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Dubai's hottest new fitness concept: Sweatshop Studios

Dubai's hottest new fitness concept: Sweatshop Studios

Located in Jumeirah Lake Towers

Image: Buro 24/7 Middle East

Promising to trade your lethargy for euphoria, invigoration and empowerment

An unpretentious boutique fitness studio has recently opened in Dubai's Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) offering a selection of innovative workouts mixed in with the tried-and-tested; all delivered in intimate class settings. Founded by friends Hoda and Siham, Sweatshop Studios is the first location in Dubai to offer Moksha yoga - a workout, which is built on the foundations of Bikram but with a gentler heat, and pose variations. Booty Barre, an addictive body transforming Barre class is also on the menu. The studio itself is green and eco-friendly, decorated with beautiful wood and minimalist touches. 

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Buro 24/7 Middle East sat down with the founders to discover more... 

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Sweatshop Studios founders Siham and Hoda

 

Congratulations on your new project. How did the Sweatshop Studios concept come about?

Hoda: we met in Canada while at university, and back then we both thought a run at the gym three times a week was enough to keep us fit. We were also unaware of the difference between quality and quantity in terms of our food intake. Slowly we started realizing that it took dedication and effort to maintain your physical wellbeing, it called for a change in our lifestyles... and that's what we did.

Siham: After traveling around, we both moved to Dubai separately and found that the fitness scene, although booming, had so much potential for growth. We wanted to add something less shiny and bright and more urban and raw to the scene, an unpretentious and green space where you can hangout, grab a juice or a homemade health bar while chatting with friends or catching up on some work.  

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How did you decide which workouts you wanted to feature at the studio?

Siham: We had experienced classes in the big cities like various Barre workouts that lasted an hour or so long but had a phenomenal effect on your body. Coming from the Dubai corporate world ourselves, we understood that time is valuable and wanted to offer high impact workouts practiced in the least amount of time.  

Hoda: Yes, one of these is Booty Barre, a cardio intense toning superpower that seriously transforms the body with continued practice.

Siham: We were also unsatisfied after following of the Bikram craze and realizing that it just isn't for everyone. We wanted a more gentle heating method that still made you sweat like crazy, we also wanted class length options, teaching style options and a spiritual but powerful yoga class that is intensified with heat. Our Moksha yoga classes are a hit - people love their effects!

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What has been the most challenging part?

Siham: Sticking to our guns! During the construction phase many contractors and suppliers pushed us to build a 'normal' space, but we were keen on following Moksha's sustainable building practices and on maintaining a vibe that represents cities that mean something to us and reflect a certain character that we miss.

 

What has been the most rewarding?

Hoda: People's sweaty faces!

Siham: Kidding aside, people's feedback has been so positive. They loved every little aspect of the space that we worked hard to search for and select, they loved the selection of classes you can get in one space under one unlimited package and they seem to be absolutely addicted to the sweat factor in every class we offer.

Hoda: We also love the support we're getting from our community, like the CrossFit studio being so happy about us opening right next door!

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What's your favourite workout?

Siham: Well, we made sure none of the classes we offer were 'easy', you'll never come out feeling like it wasn't a challenge. I've got a soft spot for Moksha, it's spiritual but also so toning and physically challenging that you feel fulfilled every session. I've found it difficult to find yoga classes like these with highly experienced instructors like Bruno in Dubai.

Hoda: I enjoy high intensity cardio workouts, which I was surprised to find in a Barre class, I also love that it targets the tough problem areas that other workouts cant seem to reach. Also, what's not to love about a butt lift workout?

 

You are in soft launch phase, what else can we expect to see at Sweatshop over the coming months?

Hoda: We're in the final stages of introducing pole dancing as a regular class at the studio; we've got a waiting list already!

Siham: We're also looking into workshops that are useful and relevant to our clients, as well as adding acro yoga and hanging yoga. Oh we're also working with nurseries within our community on kid's classes that fit into their schedule.

Our little café space is being developed as we speak, we're hoping to start offering healthy on the go options for our rushing and sweaty clients!

 

What do you think of the fitness scene in Dubai? 

 Siham: We're loving it!

Hoda: People are really beginning to appreciate what physical activity does to your body, and you see it with the increasing number of people running around the lake or the marina. People are also realising how important it is to keep your workouts varied so you don't miss out on targeting certain muscle groups, which is why all these great studios are opening in different areas.

We're also really happy about all the fun events and festivals that bring the yoga or fitness communities together! It is such a pleasure hanging out with like-minded people and learning how to grow the community together. 

 

 

Sweatshop Studios is located behind the Concorde Tower in JLT, Dubai, for more information visit the official website here.

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