Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa (SO MENA) is one of the seven Special Olympics International regions, comprising of all 22 Arab countries, members of the Arab League plus Iran. It is headed by Ayman Abdel Wahab –Regional President and Managing Director of the Middle East/North Africa region.
The first MENA Games were held in 1999 in Egypt with the participation of 210 Athletes. Since then, the Special Olympics MENA Games were held twice in the UAE; once in Dubai in 2006, and once in Abu Dhabi in 2008. MENA is the only region ever to hold nine consecutive regional Games.
Abu Dhabi hosted the MENA Games for a second time in March 2018 – Special Olympics IX MENA Games. These Games were the biggest MENA Games ever to take place with over 1,000 athletes from 31 countries – MENA plus nations from other regions –competing in 16 sports, along with speedball demonstration that will be an official sport in the World Games 2019.