What It’s Like to Train in Dubai’s Most Exclusive Gym

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Embody Fitness Dubai
Photo: Courtesy of Embody Fitness

Let’s be honest; not many of us enjoy going to the gym. They’re loud, they’re sweaty, they’re pretty intimidating, and they’re packed with guys admiring their guns in the mirror. Slogging away on a treadmill as you count down the minutes or battling to get some floor space to do your sit-ups isn’t exactly an enjoyable way to work out.

Ever been to a gym scented with Hermès?

Enter: Embody Fitness, which, frankly, should be referred to more as a “Transformation Center” than a gym. If you don’t believe me, you can see the incredible transformations for yourself online. A one-stop shop for getting fit, healthy, strong, and lean, Embody brings tailored workouts, nutrition, and sports therapies together in one impressive members-only destination.

Originally hailing from London, it boasts a client list of countless celebrities, influencers, and professional athletes, which is hardly surprising seeing as it has some of the best PTs in the business. The fact that it’s more luxurious than most five-star hotels also helps. Ever been to a gym scented with Hermès? Neither had I. In fact, Embody was a place of many fitness firsts for me and, by far, the coolest, chicest, most luxurious gym I had ever stepped foot in.

Getting Started

There’s no “one size fits all” approach here because everything is tailored specially to you, your body, and your goals. Embody was founded by husband and wife duo James Miller and Sharare Hau, who have used years of experience in the industry to create the ultimate personalized approach and bespoke service for their clients. Their offering includes in-house sports therapists to help with any aches and pains, a nutritionist to create the ultimate complementary meal plan if you’re after an added body boost, and treatments and massages to tick every box.

Before things kicked off in the gym, I met with Director of Personal Training Rob Richards and was given a thorough consultation that covered everything from my sleep pattern to my diet, my body-fat percentage, and my mobility levels, ensuring that my personalized program would be perfect for me.

Embody Fitness Dubai Gym
Photo: Courtesy of Embody Fitness

The Space

Spread across 10,000 square feet and conveniently located on Sheikh Zayed Road in the Lamborghini building (obviously), this Olympic-standard facility is seriously chic. Kitted out with the finest custom-made equipment, it’s all light and open spaces accented with a cool palette of gray, black, cream, and stone. You’ll be forgiven for forgetting that you’re in a gym – it feels more like a luxury boutique hotel.

The walls are adorned with quirky art pieces and motivational quotes, the spa-like changing rooms feature ESPA products and power showers, and there’s even a members’ lounge area complete with a protein-shake bar where you can hang out post-workout. The shakes come as part of your package, which is just one of the little touches that puts Embody Fitness miles above other fitness studios.

The workout space itself is bright and airy thanks to huge floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal the city below you. There’s a female-only room that offers total privacy and direct access to the changing rooms as well as a separate room for group classes, which also come as part of your membership. Every little detail has been carefully thought out to ensure you aren’t just getting the best workout ever but that you are actually enjoying being here. And trust me, you will.

Embody Fitness Dubai Changing Room
Photo: Courtesy of Embody Fitness

The Workout

Forget about spending hours on a cross-trainer or torturing yourself on a treadmill because there’s none of that here. In fact, there isn’t even a treadmill in the gym (happy days) as the focus is on resistance and muscle strengthening. Why? Because the more muscle you have, the more calories and fat you burn.

As good as running is for your fitness and cardiovascular system, it’s not going to cut it when it comes to shedding excess pounds and building long, lean muscle, so lots of weights and body-resistance exercises are used instead – think: rope waves, kettlebell carrying, barbell lifts, and a whole load of squats. Three words: Feel. The. Burn. In just four sessions, I was lifting and squatting double the weight I started on, and nothing is more motivating than that.

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The Vibe

As soon as you walk through the sliding glass doors and enter the spacious lobby, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another world. Big smiles greet you around ever corner and, because it’s a members-only gym, there’s no risk of running into a million sweaty faces when you arrive for your workout. In fact, at most, it was myself and two others training with Embody’s PTs at any given time.

Considering how hard you work out, the vibe here is seriously chilled and couldn’t be less intimidating. It might be an old-school hip hop playlist providing the soundtrack to your squats one day, and 90s pop the next. The trainers are all incredibly down to earth, constantly exchanging cheeky banter and pushing you to your max without the need to stand over you and scream in your face. Your progress is constantly monitored throughout your eight- to 12-week program and the team is always there to give you a helping hand – or a hand up if you’ve lost the feeling in your legs, which is likely.

Embody Fitness Dubai Lounge
Photo: Courtesy of Embody Fitness

The Verdict

I’m normally the first one to leg it out of a gym, but this is one I can’t actually wait to get back into – and that says it all.

For more information or to book in for a consultation, click here or call (+971) 52 723 9333.

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