Abu Dhabi: The relations between the UAE and France have witnessed significant development on all fronts, including in sports. The UAE welcomes many visits by French sporting legends, including football legends, who visit the country for entertainment or to participate in international sporting events.
As the world is gearing up for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, Emirati sports is also awaiting the start of the event. Therefore, the General Authority of Sports (GAS) identified five priority sports to boost the country’s stature in international sports, starting with the Paris Olympics.
French Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
This announcement was followed by the signing of an Olympic grant agreement between the National Olympic Committee and the Olympic Solidarity Commission for seven athletes from four federations to be trained for the Paris Olympics.
For six consecutive months during Expo 2020 Dubai, the France pavilion received an unprecedented turnout, especially as it showcased the Paris Olympics.
The Olympic Hall Project at the French Pavilion was an impressive attraction for visitors, as it deployed advanced technologies and unveiled France’s vision for the event and showcased the Olympic village and the various venues hosting competitions.
Many sporting events hosted by the two countries have witnessed considerable turnouts, most notably the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The UAE successfully organised the event and France participated with a large delegation of 85 athletes in ten disciplines. French Olympic champion Alain Bernard announced his support for his country’s athletes and joined the event as its ambassador.
UAE Team Emirates at Tour de France
In France, the UAE President’s Cup for Purebred Arabian Horses played a key role in resuming sporting activities in the country after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Football accounts for the largest share of their cooperation, with French coaches and professional players being contracted by UAE national teams and clubs.
France was also the scene of one of the leading achievements of Emirati sports, which is the victory of the UAE Team Emirates cycling team in Tour de France during two consecutive editions in 2020 and 2021, in addition to its extensive participation in the event and many other races held in France.
UAE women’s football team
Due to the UAE’s interest in women’s sports and its related efforts, the French government has been keen to confirm its support. Last year, Roxana Karasinunu, French Minister of Sports, invited a delegation from the UAE Women’s football team to attend an official luncheon at the French Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which took place after a friendly game and aimed to discuss the experiences of Emirati women in football competitions and the sport’s rapid development.