Rising weight and/or obesity levels are known health issues in
the US, UK and other countries in the Western World. However it is not just a
It is also an issue in the Gulf States, where the finger is being firmly pointed at sedentary lifestyles and the increase in fast food outlets.
Less than 2 weeks ago, in a 30 day health initiative coinciding with Ramadan (month of fasting), Dubai Municipality decided to reward citizens who successfully lose weight.
The prize? Titled, ‘Your Weight in Gold’ , the scheme gave participants a gram of gold, worth about £30, per kilo (minimum 2 kilos) of weight lost. It also supplied them with health focussed information on how to lose weight.
The scheme also offered the 3 individuals who lost the most weight, called "golden losers," the chance to enter a draw; the winner of which will receive a gold coin worth£3,500.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality
"Ramadan is the most appropriate season to launch such initiatives as it reminds us about many health benefits of reducing weight and encourages us to take strong steps to our bad lifestyles."
Today, in response to huge public interest 6,000 registrations within the first few days of the ‘Your Weight In Gold’ campaign launch, Dubai Municipality decided to double the amount of gold from 1 to 2 grams for every kilo lost above 5 kilos (up from 2 kilos) and 3 grams for each kilo lost above 10 kilos.
“The new decision”, said Hussain Nasser Lootah, “is expected to motivate more people to participate and make sturdy competition among the participants, turning it into one of the biggest community initiatives.”
Dubai Municipality is not just focusing on weight loss; it’s aim is to improve the general health of their citizens. Mohamed Al Noori, Director of Corporate Marketing and Relations, said:
“We need healthy people in the city to live in our beautiful buildings. To achieve this goal the civic body has provided around 91 public places including public parks, residential parks, squares, jogging and cycling tracks and open beaches, encouraging people to do regular fitness activities.”
The final weigh-in will take place on 16 August. Time will tell if those who lose weight and claim their gold reward manage to maintain their weight loss over the coming months/years.