Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 partners with SAS to create data-driven legacy of inclusion

SAS will support the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) to analyze data sources and drive intelligent event insights pre, post and during the event.

The largest sports and humanitarian event on the planet this year, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 celebrates inclusion and the empowerment of people of determination through the power of sport in line with the Special Olympics global movement. With volumes of data being generated in real time from multiple sources throughout the Games, this event will curate valuable data for not only operational planning purposes but potentially also utilizable for medical research into innovative behavioral insights to drive inclusiveness within society. With this mission of data driven innovation for the service of humankind at large, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 has partnered with SAS, the world’s largest advanced analytics company, naming it as the official Analytics Supplier of event.

A signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties took place at SAS Middle East’s office in Dubai and was signed by Peter Wheeler, CEO, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 and Alaa Yousef, Managing Director, SAS Middle East. Through this partnership, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will avail cutting-edge data analytics platform by SAS for the purpose of usage pre, post and during the event period.
SAS is a proud partner globally for the Data for Good movement, which encourages using data in meaningful ways to solve humanitarian issues around poverty, health, human rights, education etc., and the Special Olympics movement and its data share the same ethos and spirit.

As the Official Analytics Supplier for Special Olympics 2019, SAS will not only offer its Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and data management platform to analyze traditional and nontraditional data sources like athlete and spectator geospatial data, health data, spectator and volunteer data, but a globally sourced team of volunteer data scientists and data enthusiasts will through the course of the event provide support to drive intelligent event insights as well.

Peter Wheeler, CEO, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 said “The World Games in Abu Dhabi will mark the start of the next 50 years of Special Olympics, and so we want to ensure that these Games are innovative and technologically advanced. Leveraging the latest data-gathering methods to monitor our athletes and other constituents enables us not only to deliver excellence at the World Games, but also creates a legacy of valuable data that will help to redefine the future of the Special Olympics movement. We are grateful to SAS for partnering with us in this effort”
“Inclusion is about offering the same opportunities to everyone, and providing encouragement and services to accommodate people’s differences. At SAS we are passionate about this cause. While some people look at data and see numbers, we see numbers and see faces and an opportunity to drive change. This partnership with Special Olympics Local Organizing Committee Abu Dhabi also reflects our commitment to support such path breaking initiatives encouraged by the visionary leadership of the UAE Government.” says Alaa Yousef, Managing Director, SAS Middle East.

The Private sector and public sector working together can be a force multiplier for the service of people of determination and intellectual disabilities and the SAS Partnership aims to achieve that. The Special Olympics World Games 2019, would be the first event of this scale in the Middle East Africa region where the power of advanced analytics, AI & Machine learning would be utilized to help change the future narrative of people of determination.


About Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 is an integral part of local, national and regional plans to expand opportunities for people of determination in line with Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s shared vision of a unified and inclusive society.
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi will be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2019. From 14 – 21 March, over 7,500 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing more than 190 nations will participate in 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in world-class venues throughout Abu Dhabi.
‬The first ever Special Olympics World Games to be held in the Middle East and North Africa will also be the most unified Games in the 50-year history of the Special Olympics movement, with inclusion of people of determination with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of the event.
For more information on Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit abuDhabi2019.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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