Dubai, the futuristic city that rises dreamlike from the Arabian Desert, is home to the world’s tallest building, the largest man-made island, the largest shopping mall and the most expensive RV ever made.
But its superlatives and abundance don’t end with construction. With the introduction of fast-food chains combined with a culture of convenience, obesity rates in the “City of Gold” are starting to rival those of the United States. In fact, the Pulitzer Center reports that more than half of Emirati nationals living in Dubai are overweight.
How to nip it in the bud? While some cities may attempt to battle the bulge with restrictive measures, government officials in Dubai are trying a more rewarding model: they’ve announced a weight-loss contest in which participants will be rewarded with a gram of gold for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost during a 30-day challenge.
Overweight United Arab Emirates (UAE) residents are being invited to enter the “Your Weight in Gold” contest which kicks of July 19; contestants must show up and be publicly weighed. When the contest concludes, the top three biggest losers will receive a share of nearly $28,000 in gold coins. Ka-ching.
Because of a partnership with the Dubai Gold and Jewelry Group and the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, the city says there is no limit on the gold payouts. At current prices, the dieters will earn about $45 per kilo. The winners will be announced at the final weigh-in on Aug. 16.
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