‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue Continues, Calls for Training New Generation of Leaders to Keep Up with Global Developments in Sports Sector

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H.E. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi:

  • Every stakeholder in sports must strive to keep up with the sweeping progress the UAE is making, overcoming every challenge.
  • Partnership and teamwork are the name of the game moving forward, and our best bet to accomplish our goals.
  • We are fortunate, here in the UAE, to have leaders and decision-makers who are passionate about sports, practice it continuously, and are keen to support Emirati sports and ensure its success.

Dubai: The ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue – an initiative by the General Authority of Sports – has moved on with its second interactive session, in an effort to promote collaboration in sports, set objectives for the stages ahead, and draw a clear roadmap for advancing the sports sector in the UAE.

“The UAE has made commendable achievements and cemented its position on global competitiveness indicators across various sectors, guided by the vision of its leadership,” said His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, Chairman of the General Authority of Sports, who attended the session. “The Emirates has demonstrated an unparalleled resilience throughout these difficult times that have spared no part of the world. The sports sector will be no exception; every one of us, every stakeholder in sports must strive to keep up with the sweeping progress the country is making, overcoming every challenge.”

H.E. was joined by a host of influential officials from the sports sector, namely, Saeed Abdul Ghaffar, Secretary General of the General Authority for Sports; Hassan Ali Hassan Al Zarouni, Secretary General of the UAE Table Tennis Federation; Ahmed Abdul Malik, Vice President of the UAE Tennis Federation; Adel Muhammad Saleh Al Zarouni, Vice President of the UAE Golf Federation; Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Shakhbout Al Nahyan, President of the UAE Electronic Sports Association; Khaled Abdul Karim Ismail Al Fahim, President of the UAE Triathlon Association; Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Rayes, President of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation; Sultan bin Sheikh Mohammed bin Mejren, President of the UAE Weightlifting Federation; Arif Ibrahim Mohammed Al Hernaki Al Marzouki, President of the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation; Mohammed bin Sulayem, Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee; and Mohammed Fadel Al Hameli, Chairman of the UAE National Paralympics Committee.

“We are fully aware that the challenges are great, but we are also deeply confident in our ability, as a team, to overcome them and achieve excellence,” H.E. Al Falasi noted. “Partnership and teamwork are the name of the game moving forward, and our best bet to accomplish our goals. The General Authority of Sports is committed to working closely with every member of the team, every day, to achieve new milestones for the sports sector.”

“We have the skills we need on the administrative side, with experts who wield local, regional, and international influence,” he continued. “Our mission is, in part, to train and empower a new generation of promising leaders who can carry the torch and move forward with a new vision that keeps pace with the major developments on the global sports stage.”

“Schools are the premier source of new talent,” H.E. Al Falasi asserted. “We will be collaborating with educational authorities in the UAE to promote sports and athletic achievement as a culture, starting from childhood. Meanwhile, we will also work with health authorities to endorse community sports and foster a more active lifestyle. We are fortunate, here in the UAE, to have leaders and decision-makers who are passionate about sports, practice it continuously, and are keen to support Emirati sports and ensure its success.”

“The sports sector is an integral part of the government ecosystem that is designed to promote the UAE’s status and reputation, which plays a role in attracting talented and creative individuals, as well as experts and professionals, who can benefit from the country’s capacities and advanced infrastructure,” H.E. concluded.

Establishing Systems, Procedures, and Institutions

The second meeting of the ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue highlighted the need for establishing systems, procedures, and institutions, founded on the principle of future planning. This will later influence how future champions are trained and prepared to compete in prominent tournaments in Asia and the world.

Attendees also noted the importance of having a clear process in place for hosting championships and sporting events, citing the positive impact it would have on sports and the UAE in general. Such a process would include setting clear frameworks, meticulous procedures, and strict criteria. On that note, participants stressed the importance of developing plans, rooted in performance indicators, that clearly define goals for the foreseeable and long terms.

Constructive Dialogue for a Bright Future in Sports

Participants’ comments and proposals were overwhelmingly positive and demonstrated a great deal of enthusiasm and support for collaboration and partnerships. They called for capitalising on available opportunities – including government support, advanced infrastructure, and expertise – and working together to achieve new milestones. 

Participants asserted that the federations and the General Authority for Sports share a responsibility to achieve these objective, adding that everyone is welcome to come forward with ideas and plans to boost efforts made to develop the UAE’s sports sector. 

The General Authority of Sports launched the ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue in an effort to boost collaboration among sports federations and organisations, bringing together stakeholders from across the local sports sector. The Dialogue consists of a series of events that gather stakeholders from the industry, including interactive discussions, field visits, workshops, coordination meetings, brainstorming sessions, and other various activities. The initiative is based around the five principles of partnership, governance, nurturing talent, community sports, and advancing the UAE’s status.

The ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue embodies the vision of the General Authority of Sports to promote cooperation and work together to drive the local sports sector towards bigger accomplishments. It seeks to develop new strategies and procedures to enhance the local sports scene and carve a place for the sector in the UAE’s comprehensive development plans, in line with the country’s directives for the next 50 years.

The ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue will continue to hold interactive meetings with decision makers in the sports sector in an effort to rally efforts and expertise and mobilise them to create momentum, enhance the sports industry, and achieve better results and outputs.

About the General Authority of Sports:

The General Authority of Sports was established in 2008 to help create an environment that enables athletes to develop their physical capabilities, promote the competitive and recreational sides of sports, and enhance the performance and results of national teams. The Authority aims to outline the general policy for the sports sector in the UAE, developing plans and programmes to achieve goals, as well as to support and coordinate with other relevant entities. Moreover, the Authority is entrusted with empowering athletes to win championships and make notable achievements, in addition to promoting a sports culture in the community.