Get your 2019 calendars out...Here are all the amazing events going on in the run-up to the World Games.

It is exactly 63 days until the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019! We are truly excited and can’t wait to experience this life-changing event.

January 10, 2019
January 14, 2019

Get your 2019 calendars out… here are all the amazing events going on in the run-up to the World Games.

It is exactly 63 days until the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019!

I know. We are seriously excited too and can’t wait to experience and be part of this amazing life-changing and wholly inclusive event.

But hold on… you don’t have to wait to get involved in the build-up to the Games because there is just so much going on over the next two months that it is hard to keep track of it. That is, until now…

Just bookmark this page as this is the quick and easy rundown of everything Special Olympics that is going on in the UAE right up until March 14th when the Games kick off. (Don’t forget to check back every now and then as we will be updating this post with more details as the schedule of events evolves).

January 15th, February 8th, February 22nd, March 8th – Walk Unified

Get your walking boots out or a good pair of trainers and join hundreds of Special Olympics athletes and members of the public among the swelling ranks of happy hikers making the rounds of the fabulous Umm Al Emarat Park in the heart of the capital. This is the original and most popular unified event.

January 16th–19th – HSBC Golf Championship

As well as seeing some of the best players on the planet tee off in one of the milestone events of the UAE annual sporting calendar, golf fans will also enjoy a series of Special Olympics activations that will inspire greater unity among the community. Make sure you are there and supporting the #BeUnified movement.

January 18th – Unified Photography Workshop

A great one for all you shutterbugs and Instagram stars out there… grab your camera and head along to the Unified photography workshop sponsored by Canon. Working alongside those with intellectual differences you will learn from the experts and create some really unique shots that could then even be exhibited as part of the Games.

February 2nd – Hike Unified

Lace up your hiking boots for a unique expedition into the desert as friends and families with and without disability come together and take part in a truly unified hike. These relaxing monthly hikes are a fun way to reconnect with loved ones in the great outdoors as well make new friends in the spirit of unity.

February 17th – 21st – IDEX

The Special Olympics Local Area Organising Committee will be out in force at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference showcasing volunteering opportunities, the Torch Run and Games itself. Make sure to stop by the Special Olympics World Games area at the ADNEC-based event if you are visiting IDEX.
For more info on attending IDEX visit

March 1st – ITU World Triathlon Series

Every year the world’s best triathletes come to the UAE capital to fight it out over the superfast Yas Marina circuit course as part of the Abu Dhabi leg of the ITU World Series. It is your chance to see stars including Spain’s Mario Mola and Britain’s Vicky Holland in action. In addition to the usual high-paced endurance spectacle, this year’s ITU Abu Dhabi will be a celebration of unity with the introduction of a dedicated Special Olympics wave. It is also a great opportunity to catch an early preview of the Games action taking place later in the month as this race will serve as the triathlon for the World Games. For more details visit

March 4th – Law Enforcement Torch run begins

A total of 10 days and seven Emirates later, the Special Olympics torch will be carried into the stadium by a guest of honor… but it all begins on Monday, March 4th as the traditional flame is carried proudly around the UAE by athletes, dignitaries, and Olympians. Make sure you are there to witness this epic voyage of unity as it winds its way through our fair nation.

Disability Awareness Cinema Series

Iconic Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa famously said: ‘Being an artist means not having to avert one’s eyes’. Movies can shine a light on societal issues and make people think and even inspire change. This monthly series of thought-provoking screenings in collaboration with the US Embassy looks at how filmmakers are covering disability issues in modern cinema.