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Bahrain-based in­vest­ment firm Arcapita has in­vested an undis­closed sum in NuYu, a chain of women-only bou­tique gyms in Saudi Ara­bia.

The fund­ing will help NuYu de­ploy more than SAR250m ($67m) to grow its net­work from seven gyms to over 30 across the king­dom, the com­pany said.

NuYu’s ex­ist­ing gyms are lo­cated in Riyadh (five), Kho­bar and Dam­mam (one each).

The new cen­tres are ex­pected to create “hun­dreds of jobs” and pro­vide women with ac­cess to fit­ness out­lets in cur­rently un­der­served lo­ca­tions.

Princess Sara Al Saud, NuYu’s co-founder and creative di­rec­tor, said: “With sup­port from Arcapita, we are ex­cited to be able to ac­cel­er­ate our ex­pan­sion plans and grow our 6,000strong mem­ber­ship base.

The move comes af­ter a re­cent de­ci­sion by Saudi’s Gen­eral Sports Author­ity to grant li­censes for fe­male bou­tique gyms.

From a base of over 50 fa­cil­i­ties na­tion­wide, the fe­male fit­ness mar­ket in Saudi Ara­bia is ex­pected to grow at an an­nual rate of 30 per cent over the medium-term, ac­cord­ing to Arcapita.

Martin Tan, Arcapita’s chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer said: “The fe­male fit­ness seg­ment in Saudi Ara­bia is vir­tu­ally un­tapped with a pen­e­tra­tion rate of less than 1 per cent, while hav­ing one of the high­est rev­enues per mem­ber glob­ally.

“There is sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial for out­sized growth within this highly un­der­served seg­ment.”

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