UAE

Emirati girl's once-in-a-lifetime experience as mascot alongside Lionel Messi

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Shahad Ibrahim Hasan Alhosani, alongside Lionel Messi at Camp Nou

A seven-year-old Emirati girl has shared the story of her dreams coming true being a mascot alongside Lionel Messi.

In an inspiring video Shahad Ibrahim Hasan Alhosani’s story is told by her mother who entered a competition to win the incredible opportunity with RAKBANK.

The football-mad youngster was chosen for the prize because of her celebration after scoring a goal on FIFA19 as part of the Priceless Experience competition on RAKBANK’s social media – she’s the first Emirati girl to be part of this.

Shahad can then be seen traveling to Barcelona, and walking out with Messi ahead of the side’s Champions League quarter final with Manchester United.

“I never thought I would ever be able to meet Messi in my life. He’s the best footballer in the world and I could not be happier to be able to meet my hero. I want to thank Mastercard and RAKBANK for making this happen. This is the best gift I’ve ever received and I will always remember it,” she said.

You can watch the video here:

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UAE

Adidas light up the Burj Khalifa as part of ocean plastic campaign

David Cooper 12/06/2019
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The illuminated Burj Khalifa

Adidas have launched their Run for the Oceans campaign in the most spectacular of ways – by lighting up the Burj Khalifa.

The event happened on June 8 in support of World Oceans Day and to mark the start of Run For The Oceans.

 Run for the Oceans is a global movement that harnesses the power of sport to raise awareness around the threat of marine plastic pollution and inspire action through Parley Ocean School.

d3 in Dubai is now home to a disruptive installation created from ocean waste highlighting the impact of marine plastic pollution on our future. This will show exactly how devastating the consequences of regular plastic usage can be.

Anyone wanting to support the movement can download the Runtastic app and take part in Run For The Oceans between 8th-16th June. For every KM adidas will contribute $1 to the Parley Ocean School, to educate youth about the threat of plastic pollution and inspiring them to take action.

On social media follow and tag pics using @adidasRunning #RunForTheOceans

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UAE

Houriya Al Taheri happy to 'Dream Crazier' as game changer for women's football

Dan Owen 9/06/2019
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Houriya Al Taheri is an inspiration to female footballers in the UAE and beyond

Inspirational UAE footballer and coach Houriya Al Taheri is the latest face of Nike’s Dream Crazier campaign in the Middle East.

Al Taheri’s film reveals her story of how her dream began the first time she kicked a football with her brother in a park as a child. Since then she has been committed to changing the narrative around female football in the region and continues to champion the unexpected in announcing her next crazy dream – to one day be the first Arab woman to own a football club.

Scouted at age 17, Houriya started her athletic journey as goalkeeper for the UAE National team in 2009, leading the national women’s team to victory in 2010 and 2011 at the Women’s West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship.  Since then, Al Taheri has become the first FIFA Arab coach, leading the UAE National team to make history, defeating Iraq in 2017 securing their first ever victory in a Women’s World Cup qualifier.

Al Taheri’s efforts have had an undeniable impact on the development of the game in the UAE. “We are raising a generation of women who love football who are the champions of the UAE and who will one day, with a lot of hard work and dedication become champions of the world. The doors are open for anyone to chase this dream and we are entering it with vigor, we are here to stay”, she says.


A sporting hero for the region and around the world, Al Taheri’s influence is not limited by borders, as she shared her insights at the UNESCO’s #ChangeTheGame event at their headquarters in Paris this week to discuss the future of Women and Football. During the event Al Taheri tackled the importance of upholding diversity, inclusion and gender equality in sport alongside internationally renowned female athletes and prominent figures.








Houriya has a broad perspective when it comes to her outlook on the game: “I’m not just a coach or an athlete, I’m a human, so helping people grow, or giving someone an opportunity is really important to me. I feel happy and content when I go home at the end of the day, knowing that I was able to do that – even when we lose a game, I always just think to myself: these young girls have an opportunity, that was not always available – and that is what is most important.”



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