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.”


Saudi musicians perform at Aloft Hotels concert

Aloft Hotels is Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers.
Updated 20 November 2018
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Saudi musicians perform at Aloft Hotels concert

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers, licensed by the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia and in partnership with Eplus, recently organized a music event in Riyadh titled “Music Makers Live @Aloft Hotels.”

Emerging artists were invited to the hotel where selected musicians auditioned along with Hejazi, a popular local band. The performing musicians were in the spotlight at Aloft Riyadh on Nov. 9.

“Saudi Arabia has a great number of very talented artists that are awaiting their opportunity to emerge. With ‘Live at Aloft Hotels’ concert series arriving in the Kingdom we aim to provide local talent with the perfect platform to showcase their music,” said Adel Jubran, general manager at Aloft Hotels.

“At Aloft we love music and we believe this is a great way for us to contribute back to the community through providing another outlet for the Saudi youth to be entertained,” he added.

The artists who participated in the auditions submitted a video file of their best performance along with their personal information via WhatsApp.

The event was part of the “Live At Aloft Hotels” concert series, an international program aimed to support emerging artists around the world by hosting free live music performances. The best performing artists at the live shows receive valuable rewards from Aloft Hotels.

The event partner of “Music Makers Live @Aloft Hotels,” Eplus, is a leading company in the entertainment sector having produced popular events across the Kingdom, including Michael Fadel’s concert in King Abdullah Economic City, “Khan Al-Khalili” festival in Jeddah, and “Bakshat Al-Eid” in Arar.