How to get a personal trainer’s licence in the UAE

personal trainer Dubai, UAE

The UAE is home to one of the fastest-growing health and fitness markets in the world. With hundreds of gyms, health clubs and boutique studios, the UAE offers real growth opportunities for personal trainers with the right qualifications, experience and skills. In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the process, costs and benefits of setting up as a personal trainer in the UAE. We will explore the following topics:

  • Advantages of becoming a personal trainer in the UAE
  • How much can personal trainers earn in the UAE?
  • Steps to obtain a personal training business in the UAE
  • Cost of opening a personal training business in the UAE
  • Why choose SPC Free Zone?

Advantages of becoming a personal trainer in the UAE

There are countless benefits to opening up your personal training business in the UAE. Expatriates account for more than 85% of the region’s population too, which offers staggering opportunities for foreign-language personal trainers. Other benefits include:

  • Fast-growing demand

Recent reports suggest that the UAE fitness sector will become a USD 600 million market by 2025. Online health and fitness are growing at an annual rate of 16% too.

  • Healthy lifestyle

The UAE is a haven for sports lovers and fitness fanatics. In fact, there are more than 1,000 fitness outlets and exercise centres dotted across the whole region.

  • Resilient industry

The past few years have put a strain on most industries, but the UAE’s health and fitness sector have remained remarkably strong. More than 25% of the population worked out 3-5 hours per week in 2021, compared to 15% in 2020. These numbers are set to soar in the coming years too.

  • Maximise profits

The UAE offers one of the world’s most competitive tax regimes, with 0% personal income tax and corporate tax on earnings of up to AED 375,000. Foreign business owners can enjoy 100% repatriation of profits and zero paid-up capital too.

  • Higher quality of life

As a personal trainer, you can tap into the UAE’s many lifestyle benefits, including some of the world’s best beaches, sports facilities and restaurants.

How much can personal trainers earn in the UAE?

Personal training is a lucrative industry in the UAE. If you have the right qualifications, skills and experience, the region is ripe with opportunities. Wages for personal trainers in the UAE average between 80,000-120,000 AED. But besides this, earnings are dependent on a few other factors:

  • Type of business setup

Most personal trainers in the UAE are either employed by a gym or health club, freelancers at a gym or health club, or self-employed. If you’re freelancing at an expensive gym catering to exclusive clients, you can earn as much as 500,000 AED per year. However, the gym will usually charge commission or rental fees as high as 60%.

  • Network

Freelance and self-employed personal trainers will need to invest a good amount of time in developing a network of clients. Many trainers start off working in a gym and then choose to open their own studio once they have built up loyalty with their clients. Social media is important too. The larger your client base, the higher your pay packet.

  • Qualifications

All personal trainers operating in the UAE are required to have at least a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training. If you have additional qualifications, you can charge higher rates. If you have a specific specialism, such as kickboxing or ballet barre, you may find clients are happy to pay higher fees too.

Steps to obtaining a personal training business licence in the UAE

Like any other business, you’ll need to ensure you have a valid business licence to set up as a personal trainer in the UAE. Getting a personal training business licence is easier than you might think, but you’ll need to make sure you have all the right paperwork in order beforehand. To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve broken the process down into three straightforward steps:

Step 1: Submit your application

First, you’ll need to select the correct business activity and provide your company name. Make sure your chosen company name adheres to the UAE’s naming conventions to avoid unnecessary holdups at the beginning of the process. For instance, your company name should not be seen as offensive or blasphemous in any way. You should also make sure it isn’t already registered. If everything is in order, you can receive your licence in as little as two hours in SPC Free Zone.

Step 2: Set up e-channel services

The UAE now offers a speedy e-channel service that eliminates unnecessary paperwork and makes it easier for you to manage the application process. It also makes applying for your entry permit much easier. Once you’ve set yourself up, you can apply for your permit. This is usually valid for up to 60 days.

Step 3: Activate status change

When you’ve received your entry permit, you will need to activate your status change. Most people can do this in-country, but you may need to exist and re-enter the emirate depending on your nationality. All business owners in the UAE also need an Emirates ID card to legally operate a company. To apply for this, you’ll need to book a series of medical and fitness checks. Once you have passed this, you will receive the ID card, which allows you to rent properties, open bank accounts and take out a phone contract.

Cost of opening a personal training business in the UAE

The cost of opening a personal training business in the UAE starts at just AED 5,750 in SPC Free Zone. This price includes your business licence, Memorandum of Association (MOA), business activity certificate and a visa allocation of up to 100 quotas, alongside other benefits.

However, there are additional costs to consider too. You may need to rent a private studio or pay a fee to rent out space at a local gym. You will need to register with and pay for membership to the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), as well as other national and industry bodies.

Our business advisors at SPC Free Zone will be happy to provide a bespoke quote tailored to your specific requirements and circumstances, free of charge.

Why choose SPC Free Zone?

Located in the heart of Sharjah, SPC Free Zone offers fast and flexible business setup in the UAE. We offer a comprehensive range of affordable packages with competitive benefits too. For instance, business owners can choose from 1,500 business activities, 20 visas under one licence and a dual licence that offers both mainland and free zone on the same licence.

Our customers benefit from a whole string of other benefits too, including zero paid-up share capital, 0% corporate and personal income tax and 100% foreign ownership. Plus, with immigration services onsite, you can have your e-commerce or any other licence issued in under two hours.

Ready to launch your personal training business in the UAE? Reach out to our friendly team for a quick and easy setup service.

Start your business journey.

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