IRVING, TX -- Gold’s Gym International announced a deal today that will expand its brand into four Arab Gulf states.
The master franchise agreement, signed with Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG), an organization based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), calls for 26 new Gold’s Gyms to be built in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. The deal also provides an opportunity for Al Ahli to operate an additional 66 clubs spanning from South Africa to Morocco and from Cyprus to Jordan, covering a total of 13 countries. Al Ahli could potentially become the largest Gold’s Gym master franchisee in the world.
Terms of the deal were not announced.
“AAHG did a remarkable job with their due diligence, looking into all aspects of the business and its viability on the Arabian Peninsula,” Joel Tallman, senior vice president of franchising and global operations for Gold’s Gym International, said in a company release.
According to an Associated Press (AP) report, Al Ahli operates an outlet mall in Dubai, UAE, and has interests in construction and petrochemicals. Outside of luxury hotels, there are few Western-style gyms in the oil-rich region, according to the report.
“We want to give people an alternative to what’s available right now,” Al Ahli CEO Mohammed Khammas told the AP. “Gold’s would definitely give a lot of people a run for their money.”
Last year, Gold’s Gym signed a 20-year contract extension with the master franchisee covering India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The Irving, TX-based company also signed a separate agreement last year to open 26 new gyms in the Philippines.
Gold’s, which currently has more than 150 clubs outside the United States, says its international gyms will equal or surpass the number of its U.S. clubs within the next two years.