6 Reasons Why Diabetes Rates Are So High in the UAE

Diabetes rates are remarkably high in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. In fact, quite a number of people in Dubai who have diabetes are not aware that they have it and thus neglect to seek treatment early enough. To understand why diabetes rates are so high in the UAE, and what you might do to protect yourself, read on to see the top 6 reasons why diabetes rates are so high in the UAE:

1. Obesity



Obesity drastically increases the risk of developing diabetes and unfortunately, approximately 60% of Dubai’s population are deemed to be obese and at a further risk of developing diabetes and other related conditions. Obesity can be effectively controlled by regular exercise and a consistently healthy diet.

2. Low Exercise Rates

Low exercise rates

As mentioned in the previous point, exercise helps to limit and control obesity which is one of the predisposing factors for diabetes. Unfortunately, most people in Dubai do not really get enough exercise usually due to the extreme heat. Exercise also helps prevent diabetes because it helps the body get rid of sugar in the blood, which is converted and used up as energy during exercise and other physical activity.

You don’t always have to go outside to get some exercise; you could consider joining an air conditioned gym or simply do some body weight exercises such as push-ups and squats from the comfort of your own home.

3. High Sugar Diet


In Dubai, like in most parts of the Middle East, various types of sweet foods are prepared as delicacies. While these cultural dishes are usually quite delicious, they are high in sugar which contributes to the build-up of glucose in the blood, and subsequently, the onset of diabetes.

You should try to limit your intake of sugary, high carbohydrate foods to a minimum in favor of healthy proteins such as lean meats, green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach, and fruits such as apples.

4. Smoking


Smoking has been identified as being one of the factors that has a definite effect at worsening the effects of diabetes and speeding up it’s development. Not only are people who have diabetes likely to worsen their condition by smoking, but chronic smokers are also at a much more advanced risk of developing diabetes.

Quite a number of Dubai’s residents are relatively heavy smokers, with a variety of options for smoking ranging from regular cigarettes and cigars to the more exotic such as shisha. The sheer number of heavy smokers in Dubai who seem to be ubiquitous in almost every social gathering means that even people who do not smoke themselves are exposed to second hand smoke.

For now, to avoid second hand smoke when you go out in Dubai, you may visit any restaurant safely as they are required to have non-smoking areas, and if you would like to visit a bar, choose one that has a clearly designated non-smoking area.

5. Sleep


It might surprise you to learn that getting adequate amounts of sleep usually, between 7-9 hours a night is important for preventing diabetes. One reason why this may be so is the fact that when people feel tired for any reasons including a lack of sleep, there is usually an urge to compensate by obtaining energy form food. Also, some doctors have claimed that the body’s natural reaction to sleep deprivation could lead to insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.

For a various number of reasons, it appears that Dubai’s residents are not getting the recommended amounts of sleep and perhaps this is a contributing factor to its high rates of obesity and diabetes. If you find it hard sleeping for 7-9 hours straight, whether because of the nature of your work or other reasons, you may try breaking up your sleeping hours into two 3-4 hour blocks. Evidence actually suggests that this method might be optimal.


Diabetes can be prevented particularly if it is spotted in its early stages so it is important to make regular visits to see a doctor for a health examination. Most of the time, regular exercise and a healthy diet will be enough to prevent diabetes but if you live in Dubai, you should not forget to pass up on that shisha and other forms of smoking, and make sure you get enough sleep on a daily basis.

A professional fitness instructor will be able to help you design a fitness plan that will keep you fit and healthy. If you would like to hire one, we would be glad to recommend a trainer you can trust. Get in touch with us at:

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