Company Spotlight: ROAR Dubai

Meet 3x Olympian and co-founder of ROAR Fitness, Sarah Lindsay.

Tell us about yourself, your background, and your journey to founding ROAR Dubai.

My career started by working as a full-time athlete after I left school from the age of 16 through to 29. I proudly competed in 3 Olympic Games and won several medals at European and World levels as a junior and athlete. After retirement I began working full time as a coach and trainer, opening my first gym facility with a partner in 2013. I left this group under stressful circumstances in 2015 and launched the first Roar gym with my husband in June 2016.

Before founding ROAR Dubai, did you have prior experience as a business owner?

As previously mentioned, before opening Roar, I opened a gym facility in 2013. Before that, I never really had a job, I worked as a waitress when I was young. This money was used to finance my skating, a part time casual job, but other than that I have never really been employed.

Now having experience running my own business, I have really learnt so much on my feet. I have not been afraid to ask for advice and help along the way and when you are faced with something you do not know in business, that’s when you must learn fast.

What is the mission of ROAR Dubai?

My goal for Roar Dubai is for it to be on the same level as Roar London as we have a strong reputation there. Everyone in London knows Roar for the results we achieve, the atmosphere created by the Roar Team and with the celebrity clientele, it has helped massively in spreading the word about us to our future clientele. I want the same in Dubai – if someone wants to get in shape, they know we are the only place to go.

What makes ROAR Dubai unique?

We take a full 360 approach taking care of training and nutrition, leaving no stone unturned with regular check ins and progress meetings. The exclusivity of Roar being a super luxe private personal training only facility with only a few people in the gym at any one time helps the client feel confident. I think our biggest flex is how much the Roar Team genuinely care about the clients and the lengths they will go to make sure every client has what they need to achieve their goals.

Tell us about your transformation programme.

When people first start training with us, we do assessments before we begin the training. We do a movement screening and a nutrition assessment. The movement screening looks for any potential stiffness, tightness, weakness, potential for injury, injury history and from there we decide which exercises will be appropriate for that client’s body. The nutrition consultation is where we ask many questions and try to find out as much information as possible so we can make the plan bespoke to each person, including likes and dislikes, food restrictions, gut issues, eating disorders, hormonal issues, and lifestyle. Then from all that information, we decide what we think the client needs to eat. We work on a macro-nutrient basis, so we calculate all the proteins, fats, carbs, and calories so the client doesn’t have to worry about it. We usually do it in a meal plan format, in the form of menus. The client then chooses from a range of different meals according to what they like to eat for each meal.

Once a trainer has been allocated, they will be with you for the duration of your fitness journey. You train 3-4 times a week on the gym floor, and then every 3 weeks, the client will see their nutrition coach again who retests you to see how the body is responding to the program so far. This helps us know how to progress the nutrition plan and the training program because they have to work together to maximise results. We do 8- and 12-week programmes, which gives us time to see results and get people in shape and then help them to build the new diet and training as a habit. The education process through this is huge – you don’t go back to what you were doing before because you know too much!

Do you have a successful case study who has completed your transformation programme that you can share?

I think one of the best transformations we have had is our client, Kristina – who is the owner and CEO of B8 ArchiThatecture – an award-winning architecture and design studio. 

What have you learnt and achieved since founding ROAR Dubai, both on a professional and personal level? 

I am constantly learning and developing because every day, every move and decision is different, and the world is changing all the time. Luckily, I am not particularly sensitive or an emotional decision maker but at times I have had to learn to not take anything personally and to move on from negative situations fast. I’ve also learnt to listen to what people want. We are really good at what we do which is achieving results and we don’t deviate from that, but I am always thinking about how we can improve our offering and give more to our clients. I have learnt that it is important to enjoy the journey and the process because the end goal is never reached, you are just constantly moving forward and if you can’t enjoy the journey along the way, then what is the point of it. It’s important to also give yourself some time off to reflect, look at what’s happening and think about the next steps. Be creative and switch off from the daily messages and emails so you can really think about what your next moves are going to be, talk about them and have a clear head to do that.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to a new business owner?

My advice to a new business owner is to be open minded to learning from other people. You can become very tunnel visioned when and you end up seeing your own business through a very narrow lens. So, learning from other people and their past mistakes is a great way to learn. It’s also important to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs and listen to any advice they can give you.

What factor do you believe matters the most in the success of a business owner?

We really pay attention to what our customers want and always thinking how we can give them more and provide very good customer service and really good value for money. So rather than give things for cheaper, give people higher value.

Growth is integral to the life of any business, what growth do you estimate for ROAR Dubai over the next three years?

We are always planning ahead and what we are going to do next. I think if you are not expanding or working on the next project, the business ends up moving backwards. Over the next three years, we would definitely like another Dubai gym. At the moment we are also looking at properties in Singapore, so the next project is definitely Singapore and Dubai and then who knows!

How can we find out more about ROAR Dubai?

Find us at

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East