Dubai: Losing that hard-to-shed belly fat and getting one’s life back on track is the reward. The gold just comes as a bonus.

This was how participants of the ‘Your Weight in Gold’ campaign viewed the month-long weight-loss activity organised by Dubai Municipality. The campaign aims to reward participants with gold for every kilo shed. On Monday night, participants gathered at the first Open Day camp which featured group exercises and dispensed expert advice to people who want to lose weight properly.

Emirati student Mousa Mishmish said he has always wanted to lose weight but lacked the motivation. So when the campaign was launched, he thought it was high time to see a new self.

“At first my motivation was the gold. But later on I realised it would just be a big [joke] on me if I gained the weight back,” Mishmish, 18, who has lost seven kilograms in two weeks, told Gulf News.

Two weeks into the campaign, Mishmish said his life has had a complete turnaround.

“Before I was a couch potato living a lazy life. Now I’m more active. I exercise, walk, or jog every day,” Mishmish said.

Mother and son tandem Safa Tolba and Mohammad Hashad, 14, are both optimistic about the weight loss rather than the gold. Tolba said since joining the campaign, they have removed in their grocery list items such as soft drinks, chips, and sweets to make way for a healthier lifestyle.

Hashad, who weighed 91 kilograms at the start of the campaign, has so far lost seven kilos. He said he is determined to lose more. “I’m doing this because I want to be healthy. Before I lived a dull life—always on the couch playing computer games or Xbox. Now I’m more into swimming, biking, and playing football,” he told Gulf News.

Expatriates Jayakrishna Prithvi and Sharmila Aniff also came to the event to learn how to institute changes in their lifestyle to achieve better health. Both said they have always wanted to lose weight and the campaign—done on a large scale—gave them the best motivation.

Around 10,000 people have registered in the campaign which will end on August 30. Participants who lose one to five kilograms will be rewarded with one gram of gold for each kilo they lose. Those who lose five to 10 kg will get two grams of gold for each kilo lost while those who shed more than 10kg will get three grams of gold per kilo shed.

Two more Open Day camps will be held at Zabeel Park – Gate 3 on Wednesday, and at Mamzar Beach Track on Friday. All activities will start at 5pm and end at 9pm.