The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Community Development and Host Town committees of each emirate, is preparing to host the world from 8 - 11 March .

The World Games' Host Town Program will be the largest cultural exchange program in the Middle East and North Africa. It will see almost 11,000 athletes and coaches from over 190 nations hosted across all seven emirates.

The Host Town Program is the first milestone for the delegations and athletes upon arriving in the UAE for the World Games where they experience the rich culture and history of the UAE ahead of their participation in the Games.

The delegations will spend three days in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to experience true Emirati hospitality.

Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development and Chair of the Community and Legacy Committee of the Games, said: "Communities across the UAE are excitedly awaiting the Special Olympics athletes and look forward to welcoming them into their homes, community and their families.

"The Host Town Program is a wonderful opportunity to build life-long friendships between the athletes, coaches and the families who have volunteered to host them and demonstrate the world-famous generosity of the UAE. We want to show the whole world the values and traditions of the UAE society and the courageous habits of Zayed sons. We are all very keen to embody the best host event for the nations of the world ".

"The Host Town Program will help to create a defect understanding of intellectual disabilities and the Special Olympics movement in homes and communities across the country while showing that having a disability should not be a barrier for allowing the disabled person to reach his potential, let us all strive for the empowerment, inclusion and aspirations of the people of determination ".

"Everyone in the UAE is opening their doors and hearts for the Host Town Program," said HE Mohammed Abdullah Al Junabi, Chairman of the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

"As athletes and coaches travel to the UAE and experience Emirati hospitality before the Games start, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE's Armed Forces, they will feel the true spirit of our nation. The athletes will feel the spirit of our founding father, HH late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as we embrace the world and consolidate our values of tolerance, regardless of language, religion and nationality. "

Highlights from the planned itinerary of activities in each Emirate include:

Abu Dhabi
- 8 March: Welcome dinner
- 9 March: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; Louvre Museum; Cultural activities and Emirati entertainment at Heritage Village and Majlis al Mushref
- 10 March: Adopt-a-Nation school visit; Warner Bros.; Qasr al Hosn; Culture Foundation

Ajman
- 8 March: Welcome gala dinner
- 9 March: Ajman Festival Land
- 10 March: Closing dinner at Ajman Flag Park

Al Ain
- 8 March: Welcome dinner
- 9 March: Cultural and art activities at Al Ain Convention Center; Cultural games, entertainment and engagement with police and military at Hili Fun City Park
- 10 March: Adopt-a-Nation school visit; Sheikh Zayed Center for Desert Sciences; Safari experiences and bird show at Al Ain Zoo

Dubai
- 8 March: Dubai Garden Glow; Zabeel Park
- 9 March: Motiongate, Dubai Parks and Resorts
- 10 March: Adopt-a-Nation school visit; Closing dinner at Global Village

Fujairah
- 8 March: Welcome dinner
- 9 March: Sports activities at Fujairah Football Stadium; Cultural activities and exhibit at Zayed Sports Complex
- 10 March: Adopt-a-Nation school visit; Fujairah Adventure Park

Ras Al Khaimah
- 8 March: Welcome dinner
- 9 March: Emirati cultural experience show at Al Sawan Area, camel racing, traditional activities, entertainment and workshops
- 10 March: Adopt-a-Nation school visit; Legacy art activity at Al Marjan Island

Sharjah
- 8 March: Torch Run, Al Majaz Waterfront
- 9 March: Museum Island; Aquarium; Al Hamriyah Village - heritage and cultural activities, entertainment shows, Emirati cultural experience, art and handicraft workshops
- 10 March: Adopt-a-Nation school visit; Dinner at Jawaher Center with key Sharjah government representatives

Umm Al Quwain
- 8 March: Welcome dinner
- 9 March: Football and festival activities at Al Arabi Football Club
- 10 March: Adopt-a-Nation school visit; Art and culture activities at Umm Al Quwain Museum

A 'host town committee' from each emirate has worked alongside the LOC to organize the cultural exchange program. The Program aims to foster community awareness, participation and engagement in understanding and inclusion of people of determination.

A breakdown of which delegations will be hosted in which emirate can be found, here: Host Town Program delegation breakdown