Engineer Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, with participants Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Etisalat, the official telecommunications partner of the ‘Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019’, hosted the last leg of the Special Olympics ‘Flame of Hope’ journey at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Engineer Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, senior vice presidents and other Etisalat management were present at the special ceremony to celebrate the values of inclusivity and unity promoted by Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Etisalat employees, Special Olympics athletes and senior officers from Ministry of Interior took part in a festive parade as the torch was carried to Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi’s historic landmark.

The Torch Run was organised by the Ministry of Interior in partnership with the UAE Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, under the patronage of Lt. General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

The Torch is seen as a symbol of courage and part of a global effort to use sports to end discrimination against people with intellectual or physical disabilities, and also falls in line with the UAE Leadership’s vision of nurturing a unified, diversified and all-inclusive society.

The Torch heads to Zayed Sports City Stadium on Thursday to signal the start of UAE’s largest single event ever, and the first time the Special Olympics has come to the Mena region.

Etisalat’s continuous support for People of Determination falls in line with its long-established Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy of extending its reach, offers and services across the community. With its numerous efforts and partnerships Etisalat has always supported ‘People of Determination’ by helping their integration into the society and increasing their role in the community.

Etisalat’s CSR strategy falls in line with the UAE Vision 2021, and long-term plans of the company’s leadership to continue to support and empower specially-abled people. This is in line with its efforts to bring digital innovation and transformation across the country.

The partnership with UAE Special Olympics Team was a result of Etisalat continued focus on supporting the ‘determined ones’ in the field of sports.

In 2012 in London, Etisalat was a platinum partner for people of determination in sports for men and women from UAE. This was followed in 2015 with Etisalat becoming the official partner of the UAE Special Olympics team for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Etisalat also got the opportunity to be the official partner of the UAE Paralympic Committee in 2016 at Special Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Closer to home, Etisalat was the telecoms host for the 9th regional games of the Special Olympics held in Abu Dhabi last year, as well as for the UAE Paralympic Team participants in the Paralympic Asian Games at Jakarta.

The event will witness over 7,500 men and women from over 200 countries participating in a first of a kind in MENA region.

As part of the partnership with Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, Etisalat joined the world in March this year to celebrate the Special Olympics 50th anniversary to work together to create a new future for people of determination. Etisalat’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Al Kifaf buildings were among a number of major landmarks and iconic venues around the globe that lit up in red to celebrate the Special Olympics movement.

Etisalat has harnessed the power of its advanced IT and communications technologies to provide discounted offers and special packages and services to people of determination. This included a 50 per cent discount on the eLife Unlimited Starter plan incorporating fast-download home Wi-Fi and a landline. Etisalat also offered free usage of its video calling platforms HiU-Messenger, C’Me and BOTIM.

Etisalat’s ‘Talking Bill’ is a special service launched for the visually-challenged to access bill summary details free of charge. Customers can subscribe to the service at no extra cost by dialling 101 or visiting any of Etisalat’s retail stores.