Project Description

Special Olympics World Games

Our Scope

The Special Olympics World Games is a global event bringing together athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world. The organisation also provides adults and children with year-round training and athletics competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports. We are proud to have been selected as the security provider of choice for the 2019 edition held in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The event attracted a total crowd of over 500,000 people, hosting athletes, coaches and visitors from across the globe.

Having gone through a detailed tender process, Event Security Management were awarded the contract to deliver a world-class security service. Steve Coleman, our Managing Director, was appointed Head of Security. He was responsible for a team of 15 experienced Security Managers who each held responsibility for a specific venue.

Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 3

Our Actions

Policies and Procedures

The team were tasked with writing the overall security policies and procedures for the games, paying attention to every detail ensuring all aspects were covered. Part of this work also involved close liaison with team officials, games venues, hotels, airports, transport hubs and the local security committee to agree on operational requirements. It was critical that we were thorough in our preparation to ensure a safe, secure environment for all.


Following the creation of security plans for each venue, the second phase incorporated a detailed procurement process that involved utilising our extensive industry network within the region. We ran a competitive, high-quality tender process to select local security partners who had clearly demonstrated relevant experience, security levels and industry best practice.

We pride ourselves on providing a high level of service to our customers and expect any suppliers with whom we collaborate to have the same ethos.

Planning and Strategy

Our deployment began in February 2019 with the games launching the following month on the 14th March. Therefore, we had limited operating time to ensure the event was delivered to the standards of a major sporting tournament. However, we take great pride in our ability to respond quickly to customer requirements, adapting where necessary whilst still delivering a truly world-class service. We immediately set to work, partnering closely with the venues, partners, key stakeholders and local authorities to ensure we delivered to international standards. This was particularly important ahead of the arrival of athletes onsite.

Having travelled from around the world, athletes had to undergo very strict accreditation measures, therefore policies and procedures were implemented to ensure delivery against industry best practice. It was also necessary to create complex accreditation and security plans to ensure a comprehensive security detail across the event.

VIP Security

As with any major international sporting event, great care was taken in assessing the security levels across the games, with each sport and associated venue receiving their own, individual comprehensive threat assessment. As a result of this in-depth analysis, we were then able to assign and implement the relevant security measures.

Major international artists including Avril Lavigne and Paul Oakenfold performed at the opening ceremony whilst a number of high-profile VIP’s were in attendance throughout the duration of the event. Therefore, we worked in close coordination with the Royal Guard to ensure tight security procedures were formalised and adhered to. Our venue protocol teams were a key part in ensuring world-class delivery throughout the Special Olympics World Games.

We pride ourselves on providing a high level of service to our customers and expect any suppliers with whom we collaborate to have the same ethos

Our Legacy

An in-depth training programme was delivered by our security management team who ensured all important event information was briefed in both English and Arabic. This included emergency procedures, site familiarisation, medical provisions and staff welfare areas. It is this attention to detail that ensures everybody is well versed in what is needed to deliver a safe, successful event for all involved.

Our Results

The Special Olympics World Games was a great success, featuring 190 nations, 7,500 athletes and over 20,000 volunteers. Event Security Management Limited is proud to have played its part in such a wonderful event.