Health professionals in Dubai have been emphasizing the benefits of exercise to promote fitness, longevity and mental health, reducing the burden of chronic stress on the health sector.

Now, with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic reform agenda, young Saudis are ready to take advantage of opportunities and state support to start their own businesses in the growing fitness industry.

Many of these young people come up with completely new approaches to the concept of health – with a greater focus on mental health, social relationships and creativity, loneliness from the traditional gym sector and often more male experience.

Born and raised in the city of Taif, in the southwestern city of Taif, Sarah al-Turkistan, she saw a yawning gap in the market that was created by fitness enthusiasts but was limited by limited gym facilities.

One year after launching her business in the coastal city of Jeddah, Loca Studios offers a unique fitness experience for women, including regular exercise, music, dance, multi-sensory and therapeutic activities. Even a chance to have coffee with new friends.


Born and raised in the city of Taif, in the southwestern city of Taif, Sarah al-Turkistan, a female fitness enthusiast, saw a gap in the market. (Provided)

Al-Turkistan told Arab News: “With exercise people can heal their bodies from physical and emotional damage.

As a graduate of the medical profession, she studied at the College of Clinical Pharmacy in Jeddah, recognizing not only the physical benefits of weight loss and muscle growth but also the mental benefits of exercise.

What she learned from her study was the understanding of the limitations of drug treatment. “It usually helps you in one area but it hurts your body in another,” she said.

Instead, she has become a staunch advocate of universal lifestyle choices to improve and maintain overall health.

Following her education, Al-Turkistan started purchasing pharmaceutical chemicals at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, but soon switched to Nahdi Pharmacy and established the company’s marketing department. It was here that she developed her business skills and became deeply involved in universal health.

During her stay with Nahdi Pharmacy, she published a study on treating diabetics for the American Diabetes Association on a joint project with the Saudi Ministry of Health and the Jossen Diabetes Center in the United States.

“My mission in life is to help people find solutions outside of medicine.


The work is indeed experimental. It will soon feature live jazz musicians around the studio, with clients in the arts, sports and coffee. (Provided)

As World Diabetes Day (November 14) approaches, health professionals are using the holiday to encourage people to eat more nutritious food and lose weight.

While working at Nahdi Pharmacy, al-Turkistan became a certified diabetes educator, and her studies led her into the sport of fitness. But the real experience of her inner self is her own fitness journey.

Al-Turkistan, who was unsuccessful in trying to join the gym to lose weight following her pregnancy, was registered with a friend and future business partner Zumba. “I liked it right away,” she said.

“I love losing weight without even dancing. I was having a good time. My business mind wondered why there was no such thing (in business) in Saudi Arabia because it really changed my life. That’s when he clicked.

As the government began to relax parenting laws and encourage women and young people to enter the workplace and start their own businesses, al-Turkistan established Loka Studio in a four-story, 3,000-square-meter building. Of Jeddah.

Although the venue was much larger than you might think, a brainstorming session with her silent partner came up with a bigger plan to incorporate fitness, art and music into the whole community.

The work is indeed experimental. It will soon feature live jazz musicians around the studio, with clients in the arts, sports and coffee.

“Music is always a fun exercise. We had two events in which my sister played Odin in the back of the yoga classroom and combined the colors of a room with the music. .


Young Saudis are taking advantage of opportunities and state support to start their own businesses in the growing fitness industry. (AFP / Photo File)

The multi-sensory experience is further enhanced by the fragrance in each room, completely changing the beauty of the gym and exercise. “It has an amazing impact on people,” al-Turkistan said.

“People buy gym membership, but they don’t go. Great for business but not good for guests. In our case, people actually pay for membership, and I see the faces I see every day – they never stop.

On its first anniversary, Loka Studios announced plans to open a second branch in Riyadh before expanding across the kingdom.

Al-Turkistan says it is proud of the changes taking place in Saudi Arabia, with about 2,000 subscribers joining the studio in September alone.

She hopes to improve her gym experience and expand her business to make a small but significant difference.

Our government is finally taking this seriously because many people are sick in hospitals and affecting the economy.

“They thought in terms of people, and I’m very happy with him and his vision for 2030. It made me stronger as a business woman, knowing that I would get everything I did. The right support from the government and the whole country, ”she added.


As Loka Studio celebrates its first year, al-Turkistan plans to open a second branch in Riyadh. (Provided)

Many young Saudi entrepreneurs want to make an impact on their communities – especially in ways that improve their quality of life through physical and mental well-being – as part of the government’s transformation efforts.

Al-Turkistan: “We have now got a lot of Saudi coaches in the fitness industry and many of them are self-educated. You are getting a certificate, which is amazing, and a lot is happening in the community right now. ”

In connection with the security situation, al-Turkistan plans to open Loka Academy to train others interested in entering the fitness industry.

“I received a certificate from the US military training program on how to reduce stress. So far, only five Saudis have been trained, but I believe it will change people’s lives.

“The joy that comes from the outside world – the dancing, the entertainment, the exercise – is all good, but people have to be healed first. So I’m really proud that this is something new in Saudi Arabia,” she added.

Twitter @CalineMalek

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