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Special Olympics UAE

Our mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. We provide opportunities to develop physical fitness, social skills, and participation among other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

The Special Olympics movement began in the UAE in the early 1990s as a committee under of the People of Disabilities Sports Union, where hundreds of athletes trained and various local and regional competitions were hosted. In 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, announced his directive to re-establish Special Olympics UAE as an independent association endorsed by the Ministry of Community Development.

During the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, the UAE Delegation made numerous achievements in the history of sports in the UAE:


297 Athletes

The biggest athletes delegation in the history of sports in the UAE


400% Growth

400% increase in number of athletes


24 Games Participation

Female and male teams participating in all 24 games


30% Female Athletes

30% increase in the recruitment of female athletes

World Games Abu Dhabi 2019

As part of the World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 legacy, UAE leaders announced 31 legislations, initiatives, and projects to better serve the needs and aspirations of People of Determination in sports, education, health, culture and improve their overall quality of life.

Some of the aforementioned initiatives include the establishment of Unified Champion Schools in every public school in the UAE, which pairs mainstream students and athletes to engage in sports and other activities. Another development was the Mothers of Determination Association, which aims to support the needs of families with intellectual disabilities and allowing them to reach their full potential through education.

Sports Unions Partnerships Initiative seeks to support the inclusion movement in all sports in the UAE.