UAE offers fatter wallets for thinner waists
In the United Arab Emirates, the phrase “worth its weight in gold” now has a literal meaning. As part of an effort to get the oil-rich Middle Eastern country to slim down, the government is offering to give residents a gram of gold for each kilogram, roughly 2.2 pounds, they lose by Aug. 16.
Much like a boxing match, participants had to weigh in by July 19 to qualify for gold payout at the conclusion of the 30-day challenge. The Gulf News reported that at least 10,000 Emiratis are expected to have signed up, and the top three finishers will win an additional bonus amount of gold equivalent to 20,000 dirhams, or roughly $5,550. Incidentally, a gram of gold goes for about $41.
So, why the weight-loss push? Evidently, the UAE is not immune to overindulging on fast food and other poor health habits. The country is even one of the top 10 fattest nations in the world.
Given that wellness programs in the U.S. simply offer gift cards or a discount on health insurance premiums, insurers in this country may have to raise the rewards. But don’t bet on them offering such a golden opportunity.
UAE residents are hoping to cash in on their weight loss.