Huge rush to become 'biggest losers' in RAK

Huge rush to become biggest losers in RAK
Registration for the initiative has been extended for two more days following an overwhelming response from residents.

Ras Al Khaimah - 2,000 residents register for weight loss challenge with a prize money of Dh5,000.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sun 18 Feb 2018, 11:07 AM

Last updated: Sun 18 Feb 2018, 1:10 PM

Over 2,000 residents from across the Emirates have signed up at the Ras Al Khaimah hospital to become the 'biggest loser'.

The 10-week long weight loss challenge, being held by RAK Hospital, saw over 2,000 residents from across the UAE throng the hospital grounds on Saturday, February 17, some from as early as 7am.

Registration continued all the way till 7pm, and it has been extended to Monday and Wednesday (4pm to 6pm).

At the end of 10 weeks, the top two winners will receive Dh5,000 each and a year-long membership at gyms and spa facilities. However, participants were agitated at the time taken and the poor organisation of the registration event. Height, weight, BMI, BP, were noted and a general health checkup of participants were conducted.

The organisers stated that the responses for the challenge have been overwhelming. "People began crowding and registering as early as 7am," said Raza Siddiqui, CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group and executive director of RAK Hospital.

"The response has been truly overwhelming... we were only expecting 400-500 registrations, but this is witness to the fact that people are increasingly becoming more health conscious."

There is a limit of 10 kg for the challenge, and no surgical procedures are allowed.

People came with the hopes of losing up to 25 kilos and earning money. Some residents waited several hours to sign up. Egyptian national Islam Mansour, a RAK resident said: "I'm hoping to lose up to 25 kilos. I gained almost 16 kilos in the past few years due to an unhealthy lifestyle. I'm hoping to start changing with this challenge."

Mansour added: "I suppose the prizes could've been better, it would make the challenge more interesting."

Another resident, Indian national Hari Priyan, said: "The event is good... it encourages a huge group of people to start exercising. I am hoping to lose 5kg. I'm a heart patient and have undergone bypass surgery as well."

Organisers will add participants - who have been given a weight tracker chart - to a WhatsApp group. "People need to fill in their weight and log in the details once a week," added Dr Siddiqui. More prizes will also be announced in the coming weeks.

Sundus Jamil, a Pakistani national said: "I want to lose six to seven kilos... the initiative itself is great, but the event could've been better organised."

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