DUBAI, 19th October, 2023 (WAM) — Sheikh Suhail bin Butti Suhail Al Maktoum, Executive Director of the Sports Development Sector at the General Authority of Sports, and the Secretary General of the UAE Sports Federation for School and University Education Institution, said that the National Sports Strategy 2031 is a major step forward for sports in the country. He called it the first comprehensive national strategy for the sports sector and a key step towards the full realization of UAE sports.
This strategy is our plan to achieve our vision of a world-class sports sector that inspires the community to be active, he added.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), he said UAE’s new sports strategy aims to adopt a set of ambitious objectives. These objectives encompass the adoption of an active lifestyle for more than 71 percent of the population, the qualification of more than 30 athletes to represent the UAE in the Olympic Games, and the economic contribution of the sports sector to 0.5 percent of the non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He emphasised that the sports sector should be a key part of the country’s development process, as it can help to boost the country’s reputation and soft power through hosting championships and building world-class sports facilities.
The National Sports Strategy includes 17 distinct initiatives, a blend of three transformational undertakings and 14 strategic ventures. These initiatives will be rolled out progressively over three meticulously planned phases spanning until the year 2031.
He said that the General Authority for Sports and various stakeholders are already working together to implement the first phase of the strategy. Some of the most notable projects in this phase include the new sports law, the transformation of sports federations, the launch of a pilot version of the school games, and elite professional sports development.
Sheikh Suhail bin Butti said that the Emirates Committee for Elite and High-Level Sports was created to integrate the sports system and support athletes in qualifying for the Olympics and other international competitions. The committee’s work includes identifying and developing talented athletes through specialised programmes.
He divulged that the committee has selected 22 talented Emirati athletes in 8 different sports for the elite sports programme. It supports priority sports federations and elite athletes, and helps athletes who have a chance to qualify for the Olympics by providing them with financial and administrative support, as well as external camps and intensive training programmes.
He said that any talented athlete will be supported and sponsored, regardless of their federation, so that they can represent the country at various sporting events, including the Olympic Games.