Abu Dhabi Executive Council Member and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Board, HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyane, inaugurated an exhibition celebrating the legacy and impact of the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Games, as the event marks its second anniversary.
The opening of the exhibition was attended by the Minister of Community Development, Hessa bent Issa bou Humaid, the Chairman of the Department of Community Development, Dr. Mughir Khamis Al Khaili, the National Director of the Emirati Olympic Games, Talal Al Hashemi, and other senior representatives of the UAE Special Olympics Games and the main representative of the sponsors of the Abu Dhabi Special Olympics World Games 2019.
SA reaffirmed Abu Dhabi’s commitment to being the most inclusive place for people with disabilities and praised the tangible impact of the work that has been done since the Games to enhance inclusion and ensure a dignified life for people with disabilities.
He stressed the importance of continually introducing new approaches to schooling and education; sports and arts activities to improve well-being; work opportunities to build a career; and community initiatives to strengthen the independence of young people with disabilities.
The exhibition, hosted by the UAE Special Olympics at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi through April 22, highlights memorable moments from the Games – which united UAE communities in a week of sporting achievement, entertainment and inspiration – and showcases the multiple impactful initiatives launched since the closing ceremony.
The exhibition explores the Games’ legacy through eight themes: education; wellness; community; sport; arts; youth and leadership; and business. It also highlights the Abu Dhabi People of Determination Strategy 2020-2024, launched in September 2020 with the participation of 28 local and federal government entities to further develop an integrated and enabling environment for people of determination in Abu Dhabi.
UAE Special Olympics National Director Talal Al Hashemi said, “The Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 has proven that with courage, determination and will, there is no limit to what people of determination can achieve. Two years have passed since the World Games and our priority as the UAE Special Olympics has been to continue the legacy and maintain inclusive initiatives for our athletes, their families and communities in all areas.
“Our divine mission echoes the commitment of our leaders to provide people of determination with the optimal conditions to grow, learn and thrive.”
Chairman of the Department of Community Development, Dr. Mughir Khamis Al Khali, said, “The Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Games celebrated inclusiveness and the UAE’s commitment to empowering people of determination to achieve their dreams.
“As the second anniversary is celebrated, the legacy of the Games continues and Abu Dhabi is leading the way in launching initiatives and programs to show determined people that there is no limit to what they can achieve.
“The UAE is proud of its legacy of inclusion and looks forward to implementing more strategies to create a more inclusive society that enables all to achieve their potential.”
In March 2019, the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Games welcomed more than 7,000 athletes of determination from over 200 nations to participate in the world’s largest sporting and humanitarian event.
More than 20,000 UAE volunteers also stepped up to support the Games in a variety of roles, from communications and event organization to athlete liaison.
Held during the Year of Tolerance, the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Games broke records by hosting the largest number of nations in the event’s history and as the first nation in the MENA region to host the Games.