February 28.2017

Man City Feb17

Manchester City FC in Abu Dhabi to train at Emirates Palace

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has formed a ‘dream team’ with English Premier League club Manchester City FC, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Emirates Palace, to give two kids an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Emirati 17-year-old Hamad Khalil Alhousani, who has Type 1 Diabetes, and 15-year-old Syrian Bashar Fouad Alkaisi, who has Thalassemia, are both huge Manchester City fans, and were selected by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to have their wishes granted to meet their heroes from the English Premier League team.

Players from Manchester City were at Emirates Palace for mid-season warm-weather training. TCA Abu Dhabi, who are the official Destination Partners for the Premier League team, organised for the two teenagers to be taken along to meet some of the team’s star players.

Hamad and Bashar went along to the iconic Abu Dhabi hotel, one of the most luxurious in the world, where they got to meet club captain Vincent Kompany, Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, Serbian star Aleksandar Kolarov and rising Mancunian player Tosin Adarabioyo, have their pictures taken, and then receive signed shirts from the team.

Bashar almost couldn’t believe he was shaking hands with his heroes— it was a dream-come-true. “It was really amazing to meet the players from Manchester City, and I would like to thank them all for signing the shirts,” said Bashar. “I would also like to thank the Make-A Wish Foundation for this opportunity. It is an experience I will never forget.”

Hamad was also delighted with the surprise, as he got to meet his heroes, proudly holding his newly-signed shirt. “To attend the Manchester City training session here at Emirates Palace was an incredible experience,” he said. “In fact, I hope this will happen again for me! I’d also like to thank the Make-A-Wish Foundation for this experience!”

Belgian legend Kompany, was inspired by the bravery of the two teenagers, and said: “It was a pleasure to meet Hamad and Bashar. They have both shown a great amount of courage and determination recently and we were delighted to invite them to watch one of our training sessions in Abu Dhabi.”

Hani Al Zubaidi, chief executive of the Make-a-Wish foundation in the UAE added: “I’d like to thank Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Manchester City and Emirates Palace for affording us the opportunity to bring two kids such as Bashar and Hamad down to meet the players like this. I know this is something that they will remember for a long, long time, and it was great to see their smiling faces as they got to meet the players.”

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