Abu Dhabi is geared up to host the first ever Special Olympics World Games 2019 from 14-21 March 2019. As many as 7,500 inspiring Special Olympics athletes from 129 nations will arrive in the United Arab Emirates to participate in the most unified games ever held.
Abu Dhabi is hosting the most unified World Games in the 50-year history of special Olympics. People with intellectual disabilities will be involved in all the facets of the games, ensuring every spectator, guest and fan benefits from a more inclusive, interactive experience with special Olympics athletes.
Under the patronage of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Special Olympics World Games 2019 is an integral part of the local, national and regional plans to expand opportunities for people of determination in line with Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s shared vision of a unified and inclusive society.
All seven Emirates will host delegations from around the world, giving athletes, coaches and families a warm hospitable welcome. Each Emirate will provide delegations with an experience of Emirati culture and traditions, including educational, cultural and sports activities.
In the days leading to the games, the special Olympics ‘Flame of Hope’ will tour all seven Emirates of the UAE before completing its journey in Abu Dhabi arriving at the opening ceremony for the World Games. A special Olympics tradition since 1981, law enforcement officers carry the flame, which symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity, uniting communities around the globe.
Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability. Today, there are 4.9 million athletes with intellectual disabilities involved in Special Olympics worldwide.