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  /  Agenda
Wednesday 4th October 2023


08.30 – Registration, Networking & Coffee


09.00 – Welcome & Opening Remarks
Sally Corander, Founder, Interact


09.05 – Moderator’s Introduction
Chris McHardy, Head of Sport, Arabian Radio Network (ARN)


09.10 – Opening Address
Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi


When Sport, Education and Health Come Together
Hear from senior Government leaders on how each entity works together, why sport and physical activity matters so much for the UAE’s national strategy and how you can contribute.


09.20 – SPORT EXCLUSIVE: The UAE’s National Sports Strategy

H.E. Sheikh Suhail Bin Butti Al Maktoum, Executive Director, Sports Development Sector, General Authority of Sports


09.50 – EDUCATION: The Plan for Wellbeing in UAE Schools

Student health and wellbeing has taken a hit following the pandemic – hear from ESE on how sport and physical activity form a major part of its student wellbeing drive for the future.

H.E. Mohammed Al Hashimi, Executive Director – Student Wellbeing Sector,
Emirates Schools Establishment


10.10 – HEALTH: Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre’s Latest Initiatives to Improve the Lives of Citizens and Residents

  • New schools’ health team and how they work together with education & sport
  • Working with partners: The Workplace Fitness Program and our contribution to setting Standards

H.E. Dr. Omniyat Mohammed Al Hajri, Executive Director – Community Health Sector, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre


10.30 – Networking & Refreshment Break


11.10 – The 2023 SIF Sports Quiz: How well do you know sport in the region?
A short, fun quiz to help you re-energise before the next session!


11.20 – Featured Keynote Speaker: Ministry of Sport Saudi
Sport Opportunities under Vision 2030

Saudi’s investment in sport is changing the established order! From PIF’s purchase of majority stakes in the “Big Four” Saudi Pro League clubs and an influx of world class footballing talent including Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr, to major sporting events being held across the Kingdom. Hear more about their exciting plans in this exclusive onstage interview.


11.45 – Destination Events: The Growth of the Major Events Industry

Saif Al Noaimi, CEO, Ethara, CEO, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


Featured Session: NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023
Following the historic first-ever NBA Abu Dhabi Games last year, the NBA makes its return to Yas Island on 5th and 7th October as the Dallas Mavericks take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at Etihad Arena.


12.15 – Innovation in Sport and the Future of the NBA

Hear from the NBA on why they chose Abu Dhabi to host their Games and the NBA’s growth plans in the region. Listen and learn from personal stories and examples of how much sport can inspire the next generation and what the future holds for the NBA.

Amy Brooks, Chief Innovation Officer, President Team Marketing and Business Operations, NBA


12.45 – Networking & Coffee Break


13.10 – Exclusive Interviews: Leadership Lessons from NBA Team CEOs

Cynt and Ethan will take part in unfiltered interviews telling their remarkable stories – from how their early life shaped their careers, overcoming adversity, the importance of workplace culture, to growing women’s sport, the biggest lessons they learned in business… and more!

Listen to two leaders who have overcome huge obstacles, defined culture and achieved greatness.

Cynt Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks
Ethan Casson, CEO, Minnesota Timberwolves


13.55 – Why Brands Invest, Their Strategy and Plans for Future

Leading international and regional brands’ talk about why they have invested in the properties they did, how they created impactful sports sponsorship strategies, if the partnerships are working and what is important for them in future investments.

George Paige, Head of Brand, Etihad Airways
Warwick Gird, General Manager – Marketing, Spinneys


14.30 – Closing Remarks for Day One

14.30 – Networking Late Lunch

15.30 – Close of Day One

Thursday 5th October 2023


09.00 – Registration, Networking and Coffee


09.20 – Welcome & Opening Remarks for Day Two
Chris McHardy, Head of Sport, Arabian Radio Network (ARN)


ADEK’s Plan for School Sports: The Journey So Far

  • The importance of the work ADEK are doing within the sports eco-system
  • Alignment with the UAE national vision and strategy
  • Initiatives involving ADEK over the next few years – including PE Policies and Standards, sports participation, talent ID and athlete development and capacity building

Faris Al Zaabi, Sports Enrichment Program Manager, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)


09.50 – Panel Discussion: Healthy Communities: Embedding a Healthy, Active Lifestyle

  • Adopting a comprehensive, integrated strategy for fostering healthier environments
  • Understanding the vital link between sports, physical activity, and overall health and well-being.

Gain insights into the latest statistical data and upcoming initiatives, and identify areas requiring support, and ambitious future plans.

Dr. Shereena Khamis Al Mazrouei, Department Manager, Health Promotion and Public Health Program, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre
Senior representative from Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi


10.30 – Networking & Coffee Break


11.00  – An Exclusive Interview with Football Legend Dwight Yorke

A “fireside chat” with the smiling assassin. Winner of the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Intercontinental Cup and League Cup. Scorer of 123 goals in England’s top flight football league, he also won the Caribbean Cup with Trinidad & Tobago and led them to the 2006 World Cup.

Dwight Yorke, Former Footballer Manchester United FC and Aston Villa FC


11.30 – Building a healthy active population – the latest stats and priorities for Saudi Government

Understanding the challenges that need to be solved and the current initiatives in place for Saudi communities.

Shaima Al Husseini, CEO & Managing Director, Saudi Sports For All Federation


12.00 – The Growth of Saudi Triathlon

As a young sport in Saudi, the triathlon federation is looking to raise awareness and engage younger athletes.

  • What are the barriers to grow the sport?
  • How is the federation improving the standards of swimming and cycling in the community, and working with schools and colleges?

Ali Samih Magboul, Chairman, Saudi Triathlon 


12.30 – Networking Refreshment Break


13.00 – Engaging the Next Generation: School Sport, Competition & Elite Athletes

  • Exploring the evolving preferences and interests of young people: Do we know what young people want? What data do we have?
  • Embracing technology and social media to engage young people in the right way
  • The appeal of esports in the region and the opportunity it presents
  • UAE youth tournaments and initiatives – challenges and successes

Mags Byrne, Former CEO, Sunderland FC, MD, EStars
Chris Brown, Founder & CEO, Mina Cup UAE
Gareth Mordey, General Manager, ENRICH ME, Cognita Schools


13.45 – Sustainability and Social Impact in Sport  

  • Using sport to promote social inclusion by breaking down barriers and fostering diversity in both participation and representation, helping to address issues of inequality and discrimination.
  • Integrating sustainability measures into facilities, events, governance
  • Understanding Mubadala’s sponsorship portfolio, why they invest in what they do, the role of the Mubadala Foundation and new partnerships including SailGP.
  • An update on COP28 and how the sector can become more sustainable

Khawla Barley, Head of Initiatives, Special Olympics UAE
Hadi Alaskari, VP, Partnerships Community Outreach and Events, Mubadala
Senior Representative from the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi


14.30 – Summary & Closing Remarks

14.35 – Late lunch and Networking

15.30- End of Sport Industry Forum 2023