The Host Town Program has been a part of the Special Olympics World Games, but it was first introduced to a regional Games in IX MENA Games. The program leverages an opportunity to raise awareness about the UAE vision to create inclusive and unified communities, making the UAE an excellent example of a nation that chooses to include.
The Host Town program offers the opportunity to the delegations to enjoy Emirati hospitality, customs and traditions. It also creates public awareness of intellectual disabilities and promotes the Special Olympics spirit all over the UAE. Additionally, it helps familiarize athletes with their new environments before starting competitions through sports, cultural, artistic and community events. The Host Town Program will provide Special Olympics athletes with a chance to experience the Emirati culture and hospitality while in turn providing every citizen of the UAE a life-changing and memorable experience with Special Olympics athletes.
It is the largest cultural exchange program ever conducted in the Middle East and North Africa. It will have each of the delegations paired with towns throughout all seven Emirates in the days leading up to the Games in 2019.