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World Games Abu Dhabi 2019

These will be the first Special Olympics World Games held in the Middle East/North Africa Region. This will also be the largest humanitarian and multisport event in 2019. Don’t miss it!
2018 Special Olympics Middle East North Africa (MENA) DAY 0 athletes walking onto the stage. A large projection screen is in the background showing the athltes in white and green jackets and black sweat pants. There is an art feature to the left of the screen that is part of the Abu Dhabi 2019 visual design, it resembles a tic tac toe board that is slightly bent or curved.

The United Arab Emirates are taking a leading role in ending discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics World Games is a prime example of their commitment towards a more inclusive world.


We are counting down to the next Special Olympics World Games, set for March 2019 in the United Arab Emirates.

An estimated 7,500+ athletes from 190+ countries around the world will compete in 24 summer sports from 14-21 March 2019. Competitions will happen in 11 venues throughout UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.

More than 2,500 coaches and 20,000+ volunteers will make these Games the most memorable and meaningful sporting event on the planet.

There will be a wide range of traditional sports, along with Unified Sports—which bring people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same teams. In fact, the Abu Dhabi organizers are promising to stage the most unified Special Olympics World Games ever.

Beyond Sports

There will also be a full program of non-sports events, including the Host Town program and the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The Final Leg of the Torch Run runs 3-14 March at locations across Abu Dhabi. Read about some of the final leg runners.

The competitions officially launch the morning after the grand Opening Ceremony on 14 March. Thousands of spectators will take part, including government and business leaders, celebrities and activists, Honored Guests and more.

With a tradition of warm hospitality, the people of Abu Dhabi are ready to welcome athletes, fans and families from every culture and every part of the world. Everyone will experience the spirit at the heart of Special Olympics: respect and inclusion for all people and all abilities.

The Abu Dhabi organizing committee is also pledged to include people with intellectual disabilities in all facets of the Games, including behind-the-scenes. The goal is give every spectator and guest an inclusive and transformational experience with Special Olympics athletes.

"Hosting this wonderful event in Abu Dhabi reaffirms our commitment to improving the quality of life for people with special needs. It is a materialization of our relentless efforts to foster greater community engagement, and to create widespread awareness around untapped potential of people with disabilities."
Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Prime Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, United Arab Emirates

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