Abu Dhabi to host 2019 Special Olympic World Games

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Abu Dhabi has won its bid to host the 2019 Special Olympic World Games after a meeting at Georgetown University in Washington.

The Special Olympics International Board of Directors on Wednesday awarded their flagship event and world’s largest humanitarian and sporting event to Abu Dhabi.

Three other countries who have submitted bids to host 2019 Special Olympic World Games — Australia, Germany, and South Africa – had withdrawn their bids in April 2015. The Special Olympics World Games is designed for athletes with special needs and disabilities.

“UAE’s hosting of the 2019 Special Olympic World Games reflects the world’s confidence in UAE’s capabilities, youth & humanitarian image,” according to Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

“We welcome the world’s best athletes to the UAE, congratulate Special Olympics leadership on promoting inclusion and tolerance through sport.”

“There’s no better or more profound location than Abu Dhabi to invite the world to come together in celebration of sport, in celebration of people of all kinds, and to demonstrate to the world that the lines of division can be erased. We are thrilled to be the first fully global multisport games of this size to be staged in the Middle East,” said Special Olympics chairman Timothy Shriver.