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HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Accepts Laureus For Host City Abu Dhabi
(11 March 2010)
Global TV audience watches Laureus World Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi. Glittering Awards Ceremony celebrates the first ten years of Laureus. For reactions from winners visit


His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, accepted an honoury Laureus Award on behalf of the emirate in celebration of the United Arab Emirate capital’s successful hosting of the globally-recognised event.

The Laureus World Sports Awards - which are widely regarded as the premier honours on the international sporting calendar - celebrated its 10th anniversary in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and was attended by a wealth of top names from the worlds of sport and film.

Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy and double Olympic gold medallist Edwin Moses, who presented the Award with his fellow Academy members to His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was full of praise for the emirate.

"The time now comes to hand the Laureus baton from St Petersburg to Abu Dhabi. There can be few cities in world history, which have developed into such a sport powerhouse, as quickly and successfully as Abu Dhabi. Reflecting the development of the emirate, Abu Dhabi now hosts some of the world’s major sporting events; the Formula One Grand Prix at the stunning Yas Marina Circuit; the FIFA Club World Cup UAE, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship as well as F1 Powerboating, the Special Olympics, Abu Dhabi International Triathlon and the world-famous Al-Ain Aerobatic Show. And who better to receive the award on behalf of Abu Dhabi than the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, an organisation which has done so much to bring such a stellar array of sporting events here.”

The 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the period January 1 - December 31, 2009, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time. The living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today.

The names of the winners were announced at a televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi which also celebrated the first ten years in the life of Laureus and was attended by global figures from the world of sport and entertainment.

The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy present were: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Nadia Comaneci, Kapil Dev, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Mika Hakkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Kip Keino, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Alexey Nemov, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Monica Seles, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba and Steve Waugh.

Double Oscar-winning Hollywood star Kevin Spacey hosted the glittering Awards Ceremony. Among the guests in a packed auditorium at the Emirates Palace were Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, British film stars Hugh Grant and Clive Owen, American actors Kyle MacLachlan from Desperate Housewives and Michelle Rodriguez who played leading roles in the Oscar-winning movie Avatar and the TV series Lost, Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Mika who earlier drew up to the red carpet in a spectacular gull-wing Mercedes-Benz, England Test cricketer Andrew Flintoff, Formula One winner David Coulthard, world boxing champion Amir Khan, Olympic rowing legend Steve Redgrave, and supermodel Jessica Michibata.

The 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards are supported by Host Partner Aabar Investments PJSC. Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, offers a fascinating combination of the old and the new; a blend of Arabian hospitality and mystique where a mixture of culture and tradition come together against a backdrop of the most modern world-class infrastructure. Abu Dhabi is developing a reputation as a leading international sporting venue. The Laureus World Sports Awards is the latest high profile sports event to be staged in Abu Dhabi. Last year Abu Dhabi was chosen to stage football’s FIFA Club World Cup, and the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship are now highlights of the sporting calendar in the city.

The Awards were announced in seven categories. The winners were:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Usain Bolt
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Laureus World Team of the Year: Brawn GP Formula One
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Jenson Button
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Kim Clijsters
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Natalie du Toit
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Stephanie Gilmore

There were two additional Awards: The Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to athletics legend Nawal El Moutawakel, while American basketball star Dikembe Mutombo won the Laureus Sport for Good Award for his charitable work in the Congo.

For full biographies of the winners go to

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