Shaikh Mohammad receives Egyptian footballer Mohammad Salah at Zabeel Palace. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday received iconic Egyptian football star Mohammad Salah among the winners of the 10th edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award at Zabeel Palace.

Salah, who was honoured as the ‘Outstanding Arab Athlete’ in the awards ceremony at the World Trade Centre later in the day, flew in for a whistle stop visit to Dubai from Dakar in Senegal - where he was honoured as the African Footballer of the Year. He is already a recipient of the Best Player award by both players and football writers of English Premier League for an exceptional last season with Liverpool FC, when he scored 44 goals in all competitions.

Mohammad Salah with Shaikh Mohammad and other dignitaries at Zabeel Palace. Image Credit: WAM

In his acceptance speech at the ceremony, Salah said in Arabic: “Having the honour of bearing the name of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum makes the Creative Sports Award one of the most prestigious and wonderful awards, given that its value and stature are derived from Shaikh Mohammad’s highly prestigious position as number one in all fields of creativity.”

“Yesterday I won the title of African Player of the Year for the second time and today I am honoured to be here with you to receive this prestigious award alongside an elite group of top Arab athletes and sports leaders, among them young men from various Arab countries. The award will motivate them to realise more achievements in the future,” Salah added.

Shaikh Mohammad welcomed the Emirati and Arab winners and congratulated them on their athletic achievements in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

Shaikh Mohammad urged the athletic winners to continue their efforts to realise more sports achievements on local, regional and international levels, and to serve as role models for younger generations.