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Interview: Building the “Fitness in Qatar” Online Community

Nadia Al Haroon, 28, is the Qatari entrepreneur who launched Fitness in Qatar, a site that serves as a single platform to connect fitness enthusiasts with workout classes and promotes gyms, studios, and trainers based in the country. Read on to find out more about this online community and one-stop shop to improve your overall health.

1-interview-nadia-al-haroon-founder-of-fitness-in-qatar DANNIELLE BLAKER: I understand that you were raised in Bahrain; how does it compare to Qatar?

NADIA AL HAROON: Bahrainis are very liberal and the lifestyle is quite relaxed. In Bahrain, I went to a mixed private school and attended gatherings with men and women. I love Qatar, but it was a bit of a culture shock when I moved here.

What industry were you working in prior to launching Fitness in Qatar?

After I finished studying at the University of Queensland in Australia, I moved to Qatar and worked in the Ministry of Business, Economy, and Trade. From there, I moved into banking, but I knew that I wanted to start my own business and do something with more purpose to help make a difference.


Have you always been into fitness?

Not really. I started getting into it for health reasons as I was constantly sick and was taking antibiotics, which are commonly prescribed in the Middle East as a cure; but this vicious circle kept repeating itself. I was exhausted and I knew that I had to change my lifestyle. I researched other ways to improve my health through prevention. I replaced fast food with a healthy diet and I was also inspired by meditation and yoga to improve my overall wellness. I wanted to start taking other fitness classes, but it was difficult to find schedules in Doha. I had to call all of the hotels to find out about classes. This is what sparked my idea to create a hub where all the fitness classes in Qatar could be found in one place.

Photo: Instagram/@fitnessinqatar

Photo: Instagram/@fitnessinqatar

Describe in detail Fitness in Qatar’s concept.

It’s Qatar’s best online health and fitness community. We list all the fitness classes taking place in Qatar. We also promote aspiring athletes in Qatar to help give exposure to the people working in the fitness industry. If you’re looking for personal trainers, we have a dedicated section with their bio and contact details. We also have an e-commerce section where we sell specialty health food products and fitness gear.

What’s your favorite health food at the moment?

I love Buff & Bake peanut butter; it is a high source of protein, even in small doses. I use it in smoothies, desserts, and sandwiches.


What are some of your favorite fitness classes?

Where do I begin; there are so many great classes. I love Mixed Level Yoga at Yama Yoga Studios (ASAS Tower); Spinning at The Ritz Carlton Spa; MetaFit at the Doha Rugby Club; CrossFit at CrossFit Quwwa (West Bay branch); Bootcamp for Ladies at the Dahl Al Hamam Park (run by Strongbox Qatar); TRX at The Bay Club (Intercontinental Doha); and Insanity at The Pearl Qatar (Tower 11, Amenity Level).

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