Rapid urbanisation as well as cultural habits explain Gulf states' rise in heart disease prevalence

World Health Organization figures show that up to 60% of males in Arab countries and up to 70% of females are overweight and obese

The explanations include rapid urbanisation and ubiquitous travel by car along with  many social and cultural barriers to exercise, especially for women.  There is also a rise in smoking in adolescents of waterpipes, which are incorrectly perceived by the users to be less harmful than cigarettes.