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The University of Ulster launched a new BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Management course in the United Arab Emirates this week.

Enterprise and Trade Minister Arlene Foster and H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, joined University of Ulster Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett at the official launch ceremony at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Abu Dhabi today (Thursday).

The establishment of a BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Management programme provides a unique opportunity for young Emiratis to study for roles in the country’s future as a world-class sporting destination. It is the result of a partnership between the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), the largest provider of higher education in the UAE, and the University of Ulster.

Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Nahyan, said: “In recent years, the UAE has witnessed an exponential growth in the sports, events and leisure tourism sectors. As we look forward to continued development in the years ahead, there are significant opportunities for Emirati students to build careers in sports management.

“The launch today of a sports management degree is part of a commitment by the UAE government to meet the growing need for specific higher education opportunities in the country allowing young Emiratis to develop the knowledge and skills needed to drive our sports, events and leisure tourism industries in the future.”

University of Ulster Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett, said: “The University of Ulster already offers a number of very successful Bachelor’s degree courses across the Middle East and is delighted now, in partnership with HCT Abu Dhabi, to be able to offer the opportunity for highly motivated Emirati students with a keen interest in sport to enrol on this new degree programme.

“The overarching objective of the Applied Sports Management programme is to ensure students understand that such a degree course will not only equip them for employment, but also develop attributes and provide experiences that will greatly enrich them as individuals.”

DETI Minister Arlene Foster, who is on a business development mission to UAE, congratulated the University of Ulster on this international collaboration.

“The launch of this degree represents a further stage in the University of Ulster’s relationship with the United Arab Emirates,” she said.

“I had the privilege of visiting the Yas Marina Circuit in April last year along with Professor Barnett and we discussed a range of issues, including the development of a sports management degree in Abu Dhabi. It is therefore particularly encouraging to see those discussions come to fruition,” she said.

“Northern Ireland’s universities have an excellent research base and increasing internationalisation will be beneficial to our economy and that of our trading partners.”

The BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Management degree is a four-year programme of study consisting of 29 courses aimed at developing a full understanding and appreciation of the challenges faced by those managing global sport in the 21st century.

It is anticipated that both practicing sport management professionals and aspirants will apply for this course, and many may already be employed, either in a full-time or part-time capacity within the UAE.

Caption: Pictured at the launch of the BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Management in Abu Dhabi are (left to right) University of Ulster Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett, Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), British Ambassador Dominic Jeremy and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.