DUBAI, 28th August, 2023 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the UAE National Olympic Committee (NOC), said today that the growth of the Olympic Movement in the UAE was made possible by the contributions of distinguished individuals, whose support also helped accelerate the development of the country's broader sporting sector.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed lauded their tireless efforts and commitment to raising the UAE's profile in the international sporting landscape. Working selflessly, without seeking praise or compensation, they helped the National Olympic Committee (NOC) make an impact right from its establishment in 1979, he noted.
His Highness made these remarks following the election of the members of the Board of Directors of the UAE NOC for the 2021-2024 term. The NOC Election Commission named the four winners of the elections to the new NOC Board of Directors. Nine additional members representing various Olympic sports federations were also announced. The appointment of a member representing non-Olympic international federations recognised by the International Olympic Committee will be finalised at the first General Assembly meeting of the new board, as outlined in Article 50 of the NOC statutes.
Sheikh Ahmed commended the efforts of past Presidents of the NOC, including Sultan Saqr Al Suwaidi, who assumed the Presidency of the Founding Body of the NOC from 1980 to 1981; Ahmed Abdullah Bu Hussein, who presided over the formation of the NOC in 1981 after he was officially approved as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); Sheikh Butti bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum who served between 1982 and 2000; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who was President during the 2000-2008 period, which saw the UAE's first Olympic medal won by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum at the Athens Olympics in 2004; and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who served from 2008 to 2009.
His Highness directed the new NOC board to submit comprehensive reports outlining development plans and new solutions for raising sporting standards in the UAE, in coordination with the UAE Committee for Elite and High-Level Sports formed as part of the National Sports Strategy 2031.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed noted that the NOC statutes, ratified by its General Assembly, are in full compliance with international sports regulations. These statutes introduce innovative committees such as the Athletes Committee, which serves as a liaison between athletes and the NOC, and the Emirates Sports Clubs Committee, a first-of-its-kind initiative that includes club representatives from across the UAE.
Furthermore, His Highness emphasised the importance of promoting the Olympic Movement's core values in close collaboration with national sports organisations and key authorities. He said the NOC will continue to work to instill the Olympic ethos at the grassroots level and promote sports participation in schools and higher educational institutions.