Abu Dhabi has been preparing for years, and the Special Olympics World Games are finally upon us!

The Games have many superlatives attached to it – the 50th anniversary, the world’s largest humanitarian event of the year, the most countries participating (more than 190 flags will be represented) - but what makes it the most exceptional by far are the athletes who will join. A spirited celebration with the power of sport to unify people of all abilities at its core, more than 7,500 people with intellectual disabilities will participate in the games.

As the venue for Opening Ceremony, football, bowling and tennis, we’ve been privvy to the scope and scale of this project, and in true Abu Dhabi fashion, it will be spectacular. While there are tons of activities surrounding the World Games, here are the ways that you can get involved right here at Zayed Sports City.

If the visible work happening on the perimeter of Zayed Sports City Stadium is any indication of what is going on inside, come prepared to be impressed. The schedule includes a pre-show, an international performing artist and a parade to welcome the athlete delegations from around the world.

DIVISIONING – 12-13 March
Before the official competition begins, athletes will play to determine which division they will participate in. While this may appear as a ‘warm-up’, we can assure you the athletes are fully prepared to play their hardest to be placed in the proper category.

COMPETITION – 15-20 March
Zayed Sports City is holding bowling, football and tennis matches every day during the World Games. Each sport will have its own competition schedule, with morning and afternoon sessions.

We’ve been lucky to meet some of the local athletes as they prepare, and a huge crowd will make a big difference to them! They’re super proud of the efforts they’ve put in so far, and to help rally the troops, ZSC is running giveaway competitions every day of the games. Details will be posted on our Instagram (@ZayedSportsCity) story and feed each day, but you’ll need to attend if you want to win free stuff. We’re giving away blankets, vouchers, phone accessories and more.

For more information, and to learn about other sports, visit