Fun-filled workouts, this way…

A quick Google of ‘reformer Pilates’ may reveal machines that resemble torture machines. But take it from us, it’s not half as hard as it seems – and it might just spark a new lifelong obsession. This month, why not give one of Dubai’s new reformer Pilates studios a go?


Recently opened in JVC is CIMA, the first women’s-only holistic wellness space in the neighbourhood, specialising in mat, reformer and aerial Pilates. Located in an unassuming residential building is a spacious centre with three studios: the Reformer Studio, comprising eight state-of-the-art Merrithew beds, with a choice of beginner, intermediate and all-level classes. Then there’s the Aerial Studio, and the Wellness Studio for yoga, mat and barre. It’s a calming space, but you can expect a tough workout designed to tone, stretch, and lengthen, with knowledgeable instructors on hand – we love Aussie Freyja Rampe’s killer sessions – to offer individual adjustments to ensure everyone is getting the most out of the class. Redeem your free class by registering online.

Binghatti Crescent, JVC. Mon to Fri 7am to 10pm, Sat and Sun 8am to 5pm, from Dhs130 (single class). Tel:(0)52 689 0628. cima.uae


This new studio in Springs Souk, which opened in February, wins the prize for most varied class offerings, including reformer Pilates, barre Pilates, aerial Pilates, Pilates Motr (which, judging by images online, is a new gadget that’s part foam roller, part resistance trainer), pre- and post-natal Pilates, athletic reformer (featuring a jump board), and private sessions on a Cadillac – the crème de la crème of Pilates carriages. Classes are small and focused, and taken by friendly teachers who emanate a true passion for Pilates.

Springs Souk, Mon to Fri 6.30am to 8pm, Sat 8am to 5pm, Sun 10am to 7pm, Dhs269 (trial three classes), Dhs175 (single class). Tel: (0)55 474 0012. @tula.studios

Flex Studio

Located within Al Sufouh, the recently opened Flex Studio offers small group reformer Pilates classes limited to four people, allowing individual coaching. The studio, which already has branches across Saudi Arabia, has been designed to create a sense of calm – though that’s not to say classes are easy. Their sessions offer a full body, low impact workout, using lighter weights to tone arms and abs, and heavier springs to sculpt hips and glutes.

Al Sufouh Suites, Floor A, Al Noor Street, Al Sufouh, Dhs200 (single class). Tel: (0)50 109 8345. @flexstudio_uae 

Opening soon


An exciting newcomer to Downtown Dubai is Posture, its second branch after the highly-successful flagship on The Palm. It’s a beautiful Balearic-style space – double the size of the Palm spot – and spread over two floors with a sleek aesthetic, three state-of-the-art workout rooms, coffee and shake bar, a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, not to mention uninterrupted Burj Khalifa views. The schedule is packed with classes running from morning to evening – just be sure to nab your spot in advance, because if it’s anything like the Golden Mile original, it’ll be super popular with in-the-know Pilates lovers.

The Residences Tower 3, near Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, Dhs160 (single class). Tel: (0)58 580 7256. @thisisposture_

Balans Studio

Soon to grace Dubai Marina is Balans – a stunning new studio poised to bring harmony and, ahem, balance to the city. This luminous space – all cream, sage and stone – is every Pilates enthusiast’s dream, featuring modern reformers, wall-to-wall mirrors, a chic and minimalist aesthetic, while offering ample room to move freely without encroaching on your neighbour’s space. Other renderings hint at luxurious amenities, including a cold plunge room, coffee area, massage and physiotherapy rooms, and a separate studio dedicated to aerial yoga and stretching.

Emaar 52/42, Dubai Marina, near Address Beach Resort. @balansstudios


Arguably Dubai’s coolest new fitness spot is the soon-to-open KARVE, a New York-inspired studio in Alserkal Avenue pioneering the transformer Pilates method. It’s low-impact – but don’t let that trick you into thinking it’ll be easy. A side-step from classic reformer, this 50-minute workout is designed to ‘karve’ the body and mind, using time-under-tension techniques, pulses and isometric holds to initiate a serious burn. Expect 50 minutes of triceps dips, side planks and lunges performed on the machine, with a breathwork session at the end to re-establish a mind-body connection.

KARVE, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai.