Ma’an Opens Desert Shield Fitness Center for Purposeful People in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed Higher Organization (ZHO), the Social Contribution Authority – Ma’an today opened the “Desert Shield” gymnasium for People of Determination at Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi.

With diverse and inclusive sporting activities and an active program of community events, the gym is the first facility of its kind in the UAE and will provide an ideal venue for determined individuals to develop their sporting, social and interpersonal skills.

The opening event attracted the participation of His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of Community Development Department (DCD), His Excellency Abdulla Abdulalee Alhumaidan, Secretary General of ZHO, His Excellency Eng. Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of Community Development Department (DCD) and His Excellency Salama AlAmeemi, Managing Director of Ma’an, along with senior officials from AD Ports Group, Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), UAE Football Association (UAEFA), Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA).

The gymnasium is an outstanding example of the successful partnership between the public, private and third sectors and demonstrates the creativity and social enterprise nurtured by the first cohort of Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI) which focused on determined people ( PODs). Ma’an supported the project through its grant program and recognized it with a Ma’an social certificate.

Desert Shield focuses on empowering the lives of PODs, improving their well-being, and including them in mainstream society.

HE Salama Al Ameemi, Managing Director of Ma’an said, “As empowering determined people is a top priority for the Department of Community Development, the launch of Desert Shield Gym signals our determination to boost social enterprises. and accelerating innovation to address social challenges. Through the convergence of material support from the community, social work from nonprofit organizations, and corporate social responsibility from the private sector, we seek to better meet the needs of any significant segment of the community, while achieving our broader view of building collaborative communities”.

Al Ameemi added, “At Ma’an, we will continue to prioritize creative entrepreneurship and business-driven solutions that support Abu Dhabi’s social priorities and make a real difference in the lives of its people.” .

Her Excellency Dr. Layla Alhyas, Executive Director of Community Development Sector at DCD commended the Ma’an Authority for their tireless efforts in launching a fully equipped inclusive gym in line with Abu Dhabi’s strategy for determined people that aims to empower these people. individuals and ensure their participation in a variety of areas – including educational, cultural, social and professional. The strategy also strives to provide them with all the necessary services and resources that meet their needs and correspond to their abilities.

SE said that the services offered by sports facilities must be made available to all segments of society, including determined people, and must respond effectively to their needs and requirements. Alhyas further affirmed that such services and similar initiatives greatly contribute to the empowerment of these people and provide them with various chances to become more involved in the society, thereby ensuring their happiness and fulfilling their needs.

Alhyas also highlighted DCD’s commitment to working with the partners involved in this initiative to improve the inclusion of determined people in multiple fields and raise their standard of living. This will enable the Department to achieve its primary goal of building a society that involves everyone, as well as making Abu Dhabi a city that encourages and supports determined people, she added.

Saif Al Mazrouei, Managing Director Ports Cluster of AD Ports Group, said: “AD Ports Group’s participation in this event aligns with the group’s commitment to its social role. We aim to support and develop the capabilities of the Emirati community, to enable them to contribute more to the advancement and prosperity of the nation, in line with the guidance of our wise leadership aimed at strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position in the world. global scale.

The MSI is a dynamic and emerging hub for social impact projects in Abu Dhabi that encourages imaginative solutions that address the spectrum of social, cultural and environmental challenges. Through a bi-annual call for new cohorts, the incubator offers resources and support in the form of investments, learning and development, mentorship and networking opportunities to up to twelve successful candidates to help them to innovate, grow and prosper.

By acting as a nexus between business and public, private and ‘third’ sector investment, Ma’an enables a new generation of innovators to design solutions to pressing social challenges such as access to sports facilities. Through targeted initiatives to help drive enterprise, build cohesive communities, empower individuals and encourage personal responsibility, The Authority is having a profound and positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living in Abu Dhabi including determined individuals, families, elderly citizens, orphans and students.


About Ma’an

Founded in February 2019 by the Department of Community Development Abu Dhabi, the Social Contribution Authority – Ma’an drives social innovation and builds a culture of social contribution and participation to address social priorities in the emirate from Abu Dhabi. Ma’an brings together government, the private sector and civil society to support innovative solutions and contribute to the development of strong, active, collaborative and inclusive communities.

The Authority has launched several pioneering programs across its five pillars of work – Social Impact Bonds, Social Incubator and Accelerator Program, Social Investment Fund, Community Engagement and Outreach Management to provide solutions and make life-changing differences for Abu Dhabi residents. To this end, Ma’an provides resources and support to create and grow community organizations, raise and allocate funds to community organizations and social initiatives, and promote community engagement and a culture of volunteerism. Ma’an is an initiative of the “Ghadan 21” acceleration program, helping Abu Dhabi become one of the best places in the world to invest, live, work and visit.

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