Gym operator Fitness First has explained its decision to install CCTVs across the changing areas of its select facilities. 

In an email to its members on 20 October, Fitness First Middle East said CCTVs would be installed at its clubs after permits to the effect were received from authorities. 

Premises under CCTV supervision would be "clearly marked", the operator stated, adding "the footage is under strict supervision and vigilance". 

Speaking to ConstructionWeekOnline, George Flooks, COO of Fitness First Middle East, reiterated that the decision had been implemented following the receipt of approvals from relevant authorities. 

Flooks also said that footage recorded by the CCTVs would be viewed by relevant authorities "only if required", and that mechanisms are in place to delete the footage after a specific time period. 

He continued: "Fitness First holds the personal safety of its members and staff in the highest regard.

"To reinforce and strengthen safety measures across our clubs, we took the considered decision to install CCTV cameras in public areas, specifically the gym, reception areas, and men’s locker area.

"The privacy of our members is of paramount importance to us and we have ensured that all cameras are visible, and are away from the shower area and the closed changing cubicles." 

Dubai's Department of Protective Systems was consulted prior to the installation of CCTVs. 

"The footage recorded by the contracted security company will be viewed by the relevant authority only if required," Flooks continued.

"In accordance to regional standards, the footage is deleted after 30 days.

"All members have been notified about the installation of the CCTVs. Our staff are on hand to explain where the cameras are, and to allay any concerns that our members may have." 

ConstructionWeekOnline's queries about why the decision to install CCTVs was taken; locations of the clubs where CCTVs have been installed; and which security company is managing recorded footage went unanswered.