The community rallied round and got behind the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi in 2019.
Continuing the legacy and celebrating the spirit of the event, a new sporting festival is coming to the UAE capital.
The first-ever Special Olympics UAE Games will be held from March 20 to 22.
More than 650 athletes of determination are set to take part in the event, which will include basketball, athletics, volleyball, badminton, swimming and powerlifting.
The three-day event will be held at NYU Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island and will see local athletes compete across all six disciplines.
An opening ceremony will also be held on March 19, under the theme We Are All One.
Leading up to the event, the Flame of Hope will tour Abu Dhabi on March 14 to unite communities and inspire people around the emirate.
“We are incredibly proud to announce the first-ever Special Olympics UAE Games to take place in the UAE in our beloved capital Abu Dhabi,” said HE Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui.
“The recent World Games marked a turning point for people of determination with intellectual disabilities across the UAE and the UAE Games will build on this by serving as an annual milestone for the expansion of the UAE’s commitment towards social inclusion and empowerment of people of determination.
“They will also serve as a platform to increase understanding, tolerance and inclusion throughout the UAE and also carries the legacy of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.”
Ticket details and the full schedule of events will be announced in the coming weeks.
Mar 20-22. NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, www.specialolympics.ae.