Dubai Sports Council, GEMS Education and ESM launch Dubai’s first all-schools sports tournament

20 January 2021
  • Dubai Schools Games aims to unify Dubai’s students through inclusive sport
  • In-person Games will include a two-day Determination Championship in March
  • The new tournament comprises 12 sports, including e-sports, chess and golf

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The first Dubai School Games has been launched today by the Dubai Sports Council and ESM, the sports partner of GEMS Education.

The event aims to bring the emirate’s children together to compete in a safe and fully inclusive way. This will be the first time that all 200 private schools, in the emirate of Dubai, will have the opportunity to compete against each other in such a unified event.

The Dubai Schools Games is an initiative of the Dubai Sports Council, in line with the UAE Centennial 2071 that focusses on investing in UAE youth and nurturing Olympic success.


The Games will consist of a broad spectrum of sports and games for differently able children. Schools from across the emirate can register teams to participate in a wide-range of events including cycling, chess, water polo, golf and e-sports. The tournament will run from February to June 2021 for students in six age categories from under-nine to under 19, with many events making use of the excellent sports facilities at GEMS schools.

The initiative which officially launches today will be free for all schools and students to enter and has already seen over 50 schools register. Students will be able to start registering from 1 February.

Ensuring that young people of determination are wholly included and engaged, a two-day Determination Championship, will be held on 9-10 March 2021.

Ali Omar Al Balooshi, Director of Sports Development at Dubai Sports Council, said: “The year 2020 has been a year full of challenges and it has been particularly difficult for the students who haven’t been able to engage in regular sports and fitness activities at school. After consulting with the KHDA (Knowledge & Human Development Authority) we are well aware of the physical and mental impact this can have on the students and therefore, we are extremely excited to launch the Dubai Schools Games. An initiative that ensures the safe return of training and competitive sport tournaments for schools in Dubai.”

Chris Tidey, Founder of ESM, said: “‘We are delighted to announce the launch of the very first Dubai Schools Games. We have always known that sport is a vital part of a child’s overall wellbeing and development, but now, more than ever, young people of all ages and abilities need an opportunity to compete in a safe way. The Dubai School Games aims to build a sporting legacy in Dubai, and I am looking forward to seeing what great talent emerges from these, and future Games.”

Dino Varkey, CEO, GEMS Education, said: “GEMS Education is proud to support the inaugural Dubai Schools Games for all schools. GEMS has always recognised and championed physical education as an integral part of a student’s wellbeing and development. The Dubai Schools Games is an excellent opportunity for GEMS, and indeed all school groups, to come together and show community and strength through the undoubted unifying power of sport.”

School groups can register online at www.dubaischoolsgames.ae.



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