6 March 2018, Abu Dhabi: Wednesday 7th March will mark just 10 days to go until the start of Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 in Abu Dhabi!

IX MENA Games will officially begin at the Opening Ceremony on Saturday 17 March at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, when thousands of athletes and spectators will watch the lighting of the Olympic Torch.

Members of UAE’s Special Olympics Athletes and team members from the local organizing committee made the number ‘10’ at the Walk Unified event that is organized every Friday at Umm Al Emarat Park, to mark the final countdown.

Members of the public can walk-in and watch the Games from March 18-20 at all eight venues, that will host the different 16 sports, and these include ADNEC, NYUAD, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.

More than 1,000 athletes from 31 countries will take part in 16 sports including athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, football, gymnastics, handball, power lifting, roller skating, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

Special Olympics IX MENA Games and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 are a part of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 that highlights full integration of people of determination into everyday society. Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the most ‘unified’ games in history and promise to offer an inclusive experience for those with and without intellectual disabilities.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will see the biggest humanitarian sporting event in the world coming to the Emirati Capital, marking its first debut in the history of the MENA region.

- ENDS -


About the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi (AD2019)
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, scheduled for March 8-22, 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 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 with disabilities, 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.