x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dubai slimmers earn a feast of gold worth Dh2.6 million

Dubai Municipality is set to pay out 16.8kg of gold worth Dh2.6million to the participants of the 'Your Weight in Gold' weight-loss competition.

A man weighs in at the Your Weight in Gold competition at Al Safa Park. Together, contestants have won more than Dh2.6m worth of gold. Jaime Puebla / The National
A man weighs in at the Your Weight in Gold competition at Al Safa Park. Together, contestants have won more than Dh2.6m worth of gold. Jaime Puebla / The National

DUBAI // Super slimmers will share 16.8kg of gold worth more than Dh2.6 million through the gold-for-weight challenge, which awarded dieters for every kilogram they lost.

Organisers of Dubai Municipality’s Your Weight in Gold contest say they have been overwhelmed by the response to the inaugural six-week challenge, as more than 10,000 people took part.

“This is one of the most successful competitions in the history of Dubai,” said Mohammed Al Noori, the municipality’s director of marketing and relations.

The contest – from July 19 to August 30 – offered an incentive to shed excess weight by rewarding those who lost more than 2kg with a gram of gold.

The more weight lost, the more gold won.

An initial weigh-in on the competition’s first day drew crowds of thousands to five locations – Safa Park, Zabeel Park, Mamzar Park, Al Barsha and Al Khawaneej – as dieters queued to get on the scales.

Mr Al Noori said the turnout was so big that the municipality could not accommodate everyone because of long queues at registration booths.

In the days following, news about the weight-for-gold initiative had spread across the globe.

“I think it was so popular because a lot of initiatives come about but the effort put into them can be nil,” said Mr Al Noori.

“This gave people the discipline to really lose the weight. We had people coming up to us and saying they had dieted and even visited the doctor to lose weight but it was this that gave them the discipline to lose the weight.”

The dedication of dieters surpassed initial expectations of the municipality and the challenge sponsors, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, said Mr Al Noori.

The municipality has now said that 16.872kg of gold will be paid out to the weight-loss champions, with the top dieters losing more than 25kg in weight.

According to current market prices, that amount of gold would cost Dh2.675m as per the rate of one gram of 24-carat gold, which stood at Dh158.5 yesterday.

Winners will be handed the gold in the form of one, two and five-gram coins at a lavish ceremony on November 7.

One of the top three biggest losers will be awarded Dh20,000 in gold.

Mr Al Noori said the challenge will be followed by a number of other weight-loss initiatives.

“Our efforts have reached the international level,” he said. “We want to keep that up.”

Details of the next contest will be announced shortly.

“I think lots of people will be surprised,” said Mr Al Noori of the next initiative, which he is keeping a closely guarded secret. “What we want to say is that Dubai cares for its citizens – they are worth their weight in gold to us.

jbell@thenational.ae