Majid Al Usaimi is Unicef's first National Ambassador from UAE

Dubai - Appointment follows decades of work for children in the UAE and wider region.

Majid Al Usaimi (right).
Majid Al Usaimi (right).
Majid Al Usaimi.
Majid Al Usaimi.

By James Jose

Published: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 3:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:40 PM

He wears many hats and serves each one of them with dedication and distinction.

He is president of the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) and CEO of the Dubai Club for People of Determination. He is also a member of the Special Olympics in the Middle East & North Africa advisory council (SOMENA) and a board member of the UAE’s Supreme Committee for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

So, who better than the unassuming Majid Rashed Al Usaimi to champion the cause of children’s rights?

The Emirati was appointed the UNICEF’s first National Ambassador from the UAE during a ceremony at the Dubai Sports Council’s (DSC) offices at Dubai Design District on Monday.

His role will entail giving children a voice and bringing their needs to the much-needed attention of decision makers, as well as driving UNICEF’s push to achieve child rights.

His appointment to the new role comes on the back of the APC signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNICEF towards the promotion of rights of children and youth with disabilities and working together for their greater inclusion into the society.

Al Usaimi’s term began on Monday and will run for a period of two years.

“I’m happy and honoured with this appointment,” Al Usaimi said after the official announcement.

The 44-year-old reiterated that there can be no better tool than sports to champion the cause and also provide a pathway towards the inclusion of people with determination.

“The appointment has come at the right time as we are set to implement the APC’s new strategic plan for the next four years. In addition, our mission also aligns with UNICEF’s to use sport to empower youth with disabilities and promote social inclusion,” he added.

For the uninitiated, A Usaimi was an elite para athlete of repute, who served the country and continues to do so through various avenues.

He began his sporting career in both athletics and table tennis in 1989 and competed in local, national, regional and international competitions.

Al Usaimi later went on to manage the UAE athletics team at the Athletics World Championships in Birmingham in 1998. He also served as the Chef de Mission at the Paralympic Games at Athens in 2004 and London in 2012.

“In this new role, I hope I can contribute to my full potential and work towards the goals of UNICEF, not only in UAE but also in Asia and around the world,” he said.

“This position is a reflection of the UAE as one of the leaders of sustainability and humanity projects and programmes around the world. These initiatives pushed us as representatives from UAE to be part of supporting others around the world. It will continue in UAE, but the focus will be more on official programmes as we target the children around the world. Of course, we will focus the education and health programmes for them, empowering them with sports and other activities,” Al Usaimi added.

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