Expats Can Represent The UAE In Sports
UAE residents will soon be able to join local sports clubs and represent the country in all sports and sporting competitions taking place in the UAE - regardless of their nationalities - following a decree from the President, Sheikh Khalifa.
The new law, which was passed in UAE Cabinet this week, was described as a "ground-breaking occasion in the history of UAE sports" by Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithy, president of the General Sports Authority.
“It was approved on Monday and we are announcing it today,” said Al Rumaithy explained at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council auditorium. “The expatriate community that has helped us to build the nation is now provided the opportunity to play a role in sports.
“This is a long-awaited need for the expatriate community. Their participation in local sports will create a bigger pool of players for the national federations aside from the competition they will provide for the Emirati players.”
The law was passed, as per the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
But who does the law apply to?
Sports people applicable will be "children of Emirati mothers, UAE passport holders, and all those born in the UAE along with residents of all nationalities."
"The law translates the message of tolerance, peaceful co-existence, peace and love the UAE is disseminating among all segments of society," said Al Rumaithy went on to say. "The grand move instills values of loyalty to the homeland and expands the sports base in the country in a way that unleashes the potential of all elements living in the UAE, and ultimately enables the homeland to notch more sports accolades."
"While football will be the prime area of focus, other sports that have been mentioned are basketball, volleyball, rugby, hockey and ice-hockey, all individual sport and sport for people with determination," one local paper has said of the new law. "Children born to Emirati women with expatriate husbands, players holding UAE passports, players born and residing in the UAE offer a wider talent pool and that in turn will encourage greater competition, which will benefit the UAE."