He was joined by people of all nationalities and backgrounds, people with disabilities and those without, and a number of federal, religious and sports leaders and ambassadors as he led the first wave of the walk side-by-side with people of determination in a mark of solidarity and unity.
Mohammed Abdulla Al Junaibi, Chairman of the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, Afra Al Sabri, Ministry of Tolerance, and Abdullah Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of the National Tolerance Programme also joined the walk.
Walk Unified is a flagship community initiative of the Local Organising Committee, LOC, of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. The event aims to break down barriers between people with and without intellectual disabilities and encourage a healthy lifestyle and inclusiveness.
Walk Unified will return on a monthly basis to Umm Al Emarat Park in the run-up to the World Games. Hundreds of members of the public from different backgrounds are expected to attend over the coming months and walk alongside People of Determination with the hope of breaking down societal barriers.
Today’s walk was held as part of the National Festival of Tolerance in partnership with Etihad Airlines. The 2km walk features music and heritage displays from countries all over the world, highlighting tolerance as a global message to be embraced by all communities.
Sheikh Abdullah said, "Walk Unified perfectly encapsulates the UAE and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019’s important message of inclusivity, humanitarianism and respect for all people, regardless of age or ability.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is proud to support this initiative that will see communities across the UAE and the world come together to achieve the goals of the Special Olympics movement and join the UAE in its pledge to help build a more open society that values all people equally and allows everyone to play their part in contributing to the creation of a better tomorrow.
"Walk Unified and Special Olympics reflect the founding principles of the UAE. We encourage communities in every town, city and country on every continent to participate in this important and inspirational programme as we look forward to welcoming the world to the UAE for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019."
He commended the efforts of the Ministry of Tolerance, under the leadership of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, and the LOC of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 in promoting the values of tolerance, by launching several great initiatives locally and internationally.