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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

The UAE explained: Everything you need to know about the Special Olympic World Games

It will be the first time the Games will be held in the Middle East and North Africa region

The Special Olympic World Games, which takes place every two years, is coming to the UAE in March 
The Special Olympic World Games, which takes place every two years, is coming to the UAE in March 

It's less than 100 days to go until the Special Olympic World Games arrives in the UAE. Here's everything you need to know:

It will take place in Abu Dhabi next year from March 14 to 21.

It will be the first time the Games will be held in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Some 7,500 athletes will take part in the competition, along with some 20,000 volunteers and an estimated 500,000 spectators.

The best competitors will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze medals, although every athlete will also receive a participation medal.

A total of 11 venues will be used for the Games in Abu Dhabi. They will include Zayed Sports City, the National Exhibition Centre, the Yas Marina Circuit and the Abu Dhabi Yacht and Sailing Club.

Other venues are the New York University Abu Dhabi, Khalifa International Bowling Centre and The Armed Forces Officers Club.

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Read more:

Special Olympics heads to Abu Dhabi in just 100 days

Training under way at Special Olympics camp in Dubai — in pictures

Special Olympics team coach tells of the lessons he learnt from athletes

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Dubai will also play host at three venues: the Hamdan Sports Complex, the Dubai Police Academy and La Mer.

All seven emirates will welcome the athletes before the Games begin as part of a Host Town programme, where athletes will be invited to visit local residents' homes.

A total of 24 sports will be included in the week-long event. Spectators can see badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling and soccer, among others.

There are some 4.9 million athletes with intellectual disabilities who are involved in Special Olympics worldwide.

The Special Olympics World Games takes place every two years with the Games alternating between summer and winter competitions

Austria hosted the Winter Games in 2017.

The Abu Dhabi Games marks the 50th year since the Special Olympics movement began.