At the start of April the Ambassador for the United Arab Emirates in Australia, Dr Obaid al Ketbi, led a contingent of embassy staff on an early morning ride to work.
They rode from the Ambassador’s residence in Civic to the UAE Embassy in O’Malley – a comfortable 12km trip, mostly on Canberra’s scenic bike paths.
Dr Obaid Al Ketbi loves his bicycles, and encourages the Embassy staff to stay active.
As a Cycle Works Champion, he’s leading a workplace initiative to get more people riding to work.
Since the Ambassador took up his Australian posting in late 2015, staff have seen a marked change at the Embassy. Dr Obaid al Ketbi is enthusiastic about fitness and health, and has brought his ethos to bear at work, encouraging all of his colleagues to take up some type of physical challenge.
The Embassy participates in events like the Big Canberra Bike Ride and the Canberra Marathon as a team, and staff say that they can see and feel the changes this has brought to the workplace and to them as individuals.
“Since His Excellency has been in Australia, he’s motivated me to start riding my bike and running. I’ve lost almost fifteen kilos,” said Public Relations Officer Mohamed Mahmood.
“Riding to work was a lot of fun, and we’re going to try to keep it up.”