Princess Haya with the Steiger award. Image Credit: WAM

Bochum, Germany: Recognised for her outstanding merits in the field of sport, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, received the Steiger Award at a gala dinner at Bochum's Centennial Hall in Germany Sunday evening.

The Steiger Award is named after Der Steiger (the miner) and symbolises traits that are associated with miners in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany: straightforward, open, honest, fair and tolerant. It also stands for reliability, loyalty and cooperation in good times and in bad. The award is given annually to personalities who are recognised for their work in fields of music, sports, media, environment and film.

Princess Haya, a former Olympic athlete, was presented the Steiger Award for her various sporting roles, including her work as President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and, most recently, as President of the Dubai Organising Committee (DOC) for the SportAccord Convention 2010.

Her experience with sport also influences her humanitarian efforts and her work as a UN Messenger of Peace.

She is motivated by the belief that sport improves lives, empowers women, and breaks down barriers between people and nations. She has worked closely with the UN's Sport for Development and Peace programme to use sport to improve the lives of refugees and impoverished youth.


"The virtues of the Der Steiger are the same values that we cherish in sports. The only thing that matters in sports is your performance. And a winning performance isn't measured just by medal counts. It is measured by behaviour," said Princess Haya upon receiving the award.

"The equality of competition can be particularly empowering for women and young girls. For far too many of them, sport is the one opportunity they have to break free from societal norms that stifle their creativity, their passion and their dreams."