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FitnGlam Founder Helena Hijazi Talks About Her Wellness Journey, and How She Hopes To Transform Women’s Fitness in the UAE

Dress, shoes, Valentino. Photo: Mannbutte

It’s safe to say that FitnGlam is more than just a gym. It’s where fashion meets fitness, a hotspot where style and wellness come together seamlessly. With its blend of on-trend aesthetics and top-tier equipment, FitnGlam offers women more than just a place to work out — every corner, styled with modern equipment and eye-catching decor becomes an alluring, stylish sanctuary for holistic wellness. Launched in 2021, FitnGlam is a testament to transforming women’s fitness in the UAE. With a presence in locations like Al Quoz, Sports Society – Mirdiff, and Dubai Hills Mall, and a fresh site in Abu Dhabi’s Reem Mall, it stands as a fashionable symbol of empowerment in the fitness realm. 

Recently, Vogue Arabia had the pleasure of sitting down with Helena Hijazi, the fashion-forward visionary behind FitnGlam, to unveil the story behind the wellness haven.

Jacket, skirt, Kenzo; Shoes, Jimmy Choo; Tights, Calzendonia

Photo: Courtesy FitnGlam

Were you always a fitness enthusiast or did this interest start later in life?
I first became passionate about fitness in Australia at 23, right after the birth of my third child. I realized I needed to stay fit for my children. With limited women-only fitness options in Australia, I hired a personal trainer to come to my home. Using just dumbbells and a bench, I noticed significant progress within six months, which drove my passion further. A couple of years later, after moving to Dubai, I was pleased to find more options, yet surprised that a concept like FitnGlam wasn’t already present.

Dress, gloves, Chiara Boni. Photo: Mannbutte

When did you first realize the need for a female-centric fitness space?
This realization came during my visits to mixed gyms in Dubai. I often sought out women-only training areas, but they were usually tucked inside larger mixed gyms, with these spaces often being dimly lit and lacking diverse equipment. Additionally, if a woman wanted a mix of cardio, classes, and weight training, she’d need to visit multiple venues. That’s when I recognized the gap that FitnGlam could fill, offering a comprehensive solution for women.

Jacket, skirt, Kenzo. Photo: Mannbutte

Why do you think it is important to have a holistic fitness and wellness space like FitnGlam?
Such a space is vital because women often juggle numerous roles in life, and sometimes we need to prioritize ourselves. FitnGlam isn’t just about physical fitness; it’s about fostering a community of like-minded women.

Top, pants, Sportmax; Glasses, stylist’s own; Gloves, Chiara Boni. Photo: Mannbutte

Can you share any anecdotes of your interactions with members?
One particularly moving interaction was during an Instagram giveaway. The winner, a member, met me in person to receive her prize. When I inquired about her experience with us, she revealed that joining FitnGlam marked the first time she’d stepped on a treadmill in 20 years. This made me so emotional because this is why FitnGlam was created — to provide a safe, empowering environment for women to become the best versions of themselves.

Dress, top, boots, Fendi; Gloves, Chiara Boni. Photo: Mannbutte

Where do you see FitnGlam in five years?
I envision FitnGlam going global, accessible to every woman, whether through a nearby location or virtually. We are going to open two new branches soon in Ras Al Khaimah and another one in Dubai. More than just a fitness center, FitnGlam represents a holistic wellness approach, and I hope it serves and supports women worldwide.

Dress, Michael Kors; Glasses, Tom Ford. Photo: Mannbutte

Photographer: Mannbutte 
Stylist: Polina Shabelnikova 
Model: Olga P at Fashion League 
Art direction and digi tech: Albina Gaisina 
Photography assistant:  James Aquillano
Makeup: Arianna Scapola 
Hair: Ivanna 
Style assistant: Amrit Maggo
Production: Malaika Naik 
Location: FitnGlam, Dubai Hills Mall

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