HASTINGS, Minn., Jan. 2, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- Anytime Fitness, the fastest-growing fitness club chain in the world, will soon open its first club in the Middle East. The first of several Anytime Fitness clubs in the State of Qatar opened on January 1, 2012.
Almuftah Marketing, a division of the Almuftah Group, will own and operate the clubs in Qatar, per the terms of an Area Development Agreement with Anytime Fitness, LLC. 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."
Expansion into the Middle East is the latest in a series of impressive international milestones for the company. In the last 12 months alone, Anytime Fitness has opened nearly 300 clubs worldwide, including clubs in New Zealand, Poland, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the company's 100th club in Australia. Anytime Fitness also has plans to open its first international corporate club in the United Kingdom in early 2012.
The franchise's remarkable growth has not gone unnoticed by industry analysts. Entrepreneur magazine recently ranked Anytime Fitness #11 overall on its annual "Franchise 500" list (up from #18 last year); #1 in fitness business category, and #10 in the Top Global Franchises. Anytime Fitness was also named one of "10 great franchise bets" by CNNMoney (June, 2011) and the "#1 Best Franchise Business Model" by FranchiseChatter.com.
"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."
The first Anytime Fitness club in Qatar will be located in Al Wakrah and it 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."
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.
Founded in 2002, Anytime Fitness is now the fastest-growing fitness club franchise in the world, with more than 1,300,000 members and 1,700 clubs worldwide. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient and affordable fitness options in friendly, well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Clubs are now open in 49 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Grand Cayman, Poland, the Netherlands and Japan. Join one club and use them all. Members in the U.S. also enjoy free access to AnytimeHealth.com, the most comprehensive wellness website available.
SOURCE Anytime Fitness