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  • 2019 World Summer Games

    The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in March 2019.

    Members of the United Arab Emirates delegation at the 2014 Special Olympics MENA Games.

  • 2019 World Summer Games

    The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in March 2019.

    Ayman Abdel Wahab presenting to the Special Olympics Board of Directors.

World Games in MENA for the First Time

The Special Olympics International Board of Directors rewards Abu Dhabi's preparation and an inclusive vision that goes far beyond the borders of the United Arab Emirates.
Special Olympics World Games will take place in venues throughout Abu Dhabi March 14-21, 2019, the first time the games will be held in the Middle East.

A Vision of Inclusion

The Special Olympics International Board of Directors unanimously voted to award the 2019 World Summer Games to Abu Dhabi. The decision was based on a comprehensive bid proposal and a site visit by a board committee. Even more, the board was impressed by the United Arab Emirates' vision to create inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities throughout the UAE, the region and the world.

The Games will be held in March 2019. In that year, the Games will be the world’s largest humanitarian and sporting event of 2019.

The news was greatly welcomed by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, President of the United Arab Emirates. 

"Hosting the World Games in the MENA region has been a dream and one of my greatest goals and we are ready to start turning the dream into reality," said Ayman Abdel Wahab, Regional President of Special Olympics in the MENA Region.

"We have the means, the desire, the motivation and spirit to host the 2019 World games," Wahab said. "It will undoubtedly be a life-changing event to raise awareness, break down stereotypes and a great tool to create an inclusive community."

Congratulations

Leaders from the UAE and the whole region expressed their gratitude and appreciation to Wahab, for greatly helping and assisting in every single detail to make UAE bid proposal a success. 

Celebrating the announcement, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, tweeted: "UAE’s hosting of the 2019 Special Olympic World Games reflects the world’s confidence in UAE’s capabilities, youth & humanitarian image and we welcome the world’s best athletes to the UAE, congratulate Special Olympics leadership on promoting inclusion & tolerance through sport." 

Also His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of the UAE & Ruler of Dubai, congratulated the UAE on winning the historic bid.

Presenting to the Board

Ayman Abdel Wahab presented the case for Abu Dhabi to be the location of the 2019 World Summer Games at a meeting of the Special Olympics Board of Directors. Abu Dhabi had presented a comprehensive bid proposal. A Special Olympics Board committee visited the country, too. The Board and the committee were impressed by the United Arab Emirates' vision to create inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities throughout the UAE, the region and the world.