FUJAIRAH, 9th March, 2019 (WAM) — Fujairah was today the first stop of the Host Town Program of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, which will introduce the UAE’s rich cultural, heritage, historic and tourist landmarks and attractions to 11 sports delegations from 11 countries.
The Local Organising Committee, LOC, of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Community Development and the Special Olympics’ Host Town committees of each emirate, is hosting the event which began on 8th March and will conclude on 11th March.
The World Games’ Host Town Program will be the largest cultural exchange programme 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 programme is the first milestone for the delegations and athletes where they experience the rich culture and history of the UAE before they begin their participation in the Games.
The delegations will spend three days in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to experience true Emirati hospitality.
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’s 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 an understanding for 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 or her 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 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 begin, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed 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, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as we embrace the world and consolidate our values of tolerance, regardless of language, religion and nationality.”
The event features sports activities at Fujairah Football Stadium, traditional and cultural activities and exhibits at Zayed Sports Complex, a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Fujairah Fort meetings with senior citizens.
The UAE will welcome more than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 between 14th and 21st March. They will compete in 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in what will be the first World Games to be held in the Middle East.
The Host Town program offers the opportunity to the delegations to enjoy Emirati hospitality, customs and traditions. It also creates public awareness of intellectual disabilities and promotes the Special Olympics spirit all over the UAE. Additionally, it helps familiarize athletes with their new environments before starting competitions through sports, cultural, artistic and community events. The Host Town Program will provide Special Olympics athletes with a chance to experience the Emirati culture and hospitality while in turn providing every citizen of the UAE a life-changing and memorable experience with Special Olympics athletes.