Endurance test for a kilo of gold

DUBAI - The battle of 22 contestants to win a kilo of gold entered its second day yesterday. By lunch time, 11 hopefuls had surrendered. The winner of Dubai Shopping Festival's Golden Touch contest, being organised at the central lobby area of Gold and Diamond Park, will pocket a kiloof gold worth over Dh42,500.

By Mustafa Barakat

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Published: Fri 7 Feb 2003, 6:30 AM

Last updated: Fri 29 Oct 2021, 1:29 PM

Pre-selected contestants are still trying to keep their hands placed on a replica gold bar for as many days as possible to win the gold. Ultimately, one contestant simply has to outwait the others to take home the top prize. The contest is organised by the Gold and Diamond Park in cooperation with World Gold Council (WGC) and other key and co-sponsors. "It is one form of endurance races which has had an overwhelming response," said Moaz Barakat, Regional Director of WGC.

The idea for the event was presented to the WGC last autumn by the organisers, RSVP Events and PR, as a way to show gold in a new way to the broadest possible spectrum of UAE society. The WGC aims at expanding under the 'Dubai - The City of gold' umbrella, by providing strategic support for initiatives such as 'The Golden Touch' campaign to give the public the greatest possible access to high quality gold jewellery, coins and bars. One of the contestants, Mohammed Radhi, a Palestinian teacher based in Ras Al Khaimah, said: "I was selected through Channel 4FM radio network by correctly answering a simple gold question to become finalists. I have prepared myself very well by having enough share of sleep and eating a light meal. I hope I can make it."

Lesley Panzer, Director of Operations of the organisers RSVP, said: "Competitors are allowed only a 10-minute break every three hours, and one 45-minute break every 24 hours. The contestants are either UAE nationals, or residents with a valid visa. They are aged between 21 and 45 and have completed a medical fitness form to ensure that they are in good health." Regulations stipulate that the contestants should stand during the entire episode and they should not lie down, lean or sit, One hand should be on the gold replica at all times.

There are also other tough regulations governing health and conduct. Should any contestant decide they can no longer comply with the rules then they are 'knocked out'. To ensure full compliance of the rules and regulations, the competition is overseen by a panel of judges and a medical team.

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