A Syrian resident in the United Arab Emirates became Dubai’s weight-loss champion after losing 26 kilograms in a competition that rewards the biggest weight loser with grams of gold, a local newspaper reported Thursday.
Ahmad Ebrahim al-Sheikh, 27, took home 63 grams of gold worth Dh10, 048 ($2,791), Gulf News reported.
Sheikh, also an architect, originally weighed 146.7kg but now he is almost 120kg.
“I looked at YouTube videos and searched for healthy diets on my own, and with the help of exercise, I lost more weight than expected,” Sheikh told Gulf News.
In order to lose weight, he had to follow a strict regimen.
“I did an exercise routine, twice a day for one hour and 45 minutes, which consisted of steps and push-ups. And when I got back home in the evening, I would walk the 16 flights of stairs to reach my apartment.”
The “Lose Your Weight in Gold” campaign by the Dubai Municipality, which took place from July 19 to Aug 16, attracted 2,648 participants.
Participants were required to lose a minimum of two kilograms in weight to gain one gram of gold, and for those who succeeded in losing five kilograms, the amount of gold doubled per each kilogram.
As for those who lost 10 kilograms and above, they were awarded three grams of gold for every kilogram they shed.
In total, the competition offered gold worth 2.8 million dirhams ($762,319).