DUBAI, 23 April 2008: Dubai Holding, the Middle East's leading conglomerate, announced that the region's first ever comprehensive employee Wellness Programme is being rolled out to the Corporation's 18,000 employees, following the successful completion of its pilot phase.
After a year-long process of development and refinement, uniquely spearheaded by Dubai Holding's Executive Chairmen, the corporate Wellness Programme will ensure all Dubai Holding employees receive advice and practical help with exercise, nutrition and stress management.
"Globalisation and urbanization are converging to make chronic disease a problem for most countries, regardless of their levels of income," according to Cedric Betis, Corporate Wellness Manager, Dubai Holding.
"According to the WHO, deaths from chronic diseases globally will increase by 17 per cent over the next 10 years, from 35 million to 41 million. Dubai Holding has recognised that chronic diseases in the region, like diabetes, obesity and strokes, are a growing and costly threat to organizations and governments.
"Working adults spend more time at work than in any other settings, so the workplace is an important place to institute changes in behaviour. The Dubai Holding Wellness Programme will have a significant positive impact on business performance and employee health. Although it is a first in the Middle East, we hope that other major employers in the region will take it as a model for their own programmes".
According to Betis, the inspiration behind the Dubai Holding Wellness Programme came from the 2007 World Economic Forum annual meeting, held in Davos, Switzerland, which was attended by His Excellency Mohammad AlGergawi, Chairman of Dubai Holding.
At that meeting, the leaders of the world's largest and most influential companies were urged to stimulate greater business engagement in the fight against chronic disease by implementing employee wellness programmes.
"Leading companies, like Dubai Holding, owe their success to quality products and brand reputation, as well as their employees. Maintaining efficiency at work is a critical factor to success when trying to make the best use of creative resources, to achieve company goals and maintain productivity," Betis said.
"A comprehensive Wellness Programme can be of tremendous value by improving employees overall performance, reducing indirect costs, such as absenteeism, and increasing productivity".
The Dubai Holding wellness programme is voluntary.
It is designed to help employees attain optimal health and well-being through stress management, physical activity and dietary improvement.
The multidisciplinary programme relies on education and targeted interventions to enhance health awareness, motivate actions to change lives, create an environment that supports good health practices, as well as prevent illness, injury and disability.
Dubai Holding considers its people to be its greatest asset.
In addition to the Wellness Programme, it has introduced a number of other initiatives to develop a competent resource pool of future leaders, while recognising and rewarding outstanding contributions to the company's growth and business success.