The gym business in Qatar is booming. From 2006 to 2012, the fitness industry grew by a whopping 34.4%! This Middle East nation is catching on to health and wellness trends and implementing them to suit the local culture. Exercising is on the rise for the following reasons. 1. Disposable Income With just 2.6 million people, of which 2.3 million are expatriates, the State of Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world. It is home to the world’s 3rd largest gas and oil reserves. The youthful urban population is increasingly spending money on fitness, health, cosmetics and spa treatments. 2. High Rates of Obesity According to the World Health Organization, as of 2015, Qatar has the 8th most obese population on the planet. This can be attributed to the nation’s rapid growth and infrastructure. With the old ways of desert living left behind and the eases of modernity and technology implemented, the need and opportunities for everyday physical labor and activity have lessened. Fortunately the government has been taking steps to combat this epidemic, which has led to high rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and genetic disorders. Strides are being made on the healthcare front, as Qatar’s healthcare system has been rated 13th in the world. This has led to a greater awareness of fitness and exercise to lose weight and prevent future health conditions. 3. Womens’ Workouts Qatar is a society that is largely traditional and Muslim. Separation of sexes is the norm for schooling, social events and by extension, most fitness centers. While men make up a majority of the general population and gym members, women are looking to exercise as well. This has led to more investments in female fitness in Qatar.