Arcapita invests in KSA-based women’s fitness chain

NuYu is a chain of women-only boutique gyms in Saudi Arabia
Updated 20 October 2018
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Arcapita invests in KSA-based women’s fitness chain

Arcapita — a Shariah-compliant alternative investments firm — has invested in NuYu, a chain of women-only boutique gyms in Saudi Arabia.

Arcapita’s capital will help NuYu deploy over SR250 million ($67 million) to grow its network of boutique gyms from seven to over 30 across the Kingdom. The new centers are expected to create hundreds of jobs, as well as provide women access to fitness outlets in currently underserved locations. 

The investment will enable the company — with five boutique gyms in Riyadh and one each in both Alkhobar and Dammam — to capitalize on the significant market opportunity arising from a landmark decision by the General Sports Authority to grant licenses for women’s boutique gyms. This follows recent legislation allowing Saudi women to drive, and to engage in public sporting events. From a base of over 50 facilities nationwide, the women’s fitness market in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30 percent over the medium term. 

Atif A. Abdulmalik, Arcapita’s chief executive, said: “We look forward to working in partnership with NuYu, helping it realize its full potential during this exciting period of social change. 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.”

Princess Sara Al-Saud, NuYu’s co-founder and creative director, said: “We are delighted to partner with Arcapita to guide NuYu’s next chapter of growth. We have been at the forefront of the fitness industry since our establishment 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. Launching new boutique gyms across the country will make it easier for Saudi women to access fitness and reap the benefits of regular exercise.”

Martin Tan, Arcapita’s chief investment officer, said: “The female fitness segment in Saudi Arabia is virtually untapped with a penetration rate of less than one percent, while having one of the highest revenues per member globally. Given Saudi Arabia’s young and growing population, combined with rising health awareness in the Kingdom, there is significant potential for outsized growth within this highly underserved segment.”


Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 March 2019
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Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Annual horology exhibition Salon des Grandes Complications (SDGC) is returning to Saudi Arabia for the third year in a row, with shows in both Jeddah and Riyadh. The event will showcase the latest masterpieces from some of the most celebrated watchmakers in history. The fine watchmaking exhibition will kick off in Jeddah at the Hilton Hotel April 8-11, and then move to Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh April 15-18.

Salon des Grandes Complications debuted in Dubai in 2014, later branching out to Saudi Arabia due to high demand and the appreciation of exceptional timepieces in the Kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia is a key Middle Eastern market for watchmakers — last year saw a year-on-year increase in the import of Swiss watches by 6 percent, and this figure is only expected to increase with the introduction of new policies. 

The capital city of Riyadh is home to over 10,000 watch collectors while Jeddah on the other hand, is Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub, with almost as many horological aficionados estimated to live there. 

Designed to offer a platform for Maisons and enthusiasts to convene, Salon des Grandes Complications creates opportunities for knowledge to be exchanged and collectors to discover — often for the first time in the region — limited editions, the newest launches and unique rarities. 

Among the international brands that will be present at the 2019 edition are Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Montblanc, Rudis Sylva, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Zenith. 

With the introduction of several new brands, there will be a more diversified display of timepieces, from innovative novelties to classic creations, grand complications and high jewelry timepieces. Also new to this year’s edition will be a private majlis (a gathering place for social events), where special talks will be hosted by various brands and experts will share their personal insights into modern day horology. 

SDGC has successfully attracted over 80 international Swiss, German and Italian brands during the past five years.

The event will be held alongside the 10th annual Jewellery Salon 2019, a well-established jewelry exhibition in the Kingdom.

SDGC 2019 will be held in partnership with Bentley Motors and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi Arabia.

The event will be open free of charge to all professional visitors from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.