How to Establish a Personal Training Business in the UAE?

by Zaara 31, Mar 2020

Health and fitness is a big profession. According to the most recent estimates, the global fitness equipment market is alone expected to be worth a staggering AED 45 billion by 2021. Putting aside the rise of equipment, apps, and wearable technologies, one of the most significant growth areas that have grown significantly is that of a personal trainer.

The population of the UAE has a fondness for fitness. By the year 2022, it is expected to be over 1,400 fitness outlets spread right across the country. If you have a passion for exercise and the skills needed to train others, it is easy to get started as a personal trainer in the UAE.

Qualifications of a Personal Trainer in the UAE

First of all, there is a specific criterion that you need to apply for permission to work as a personal trainer in the Emirates. Since there are a lot of personal trainers in the UAE you need to have a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training. That is the entry-level for the UAE market of personal trainers. This gives one the opportunity to work in a gym with a client one on one or to be a freelance personal trainer.

Along with all the proper educations and legal visa, you also need to slog on you as a person and build yourself into one of the most excellent trainers out there. Simply being skilled will not be enough; you need to be good at what you do, so you can deliver concrete value to your clients, which will then be complemented by your business skills.

Once you have achieved your training qualification, you will need to register with the Register of Exercise Professionals UAE (REPs UAE). The register lists all fitness professionals in the UAE who hold approved qualifications as personal trainers. REPs UAE membership is compulsory for all fitness professionals according to the Dubai Sports Council.

Establish a Personal Training Business in the UAE

Here are a few things one needs to follow to set up a personal training business in the Emirates.

1.Apply for a Business License

The first thing that you need to do while setting up any business in the UAE is to obtain the license. For a personal trainer, this procedure is two-fold. If you set up a business in a free zone, then you need to get an individual training permit which allows you to establish your business. Once you have a free zone license, you will then need to apply for a work permit from the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare in Dubai. It is essential that you complete both stages of this process because free zones can issue sports services license but cannot authorise to work in the mainland.

2.Low Entry Barriers

The barriers to entry in the UAE for a personal trainer are low. Most of the UAE free zones that accommodate sports services will usually issue a license in a matter of days, and applying for your work permit is also fast and easy. To make an application for your work permit, the first you’ll need to register with the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare (via the website) and then with the UAE Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). REPs is a self-governing, public register which recognises, and necessarily approves, the qualifications and expertise of fitness professionals in the UAE. The documents required by the Authority are-

  • An application form (printed)
  • Certificate of REP qualification
  • An outline of the kind of fitness activity you wish to specialise in
  • A copy of your visa and passport

3.Opening your Own Office or Studio

Subject to the kind of physical space you want to open, you must apply to DED. Once you are given the go-ahead, you can then negotiate a lease for your chosen building directly with the landlord. As this process can be complicated, it pays to seek guidance from a UAE company formation specialist before embarking on this step.

4.No NOC Required from Local Sponsor

A No Objection Certificate (NOC) is not obligatory to obtain a personal trainer permit, allowing trainers to grow their company on the side until they are ready to go it alone.

5.No audit Requirement

Unlike many businesses in the UAE, there are no requirements for personal trainers to get finances audited, or to provide books to the government.

If you decide to start a personal training business or become a personal trainer, then the process to register for it is quite complicated. We at Commitbiz are a platform to help you start any company in the UAE. Contact us today for more information.


1. What is the initial important qualification for being a personal trainer in the UAE?

You must have a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.

2. Which membership is compulsory for the fitness professionals according to the DSC (Dubai Sports Council)?

You must register with and have a membership of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) UAE.

3. Where do we need to apply for a work permit after obtaining the license for personal training business in the UAE?

The work permit is to be obtained from the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare in Dubai.

4. What is the REPs UAE?

It is a self-governing public registry that recognizes and certifies the qualifications and expertise of fitness professionals in the United Arab Emirates.

5. Are there any audit requirements for personal training in the UAE?

No, the personal trainers do not have to get their finances audited.