The Higher Organising Committee of the Zayed Charity Marathon convened in Dubai yesterday to discuss the launch of a new phase in the Indian state of Kerala before the end of 2023. The meeting, chaired by Lt. Gen. Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi, saw the participation of a prominent Indian delegation, including Sunjay Sudhir, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, and Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala. Yusuff Ali M.A, Chairman of Lulu Group International, and Ahmed Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi, Member of the Higher Organising Committee, also attended the meeting.
Initiated in Abu Dhabi in 2001 under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Zayed Charity Marathon has been an annual event supporting charitable and humanitarian projects. It expanded to New York City in 2005 and Egypt in 2014.
Lt. Gen. Al Kaabi emphasized that the meeting focused on establishing the marathon’s new station in Kerala, which is expected to be operational by the end of this year. Subsequent events are planned to cover various parts of India. He expressed optimism for the success of this edition and mentioned that an Indian sports delegation will soon meet with the technical committees of the Higher Organising Committee to finalize all arrangements.
The marathon will extend its humanitarian journey with the addition of the fourth station in the Asian continent in Kerala, followed by the fifth station in Africa, which is set to be in Nigeria.
Sunjay Sudhir expressed his anticipation for hosting the event in India, acknowledging its significant impact. He expects a tremendous response from the Indian people, given the strong bilateral relations between the two countries. Sudhir mentioned that the government of Kerala will soon decide on the beneficiaries of this charitable event. He highlighted the overall development of relations between the UAE and India, underscoring the close communication and strong bond between the nations. Sudhir also acknowledged the sizable Indian community residing in the UAE.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan emphasized that hosting this esteemed charitable sporting event showcases the deep-rooted relations between the UAE and India, as well as the strong connection between their people. He expressed gratitude to the Higher Organising Committee for selecting Kerala as the new station for this humanitarian and charitable event.
Yusuff Ali M.A. stated that hosting the Zayed Charity Marathon in India provides an opportunity for the Indian people to demonstrate their love and appreciation for the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and their gratitude towards the UAE.