DUBAI // The last of the almost 10,000 participants of Dubai Municipality's weight-loss programme took to the scales last night to see how much gold would be in store for them.
One of the top losers – or winners – at the weigh-in was 29-year-old engineer Artsiom Dzendzivitski, who lost 24 kilograms.
Taking advantage of the pool and gym in his building, Mr Dzendzivitski said the last few days were the toughest.
“There are many ways to get in shape but only a few that would help lose weight and not build muscle. Of course, I will continue until I reach my ideal weight.”
He added that he would use the gold to buy a gift for his mother.
Shabeer Ahmad and his wife Tehmena lost 12.8kg and 13kg respectively. They managed to collectively get 75 grams of gold which they hoped to put toward their two daughters' education fund.
“Today we will eat to celebrate, some sweets just to feel good. Tomorrow it is back to the diet,” said Mr Ahmad.
Palestinian Jamal Al Hotari lost 8.4kg. He weighed 171.1kg when the campaign started. “I had constant pain in my knees and back but I was determined to do something about it. Just two weeks of exercise in the gym and the pain went away,” said the 30-year-old telecom employee. “I enjoy exercising now,” he said.
Walking into the tent to weigh in, a woman screamed in joy. “How much did I lose?
“Oh my god,” was her response, on seeing the scales. Having lost 5kg, she was on the verge of tears when she knew she would win some gold as well.
Participants also included staff, with a security guard at the event shedding 15.5kg.
“I was assigned outdoor duties for most of the last few weeks. So I took advantage of that by making sure I walked a lot, although in short distances,” said Radwan Khalafallah.
He said he was going to give the 45 grams of gold he won to his fiancee as a dowry. “I promised her I would cut out my own flesh to buy gold for her to wear. Thanks to this campaign, that is exactly what I did.”
“We plan to have a big activity day to celebrate the winners of the gold,” said Mohammed Noori, director of corporate marketing and relations for the municipality.
No date has been set for the pay- outs, but Mr Noori said it would likely to be at the end of the month.