The first gym in the UK catering specifically to Muslim women is set to open.
At Hayas fitness, in Cardiff, Wales, men will be banned, but non-Muslim women are also welcome, and there are no requirements to wear a hijabs or burkas inside the gym.
Mohammed Alamgir said that the idea for the gym came after receiving complaints from Muslim women in his community of the need for an all-women’s fitness center. Many said that they didn’t feel comfortable attending the local gym, even in the existing all-women facilities.
“This is the first gym dedicated to the needs of the Muslim community and has come about from the demands of the Muslim community,” Alamgir told Wales Online.
Haya will feature an on-site praying room, and there won’t be any loud music. The gym will feature conventional features like treadmills, weights, and fitness classes.
“It’s a commercial venture for a niche market,” Alamgir said. “It is to encourage this sector of the community to get fit…There are restrictions on Muslim women’s ability to get fit. We want to encourage them to be active.”
Haya was originally planned to open in May, but the original location fell through, and Alamgir is looking for another venue in Cardiff.
Alamgir said that he’s targeting for at least 100 signups, and that some people have already preregistered.