Being a personal trainer is a great career for those who have a passion for physical fitness and enjoy helping others. More and more fitness enthusiasts in the UK and Australia are moving to the United Arab Emirates to work as personal trainers and fitness instructors.
From state-of-the-art top clubs to local neighborhood gyms, there are thousands of health clubs and fitness centers in the UAE, actively looking for qualified personal trainers, fitness instructors and yoga experts. There are tons of fitness trainer job openings, both private and in fitness centers.
Working as a personal trainer in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman or any other part of the United Arab Emirates can be extremely profitable for those who work hard and with the right people.
If you want to turn your career around, don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here are some tips and suggestions on how to make a name for yourself in Dubai’s fitness industry.
First and foremost, if you want to operate as a fitness trainer in the UAE, you need to have:
- a certificate declaring your competence;
- a valid visa by registering with Dubai Sports Authority;
- the correct qualifications and skill set;
- the correct trade license;
- experience in the fitness industry.
There are many organizations that offer online certifications and training certification seminars. Consider that what is valid in Europe, Australia and in the USA might not be acceptable in the UAE.
Most personal trainers in the UAE work in one of the following categories:
- Freelancer in health clubs;
- Employed by a fitness club;
- Self-employed independent;
- Training clients at their homes.
Many personal trainers in Dubai now make a living training their clients in the gyms of their homes. Freelancing or working on your own without a valid visa is illegal in the UAE. You need to be accredited by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and have an insurance.
Working as a freelancer in a health club or fitness center means that you work for yourself using the gym to train people. Most gyms in the UAE will not allow you to train your own clients, unless you have some sort of arrangement with the fitness center. This arrangement usually includes paying a rent or commission to the gym every month. This allows you to use the gym to train people, with a win win situation for both parties.
It is illegal to work in the UAE without a valid visa. You need to have a valid visa to train people, otherwise the activity would be taking place illegally. Gone are the days when people could simply come to Abu Dhabi or Dubai and start working without a visa. You cannot work in the UAE on tourist visa. In 2012, Dubai first started to move towards accreditation of fitness professionals and by August 2013 it became a mandatory requirement.
The employment visa usually comes under direct sponsorship from an employer. If you are employed by a fitness club, they usually sponsor your visa. Failing to do so can result in a fine for both you and the employer, as well as deportation from the country and blacklisting.
How much a personal trainer in Dubai can make
The first year working as a qualified personal trainer in the UAE will probably not be rosy, unless you already have connections in the fitness industry.
As time goes by, better opportunities are bound to come out. If you are doing a good job with your clients, the referral business should increase, you will learn how to get new clients and move up to more affluent fitness clubs.
More clients you attract, more money you will make. If you are lucky enough to be freelancing in top clubs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or others parts of UAE, you can earn up to 500,000 Emirati dirham (AED) per year.