Etisalat has been confirmed as the official telecoms partner of both Special Olympics IX MENA Games Abu Dhabi 2018 and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
Etisalat is an official partner for both Games and will manage the connectivity throughout the multiple venues for the entirety of the games. To mark the partnership, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed today between Etisalat and Special Olympics UAE.
The agreement is important for the 1,000 competitors taking part in IX MENA Games from across the region and the 7,000 athletes from around the world taking part in the World Games, as it ensures fast and easy access to free wi-fi and enabling them to stay connected with family and friends in their respective home countries.
The strategic partnership with Etisalat is expected to deliver seamless and secure technology operations and services that provide instant communication to athletes, spectators, organisers, officials, media, TV viewers and Internet users worldwide during the Games.
Special Olympics IX MENA Games, which will run from March 14-22, will run across several of Abu Dhabi’s world-class venues, including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club. More than 20,000 overseas visitors are expected to join tens of thousands of spectators from across the UAE to watch what is likely to be the largest global event ever staged in the UAE capital. Signing Etisalat as the telecoms partner guarantees each venue will be provided with excellent internet connectivity and service.
Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Group, said: “Etisalat is immensely proud to be supporting the Special Olympics World Games in the UAE, which is in line with Etisalat’s endeavour to be at the forefront of international major sporting events and works towards fulfilling our responsibility to support world-renowned initiatives that benefit people of determination. It is a key element of Etisalat’s corporate social responsibility strategy to provide equal opportunities to all especially that sport is a right and must be accessible to all throughout the society.
“This strategic partnership serves as a great platform for us to connect with a larger global audience and host a prestigious event like Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi. As an official partner, Etisalat will also enable customers to enjoy the benefits of a nation-wide network, seamless connectivity and fast speeds.”
Mohamad Abdulla Al Junaibi, Chairman of the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said: “Having Etisalat’s support as our official telecoms provider for the Games is invaluable. There is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes for a global event such as Special Olympics and having a partner such as Etisalat on board means that athletes can easily reach their friends and families, spectators can seamlessly get online whilst at our Games venues and that our staff have access to tools to ensure they can do their jobs to the best of their ability – all of these things will ensure the Games are a huge success.”
Abu Dhabi, which is the most connected city in the world in terms of fibre-to-the-home network, will be the first city ever to host both the MENA and World Games within a year of each another. The MENA Games and World Games are a part of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 that highlights the full integration of people with disabilities into society. The Games will be the most ‘unified’ in history and promise to offer an inclusive experience for those with and without intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics is unique to every other Olympic Games and is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must have an intellectual disability; a cognitive delay, or a development disability, that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills (they may also have a physical disability).