, a division of the Almuftah Group. The Almuftah Group is a privately held company based in Doha, Qatar, involved in a wide variety of business ventures, including restaurant franchising (Pizza Hut, Arby's, TCBY, among others), consumer retail products (jewelry, watches, cosmetics), automobile sales, and manufacturing and engineering.
"The Almuftah Group is a successful and forward-looking business enterprise which is keenly in tune with evolving consumer tastes in Qatar and the Middle East," states John Kersh, Vice President of International Development for Anytime Fitness LLC. "We are very enthusiastic that our partnership will provide greatly expanded access to quality health and fitness facilities for the Qatari population."
"We are very impressed with the overall concept of Anytime Fitness, especially the franchise's 'Anywhere Club Access' policy (join one club and use them all)," said Ali A. Almuftah, Director of the Almuftah Group. "We also believe Anytime Fitness' 24-hour access will be very popular, as this is a new concept in the market and most Qataris are becoming increasingly health and fitness conscious."
Anytime Fitness, which recently surpassed 1,000,000 members worldwide, now has nearly 1,500 clubs open in eight countries: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, England, India and Japan. Clubs are slated to open soon in the Netherlands and Poland.
The first Anytime Fitness club in Qatar is expected to open by July of this year in Al Wakrah and will serve as the main base of operations for all of the Almuftah Group's future clubs.
"Our long range goal is to open an Anytime Fitness club in each town in Qatar, to make fitness accessible to everybody," Almuftah says. "We're also planning to open new clubs in the neighboring countries in the Middle East region."
Almuftah believes the Qatari government's focus on sports and recreation, including a winning bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, will help increase the public's interest in health and fitness.
"It is Almuftah's dream to build Anytime Fitness clubs throughout Qatar and we are working hard to achieve this dream," Almuftah says.
The State of Qatar is a peninsula situated in the Persian Gulf with a population of approximately 1.7 million people, and the highest GDP per capita in the world.
About Anytime Fitness
Founded in 2002, Anytime Fitness is now the fastest-growing fitness club franchise in the world, with more than 1,000,000 members and nearly 1,500 clubs worldwide. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing our members with convenient and affordable fitness options in friendly, well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Clubs are now open in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, India and Japan. Join one club and use them all. Members also enjoy free access to AnytimeHealth.com, the most comprehensive wellness website available.
SOURCE Anytime Fitness