Dubai, UAE: 13 Dec 2014
RJs Kris Fade, Priti Malik and DJ Sash Cheer Participants at Community Event
The sixth annual Beat Diabetes Walk saw the overwhelming participation of more than 14,000 UAE residents in a bid to raise awareness about the condition and promote the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
This year, the Beat Diabetes initiative raised over AED1,000,000 through the participation fee for the walk and a concerted fundraising drive conducted across Landmark Group’s 500+ stores across the UAE. The funds have been earmarked to the Al Jalila Foundation to further the cause of diabetic research.
Renuka Jagtiani, Vice-Chairperson, Landmark Group, led the walk along with Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation, officials from Dubai Sports Council, and directors and senior management from the Landmark Group.
Commenting on the sixth edition of the walk, Renuka Jagtiani said: “We are grateful to the people of the UAE and the wider region who stepped out of their homes to join the Beat Diabetes Walk. This year, over 50,000 people in India and across the GCC region have already walked to show their support for diabetes awareness and we hope each one of them is inspired to make small lifestyle changes to either prevent or manage the condition.”
“We thank the local authorities for encouraging and wonderfully supporting such community events, particularly Dubai Municipality, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Police and Dubai Pulse support and Al Jalila Foundation,” added Jagtiani.
Starting seven in the morning, Zabeel Park buzzed with participants in blue T-shirts and caps. The emcees for the walkathon, RJs Kris Fade, Priti Malik and DJ Sash stepped up the momentum with live music and entertainment, while popular singer Wahu performed a song, especially composed to support diabetes awareness. The release of blue balloons, symbolic of the global color for diabetes awareness, accompanied by confetti showers signaled the start of the walkathon.
Complementing the mood of the morning, Fitness First hosted spot fitness challenges at the Fitness Zone, as well as Zumba and Body Balance classes. Participants seeking a holistic mind and body experience were invited to join yoga workshops conducted by Balance Wellbeing 360.
The morning included several fun components to create a carnival like atmosphere. At the Fun City Kids Zone, children were entertained with fun sporting activities such as mini basketball, wall climbing, bouncy castles, rodeo bull and assorted games. Babyshop’s photo-wall prompted participants to pose for selfies.
At the One Touch Village, pharmaceutical majors Johnson & Johnson took the participants through the key aspects of diabetes management, including the importance of regular blood glucose testing and monitoring. In addition, the experts offered insightful nutritional advice and introduced the key components of the Lamasat programme. A ‘One Touch Step Up for Life’ singing contest was also hosted at the village that was judged by celebrities Saad Ramadan, Maria Khalife and Wahu. The winner of the contest won an all-expense paid trip to Universal Studios, Hollywood, California.
Organisations that supported the sixth edition of the walkathon include Al Jalila Foundation, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Pulse, Dubai Municipality’s Public Parks and Horticulture Department, Dubai Police, Allied Transport, Aramex, Barclays, Johnson & Johnson, DP World, Emirates Neon Group, Gulf Business Machines (GBM), Mashreq Bank, ONETOUCH, Standard Chartered and Transworld Group of Companies.
The Beat Diabetes initiative is of particular significance to the GCC countries and India with both regions ranking high in the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)’s list of countries for prevalence of diabetes.
Landmark Group is the only retail and hospitality conglomerate to lead diabetes related educational and community-focused activities across six GCC countries and India. In November 2014, Landmark Group’s walkathons held across Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and India drew an overwhelming response. The Beat Diabetes activities for 2014 will conclude with walks scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia later this month.