Sharjah resident wins Dh18,000 cash prize after shedding 36kg in weight loss challenge

The top four winners lost a combined 126kg

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 4 Mar 2022, 4:28 PM

Last updated: Fri 4 Mar 2022, 10:28 PM

More than 10,000 people across the UAE battled their bulge for 10 weeks, losing a combined 100,000kg with sheer hard work, determination and self-discipline.

The 'RAK Biggest Weight Loser Challenge' was launched by RAK Hospital in association with the Ras Al Khaimah Ministry of Health and Prevention. The top four winners lost a combined 126kg, the results of which were announced on March 4, which also marks World Obesity Day.

RAK Hospital's CSR initiative, which saw an average weight loss of 10kg per participant, aims to combat obesity. In the physical category, Ghazwan Abdulilah Dakak, a Syrian expat residing in Sharjah, lost 36kg and won Dh18,000 cash prize.

Dakak said the journey was challenging, but he kept his enthusiasm alive by following weekly diet tips, exercise routines and attending web seminars organised by top medical experts.

“It helped me develop specific and measurable goals and work towards them incrementally. Seeing these results has given me strength, confidence and determination to continue to remain fit and healthy,” he said. “I am happy to experience this massive transformation, as I feel active, lighter and energetic than ever before."

Hadeel Mohd Ahmed Hasan won the first prize in the female category after losing 31.9kg. She was awarded Dh16,000.

She said the changes she made to her dietary choices and exercise schedule will be permanent, even though it wasn't easy to follow the challenge for 10 weeks.

"I was determined to lose weight and my family supported me incredibly. I strictly followed the instructions of doctors and made small changes every day to my diet with a conscious effort to eat healthy and avoid junk food," Hasan said.

Dr Ferdaus Nalladaroo, the winner of the virtual category, lost about 27kg, while the fourth winner - Alaa Elkhider - lost 31 kg.

Dr Nalladaroo, an Indian expat from Mumbai, said he had to compromise heavily on his diet to gain the targeted weight.

Dr Ferdaus Nalladaroo, the winner of the virtual category, lost about 27kg.
Dr Ferdaus Nalladaroo, the winner of the virtual category, lost about 27kg.

“The one thing I missed was food. I had to eat salads, fruits, low-carb diet and zero-carb diet to achieve this. It feels great now,” said Dr Nalladaroo.

The challenge comprised three categories, with 5,655 participants registering for the physical, 5,289 registering for the virtual category and nine corporate teams in the corporate category.

Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director, RAK Hospital and CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group, said that obesity continues to be the most significant health crisis in the world. He noted that the UAE ranked fifth in the Global Obesity Index.

"It has also dramatically compounded effects from Covid-19. We continue our fight against obesity by encouraging UAE residents to adopt healthy lifestyle choices, one such initiative as a part of our CSR campaign is organising The RAK Biggest Weight Loser Challenge," he said.


“We are thrilled that more than 10,000 participants embarked on their fitness journey with us, inspiring people around them to be fit as well."

Professor Adrian Kennedy, chief wellness officer, Arabian Wellness & Lifestyle Management, the wellness division of RAK Hospital, said that the challenge continues to be a personal journey towards good health and has become a family event for many.

“With tens of thousands of individuals participating across the UAE, this is fast becoming a social movement," Kenney said.

The biggest weight loser challenge was designed in such a way that the 10-week programme started on December 17, 2021, and ended on World Obesity Day. The weight and BMI of the participants were recorded in the beginning of the challenge and the final weigh-in was conducted on March 1 and 2.

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