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The 2019 Summer Special Olympics Will Be Held in Abu Dhabi

On Tuesday, Special Olympics World Games announced the 2019 Summer Games will be held in Abu Dhabi, marking the first time the games will be held by a Middle Eastern country.

Special Olympics is designed for people with intellectual disabilities, not to be confused with the Paralympics. Approximately 7,000 athletes from 170 countries are expected to compete in the 2019 games.

“Selecting the city as host for the Special Olympic World Games in 2019 was an easy choice to make. Both Abu Dhabi and the [United Arab Emirates] have made disability a priority, promoting rights for people with intellectual disabilities for more than 20 years, making huge strides in integrating people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace and in schools,” Dr. Timothy Shriver, the Special Olympics chairman, said in a press release.

The games will be held at venues throughout Abu Dhabi from March 14 to 21, 2019.