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Hamdan bin Mohammed engages with renowned experts on health, longevity and development psychology


DUBAI: H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, attended a lecture by renowned American author and explorer Dan Buettner on ‘Blue Zones’ – geographic areas with lower rates of chronic diseases and a longer life expectancy than the global average.

The lecture held at Sheikh Hamdan’s Majlis in Nad Al Sheba was attended by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council; H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). The event was also attended by ministers, leading officials and dignitaries.

Dan Buettner’s extensive research over two decades into longevity and health led to the creation of the term ‘Blue Zones’ – areas around the globe where
people live significantly longer than the average person. Buettner’s research identified Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Nicoya, Costa Rica as ‘Blue Zones’. Factors such as diet, fasting, and exercise are associated with the healthy lifestyle of people in Blue Zones.

Buettner said that inhabitants of ‘Blue Zones’ prioritise healthy diets abundant in vegetables, fruits, and grains, while cutting down on meat consumption. They also prioritise social interaction and draw from ancestral wisdom in preparing nutritious meals.

He highlighted Dubai’s leading role in fostering a healthy lifestyle among its residents, through diverse initiatives. Dan Buettner offered several practical recommendations to help understand happiness and enhance it in one’s lives and those of others. He emphasised the significance of exercise, nutritious food, and spending enjoyable time with others.

Buettner also offered recommendations to boost happiness in communities, such as expanding green spaces, establishing more bike lanes,
offering additional opportunities for outdoor sports activities, and redesigning neighbourhoods to enable residents to shop and work closer to home, thereby reducing the need for long commutes.

As part of the goals of the Dubai Social Agenda 33, the emirate aims to enter the ranks of the world’s top 10 cities for life expectancy by enhancing its healthcare and adopting advanced nutrition methods that promote lifelong health and vitality.

Sheikh Hamdan also engaged with Dr. Shilpa Baweja, development psychologist and Head of the University of California Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program. Dr. Baweja shared her insights on the crucial role of early childhood care and proper upbringing in enhancing the cognitive development of future generations.

Attendees also enjoyed an Iftar banquet hosted by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

Source: Emirates News Agency