WAM GALLERY 1-1704910312767
Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum presents Fifa President Gianni Infantino with the International Sports Personality Award. Image Credit: WAM

Read more

Dubai: Accolades are essential component for a successful sportsperson and the 12th edition of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award honoured 30 athletes, teams, personalities and institutions from across the UAE, the Arab region and the world at a ceremony in Dubai on Wednesday.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, President of UAE National Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award, alongside Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman, Dubai Sports Council, honoured the winners.

Ammar's significant contributions

During the ceremony, Sheikh Ahmed honoured Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, with the UAE Sports Personality Award, in recognition for his significant contributions to the advancement of sports in Ajman and the UAE. Notably, he initiated the Ajman Stud for horses, a renowned stable that has garnered numerous titles in world horse beauty championship. Sheikh Humaid Bin Ammar Al Nuaimi received the award on behalf of Sheikh Ammar.

WAM MAIN PIC-1704910310778
Sheikh Ahmed and Sheikh Mansoor with the award winners and officials at the 12th edition of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award on Wednesday. Image Credit: WAM

Fifa President Gianni Infantino claimed the International Sports Personality Award for guiding Fifa through a transformative era, implementing groundbreaking technologies and initiatives that have profoundly impacted the sport.

Great testimony for UAE

At the end of the ceremony, Infantino expressed gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his steadfast commitment to developing the sports sector both regionally and globally. Furthermore, he lauded the efforts of the Organising Committee of the Award, which has evolved into a global platform celebrating sports excellence.

“It’s a great honour and pleasure for me to be here and receive this award. We all feel at home in this beautiful city of Dubai, a real world city, where lot is done for sport. It is a great testimony for the great work done in UAE. Football unites the world. Football and sport give hope to many people, young and old, in the world. Today we are united in Dubai,” Infantino said after receiving his award.

Sheikh Ahmed also presented the ‘Outstanding Successes Award’ to former Russian mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov for his remarkable achievements. Nurmagomedov has clinched the World Mixed Martial Arts Championship title multiple times and boasts the longest unbeaten record, securing victories in 29 consecutive matches. Notably, he is the first Muslim to achieve the title of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

WAM GALLERY 2-1704910314722
Sheikh Ahmed presents the Outstanding Successes Award to former Russian mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov. Image Credit: WAM

The 12th edition of the Award, part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, drew the largest number of nominations to date, totalling 545 across various categories, including a new category for Arab junior athletes.

Outstanding achievements of youth

During the ceremony, Sheikh Mansoor presented the trophy to Sheikh Talal Al Fahad Al Subah, the Arab Sports Personality, for his remarkable contributions to sports development in Kuwait and across the region. Sheikh Mansoor also honoured the Dubai Horse Racing Club with ‘The UAE Organization Award’, presenting the trophy to Rashid Bin Dalmook Bin Juma Al Maktoum, Club’s Chairman. Additionally, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) received the ‘International Organization Award’, and Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al Thani, the President of FIBA, accepted the trophy on behalf of the federation.

Sheikh Mansoor also recognised the outstanding achievements of six winners in The UAE Youth Award across various sports. The recipients include Sultan Saleh Mohammed (shooting), Ahmed Khalid Al Abdouli (taekwondo), Mira Abdulla Al Shihi (swimming), Zamzam Mohammed Al Hammadi (jiu-jitsu), Alhayam Saif Al Blooshi (fencing) and Saeed Mahmoud Al Awadhi (water cycling).

The Chairman of Dubai Sports Council also honoured the winners in the Arab Junior Athletes category. The winners include Hanaa Ayman Juwdat from Egypt (table tennis), Abdul Aziz Al Saif from Saudi Arabia (karate), Noor Sahnoon from Tunisia (tennis), Abderahim Medjahed from Algeria (judo), Malak Al Alami from Morocco (tennis) and Ahmed Ibrahim Shamaa from Syria (weightlifting).

Six UAE stars honoured

Sheikh Mansoor also recognised the winners of ‘The UAE Athlete Award,’ which was jointly awarded to Salem Hamad Al Kitbi and Khalid Mohammed Al Shihi. Salem Hamad Al Kitbi secured gold and silver medals at the World Endurance Championship in 2021 and 2022. Khalid Mohammed Al Shihi achieved gold medals in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship for Adults in 2022 and 2023, in addition to three gold medals in the World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship from 2021 to 2023. He holds the top global ranking in the 62kg youth and senior categories.

‘The UAE Administrator Award’ went to Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, First Deputy President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, and Chairman of Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Association for Professionals — AJP in recognition of his remarkable contribution to the development of the sport of Jiu-Jitsu. The award was accepted on his behalf by Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice-President of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation.

Sheikh Mansoor also honoured other winners, including the UAE National Show Jumping Team, recipient of ‘The UAE Team Award’. Additionally, ‘The Arab Athlete Award’ was shared by Khadija Mardhi from Morocco and Ghufran Bel Khair from Tunisia.

WAM GALLERY 3-1704910308403
Sheikh Mansoor presenting the Arab Junior Athletes Award to Moroccon tennis player Malak Al Alami. Image Credit: WAM

Remarkable tally

‘The Creative Athlete’ in the People of Determination category was awarded to Algerian Nasima Safi. She secured the gold medal at the World Para Athletics Championship in 2023, adding to her remarkable tally of four Olympic medals and eight international medals. ‘The Arab Team Award’ went to the Moroccan National Team for its stunning showing as the first Arabian and African National Team to achieve historical results during its participation in the Fifa World Cup Finals.

Furthermore, ‘The Arab Administrator Award’ went to Mohammed Hassan Al Shammari of Iraq in recognition of his groundbreaking role as the first Iraqi, Arabian, and Asian leader to be appointed as the chairperson of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) since its inception.

The Award ceremony was attended by Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum, President of UAE Tennis Federation; Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award; Moaza Al Marri, Secretary General of the Award; Sheikh Abdullah Al Sharqi, President of UAE Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation; Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA); Major General Ismail Al Gergawi, President of UAE and Arab Basketball Federation; members of the Award’s Board of Trustees and heads of local clubs and Arab and international federations.