The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between three parties

9 March 2018, Abu Dhabi: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support Abu Dhabi’s Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 was signed between three parties, at the headquarters of Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs.

The tripartite MoU was signed between: Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, represented by H.E. Abdullah Al Humaidan, Secretary General; Social Security Fund for the employees of the Ministry of Interior, represented by Ahmed Mohammed Buharoon Al Shamsi, General Manager; and the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, represented by H.E. Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, member of the Higher Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

The memorandum of understanding, is the latest in a number of mutual agreements between the Higher Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 and various UAE institutions working to create greater inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities and implement objectives to help achieve wellbeing within society.

The MoU will also provide a number of Zayed Cards from the Fazaa Programme to Special Olympics athletes. Fazaa is a social initiative which aims to develop social interdependence and maintain effective bonds of solidarity within the UAE community.

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.

H.E. Ahmed Bu Haroon Al-Shamsi, Managing Director of Social Security Fund, Ministry of Interior, Executive Director of Fazaa, highlighted that the MOU provides 145 free memberships for the organising committee and Special Olympics UAE staff. It will also provide 1,000 free memberships for athletes and participants in the Games, and that the directors of World Special Olympics Games 2019 will also receive 15 honorary Fazaa cards.

H.E. Abdullah Al Humaidan, Secretary General of Zayed Higher Foundation, said in a press statement that H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Zayed Higher Foundation for Humanitarian Care, is keen to launch and implement a number of initiatives aimed at providing the highest quality and distinguished services for affiliated stakeholders in accordance with best international practices.

H.E Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, member of the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, praised the MoU by Saying: “This MoU is a continuation of the series of agreements signed by the Local Organizing Committee ahead of hosting Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. The signings with various institutions operating in the country give the Committee real momentum and the sponsorship of various institutions of the state concerned with them, the Zayed Foundation for Humanitarian Care and people with special needs, and the social solidarity fund for employees of the Ministry of Interior.”

More than 1,000 athletes from 31 countries will travel to Abu Dhabi to take part in MENA IX Games, which will be the first major sporting event ahead of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Athletes will take part in 16 different sports that will be hosted in eight different venues including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.

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.