Dubai: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussain of Jordan were announced as the winners in the UAE and Arab categories for the eighth edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award on January 9.
Shaikh Hamdan was bestowed with the ‘UAE Sports Personality’ award for his service in the upliftment and encouragement of various sports in the UAE and abroad. In addition to being the President of Al Nasr Club, Shaikh Hamdan supports Hatta Club that bagged a promotion into Division One of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) this season.
“In addition, Shaikh Hamdan is a willing supporter of special needs sport and various sailing and maritime activities that seek to preserve the heritage and culture of the UAE,” Mattar Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman, Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Award, told media at the announcement on Monday.
“Shaikh Hamdan is also considered one of the symbols in equestrian, horse racing and camel racing. Moreover, Shaikh Hamdan has some of the best horses and breeds and a proven track record in terms of victories in some of the biggest thoroughbred and Arabian horse races around the globe,” Al Tayer added.
Prince Ali, a vice-president of Fifa, was chosen for his vision in seeking to weed out corruption in international football, though unsuccessfully contesting for the post of president of the world governing body earlier this year. More recently, Jordan successfully organised the Fifa Under-17 Girls World Cup.
UAE cyclist Yousuf Mirza was bestowed with the ‘UAE Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award’ for his silver medal at the Asian Cycling Championships, while becoming the first local cyclist to qualify directly to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
During the course of a glittering career, Mirza has won nine gold medals at the Arab Cycling Championships, while also emerging as the key competitor in the UAE’s dominance at the Gulf Cycling Championships during the course of the season.
The UAE Organisation Award went to the UAE Paralympic Committee for overseeing a preparation programme for its athletes that led to the UAE winning a record seven medals in three different sports at the Rio Paralympic Games earlier this summer. The UAE Paralympic team won a total of seven medals in three sports, namely athletics, shooting and weightlifting.
The Arab Athlete of the Year Award was shared by Ahmad Abou Ghoush of Jordan for winning a gold medal in taekwondo at the Rio Games, while Kuwaiti shooting sensation Fahad Al Dhehani’s Double Trap gold in Rio handed him his award.
Roll of honour
UAE Sports Personality Award: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance
Arab Sports Personality Award: Prince Ali Bin Al Hussain, President, Jordan Football Association
UAE Administrator Award: Nasser Al Tamimi, General Secretary, UAE Taekwondo and Judo Federation
UAE Referee Award: Khamis Al Shamsi, UAE Futsal
UAE Coach Award: Esmail Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Jaziri, Equestrian
UAE Organisation Award: UAE Paralympic Committee – seven medals at Rio Paralympics in three sports (athletics, shooting and weightlifting)
Arab Athlete of the Year: by Ahmad Abou Ghoush (Jordan, gold in taekwondo in Rio) and Fahad Al Dhehani (Kuwait, Double Trap shooting gold in Rio)
Arab Referee Award: Ahmad Al Helmi, Egypt
Arab Coach Award: Ali Al Zahrani, Saudi Arabia, Karate
Arab Team Award: Bahrain endurance team
Arab Organisation Award: Shaikha Al Thani for Underpriviledged Children
International Federation of the Year Award: Badminton World Federation (BWF) based in Malaysia
International Paralympic Federation of the Year Award: British Paralympic Association, UK
Recognition to Emerging Award Nominees (Voting to stay open till December 31, 2016): Mai Ahmad Eisa Al Madani, Weightlifting; Abdul Rahman Yasir Al Ketbi, Taekwondo; Reem Ali Hassan Al Shamma, Fencing; Mahra Mallah Eisa Al Rumaithi, Chess; Abdullah Anwar Khusaif Al Nuaimi, Autosports; Reema Mohammad Abdul Raheem Al Helou, Golf.
International Athlete with Recognition: Maroua Brahmi (Shot Put, Tunisia)
Best Scientific Sports Innovation Award: Mohannad Kamel, Iraq
Distinguished Athletes Achievement Awards: Inas Boubakri (Fencing, Tunisia); Marwa Amri (Wrestling, Tunisia), Hedaya Ahmad Malak Wahba (Taekwondo, Egypt); Sara Sameer Al Sayed (Weightlifting, Egypt)
Best Media Award: Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), Tunisia
UAE Outstanding Athlete Award: Yousuf Mirza (Cycling)