Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Indian Media Falsely Reports on Dubai Airport ‘Gold Bar Challenge’

A viral video of a ‘20 kg gold bar challenge’ reportedly being held at the Dubai international airport has been doing the rounds on social media.

This challenge has been covered by several Indian news portals, including NDTV India, Times Travel and Amar Ujala, among others.
The ‘gold bar challenge’ involves lifting a heavy (20 kg) gold bar out of a glass box with a small hole, just big enough to fit one hand inside it. The task becomes exceedingly difficult given the strength required to lift the heavy bar and sliding it out of the circular hole.

Several videos of different versions of the challenge have been doing the rounds.

One such post shows a man unsuccessfully attempting the challenge. It was first posted by Facebook page Spokesman, and had acquired 51 thousand shares till the time of writing this piece.

The same page had subsequently shared another video in which a boy successfully retrieves the gold bar, with the caption: “Finally, this boy won the 20 kg gold bar kept in the Dubai International Airport.”

These videos also went viral on Twitter, with two such tweets being widely quoted in the news articles mentioned above.
Dubai airport authorities, however, denied the existence of any such challenge being held at the airport, Gulf News reported.

A Dubai Airport spokesperson quoted by the report said, “Dubai Airports can confirm that this installation is not currently, nor has been in the past, positioned at either of our airports (Dubai International and Dubai World Central).”

On doing a reverse image search of a key frame from the viral video, The Quint confirmed that it was not from the Dubai airport.

The first video, that shows the failed attempts, is of a challenge conducted by the Istanbul Gold Refinery – to promote their trademark gold bar called ‘Gramgold.’

A document published by the Turkish company revealed that this product was created as a new concept to promote “small investment bars” in the Turkish market.
The second viral video, that shows a young man successfully completing a challenge, is also not from the Dubai airport.

On examining the video – using reverse image search – The Quint found that it was from the Sado Gold Mine Museum in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
19/04/19 Arpan Cheema/Quint