UAE, 25th October 2017: "In the UAE, the people of determination are our inspiration. I want to see them join the @dubaifitnesschallenge it won't be the same without them."

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Fazza), Crown Prince of Dubai, today called for people of determination to take part in the Dubai Fitness Challenge which runs for 30 days. The public call for inclusion of people with determination in the challenge comes just as the United Arab Emirates prepares itself to host the biggest sports event in the world for people with intellectual disabilities.

Abu Dhabi will become the first city in the Middle East and North Africa to host the prestigious Special Olympics World Games. The event is set to draw in more than 7,000 athletes from 170 nations, making it the world’s largest sporting and humanitarian event of the year.

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In preparation for the World Games, Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Games will take place in March 2018. From 17 – 22 March 2018, over 1200 athletes from 33 different countries will descend upon Abu Dhabi for the MENA Games; the first major sporting event ahead of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

The call for inclusion, posted today on the Crown Prince of Dubai's Instagram Stories (@Faz3), reinforces the inclusive qualities such as tolerance, unity, and goodwill, a premise that both the United Arab Emirates and the Special Olympics were founded on.

The Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the most unified Special Olympics competition in history, with inclusion of people of determination (with intellectual disabilities) in every aspect of the event. The Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world.

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About the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi (AD2019)
The 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, scheduled for March 14-21, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world, with 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing more than 170 countries. The World Games will be an unprecedented display of the spirit, joy, courage and skill that are hallmarks of the Special Olympics movement. The largest single event ever held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East and North Africa, the World Games features 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in venues throughout Abu Dhabi. The spectacular Opening Ceremony on March 14 is expected to attract 45,000 spectators while being viewed by millions worldwide via global broadcast partners ESPN and Abu Dhabi Media.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the 2019 World Games will be the most unified Special Olympics competition in history, with inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of the event. The Games are the most visible component of a planned series of initiatives by Abu Dhabi and the UAE to expand opportunity for people of determination, and to promote inclusion and understanding throughout the emirate, nation, and region. Plans for operation of the World Games include leaving a legacy of improved health, education, and inclusion that will benefit the UAE long after the event is over.