GAC Abu Dhabi played a vital role in ensuring the success of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year.

Abu Dhabi was the first city in the Middle East to host a World Games. The capital of the Emirates welcomed more than 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 195 nations – all of whom needed equipment and infrastructure from around the world. GAC Abu Dhabi was appointed to help ensure everything was where it should be, when it was needed.

Youssef El Khouri, Logistics Manager for the Local Organisation Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, was impressed with GAC Abu Dhabi’s ability to deliver a high standard of service.

“Not only did GAC Abu Dhabi supply logistics and warehousing services, they also delivered a fantastic service supplying manpower across ten venues between Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” he says. “Working with them gave us the confidence that we would have seamless interactions across these services – they delivered an outstanding and faultless service consistently and effectively.”

The World Games presented GAC Abu Dhabi with an ‘Olympic-sized’ logistics challenge. The company responded by deploying 177 dedicated staff across the Games’ ten venues to install all of the equipment used by the athletes and the supporting workforce, which included up to 20,000 volunteers. It was also charged with receiving essential equipment for 24 different sports.

In all, the GAC Abu Dhabi team clocked up more than 22,000 man-hours without a single HSSE incident.

The logistics hub for the Games was based at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), conveniently close to GAC Abu Dhabi’s newly opened warehouse. Clear communications between sites ensured smooth operations throughout the Games.

The GAC Abu Dhabi team handled about 4,900m³ of cargo arriving through Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports, with its fleet of trucks and trailers making 200 delivery trips. After the Games, 3,700m³ of cargo was returned. GAC Abu Dhabi also provided a range of supporting services including specialised packing and crating, inventory management, stock replenishment and on-site support for venue coordinators.

“We are extremely proud to have been part of the world’s largest sporting and humanitarian event,” says Richard Rees, GAC Abu Dhabi’s Business Manager – Logistics. “With venues in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, our KIZAD facility proved to be the perfect base from which to coordinate our services around-the-clock before, during and after the Games.

“Our success in supporting this unique event owes a great deal to the strong bonds we forged with other stakeholders during last year’s Middle East North Africa (MENA) Special Olympics Regional Games, which were also held in Abu Dhabi.”