Dubai Sets an Odd World Record for Diabetes Awareness

dubai-against-diabetes(Photo Credit: Facebook, Dubai Against Diabetes)

There are a few “old faithfuls” in the world of PR, chief among them the press release, the byline, and the deskside brief. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the stunt.

Every brand is looking to do something that will attract the affection of its consumers and create some sort of mass push. Some clients call it “virality,” and then our toes curl as we try not to swallow our tongues.

One of most common groups to exercise the stunt is the non-profit organization (look no further than the “Ice Bucket Challenge“). In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Health Authority wanted to stunt out for diabetes awareness and got a completely random (and utterly useless) Guinness World Record in the process.

Soooo, #PRWin?

For lack of a better word, Dubai is an odd sort of utopia.

From the man-made Palm Jumeirah to the spectacular Dubai Mall and the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, the UAE is full of things not made for the common man. Now imagine PR stunts in this exotic locale. It would have to be fancier than your average late-90s hip-hop video.


The aforementioned Dubai Health Authority got together with its agency, Benchmark Middle East, and determined there was one record they could reach to develop substantial awareness for diabetes and its vehicle, Stay Strong…

Create the largest light bulb circle everWait, what?

Dr. Fathia Al Awadi, Chairperson, Dubai Diabetes Control and Combat Committee at Dubai Health Authority, said: “This initiative is part of the overall Dubai Against Diabetes initiative. The goals of the Dubai Against Diabetes initiative include: promoting better awareness about the causes and threats of diabetes, informing people about ways in which they can prevent and combat diabetes by adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and eventually achieving our target of reducing the prevalence of diabetes in Dubai.”

It’s not like they were just “turning on” the world to diabetes, but each one of the 11,022 bulbs represented downloads of the Stay Strong app in the UAE.

Mohamed Hammad, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Benchmark Middle East, said: “We are extremely delighted and proud that we were able to bring 11,022 UAE residents together and we have set the Guinness World Record in support of the Dubai Against Diabetes program. It is time for everyone to unite against diabetes to try to prevent diabetes from spreading, and minimize its complications. We believe that we all need to communicate in an innovative way with the public to drive home the message.”

Whatever it takes, people in charge of stunts.

Publish date: December 29, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT