x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Volunteerism in sports events benefits the economy, UAE study shows

A UAE study highlighting the social and economic impact of volunteerism in sports was released yesterday.

ABU DHABI // A UAE study highlighting the social and economic benefits of volunteerism in sports was released yesterday.

The first copy of the report was presented to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, by Dr Mohammed bin Sulayem, president of the UAE Automobile and Touring Club.

Based on a study of last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it shows how volunteerism around the world benefits national competitiveness and the labour market.

The 82-page report calls for government-backed research to underline how sports volunteerism can contribute to the economy and society of host nations.

The report found more than 600 volunteers and unpaid officials working on the GP at Yas Marina Circuit produced a saving of Dh6.6 million over 53,448 hours.

The study was commissioned by Dr bin Sulayem and developed by the touring club with the University of Ulster, one of the UK's leading research centres.

"When you consider that volunteerism can directly and indirectly contribute to a nation's economy, the calculated savings of more than Dh6m for the Grand Prix is quite conservative," he said.

"We also have to take into account the increase in tourism, the high level of national exposure, as well as the business and investment opportunities that come about as a result of hosting marquee sporting events."