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UAE to host largest cultural exchange programme in MENA

The Organising Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 has rolled out a massive cultural exchange programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development. The Host Cities Programme, which will continue until 11th March, will facilitate hospitality to 11,000 guests, including athletes, coaches and family members, from 190 countries. Under the programme, the athletes and visitors will be introduced to the UAE's rich culture and history before engaging in the Games. The delegates will spend three days in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, to get a closer look at the Emirati traditions and life in the country.

Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, who heads the Heritage and Community in the Higher Organising Committee, said the people of the UAE are happily anticipating the arrival of the Special Olympics athletes and look forward to welcoming them in their second home.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Junaibi, Head of the Higher Organising Committee, said the doors and hearts of the people in the UAE are open to the athletes through the Host Cities Programmes.

"The guest athletes will get a glimpse of the spirit of the UAE and of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, through the values of tolerance and cooperation, ahead of the official opening of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces," he added.

The UAE will welcome more than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 between 14th and 21st March. They will compete in 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in what will be the first World Games to be held in the Middle East.

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