12 Jan 2010

SportAccord Press Conference

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

Thank you for coming.

We are here to tell you about a significant event for Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and this entire region.

In April, Dubai will become the first city in the Middle East to host the international Sportaccord convention, one of the largest and most important gatherings of global sports leaders.

The four-day convention will bring the world of global sport to Dubai and showcase all of the attributes that make this such a great place to work, live and play.

Our guests will include the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, as well as the leadership of nearly every major international sport organization.

We get a lot of conventions in Dubai, but this one is special.

They made the right choice.

As a leading trade, tourism and business hub — and as a center of sports in this region — Dubai is ideally suited for this role.

The wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, our rich heritage, our vibrant economy, our diverse multi-cultural population, our beautiful beaches, and our first-class infrastructure have made Dubai a top international destination.

As a member of the International Olympic Committee, I am particularly pleased that our Sportaccord visitors will learn more about our culture of sports.

The beautiful, modern sporting venues that we offer in Dubai today are the modern outgrowth of a long tradition of sport and athletic competition in this part of the world.

Horsemanship and sailing are deeply embedded in our culture.

As an international crossroads, the people of Dubai and the UAE have embraced sports from all over the world — as spectators and as participants.

Dubai Sports City is a unique state-of-the-art complex that has set a new global standard.

Our commitment to sports is not just about nice venues, it’s about values. The values that the Olympic Movement promotes — fair play, respect for competitors and excellence — are our values.

That’s one reason schools throughout Dubai have made physical education an important part of the school curriculum.

Sport and healthy bodies contribute to healthy minds.

Hospitality is another hallmark of this region. Taking care of guests is deeply rooted in the Arabian culture.

In Dubai, we aim to create an experience, a blend of culture, heritage and history – right down to the finest detail - for all who visit.

Dubai’s high standards in hospitality contribute greatly to the Emirate’s popularity as an ideal year-round destination, reinforcing its position as a special place, filled with special people.

I know the people of Dubai will join me in welcoming Sportaccord 2010. It will be a great experience for the world of sport and a great experience for Dubai.

Thank you.