New Regulations for Gyms in Abu Dhabi: Price Lists, No Auto Renewal, Trial Periods, and More

New circular covers refunds, price lists, minors and other issues

Gym owners and managers have been obligated to safeguard rights of members in a new circular issued recently in Abu Dhabi. The new order covers price list, auto renewal, trial period and compensation for closure, among others.

Price list

The Department of Economic Development has made it mandatory for gyms to place a price list in Arabic, including all types of memberships and their fees, with the option of using a second language to display the list.

No auto renewal

They have been asked to refrain from adding the provision for automatically renewing the membership contract. Instead, gyms should provide a new contract if the customer wishes to renew the membership.

The Department also prohibited gyms from requesting or storing customers’ bank card data.

Trial period

The circular obligated gyms to grant the customer a trial period of no less than three days, during which the customer can cancel the membership without any charges.

The trial period will be granted only once to the customer.

Compensation for closure

The Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi also instructed gyms to compensate the customer for the days in which the facility is closed (outside of normal business days), and to refrain from transferring the membership to other branches without obtaining written approval from the customer.

If the closure period exceeds one month, the membership must be terminated and any amounts due must be returned.

The circular noted that if the gym is unable to provide the services or features agreed upon or granted with the membership, the customer will be compensated for the days during which these services or features were not available, or the membership can be cancelled and the amount returned to the customer.

If the participant is under 18 years of age, a guardian must act on the minor’s behalf in signing the contract.

Failure to cooperate

The department warned that failure to cooperate in enforcing these provisions may prompt it to use the powers stipulated in the Consumer Protection Law, including the right to review the judiciary to invalidate arbitrary or unfair provisions, in accordance with Article 17 of the law, and to impose any other penalty stipulated by any applicable laws or regulations.

Source: gulfnews

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