Abu Dhabi’s hosting of Special Olympics an opportunity to spread values of tolerance, charity: Khalifa bin Tahnoun

AL AIN, 14th March, 2018 (WAM) — Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Director of the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, today witnessed the activities of the “Hosting Cities’ Programme” in Al Ain, which was organised by the local committee responsible for the 9th Regional Games and World Games of the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain also hosted the delegations of Canada and Côte d’Ivoire that are participating in the Olympics.

The programme’s activities included participating in sporting activities, touring the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, and visiting the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum and the Festival of Lights, as well as traditional cuisine, folk arts and workshops.

In his statement, Sheikh Khalifa praised the programme, which reflects the welcome and hospitality of the Emirati people, and provides an opportunity for the participants and their families to experience the real essence of the UAE and its values of unity, tolerance and co-existence while achieving solidarity and inclusiveness between community members.

Sheikh Khalifa added that Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the games will help spread the values of tolerance, solidarity and charity work, which the UAE is famous for while pointing out that the games has the support of the wise leadership, and is able to create a drastic change in the community’s view of mental disability and grant people of determination the appreciation they deserve.

He said that hosting the Regional Games and the World Games of the Special Olympics is in line with the UAE Vision 2021, which supports the integration of the special needs category into the community to normalise their daily lives.

He clarified that Abu Dhabi hosting the Special Olympics World Games reflects the prestigious stature that the UAE enjoys on the international stage. With this, the Emirati capital becomes the first city in the Middle East to host the special games series, which attracts nearly 7,000 athletes from 170 countries to participate in Olympic competitions over the course of over two continuous weeks, making it the biggest sports and humanitarian event this year.

“All of us, individuals, organisations, sports teams, and participating countries must invest in this opportunity and devote ourselves to spread the humanitarian values and contribute to the efforts aiming to integrate the people of determination into the community and empower them to strive towards presenting their best,” he added.

The UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, will be the first city to host both the Regional and the World Games of the Special Olympics within one year.

The Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 represents the most unified and integrated sports event in the Special Olympics history and will offer a comprehensive experience for athletes with special needs.



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