Spa News Dubai

Wellness & Spas Middle East To Promote Personal wellness And Health Trends

60% of Emiratis classified as overweight; obesity levels in expatriates equally high

Dubai , UAE: Obesity creates a major risk for diet-related chronic diseases, including type two diabetes, cardiovascular illness, hypertension and stroke, and in some circumstances even certain forms of cancer.

The significance of promoting personal wellness throughout the UAE and Middle East will be tackled at the upcoming Wellness and Spas Middle East exhibition, due to take place from June 7-9, 2009, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Exhibitors at the show will demonstrate the latest products in aerobic, resistance machines and exercise equipment, showcasing the bene-fits of a good workout in order to maintain the optimum body weight. The trade fair will also display the recent spa techniques in products which will help stimulate personal wellness in the region.

Elaine O’Connell, Senior Show Manager of Wellness & Spas Middle East, organized by Epoc Messe Frankfurt, believes that this special focus on fitness and slimming will benefit the many thousands of con-sumers across the region that are taking an avid interest in leisure related health activities. She said, "Obesity is fast becoming a real issue for the 4.9 million people living in the UAE. Figures indicate that 60% of Emirati nationals are overweight and this figure is broadly in line with the obesity levels within the expatriate community; particu-larly those from the western hemisphere. It is a problem for the whole region; in fact, the UAE has the second highest rate of type two dia-betes in the world, and the Middle East, as a whole, is under a seri-ous obesity epidemic."

It is not just the UAE, more than 60 per cent of the just over 1 million people who live in Bahrain are either overweight or obese. The King-dom of Saudi Arabia is also not immune to this plague, with obese and overweight citizens accounting for an alarming 36% of the popu-lation. In Saudi Arabia, sixty-six percent of women are overweight, while Kuwait has been ranked 8th in the World’s Fattest Countries table, ahead of the United States.

The statistics represent a huge opportunity for the health and fitness industry, and Wellness and Spas Middle East is placed at an ideal position to help deliver solutions for the region’s obesity problem.

Many industry experts blame the soaring obesity rates to the growing affluence of the Gulf States over the last few years. Local food con-sumption patterns changed drastically with the adoption of sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating laced with the Western fast food that the region has come to crave. Also the lack of health education is of-ten sighted as a cause.

Ms. O’Connell added, "Spas have evolved into an innovative industry constantly redesigning society’s choices, moving away from the pro-vision of aesthetic treatments into the realm of health and wellness. Aerobics, yoga and fitness training are featuring as common-place spa therapies, along with nutritional advice and traditional medical systems, such as ayurveda and naturopathy."

Wellness and Spas Middle East will take place along side Beauty-world Middle East. In 2008, the twin exhibitions attracted 850 exhibi-tors representing 1,650 brands from 50 countries. In addition 31 country pavilions exhibited, reaffirming Beautyworld’s and Wellness & Spas’ roles as the biggest and most authoritative shows of their kind in the Middle East region.

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