Dubai’s Free Zone chief to forgo family iftars in favour of diet and exercise

Ahmed Bin Sulayem plans on sharing his experiences with the Joe Cross 30-day Guided Reboot challenge on social media.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the region's largest commodities hub and the licensing authority of JLT Free Zone in Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National)
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Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Free Zone, has volunteered to participate in a special fitness programme and diet this Ramadan.

Bin Sulayem plans on sharing his experiences with the Joe Cross 30-day Guided Reboot challenge on social media.

“Sometimes you have to sacrifice some things for the benefit of yourself. It’s hard, but it’s worth it,” he says.

One of the difficulties in agreeing to the diet was telling his mother he would not be able to attend family iftars, he said.

On his first day, he had a blended fruit and vegetable juice, but included protein powder, as he still needed energy to exercise.

“Arguably there are two key issues we need to overcome in order to support a healthier society. The first is through education and the second is through transparent and clear labelling on packaging,” says Bin Sulayem.

He stresses that studies have shown that we should be eating a minimum of seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Rob Richards, the regional fitness manager at Fitness First Middle East, expresses his support for Bin Sulayem’s efforts: “You will always find him jogging the track around the Kobe Bryant basketball court in the DMCC Free Zone community or climbing 60 floors in the Almas Tower. His determination to succeed is commendable.”

Matt Coe, a Dubai-based corrective exercise and functional movement specialist, says: “Given Ahmed’s ongoing issues with posture, we are pleased to see him place healthy eating habits at the top as this will go a long way in helping find the trigger points in his muscles to release them and help them function better.”

DMCC previously sponsored Dubai Municipality’s Your Weight in Gold 2013 campaign, which attracted more than 10,000 people who committed to the 30-day health and fitness programme.

More recently the DMCC opened a park for the people who work and live in the DMCC Free Zone, which includes running tracks, a basketball court, a mini golf course and exercise equipment.

* The National staff