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."