In Dubai, people who shed pounds are being rewarded in gold under a new initiative aimed at fighting obesity, report newspapers.
"Your Weight in Gold" is the title of a campaign promising one gram of gold for every kilo shed, provided a minimum of two kilos (4.6 pounds) of weight are lost by August 16.
AdvertisementThe campaign coincides with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends before mid-August.
During Ramadan, the faithful refrain from eating, drinking and smoking between dawn and sunset.
But many tend to tuck in heartily after dark, despite warnings that overindulgence can be bad for the health.
The three campaign-winning losers will each receive a gold coin worth 20,000 dirhams ($5,449) through a lucky draw. Other weight losers will share gold coins worth 200,000 dirhams.
Participants will be required to use scales installed in public parks, will receive guidance from dietitians and will have to pledge not to use unhealthy methods to lose the weight.
Many Gulf countries are struggling to reduce the level of obesity among their populations.