UAE Consulate is Platinum Sponsor of First-Ever “Inclusion Cup”

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Special Olympics New York and the Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) New York today announced a new partnership to promote inclusive communities throughout the state and around the world.

Marking the beginning of what will be a long-term partnership, the UAE Consulate provided $50,000 as platinum sponsor of the first-ever Inclusion Cup, which will be held Oct. 19 at Randall’s Island Park in New York City and serve as the official launch of Special Olympics New York’s 50th anniversary celebration. 

The international partnership kicked off with a recent Unified Bowling event in Manhattan. The event was co-hosted by His Excellency Abdalla Shaheen, UAE Consulate General of New York, and Stacey Hengsterman, Special Olympics New York President and CEO. It was also attended by Her Excellency Hessa Buhumaid, UAE Minister of Community Development, His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Bahrain, Sheikh Mohamed bin Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Ambassador to Sweden and a cohort of UAE Ambassadors as well as leaders, athletes and coaches from Special Olympics New York.  

Photos and video from the Unified Bowling event are available online.

“In line with the UAE’s efforts to empower people of determination and to promote an inclusive society in every community, we are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the Special Olympics here in New York,” said Consul General Shaheen. “During the Year of Tolerance, we are furthering our work to encourage greater understanding, inclusion and respect for people of determination around the world.”

“The UAE has established itself as a world leader of inclusion, equality and acceptance for people with intellectual differences, and we could not be more grateful to have the opportunity to continue their work together in New York,” said Hengsterman. “Through our ongoing partnership, we hope to similarly inspire more communities in New York City and across the state.” 

UAE hosted the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, the first to take place in the Middle East. It was the largest sports and humanitarian event the world has ever seen, featuring more than 7,000 athletes and 20,000 registered volunteers from more than 200 countries. UAE coined the term “people of determination” and has taken steps within its national policies to protect and empower these individuals through services and facilities in the areas of education, health, jobs and more. 

A hallmark of the global movement to inclusion is Special Olympics Unified Sports, which include participation by athletes with and without intellectual disabilities playing on the same team.


About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 67,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with more than 170 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.