General Authority of Sports Launches ‘Future of Sports’ Dialogue to Strengthen Nationwide Collaboration in the Sector

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·        The Dialogue consists of a series of interactive activities with decision makers and stakeholders in the sports sector.

H.E. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi:

·        Our goal is to develop a new approach that aligns with the directives of our leadership for the future of the sports sector.

·        We have set five principles to guide our efforts in the foreseeable future: partnership, governance, nurturing talent, community sports, and advancing the UAE’s status.

·        We aim to promote the UAE in regional and global sports arenas, reaffirm its competitiveness, and establish it as a premier sports destination by hosting important tournaments and competitions.

Dubai: The General Authority of Sports has 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 ‘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.

His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, Chairman of the General Authority of Sports, said: “Our goal is to develop a new approach that aligns with the directives of our leadership for the future of the sports sector, and that meets the aspirations of the sports community for local, continental, and international competitions. To that end, we have set five principles to guide our efforts in the foreseeable future, the first being partnership, which will set the tone for the period ahead. The second principle is governance, which helps establish a regulating environment; this is followed by nurturing talent – always a top priority in any game – and then community sports, which aim to promote sports as a way of life for citizens and residents of the UAE, while the fifth and final principle revolves around ways to use sports to advance the UAE’s status.”

The Dialogue kicked off with an inaugural remote interactive meeting, chaired by H.E. Al Falasi, and attended by Saeed Abdul Ghaffar, Secretary General of the General Authority for Sports; Major General Rashid Khamis bin Aaber Al Hamli, President of the UAE Shooting and Archery Federation; Major-General Nasser Abdul Razaq Al Razooqi, President of the UAE Karate Federation; Ahmed Hamdan Al Zeyoudi, Chairman of the UAE Taekwondo Federation; Nasser Al Tamimi, Secretary-General of the UAE wrestling and Judo Federation; Anas Alotaiba, President of the UAE Boxing Federation; and Dr. Saeed Musabeh Al Kaabi, President of the Emirates Bow and Arrow Federation.

Also attending the meeting were Sultan Saif Sultan Al Samahi, President of the UAE Swimming Federation; Mansoor Juma Buosaiba, Chairman of UAE Cycling Federation; Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the Emirates Fencing Federation; Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, President of the UAE Sports For All Federation; Aisha Saif Al Seiri, Secretary-General of the Emirates Federation for School Sportas; Mohammed bin Sulayem, Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee; and Mohammed Fadel Al Hameli, Chairman of the UAE National Paralympics Committee.

Commenting on the first interactive meeting, H.E. Al Falasi said: “We will be holding these meetings continuously from now on, and according to a clear agenda. We view partnerships as a means to provide the opportunity for everyone to overcome challenges, define responsibilities, and promote teamwork. Our goal today is to promote the UAE’s status in the regional and global sports arenas, reaffirm its competitiveness in the sector, and establish the Emirates as a premier sports destination by hosting important tournaments and competitions, as well as the headquarters of continental and international federations. We also strive to attract clubs that are considering setting up camps and training courses, offering them the opportunity to benefit from our advanced infrastructure, stadiums, and facilities.”

“We now have many Emiratis in leadership positions across several continental and international federations,” H.E. added. “This is another advantage that strengthens our international network and helps refine expertise and competencies among homegrown talent who will carve a spot for Emirati sports institutions in decision-making processes globally.”

Stage One: Constructive Dialogue and Positive Interaction

The meeting was marked with constructive participation and interactions, as well as valuable suggestions regarding the steps and initiatives required in the stages ahead. The discussion explored ways to build strong foundations for a new beginning in UAE sports, upgrade the entire sports ecosystem, and drive achievements that meet the aspirations of the leadership and the sports community. In his opening speech at the meeting, H.E. Al Falasi outlined the work that needs to be done in the period ahead, which must be rooted in true partnership and commitment to enhancing operations and performance in the sports sector in the near future.

Participants at the meeting stressed the need to transparently assess the current state of the sector in order to pinpoint any gaps. They also cited strengthening partnerships with the private sector as an important step, along with holding periodic meetings three to four times a year, and training the next generation of champions, leaders, and technical and administrative staff.

Being in decision-making positions in continental and global federations is also crucial, attendees asserted, as long as there is systematic support and a clear plan. They discussed ways to enhance cooperation between federations and the National Paralympic Committee to enable People of Determination to participate in competitions, then went on to underline the role that school sports play in discovering talent at an early age, recruiting and training them to drive the sports sector in the UAE.

Ongoing Meetings and New Milestones

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.