H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), presided over a ceremony at the Madinat Jumeirah to honor the winners of the ninth edition of the Dubai Sports Excellence Model awards, organized by the DSC.
Sheikh Mansoor bestowed the title of Sports Pioneer upon H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group. Additionally, Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Chairman of Protocols for the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, was recognized as the Distinctive Sports Personality.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum was acknowledged for his remarkable contributions to the sporting sector through various leadership roles, including his tenure as Deputy President and Board Chairman of Al Nasr Club and President of the UAE National Olympic Committee for two consecutive terms.
Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman was honored for his instrumental role in the successes of Shabab Al Ahli Club during the previous sports season, which included winning the ADNOC Pro League title. The award was received by his sons, Mohammed Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman and Sultan Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman.
The award ceremony was attended by Mattar Al Tayer, Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, several sports personalities, directors of Dubai government departments, and Chairmen of clubs and football companies.
Sheikh Mansoor also recognized sports clubs and athletes in Dubai for their outstanding achievements in the past two sports seasons. The winners were selected through a comprehensive evaluation based on the criteria of the Dubai Sports Excellence Model.
The evaluation process placed a strong emphasis on sustainable practices in the sports field. Specific criteria included achievements (40 percent weightage), operations and procedures (25 percent weightage), financial performance (25 percent weightage), and compliance with systems and regulations (10 percent weightage).
Shabab Al Ahli was awarded the Best Sports Club, while Shabab Al-Ahli Co. was named the Best Football Company, and Dubai Club for People of Determination was recognized as the Best Special Sports Club.
Other key awards presented at the ceremony included:
• Best Club for corporate performance awarded to the Dubai International Club for People of Determination
• Best Club for financial performance awarded to Shabab Al-Ahli Club
• Best Investment Initiative awarded to Al Nasr Club
• Best Company for talent sponsorship awarded to Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Co.
• Special Award presented to Hatta Club, Dubai International Marine Club and Ahmed Shah
Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed also presented special awards to several organisations and individuals for exceptional achievements in the sporting sector. Hatta Sports Club was bestowed the Distinguished Achievement award for winning the Football First Division League title and for qualifying for the ADNOC Pro League.
The Sustainability in Sports award was presented to the Dubai International Marine Club for its exceptional commitment to sustainability principles. A total of 79 percent of events organised by the Club were eco–friendly races. Ahmed Ali Shah was named the winner of the Best Administrator award in recognition of his contributions to the success of Shabab Al Ahli Club, the winner of the ADNOC Pro League.
The Chairman of DSC also presented awards to the following individuals:
• Best Emerging Football Player – awarded to Gaith Abdulla for his role in Shabab Al-Ahli winning two championships, scoring 41 goals and his zero card record throughout the season.
• Best Emerging Player in Team Games – awarded to Hassan Ibrahim Al Shaba for his sporting excellence and the role he played in the achievements of Al Nasr Club and the UAE National Basketball Team.
• Best Emerging Player in Individual Games – awarded to Salim Ghalib Ghanim of Al Wasl Club for winning several local competitions and the title of the Best Swimmer in the Gulf Championship.
• Best Emerging Female Player in the category of people of determination – awarded to Aisha Al-Mutaiwe – for winning five international and three local powerlifting championships in the last two seasons.
The award ceremony also saw several prominent pioneers in the sports sector being honoured, taking the total number of Sports Pioneers honoured in nine editions of the Dubai Sports Excellence Model to 50.
The Sports Pioneers honoured included:
• Yousuf Al Serkal for his contributions to the success of Al Shabab Club and national teams while serving as the Chairman of the UAE Football Association. Key achievements of the Club and national teams during his tenure included winning the GCC Football Cup twice, becoming runners up in the Asian Games and coming third in the Asian Cup 2015. The award also recognises his role in developing a new generation of talented players.
• Ibrahim Mohammed Al Bannai for his contributions as Chairman of the Dubai Chess & Culture Club for approximately 30 years. He also served as Chairman of the UAE Chess Association from 2004 to 2008, and Chairman of the Arab Chess Federation from 2000 to 2018. He was also a member of the UAE National Olympic Committee. In 1990, he was named as the Permanent Honorary Member of the World Chess Federation.
• Dr. Mohammed Sulman Hamdoon for his exceptional contributions to the success of Al Ahli Club and the UAE National Team in the 1970s and early 1980s. He assumed several administrative leadership positions and served as Assistant Secretary General of the General Authority for Youth & Sport Welfare.
• Ali Al Sayed Ibrahim, former athlete who played for Al-Ahli Club since the end of the 1960s. He also served in administrative and technical excellence leadership roles.
• Mohammed Khamis Al-Suwaidi: former player who played for Al Nasr Club and contributed to numerous tournament wins for the Club. He served in various leadership roles in the sports sector.
• Ahmed Khursheed Al-Mattawa: exceptional player, coach and administrator who served Al Nasr Club in the 1970s. He managed the Club’s age group teams and academy.
• Khalifa Abdulla Hareb: outstanding contributor to the development of sports in the UAE who served Al Shabab Club in various leadership capacities.