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Graphic by Joaquin Kunkel

UAE Updates

Catch up on what’s been going on in the UAE this week

Mar 16, 2019

Let the Games Begin
The opening ceremony for the 2019 Special Olympics was held in Zayed Sports City Stadium, welcoming 7,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities and an additional 2,500 coaches, representing more than 190 nationalities. The Abu Dhabi games is the largest Special Olympics ever held.
Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics, gave a message of hope during his speech at the opening, saying, “In a world of tension and division, you are a ripple of compassion, a wave of compassion, and the entire world of the Olympics sends you our thanks.”
On March 14, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, welcomed the athletes during his own speech, telling them, “We welcome you to the Home of Zayed, your second country.” His Highness launched the games alongside a few athletes proclaiming, “We announce officially the opening of the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi 2019.”
The ceremony featured a lineup of international artists including Hussein Al Jassmi, Avril Lavigne, Tamer Hosny, and Luis Fonsi. The Special Olympics anthem Right Where I Am Supposed to Be by singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne was the final performance of the night, performed with both English and Arabic Lyrics.
The Sky is Falling
A network of cameras in the UAE, set up by the International Astronomy Center and managed alongside the SETI institute and NASA has detected two meteorites entering the UAE twice in the same week. The first meteorite landed somewhere south of Al Wathba, while the second’s trajectory is still being calculated. Several candidate rocks have been found and are awaiting testing for confirmation. The camera network is part of SETI’s global Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance.
Long Term UAE Visas Go Live
Applications are open for a new suite of long-term UAE visas. These include ten year investment visas for those who invest at least 10 million AED in the UAE, five year student visas for graduates with a GPA of at least 3.75 after university which extends to the student’s families, visas for patent holders and ten year visas for doctors and scientists.
His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted, “We also adopted the framework of long-term visas for investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and professional talents. The UAE’s residency departments will start receiving applications. The UAE will remain a global incubator for talents and a permanent destination for pioneers.”
Khaled Alhosani is News Editor. Email him at
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