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Surviving Riyadh

Closing Down Of Saudi Women's "Illegal" Gym

Closing Down Of Saudi Women's "Illegal" Gym


In 2010 the Saudi Arabia's government closed down all female gym or wellness centers that they considered 'illegal' because they were not supervised by the government hospital or clinic.

The fitness facility that was shut down was the Saudi women's gym located in Jeddah. The health official in Jeddah stated that anyone who violated regulations that governed the running of health facilities would be severely punished because this involved the health of the people.

Some Saudi women launched campaigns to oppose the government decision. They were forbidden to use the men's club, therefore, they needed a place to exercise outside the home. Women needed a fitness center to get relief from lots of pressures experienced at home and at work. Pregnancy and giving birth were some of the stages they had to go through in life. At the gym, the Saudi women would find others to support them. The Saudi women especially the young believed this order from the government was bad for their health.

Poor diets and exercise were blamed for a high rate of heart disease and diabetes in Saudi Arabia, yet the health authorities, got rid of the means to resolve or prevent these diseases.

Keywords: Saudi Women, illegal gym, Saudi Arabia, all female gym, fitness facility, health authorities

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