Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi is organising the Host Town Programme, the largest-ever cultural exchange event to take place in the Middle East, before the launch of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

The Host Town Programme has been an integral part of past Special Olympics World Games events, and this edition will pair individual delegations from each participating country with a town or city from one of the UAE’s seven emirates, providing athletes, delegates and family members from around the world an opportunity to enjoy the culture and hospitality of the UAE over the days leading up to the Games. In addition, the department will also organise a tour of the UAE capital’s attractions for the participating athletes.

The special itinerary crafted for the athletes features visits to six landmark sites and attractions in Abu Dhabi emirate, including the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Heritage Village, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Al Hosn cultural site in the capital, as well as the Al Ain Zoo, the Hili Fun City and the UAE University in Al Ain.

This Abu Dhabi edition of the Special Olympics will feature 7,500 athletes competing in 24 sports categories, with record-breaking participation from 192 countries, making these Games the most unified ever in the 50-year history of the Special Olympics.