Dubai: The municipality’s health initiative has received an overwhelming response from residents who have jumped on the bandwagon to lose their weight in gold.
On the first day alone, 5,000 people signed up for the “Your Weight in Gold” campaign, and municipality officials say they expect to receive a total of at least 10,000 before the campaign ends.
Some residents, however, expressed their confusion regarding registration as they have not yet received an SMS confirming their participation despite queuing in line for over two hours.
“I registered at Zabeel Park on Saturday and was only required to give my name and mobile number. Since I did not get any response from the municipality, I called the hotline number 800 900 and made a complaint. Within half an hour, an official responded and confirmed that I was registered,” said Nishah Charania, 31, from Pakistan.
A municipality official confirmed that participants should receive their SMS confirmation within the week, and that the process has been slightly delayed to the overwhelming response.
Charania is determined to lose those few extra kilos this Ramadan by changing her diet to a vegetarian one, as well as using the gym in her building.
“I found out about this campaign on Facebook and joined because it sounded like fun to be part of this competition, and it was not about the monetary incentive. I eat mostly vegetarian meals, except for once a week when I go out, but I still watch my diet and have grilled or lean meat…nothing deep-fried,” she said.
Exercising while fasting is difficult to do, so as Charania pointed out, she plans to use the treadmill immediately after iftar.
“When ending my fast, I only eat dried fruits and nuts with two or three glasses of water. It is then easier to exercise and do yoga with a bottle of water by my side,” she explained.
Abdullah Abdul Rahman, an Emirati government employee, 49, has also encouraged his friends and family to enrol in the campaign. During the month, Abdul Rahman intends to jog around Safa Park every night after Taraweeh prayers, and lose about three or four kilos.
“I weigh 68kg and feel that I should lose a bit of weight from my belly. I used to exercise regularly throughout the year but slowly stopped, so now I want to make jogging a habit and continue with it for the rest of the year,” he said.
“Your Weight in Gold” campaign runs from July 19 to August 16, and aims to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage residents to achieve optimal body weight. The top three winners who lose the most amount of weight during the 30-day programme will win gold equivalent to Dh20,000.
Residents can still register at fives sites across Dubai —Gate 3 of Zabeel Park, the main gate of Al Khawaneej jogging track, starting point of the jogging track at Mamzar Beach, gate 4 of Safa Park and the main gate of Al Barsha Park.