Billy Graham and Patrick Hegarty were working for an engineering firm and playing rugby for the Abu Dhabi Harlequins when they started doing CrossFit years ago. They both got their CrossFit certification, started holding boot camps, scouted for a location and in 2014 opened their first gym: Vogue Fitness/CrossFit Yas in Yas Marina.
The partners’ enterprise has been on a relentless growth spurt ever since: that first location has since expanded to four CrossFit boxes, and a ladies’ and outdoor gym. There is also a personal home training business and Vogue Fitness branches at Al Muneera, Al Ghadeer and Cleveland Clinic. They opened in Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai last year and have plans for Ras Al Khaimah this year. In March, they will open their new location at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi. No wonder their tagline on Instagram is “WE ARE WHAT’S NEXT.”
One reason for their success? The pair were well ahead of the “gym as social hub” trend, which has since exploded worldwide and in the UAE. When Hegarty moved to Abu Dhabi, for example, he realized that his social circle revolved around the rugby team.
“My only alternative as an expat was to play rugby or go to brunch,” he said. “That was when we decided to create a fitness community… we wanted to create something here that you can do three, four, five, six, seven times a week, and so you have got your work life, home life and this is your fitness life.”