x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Dubai's 'biggest losers' prepare to cash in

Entrants for the gold-for-weight competition will be weighed over the next few days, and are hoping to have lost at least 2kg to reap the rewards of gold.

Registrations underway for the "Your Weight in Gold" competition at Al Barsha Pond Park, Dubai. Duncan Chard/The National
Registrations underway for the "Your Weight in Gold" competition at Al Barsha Pond Park, Dubai. Duncan Chard/The National

DUBAI // Nearly 10,000 super slimmers will find out from tomorrow how much weight they have lost - and by how much their efforts will be rewarded.

Dubai's 'Your Weight In Gold' campaign aimed to reward improving your health with wealth, by giving away gold for every two kilograms or more lost.

The first of four days of final weigh-ins begin tomorrow, at the same five locations where entrants registered - Safa Park, Zabeel Park, Mamzar, Al Barsha and Al Khawaneej. The scales will be available from 5pm to 9pm daily until Tuesday.

Dubai Municipality will give entrants who have lost more than 2kg a gram of gold for each kilo dropped. Those who shed 5kg or more will get 2g of gold per kilo, and those who have lost at least 10kg will get 3g a kilo.

"I've not done as well as I'd hoped," said Umm Mohammed, an Emirati mother of four. "It was not easy with most of the campaign taking place in Ramadan and Eid."

The 38-year-old housewife had planned to use the jogging track at Safa Park at least four times a week.

"I wanted to walk every day. I knew I could lose at least 5kg, which would have been a good start towards getting healthy," she said. "My doctor would've been very happy."

But she admitted she was lucky to get an hour or two of exercise each week.

"It was still more than what I'd usually get, so I'm not too disappointed," she said. "It was never about the gold. It was about joining in a community effort, it was about not saying I'll start tomorrow. Yes, I could have done better but I'm proud I did something."

The municipality is urging participants to update their personal details ahead of the final weigh-in by logging on to www.thedmgold.com and entering the mobile-phone number they used to register.

After entering the required details they must print a form and take it to the final weigh-in.

"I hadn't planned on exercising, just dieting," said Omar Ismail.

The 30-year-old Emirati comedian, who reckons he weighs about 82kg, said exercise would only make him put weight on.

"It's not easy for me to exercise, anything I do just builds muscles and makes me heavier," he said.

"I think I've lost about 3kg, I could've done better.

"This initiative has made me feel guiltier about what I eat."

Mr Ismail plans to hold off from weighing himself until the last day. "I'm just going to run around my block until Tuesday," he said.

The weight-loss initiative was launched on July 19 with the support of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, which is sponsoring the initiative by contributing Dh100,000 worth of gold coins.

If all the participants lose the minimum 2kg to qualify for the gold, the municipalitymay have to pay out up to Dh3.66 million in gold, according to current market prices.

"The civic body extends its sincere appreciation to all the participants in the initiative as they made it a grand success and a very memorable event," said Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of themunicipality, after 5,000 people registered in the first few days of the campaign.

"The enormous interest to participate in the contest shows the high level of public health awareness and education of the citizens and participants in the emirate of Dubai."