ABU DHABI, 23rd March, 2023 (WAM) — The International Masters Games Association, IMGA, announced today that Abu Dhabi has won the right to host the Masters Games Series for Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East – Abu Dhabi 2026.
The event will be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Theab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
The first-ever Masters in the Middle East will take place from March 23-April 1, 2026. This transnational sporting event represents the UAE leadership’s support for the development of the sports sector and reaffirms the leadership’s keenness to embrace top international events and create opportunities for global promotion and world peace.
Hosting the Olympic Games for the first time in the Arab world further strengthens Abu Dhabi’s global status as a magnet for major events and the UAE’s commitment to advancing global sporting events.
The Olympic Games consist of 30 sports and are open to all people of all abilities, aged 25 and over.
The Games aim to encourage all Emiratis and expatriates to participate in sport, improve the physical and mental health of community members, bring together athletes of different generations, strengthen the sports ecosystem, and develop sports facilities while highlighting the intrinsic culture, heritage and traditions of the host country.
The UAE capital is expected to host 5,000-10,000 athletes over 9 days in various sports including: Basketball, 3X3 Basketball, Volleyball, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Archery, Badminton, Weightlifting, Table Tennis, Tennis, Cricket, Athletics, Squash, Soccer, ice hockey, cycling, obstacle course, shooting, swimming, golf, kayaking, rowing, sailing, falconry, camel racing, triathlon and futsal.
HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, affirmed that Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the 2026 Masters Series marks another success in the capital’s history of hosting international events and is a testament to the vision and support of the UAE’s wise leadership.
“The support of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been instrumental in Abu Dhabi winning this global event. We are extremely proud to host this event and look forward to welcoming the world again Coming to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The upcoming event will be held in the Middle East for the first time, further confirming Abu Dhabi’s leadership in hosting major global sporting events,” he said.
“Such events achieve various important goals as they attract thousands of athletes from all segments of Emirati society and from around the world, demonstrating the UAE’s tolerance and openness to all cultures. With the support of our wise leadership, we With the state-of-the-art infrastructure in place, and our approach to enforcing the highest professional standards, together we will be able to put on a great show for the world,” added Sheikh Nahyan.
HH Sheikh Theab bin Mohamed commended Abu Dhabi for winning the right to host and organize the Masters Series – Abu Dhabi 2026 Olympic Games. The new event marks the UAE’s already impressive lineup of world-class sporting events and Abu Dhabi in particular. “Our success is due to the guidance of our wise leadership and their insightful vision,” he said.
“We are ready to give all the support and reasons for success for the upcoming global event, where thousands of athletes from all over the world will be participating, as Abu Dhabi is the perfect destination to host the upcoming event, starting with its central location, In addition to its modern world-class facilities and infrastructure.
“The upcoming Olympic Games is more than just a global sporting event, it is a catalyst for improving the quality of life and offering members of society the opportunity to compete alongside professional and amateur participants from different countries around the world,” he said.
Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development, highlighted the importance of Abu Dhabi hosting this global event under the vision of wise leadership as a way of building bridges and promoting community health through sport. “The UAE sees the sports sector’s initiatives in building people and maintaining their physical and mental health through holistic efforts as a way of life that positively impacts society as a whole.”
She explained, “Choosing Abu Dhabi to host the Masters Series – Abu Dhabi 2026 will be a qualitative addition to the organizational level and an opportunity to highlight the true value of the UAE’s land and culture. In addition to strengthening Abu Dhabi as an organization and The status of a major global destination hosting major community and sporting events is also reflected in the various Masters events. The event brings together people from different cultures and different age groups.”
Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, Chairman of the Community Development Department, expressed his delight at the news of Abu Dhabi hosting the Masters Series – Abu Dhabi 2026. It is another outstanding addition to the list of major sporting events to be held in the capital, which reflects its readiness in terms of sports facilities and infrastructure, he said.
“We’re trying to promote sport as a way of life for members of society and to make our society active and responsible, whether that’s by staging sports and world championships or organizing them by engaging individuals and getting them actively involved, ’ emphasized Dr Al Khaili.
He also pointed to the critical role of sport in breaking down social barriers and bringing all communities together while improving the overall quality of life. Furthermore, the economic impact has proven to be enormous.